By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
The University of Nottingham is ‘delighted’ to be welcoming back Jonathan Van-Tam after it was announced he will step down as Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam will become the university’s next Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences after he leaves his role later this year.
The professor and UoN alumnus was affectionately known for his use of metaphors to explain the Covid outbreak to the public during the depths of the pandemic.
He received a knighthood in the recent New Year Honours list for his services to public health.
In May 2022, he will take up the Executive Board-level role on his return to the university when he steps down as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) for Health Protection in England.
Dr Paul Greatrix, Registrar at the University of Nottingham, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the university is “incredibly excited” to be welcoming him back.
Dr Greatrix said: “He has been a fixture of the university since he graduated back in 87. He is part of the fabric of the institution.
“We were delighted when he went off to be Deputy Chief Medical Officer and it has been great to see the public profile he has had over the last couple of years.
“Given all that he has done, we are really delighted he is coming back into a very senior leadership position in the university when he returns.
“It was great to see him being able to translate the really difficult issues the country was facing into straightforward talking. That is the sign of a really impressive communicator.
“His reputation for using fresh and interesting analogies to explain the battle against Covid was really terrific to see.”
Dr Greatrix, who is responsible for the academic administration of the University, added: “He is a person who has enormous respect from everyone for his ability to communicate and his research and scientific analysis. It puts him in a very strong position to offer leadership in the University.
“I hope it also helps the public profile of the University in the city and the region, and makes us very attractive to potential students as well who I am sure will be very excited at the possibility of him lecturing to them at some point in the future.”
Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam said his time as DCMO has been “the most challenging” of his professional career.
He added: “We all wish Covid had never happened. Notwithstanding, it has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to have served the people of the UK during this time.
“I am delighted to become Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine & Health Sciences at Nottingham and am looking forward to returning to the university that has been part of my academic and professional life since 1987. It will be a pleasure to work with colleagues old and new throughout the faculty and more widely.”
Professor Van-Tam will take up role on May 1 2022.