24 February 2022

Sir Bob Burgess, Chair of the CGHE Advisory Board (1947-2022)

Colleagues and friends across the higher education world.

It with great sadness, and also with feeling of gratitude and respect, that I must record for you the death of the Chair of the CGHE Advisory Board, Sir Bob Burgess, after a short illness.

Bob has passed away too early at the age of 74 but his lifetime achievement and legacy are immense. He was a brilliant Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester in 1999-2014, which has posted this tribute.

Bob also served as President of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), at the Economic and Social Research Council, as the author of major reports on higher education, and in many other posts and roles, in addition to his own scholarly projects and outputs as a sociologist. SRHE has posted a tribute here.

As Chair of CGHE’s Advisory Board Bob was a wise and constructive force and a significant source of good advice and support for me as director. His ethical framework and collective commitments, his understanding of people and optimism about the possibilities of human society, guided him at CGHE as elsewhere.

Bob Burgess is much missed. CGHE’s researchers and staff pass on our heartful condolences to his wife Hilary and his family and close friends.

We do not have long on the earth, but some of us manage to achieve much, and touch the lives of many others for the better. Bob was one of those people.

Simon Marginson
Director, ESRC/RE Centre for Global Higher Education