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New Dean at Canterbury Christ Church

13 December 2002

Professor Alfred Smyth has been appointed Dean of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Following his years as Professor of Medieval History at the University of Kent, when he was Master of Keynes College, Professor Smyth was Warden of St. George’s House, Windsor Castle.

‘This was a fascinating time for me. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, together with the Dean of Windsor, set up this centre for debate in the 1960s. As Warden, it was my responsibility to organise speakers and invite heads of industry, trade union leaders and prominent educationalists to discuss topical issues. I also catered for the needs of distinguished temporary residents in Windsor Castle, including Heads of State from Eastern Europe and elsewhere,’ says Professor Smyth.

In 1999 Professor Smyth was appointed Director of Research at Canterbury Christ Church, with responsibilities for research across all faculties. During his three years in office he was instrumental in securing sponsorship for wide-ranging research projects including environmental research, from sources such as leading pharmaceutical companies and the Ministry of Agriculture. He also helped to forge links between the Faculty of Health and the NHS.

‘Canterbury Christ Church continues to increase its number of research students – a factor which is important for the college’s plans for full university status,’ says Professor Smyth.

In his new role as Dean of Arts and Humanities, Professor Smyth is responsible for all aspects of this large Faculty.

‘Canterbury Christ Church is particularly active in visual and performing arts, with extensive programmes of regular concerts, exhibitions and foreign exchanges,’ he says. The college plays an important and exciting role in the cultural life of Canterbury and the county of Kent,’ he explains.

Professor Smyth still finds time to research medieval history. He has written several books about the Vikings and early histories of Scotland and Ireland. He recently translated a Biography of his namesake - King Alfred the Great – and edited ‘Medieval Europeans’, published by MacMillan and funded by the EU.

‘I feel that I must lead by example,’ he explains: ‘I cannot encourage other people to embark on research if I do not continue to publish my own.’

Professor Smyth lives at Godmersham near Chilham


Penelope Kimber, Director of External Relations
Tel: 01227 782823, e-mail

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