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The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire 2018-2019

Professor Ruth Farwell CBE DL



Ruth is a mathematician by background with a BSc(Hons) and a PhD, both from the University of Kent. Her career spanning over forty years has been spent in different universities, first as a lecturer in mathematics, then gradually moving into more managerial roles.

After two research fellowships, at Kent and Imperial College London, she began lecturing in maths at St Mary's University, Twickenham in 1982.  After heading up the maths department there she moved in 1990 to the University of Brighton where she stayed for eight years, moving in 1998 to London South Bank University where she was Pro Vice-Chancellor with a portfolio including academic quality and the student experience. She left London South Bank in January 2006 to lead what was to become Buckinghamshire New University as Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, retiring in January 2015. She now runs her own consultancy and undertakes voluntary work.

It was her appointment in 2006 to head up what was then Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (BCUC) in High Wycombe and Chalfont St Giles which brought her and her husband Martin Daniels to Buckinghamshire, moving to a rural location outside High Wycombe. It was under her leadership that BCUC was granted university status, having undergone a rigorous assessment and it became Buckinghamshire New University. During her time there, Ruth always had as a priority engaging with the local community and businesses for mutual benefit.

Throughout her career and into retirement, Ruth has been active in the university sector at national level. Her previous posts in public life locally have involved service as a  governor at was then Aylesbury College, as chair of the Buckinghamshire UTC, a secondary school in Aylesbury specialising in employer focused education, and as a member of the boards of the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP and of Buckinghamshire Business First. She is currently a member of the board of Southampton Solent University and is also deputy chair of Pearson College London.

It is not surprising given her background that Ruth has decided to use her year as High Sheriff to take the opportunity to highlight the role of education and skills in beating crime. This is multi-faceted but one aspect she hopes to promote is the raising of educational attainment as a means of preventing becoming involved in crime.

To relax Ruth tries to support Martin to keep a large garden in the Chilterns under control, and enjoys cooking especially using home-grown produce. She has taken up bee keeping and now has five hives producing honey for family, friends and neighbours.

Ruth was awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours 2015 for services to higher education, and also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent and an emeritus professorship from Buckinghamshire New University. She was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire in 2015.