This appointment follows a comprehensive search and recruitment process. He will commence in post at the start of the 2023/2024 academic year.

Jennifer Sims, Chair of the Board of Governors said

“I am delighted that Professor Randall Whittaker will be joining us as Principal of Rose Bruford College.


His background as a successful and innovative leader in specialist arts-based institutions, his involvement at a national level in the promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion in Higher Education, and his compelling vision for the future development of the College, make him an ideal choice.


We have been very fortunate that Professor Mary Oliver has been our Acting Principal for the last academic year. We are grateful for all that she has done and pleased that she will work alongside Randall as Vice Principal.


Randall’s appointment will ensure the continuation of Rose Bruford College’s position as a leader in the field of education, training and research for the performing arts industry.”

Professor Randall Whittaker said

“I am honoured to be appointed as Principal and CEO of Rose Bruford College. The College has an impressive pioneering spirit and its graduates make a significant contribution to the global creative industries.


I was impressed with the talented students, staff and governors I met during the search process. Specialist creative and technical education operate in a challenging and highly agile environment, but I see many opportunities ahead.


I look forward to working with the Rose Bruford community to enhance its wider societal impact through cultural intelligence, research and to provide outstanding training for global creative and critically aware citizens.”

Randall Whittaker photo by Paul Cochrane

Randall Whittaker photo by Paul Cochrane

South African-born Whittaker studied music at conservatoires in South Africa, the Netherlands and Czechia, where he was a student of the renowned conductor Vladimír Válek. He has more than 20 years of experience in specialist creative higher education, leading significant organisational change and transformation projects.

He worked closely with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education to advance leadership in specialist institutions and has held positions at specialist institutions in South Africa, the Netherlands and the UK. He is known for his work on representation and frequently writes and presents on the topic.

Whittaker is a serving member of the AdvanceHE Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He has made a contribution to the activities of several specialist institutions acting in an external or non-executive director capacity; these have recently included the Utrecht School of the Arts, the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Christies Education and BIMM Institute.

He joins Rose Bruford College from Leeds Arts University where he is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor Academic with responsibility for research, postgraduate development and internationalisation.