Professor David Greenaway

Presented by Alison Wild

Honourable Pro-Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting Professor David Greenaway for the award of an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

This is a truly civic university, firmly rooted in this extraordinary city, and its defining ethos comprises three deceptively simple yet very powerful words: dream, plan, achieve.

Each July during Graduation Week, the University's highest honour – an Honorary Fellowship – is bestowed on a select band of individuals outside the University, in recognition of their outstanding achievement in a given field or profession, and who personify and inspire others to 'dream, plan, and achieve'.  

Professor David Greenaway is Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Economics of the University of Nottingham, one of the UK's largest research-intensive universities, with overseas campuses in China and Malaysia. 

We propose David today for his outstanding contribution to higher education, following a meritorious academic career, a continuing commitment to opportunity for all, and a distinguished public service contribution to many aspects of UK public life.   

Born and raised in Shettleston, in the east end of Glasgow, the young David harboured no ambitions to go to university, nor indeed knew what one was. Both of his parents had left school at 14, so there was no awareness of the opportunities to be had from a higher education. His interest was piqued in his early teens, when his father, a steel erector, was offered two years' continuous work at a power station near to Nottingham. This was sufficient incentive to uproot the family and decamp south, a bold and wise choice in hindsight, and the young David began to use some of the campus facilities at the university there.   

He credits a careers teacher at his Glasgow school with the decision to study for an economics degree, which he had not studied at A Level, and became the first in his family to receive a higher education. He chose to study at Liverpool Polytechnic, partially because the city, the warmth of its people and the climate reminded him of Glasgow, and he graduated in 1974 with a good honours degree.   

Since 1975 and his first academic post lecturing in economics at Leicester Polytechnic, David has been actively involved with teaching, research and scholarship throughout the last 37 years. From Leicester, he went to the University of Buckingham for eight years, progressing from lecturer to a personal chair in economics, and joined the University of Nottingham in 1987 as Professor of Economics.

Throughout his tenure at Nottingham, where he has served as Dean of the Faculty of Law and Social Science, two terms as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and established the Leverhulme Centre for Research Globalisation and Economic Policy, he has continued to teach first-year economics modules, and indeed has returned to Liverpool John Moores University to deliver guest lectures to our economics students. He has also continued to publish research, his specialisms being international trade and cross-border investment. He has authored, co-authored or edited 39 books, published over 150 academic papers and is a member of the editorial board of seven national and international academic journals.   

David has been invited to serve on numerous public service bodies since 1981, including Chairman of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body and a Member of the Senior Salaries Review Body. He has held non-executive positions in the National Health Service, and is a member of the Council and Executive of the Royal Economic Society. He has acted as an Economic Advisor and Consultant to the major international agencies, including The World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.   

He is currently a board member of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Nottinghamshire and a member of the Government's Asia Task Force. Despite all of this, David still finds time for cycling.

Until fifteen months ago, he had not been in the saddle since an inauspicious childhood incident when he was run over by a truck two months after getting his first bike. However, in late summer 2011, David and colleagues from the University of Nottingham cycled 1,030 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End, raising almost a quarter of a million pounds through sponsorship to support the University's Sue Ryder Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care.   

This August, the team is aiming to cycle 1,100 miles across the British mainland from its most north-westerly point at Cape Wrath, to Dover in the south east. The beneficiary will be Nottingham Potential, which encourages Nottingham's young people, from primary-age upwards and from all walks of life, to aim high. 

As David says: "Education has the power to transform, and the more resource we can generate for bursaries and outreach activity, the bigger the impact we can have."  

Thus, it is with great pleasure that I present Professor David Greenaway, this most distinguished adopted son of our city and living proof of the benefits of widening access to education, for admission to our highest honour, as an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.