Top solicitor appointed new York agri-college chief

Askham Bryan College has appointed Catherine Dixon as its new chief executive.
Askham Bryan College has appointed Catherine Dixon as its new chief executive.
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Askham Bryan College has appointed the former chief executive of the Law Society, Catherine Dixon, to fill the position vacated by its longstanding leader Liz Philip following her retirement.

Ms Dixon joins the agricultural and further education college near York as its new chief executive and is due to formally take up the position in April.

A solicitor by profession, she is used to high-profile roles having also served as chief executive of the NHS Litigation Authority, general counsel and company secretary at the NSPCC and as commercial director at BUPA Care Services.

Originally from Hull, Ms Dixon also spent almost four years in Canada where she was a director of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and an outward bound instructor. Since 2011, she has also been a trustee of the animal charity, the PDSA.

Ms Dixon said: “I am delighted to be joining as chief executive at such an important time for the college. I am looking forward to meeting with the staff and students and hearing about the fantastic range of courses and activities on offer.

“I do hope that I can use my experience to assist the college during this important phase of its development. I am also very excited to return to the north and particularly, Yorkshire, my home county.”

In September 2013, Askham Bryan College announced a £34m campus development of its York site. The scheme includes the new Animal Management Centre and Wildlife Park, equine facilities, student residential accommodation and an Agri-Tech Centre.

The college estimates that the number of students studying on a full and part time basis will increase at the York campus from 2,939 students to around 4,500 in 2017/18.

Anthony Alton, chairman of the college’s board of governors, heralded Ms Dixon’s appointment, saying: “She has extensive knowledge and experience across a broad range of organisations which will be of huge benefit as we begin a new era in the college’s development. We look forward to welcoming her to this important role.”