Press release

Keith Harris to be installed as University Rector

Published on 20 April 2022

Music industry manager Keith Harris will return to his alma mater this week to be formally installed as Rector of the University of Dundee, the first black person to hold the role

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Music industry manager Keith Harris will be returning to his alma mater the University this week to be formally installed as Rector of the University of Dundee, the first black person to hold the role.

Keith first joined the University as a Zoology student in 1970 and , he went on to become a sabbatical officer for DUSA and later became President of the Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA).

During this week’s ceremony Keith will be welcomed by University staff and students in the Chaplaincy Centre from 3pm on Thursday 21 April, where he will be joined by the Principal, Professor Iain Gillespie and Student President, Dimitris Vidakis. 

Since leaving Dundee, Keith went on to pursue a successful career in the music industry in the UK and the USA for more than four decades. He worked as a consultant and promotions manager, including for such major companies as Motown, EMI and Transatlantic Records.

Keith became one of the most high-profile black executives in the business. Among the notable artists he has represented is Stevie Wonder, with whom he has worked since the 1970s.

Keith said, “My time at the University of Dundee transformed my future life, so I am really excited to be given the opportunity to be an advocate for the current generation of students, and hope to be able to make a positive contribution on their behalf.”

The Rector is elected to serve the students' interests, including at the University Court, the governing body of the institution. Keith was elected on Monday 29 November 2021 last year and succeeds broadcaster Jim Spence, who held the role from 2019.

Keith will be given a tour of the University’s main campus and surrounding area by the current DUSA executive team and Matthew Jarron, Curator of the University’s Museum Services. Following the ceremony he will be meeting students in DUSA.

Dimitris Vidakis, DUSA President said, “This is a special day for our student community as we have the pleasure and honour of officially welcoming to the University our new Rector, Keith Harris. Keith’s strong ties both with the University and DUSA make him an ideal candidate for the role, and I am really looking forward to working with him in the future.”

Tickets are available via Eventbrite. The ceremony will also be live streamed by DUSA Media.

Notes to editors

Photo/interview opportunities – Thursday 21 April

  • 12.15pm – Rector and students at DUSA, (Campus Green, Balfour Street) with ceremonial carriage
  • 2.45pm – ceremonial procession from DUSA to University Chaplaincy Centre

Hannah Adams

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 385131
Story category Appointments