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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 17:53 GMT
Tributes to storm death uni boss
Prof Roland Levinsky. Picture: University of Plymouth
Roland Levinsky supported plans for a cultural quarter in Plymouth
Tributes have been paid to the vice- chancellor of Plymouth University who died when high winds blew down electricity cables on New Year's Day.

Roland Levinsky, 63, was walking with his wife when the accident happened in a field near his Wembury home in Devon.

Deputy vice-chancellor Mark Cleary said Prof Levinsky would be remembered for his "huge contribution to the university, Plymouth and the region".

Prof Levinsky was appointed vice-chancellor in September 2002.

Last year, the University of Plymouth leapt 33 places to 40th in the Guardian newspaper's 2006 ranking of universities.

'Wide legacy'

Prof Cleary said: "The university's national and international reputation is much stronger.

"He saw the development of Plymouth and the region tied to the development of the university, so he leaves a very wide legacy."

He said that he and many colleagues had happy memories of Prof Levinsky.

"He had a strong intellect, but was always quite mischievous and had a good sense of humour."

The leader of Plymouth City Council, Tudor Evans, joined in the tributes, describing Prof Levinsky's death as "tragic".

Electricity cut

Prof Levinsky, a keen sailor and amateur artist, supported plans to create a cultural quarter around the university campus in North Hill.

But his leadership was also criticised over plans to merge the Seale Hayne and Exmouth campuses with Plymouth.

He was also a world leader in the field of immunodeficiency diseases.

The father-of-three died as a thunder and hail storm passed over the south Devon area while he walked with his wife Beth and their dog.

About 1,400 households had electricity cut off as a result of the cable fall from a 30ft wooden pylon.


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