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Mike Malone-Lee

Mike Mallone Lee

Areas of Interest


Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of the University, 2005


Mike Malone-Lee is the former Director of Corporate Affairs on the NHS Management Executive, and was Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University from 1995 to 2004. During his time as Vice Chancellor he oversaw an enormous expansion both in the number of students and in the extent and range of programmes offered by our University as well as the initiation of the major building developments in Chelmsford and Cambridge. Since his retirement in 2004 he has continued to play a major role in the development of education services within the region. Mike has served as Chair of the Essex Learning and Skills Council and Chair of the Association of Universities of the East of England. He has also served as Director of Chelmsford YMCA and was Chair of Mid-Essex NHS Hospitals Trust. Mike is completing a doctorate in Oxford where he now lives.

In 2005 Mike Malone-Lee was made Honorary Doctor of the University.


"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Doctor of the University degree to Michael Charles Malone-Lee, MA, previous Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of this University, former Senior Civil Servant serving in such prestigious roles as Deputy Secretary in the Lord Chancellor's Department (Head of Law and Policy Groups); Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health and Director of Corporate Affairs & Information Management (National Health Service Management Executive); Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Social Services, whilst undertaking a host of other official responsibilities, including Chairman of Essex Learning; Skills Council, Chairman of the Association of Universities in the East of England, Director of the Higher Education Statistics Agency, Chairman of the Review Panel of Remuneration of CEOs of Research Councils, and pilgrim extra-ordinaire.

He attended school at the highly-reputed Stonyhurst College near Clitheroe in Lancashire, a Roman Catholic boarding school founded in 1623 and from there, went on to read classics and philosophy at Campion Hall, Oxford.

In 1968, Mike entered the Civil Service in the role of Assistant Principal in the Ministry of Health and over the next eight years, served in a variety of posts at the Department of Health and Social Security. In 1976 he was appointed to the post of Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Social Services, later becoming Area Administrator, City and East London Area Health Authority and then Chief Administrator. In the early eighties he was the Representative of the Secretary of State on two Whitley Councils for the NHS and in 1982 was appointed District, later Chief, Administrator of Bloomsbury Health Authority, one of the largest health districts in the country. In 1984, he was appointed Under Secretary and Director of Personnel for the headquarters of the Department of Health and Social Security and in 1989, Principal Finance Officer at the Home Office. This post was followed by Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health and Director of Corporate Affairs & Information Management, NHS Management Executive, responsible to the Chief Executive of the NHS and he took his administrative gifts from health into law, on appointment as Deputy Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, where he became Head of Law & Policy Groups.

Thence in 1995, Mike Malone-Lee came from the highest echelons of the nation's Civil Service to take up the appointment of Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive at this (as was) new university and during his ten year period of office, "he has changed the landscape" both figuratively and actually, putting APU firmly on the higher education map in the UK. So, today we are here to honour him for all he has done for so many for so long. In Chelmsford, he has guided the expansion and development of the Rivermead Campus and overseen the gradual implementation of plans for the total move from the town centre Victoria Road site to the banks of the River Chelmer park area to the north-west. Meanwhile, he has sought the goodwill of potential benefactors to the University and facilitated Lord Ashcroft's investment of £5m into the Ashcroft International Business School and encouraged Lord Ashcroft as a natural successor to the retiring Lord Prior, as Chancellor of the University. In Cambridge he has vastly improved facilities through the creation of the new futurist Opus One building and greatly enhanced the public perspective of the campus through the impressive street-side grande entree. Also, he has sown the seeds of a vision for the Centre for Creativity and Culture, to link the University more closely with the media, creative industries and those public and voluntary sectors devoted to the creative arts.

As a person, Mike is a man of great intellect, he is very efficient, extremely well organized and a prodigious worker, who goes out of his way to be fair to people. He is also a very likeable man with an excellent sense of humour yet, above all, he has a truly amazing memory, especially for the names of students, for whom he has great respect and wants so much for them to succeed. This, no doubt, explains in part the doubling of numbers during his term of office to around 28,000 full-time and part-time students today.

Finally, his tact and humanity have no doubt played important roles, also, on his recent, remarkable pilgrimages with his wife, Claire. In October 2004 they arrived in Rome on the ninety-ninth day of travel after a walk of 1,300 miles across Essex, Kent, France, Switzerland and Italy, having set off, the day after he stopped work at APU. Now, they are just back from a bicycle ride from Rome to Jerusalem!

It is for all these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Vice-Chancellor, to confer on Michael Charles Malone-Lee, MA, the degree of Honorary Doctor of the University."