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Martin Harris

College positions:
Emeritus Fellow, Honorary Fellow
Romance Linguistics
University of Manchester

Sir Martin Harris

Sir Martin Harris, CBE is a British academic and former University Vice-Chancellor.

He began his academic career at the University of Leicester in 1967, where he lectured in French Linguistics. Sir Martin then spent fifteen years at the University of Salford as a Senior Lecturer, Professor of Linguistics, Dean and, later, Pro-Vice-Chancellor. From 1984 to 1987 he was a member of the University Grants Committee.

His first appointment as Vice-Chancellor was at the University of Essex in 1987. Following this, his most prominent academic appointment was Vice-Chancellor of the Victoria University of Manchester from 1992 until its dissolution in the formation of the new University of Manchester in 2004. During his time in Manchester he was at various times Chairman of both the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (now UUK), and of its Health Committee, a member of the Commission for Health Improvement and a member of the Department of Health – Department for Education and Skills Strategic Learning and Research Advisory Group: StLAR, and Chair of the Clinical Academic Staff Advisory Group of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

Sir Martin’s appointments since retirement from the University of Manchester include Deputy Chairmanship of the North West Development Agency 2002–2008, Director of Fair Access at the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) 2004–2012, and Chancellor of the University of Salford between 2005 and 2009.

He became President of Clare Hall in 2008 and stepped down in 2013.

Select publications

  • Martin Harris (1978) The Evolution of French Syntax. A Comparative Approach. London: Longman.
  • Nigel Vincent & Martin Harris (eds) (1982) Studies in the Romance Verb: Essays Offered to Joe Cremona on the Occasion of his 60th Birthday. London: Croom Helm.
  • Martin Harris & Nigel Vincent (eds) (1988) The Romance Languages. London: Croom Helm. (2nd ed. London: Taylor & Francis, 1997).

Select awards

  • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 1992
  • Knight Bachelor, 2000 for services to higher education
  • The Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, University of Manchester, is named in Sir Martin’s honour