Honorary Doctor of the University
Tommy Geddes has made a significant contribution to higher education in this country, including here at LSBU. He is also living proof of the vital importance of widening participation and giving students from all backgrounds the opportunity to realise their potential.
Tommy left school at 16, and began his working life as a technician at the Dounreay nuclear reactor. As a young shop steward in the mid-1970s, he was awarded a TUC scholarship at the London School of Economics. He then applied to study History and Politics at the University of Stirling, whose inclusive ethos he credits with giving him the confidence to succeed.
Following a year as President of the Student Association, Tommy went to Aberdeen to study for a PhD, before embarking on his long and distinguished career in higher education management. His CV includes stints at the University of Essex, the UK Council for Overseas Student Affairs and LSBU, where he spent four years as Dean of Quality Initiatives and Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor before joining the University of Winchester in 1993.
Over the next 19 years, he rose to become Deputy Vice Chancellor and oversaw projects including a major rebrand following the award of university title in 2005, and the development of a new £3 million sports centre. He also succeeded in putting the University on a sound financial footing and driving up standards. Since retiring in January 2013, he has taken on the role of ombudsman, with responsibility for ensuring that any complaints from students, staff and external stakeholders are dealt with fairly and impartially.
Away from work, Tommy takes a keen interest in current affairs and sport. He sits on the council of governors at Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust, and chaired the project board that set up the Higher Education Bursaries and Scholarships Scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2014.