Charles Hunt to step down as Vice-Chancellor of the UCO

I am sorry to announce that Vice Chancellor Charles Hunt will be leaving UCO at the end of July. UCO’s Board of Directors have been reviewing UCO’s strategy, and in June made a decision to progress in a direction that Charles regrettably does not feel able to support.

During his 33 years of dedicated service, firstly as a faculty member and with the last 17 years spent leading the organisation, Charles has played a pivotal role in elevating UCO's reputation and shaping the osteopathic profession. UCO, and before that BSO, is recognised nationally and internationally as the leading provider of osteopathic higher education with the brand representing excellence, innovation and professional leadership.

Under Charles’s leadership, the UCO has achieved a number of significant milestones in recent years, becoming the first independent osteopathic institution to attain taught degree awarding powers, institutional designation and the coveted University College title. More recently the UCO secured a silver award in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and was recognised for its high-quality research output in the institution’s first submission to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework Exercise (REF).

Charles provided exemplary leadership of the UCO as it dealt with the Covid pandemic and a fire in the clinic building, ensuring minimal disruption to the student experience and patient care, and providing direction and support to the UCO’s team of staff through unprecedented times of change. His inclusive leadership has helped to build a passionate and dedicated UCO team and he will be missed by those who have had the opportunity work with him.

He has led the delivery of other innovative projects, including the acquisition and fit out of a purpose- built site for the UCO Clinic on Southwark Bridge Road in 2007, establishing it as the largest of its kind in Europe. He has also played a pivotal role in developing and supporting partnerships with other academic institutions both in England and Europe, further extending the UCO’s reach in new and rewarding directions.

Beyond the UCO, Charles has actively contributed to the advancement of the osteopathic profession through his chairing of the board of the Osteopathic International Alliance, during which time it entered into an official relationship with the World Health Organisation. Through his involvement in multiple osteopathic committees and working groups he has helped to create benchmarks and standards for osteopathy, and chaired the Council of Osteopathic Educational Institutions while also serving 6 years on the Quality Assurance Agency’s (QAA) Advisory Committee for Degree Awarding Powers.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we extend our gratitude to Charles for his contributions to UCO's heritage and reputation and convey our best wishes for his continued success in all his future endeavours.

Jo Price

Chair of the Board

20 July 2023

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