Page last updated at 20:00 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Ex-Olympian quits university role

Brendan Foster receiving an honorary doctorate at Leeds Met
Brendan Foster has been the university's chancellor since 2005

Ex-Olympic athlete Brendan Foster CBE has resigned as chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University.

Mr Foster told BBC News he gave his resignation on 12 January, two days before vice-chancellor Simon Lee announced he was resigning.

Mr Foster became the university's chancellor in 2005.

In March, the university's board of governors is due to discuss a proposed increase in fees for the academic year beginning in 2010.

Mr Lee pioneered the "low-charging, high-impact" tuition-fee policy. The university currently charges 2,000 per year, the lowest fees in England. The proposals, if accepted, will see the charge go up to 3,000.

'Strong position'

Ninian Watt, the university's chair of governors, said: "Brendan Foster has been a great ambassador for the university and we are grateful for the significant role he will have played in the four years of his tenure.

"With the pending appointment of a new vice-chancellor, Brendan believes it is an opportune time for the university to seek a new chancellor."

Mr Foster, a founder of the Great North Run, broke the world record for running two miles in 1973, won a bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games and a gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

He retired from athletics in 1980 and was made an MBE for his achievements.

He was appointed CBE in 2007.

Dr Geoff Hitchins, a former vice-chancellor of the university, was appointed acting chief executive on Wednesday.

Mr Watt said Dr Hitchins would lead the university's management team until a new vice-chancellor was appointed.

He added: "The whole board want to acknowledge the transformation of the university under the leadership of Professor Lee.

"The university is in a very strong position and we will build on that."

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