Professor Rick Rylance, Director of the Institute of English Studies (IES), has been appointed the new Dean and Chief Executive of the School of Advanced Study (SAS) and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research in the University. He will succeed Professor Roger Kain CBE, FBA, who has led the School for more than seven years.
Professor Rylance took over the IES directorship in January 2016. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group.
"I’m delighted to be appointed and honoured to succeed Roger Kain who has done such a splendid job in developing the School. SAS is central not only to the academic mission of the University of London, but also to the humanities across the UK in what inevitably will be testing times. The School will continue to be a powerful voice for the country’s spectacular achievements in the humanities and the value they bring to our national and international lives."
Professor Rylance has held several senior positions at UK universities including Head of the School of Arts, Literature and Languages at the University of Exeter and Dean of Arts at Anglia Polytechnic University (now Anglia Ruskin University).
His main research areas are 19th- and 20th-century literature and the intellectual and literary history of those periods, with a particular focus on the history of psychology and the psychology of reading. Professor Rylance’s most recent publication is Literature and the Public Good (Oxford University Press, 2016), which addresses debates over the public value of literature from antiquity to the present day. He has delivered numerous research papers, keynote addresses and guest lectures across the world and has been prominently engaged with research agencies worldwide including membership of the Governing Board of the Global Research Council.
"I am delighted with the appointment of Professor Rick Rylance as Dean of the School of Advanced Study", said University Vice Chancellor Sir Adrian Smith. "He brings a wealth of knowledge of research in the humanities and the wider research funding landscape in the UK. I look forward to working with him to support the future of the School and its mission to champion the cause of humanities research in the UK."