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Last Updated: Friday, 25 April, 2003, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
University principal dies
Prof Bell - Picture from Stirling University
Professor Bell died suddenly
Stirling University has announced the death of its principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Colin Bell.

Prof Bell, 61, who had been principal of the university since September 2001, died suddenly on the campus.

He was married to Dr Janette Webb, a sociologist, and had two daughters. The academic also had two other children, Rachel and Luke, from his first marriage.

Prof Bell was a distinguished sociologist and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

He also served as principal of the University of Bradford and vice-principal of the University of Edinburgh.

The professor had made numerous academic contributions to policy areas including agriculture, the environment and race relations.

The University extends its sincere sympathy to Colin's family and friends
University spokesman
He was well known for his views on the quality of higher education in Scotland and chaired many committees on that subject both north and south of the border.

Prof Bell was an outspoken critic of military action against Iraq and spoke in a personal capacity at a rally of students and staff on 20 March.

He said there was concern about the then imminent war because the university has many overseas students, including Kuwaitis, a significant number of Muslim students and a large number of Americans.

The professor was born in Kent in 1942, graduated from the University of Keele and was awarded his postgraduate degree at the University of Wales.

'Sorely missed'

A spokesman for the university said: "It is with immense sadness that the sudden and untimely death is announced of Professor Colin Bell FRSE FRSA AcSS, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling.

"The University extends its sincere sympathy to Colin's family and friends."

Richard Pyle, President of Stirling University Students Association (SUSA), said: "All of us here at Susa were deeply upset to hear about Colin.

"It will be very difficult to imagine this institution without his leadership which had such a profound effect in such a short time.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time, but we would like those close to him to know that he was considered a great friend to the students of Stirling. He will be sorely missed."

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