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Wrexham University Names New Vice-Chancellor

Wrexham University has announced the appointment of Professor Joe Yates, who will take over as Vice-Chancellor from Professor Maria Hinfelaar on her retirement.

Professor Yates will join the university this summer from his current position as Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Place and Partnership at Liverpool John Moores University.

Professor Yates is a Professor in Criminology and Social Policy and has researched and published in the field of youth justice, with a particular focus on policy responses to marginalised children involved in crime and antisocial behaviour. He has conducted research for the College of Policing, Home Office and the Youth

Justice Board of England and Wales as well as for a range of community groups, non-governmental organisations and charities.

He said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed as the next Vice-Chancellor of Wrexham University. Wrexham University has a proud intellectual tradition and a deep sense of purpose. The authentic commitment to inclusion is a key feature of the university and something which I share.

“There is a real sense of excitement and energy around the future of the city and the university. I am looking forward to being part of Wrexham – working in partnership with staff, students and stakeholders to deliver the skills, innovation and research needed to support inclusive growth and prosperity for future generations in the city, North Wales and the wider region.”

Professor Yates achieved a BA in History, Politics and Media, and went on to be awarded his DPhil in Criminology and Social Policy in 2007 from De Montfort University. He gained an MA in Social Work from Nottingham University and is a qualified social worker and trained Probation Officer. He spent 15 years working in the social policy and criminal justice field as a social worker, youth worker, youth justice worker and a youth offending manager.

In 2007, he joined Liverpool John Moores University as Head of Criminology where he established and co-directed the Centre for the Study of Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion. In 2011 he was appointed as Director of the School of Humanities and Social Science and led the development of the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.

Professor Yates has also held a range of voluntary positions on the governing bodies of various schools, colleges and community groups. He is currently the Director of an International Youth Justice Symposium at the Inter University Centre in Croatia and the Chair of the Regional Governance Board for Cradle to Career, a grassroots place-based programme that brings people and organisations together to tackle inequalities across the Liverpool City Region.

Dr Leigh Griffin, Chair of the Board of Governors at Wrexham University, who led the recruitment process and chaired the appointment panel, said:

“Professor Joe Yates is an outstanding appointment. His breadth of experience, commitment to higher education and his strong values mean that he is the ideal person to take forward the legacy left by Professor Maria Hinfelaar. We look forward to welcoming Joe later this year and working with him on the next chapter for Wrexham University.”

Professor Yates will formally take up the role of Vice-Chancellor at Wrexham University in August 2024.

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