Plymouth University appoints His Honour Judge William Taylor to be Chairman of its Board of Governors

Judge Taylor has been a senior Circuit Judge for the City of Plymouth since 1990 and has served at the bench for more than 20 years. His judicial contribution was recognised by the award of an honorary title of Recorder of Plymouth for life.

A long-serving member of the Board, Judge Taylor became Honorary President of the University Student Law Society when it was set up in 1993, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Plymouth University in 2005.

Judge Taylor said: “I have been fortunate to have been associated with the University for some 20 years, and in that time I‘ve watched its star of achievement rise ever faster and higher, so that now it is not only a major force in the city and region, but also nationally and indeed internationally. I am thrilled to be able to work more closely with the University as Chairman of its governing body and share in its exciting journey – it really is a great university and one that places students at the heart of what we do.”

Judge Taylor has served on a number of key policy committees for Devon and Cornwall, including the Criminal Justice Strategy Committee and the Probation and Magistrates Courts Committees. He has been particularly influential on the issue of drugs and crime, and some of his work informed a national pilot project.

The University has also appointed fellow governor Steve Pearce DL to be Vice-Chairman. Steve retired from the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in December 2003 as an Acting Assistant Chief Constable, having served a total of 37 years in the police service. During that time he worked in all areas of Devon and Cornwall, although the vast majority of his service was in Plymouth where he undertook many different roles, including that of the divisional commander for the City from 1997 to 2002.

In 2003 Steve was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for his work in supporting the communities of Devon and Cornwall, and in 2004 was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for Devon.

Steve said: “I am looking forward to continuing to support the Board and the Vice-Chancellor in helping to drive forward Plymouth University as a successful place for the benefit of our students, staff and our partners within the City, the wider South West and further afield."

Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor, welcomed both appointments. She said: “The University is excited to be working with both William and Steve in their new roles. They are widely known and respected for their work, and long service to the public and their community. As long-serving and distinguished members of our Board, they are both committed to social inclusion, and the power that higher education has to change lives, and they embody our spirit of enterprise.”