Hastings tributes paid to former University of Brighton vice-chancellor

Julian Crampton. Picture by Jim Holden SUS-190916-125133001
Julian Crampton. Picture by Jim Holden SUS-190916-125133001

Tributes have been paid to a former University of Brighton vice-chancellor, who has died.

Professor Julian Crampton, who held the role for 10 years, passed away after a lengthy illness.

John Harley, who chaired the university from August 2015 until February 2018 and was deputy chairman from August 2013, said: “I was lucky enough to know Julian from my board membership of the University of Brighton from early 2008 onwards.

“As deputy chairman, I would frequently take graduation ceremonies with Julian and we normally had fun celebrating the conclusion of the university year and the success of the graduates and award winners.

“When I became chairman, he and I visited every department and every building in the university on every campus. At the time, he was in some pain from cancer in his spine but he was always unfailingly courteous. Visits to Eastbourne and Hastings included a fast drive in his sports car which was a revelation to me as he always presented himself as a quiet, calm and reserved man. Overall our visits took one week to complete such was the extent of the university’s estate.

“Julian was a visionary and committed to the growth of the university and took enormous pleasure from the success of the Hastings academies and the establishment of the university campus in Hastings. In his last five years as vice-chancellor, he was committed to the development of quality infrastructure in Brighton through the Circus Street and Preston Barracks projects and a vibrant campus estate in Hastings. Unfortunately, the university’s finances and management were too stretched to fully deliver his vision.

“Julian was very active in the Brighton, Hastings and East Sussex communities. He worked closely with both local councils and was a board member of SEEDA. His commitment to improving primary and secondary school education in East Sussex was undoubted and many families and children, particularly those in Hastings, benefitted significantly from his vision and determination.”

Professor Debra Humphris, University of Brighton vice-chancellor, said: “I was not fortunate enough to have worked with Professor Crampton but I have spoken to colleagues who have told me of his vision of what this university could achieve.

“A commitment to widening participation, high quality research, and the sponsorship of developments across the university’s entire estate were all testaments to his ambitions. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

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