Professor Paul Croney, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University, will be awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) as announced in the New Year Honours list.


Professor Croney is recognised for his work to date over a 30-year career in higher education, throughout which he has sought to create educational opportunities that transform lives and economies, whilst putting students at the heart of the learning process.


Professor Croney has worked in four universities and held a succession of leadership roles, including the Director of Sheffield Business School, the Dean of Newcastle Business School, and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University.


Since being appointed Vice-Chancellor at Teesside University in 2015, he has led a step-change in the University’s ambitions which has seen Teesside firmly established as an international university at the heart of the region, contributing a total £208m GVA to the economy.


Under Professor Croney’s leadership, the University has galvanised regional regeneration, exemplified by the £300m investment in the campus masterplan. Through collaborative work with businesses, SMEs and regional further education colleges, including the development of Ofsted Outstanding higher and degree apprenticeships, Teesside has prioritised social impact, being named Sunday Times University of the Year for Social Inclusion in 2021.


Professor Croney said: “I am deeply honoured to be recognised for the impact of my work at this stage of my career and am proud to accept this award on behalf of the many people, partners and businesses who have worked alongside me.  


“The transformational impact of Teesside University is due to the determination, positivity and creativity of my colleagues across Team Teesside. This award recognises their tireless commitment to ensuring that we seize every opportunity to unlock potential.


“Our new corporate strategy, Teesside 2027: Ambition Delivered Today, sets out a renewed vision for the University, our communities, partners and region.


“What we have achieved is significant; but this recognition will spur us on to do more over the next five years, as an anchor institution with a civic mission to transform lives and economies.”