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Muir Russell

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Preceded by  Sir Russell Hillhouse
Alma mater  University of Glasgow
Spouse  Eileen Alison Mackay
Succeeded by  Sir John Elvidge
Name  Muir Russell
Education  University of Glasgow
Muir Russell
Preceded by  Professor Sir Graeme Davies
Succeeded by  Professor Anton Muscatelli
First Minister  Donald Dewar Henry McLeish Jack McConnell
Full Name  Alastair Muir Russell
Born  9 January 1949 (age 66) Glasgow, Scotland (1949-01-09)

Sir (Alastair) Muir Russell KCB DL FRSE is a former civil servant and former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, and Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.


Early life

Russell was born on 9 January 1949 in Glasgow and educated at the High School of Glasgow, which was then the city's grammar school, and at the University of Glasgow, where he took a First in Natural Philosophy.

Civil Service

He joined the Scottish Office in 1970 and became Secretary of the Scottish Development Agency on its establishment in Glasgow in 1975. He was Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Scotland from 1981 to 1983 and was seconded to the Cabinet Office in 1990. He was appointed Permanent Secretary at The Scottish Office in May 1998, and to the Scottish Executive since its establishment in 1999.

University of Glasgow

He took office as Principal of the University of Glasgow on 1 October 2003, but attracted much criticism for his handling of the 2006 lecturers' strike, as well as attempts to close the University's Crichton Campus in Dumfries and for receiving pay rises which were much greater than the rate of inflation. He retired in October 2009, and was succeeded by Professor Anton Muscatelli, former Vice-Principal of the University and former Principal of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. On 7 October 2008, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced Sir Muir would succeed Sir Neil McIntosh as Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

Climatic Research Unit investigation

In December 2009 he was appointed to head an independent investigation into allegations concerning the Climatic Research Unit email controversy. The inquiry reported on 7 July 2010, largely clearing the UEA of the allegations. The "rigour and honesty" of the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit were found not to be in doubt. However, the panel also concluded the scientists were insufficiently open about their work and unhelpful and defensive in response to freedom of information requests. Notable scholars and experts, including John Beddington and Myles Allen, welcomed the findings of the inquiry and stated that the climate scientists had been cleared of the allegations of miscondunct, while Patrick Michaels disagreed.

Personal life

Russell is married to Eileen Mackay, also a former Scottish Office civil servant. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000 and holds honorary degrees from the University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2001.


Muir Russell Wikipedia

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