DMU announces new Chair of the Board of Governors

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) today announced that, following an open and transparent competitive process, Ian Squires has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board of Governors.

Ian Squires, who starts the role in January, is a highly experienced trustee and board member. He chaired the board of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for eight years, helping to oversee the theatre’s redevelopment and reopening in 2013.


In 2014, he joined the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the following year became a trustee of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He has also served on the boards of Birmingham Hippodrome and Belarus Free Theatre and is also currently chair of the board at Curve in Leicester.

He brings a wealth of experience as a television broadcaster and executive. He began his career as a journalist and producer at the BBC and was later Managing Director of ITV’s Midlands production base and of ITV Central.  In 2009 he joined the ITV Network in London and was latterly Controller of Current Affairs & News Operations, successfully leading a period of significant change.

Diya Rattanpal, DMU student representative on the Board, and also part of the appointment panel for the Chair, said: “Ian is a brilliant fit for DMU, and the open and transparent culture we are building here is one that Ian absolutely stands behind.

“He is someone who I believe will absolutely value and prioritise students’ perspectives and thoughts, which is so exciting to hear. I think Ian’s appointment will help build on strengths DMU already has and open some new opportunities for students. We at DSU look forward to what’s to come.”

Paul McNichol, a staff governor on the Board, and also part of the appointment panel, said: “Ian is an excellent choice for Chair as he comes to us with a wealth of practical experience in governance and has been genuinely passionate about DMU and our students throughout the process.  

“Ian has board membership experience of equally dynamic and socially engaging organisations and understands the power of working with the community. 

“What has been particularly striking about Ian’s application is his absolute focus on the student experience and his dedication to the responsibilities of becoming Chair of DMU’s Board.  I am really looking forward to working with him in the new year.”

Ian Squires said: “I have always seen De Montfort University as a creative, energetic university with a distinctive mission and outlook, so I’m really excited to be joining as Chair of the Board of Governors.

“The university’s focus on inclusion and achievement, on leading the way in teaching, research and practising sustainability – along with its strong community links - are areas of significant strength and I’m looking forward to helping the university continue to progress in these and other areas of its work.”

The Chair leads a board of independent, and student and staff representative governors who are collectively responsible for defining and upholding the overall character and mission of the university and the effective and efficient use of its resources.

The board comprises eminent external individuals of national standing, two members of university staff, a student representative and the Interim Vice-Chancellor, who is an ex-officio member of the board.

Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019

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