An “inspirational” Aberdeen business woman has been named chancellor-elect of the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).
Yekemi Otaru, 42, will formally take up the role of Chancellor at the University of the West of Scotland on the first of September, succeeding Dame Elish Angiolini.
Ms Otaru holds four degrees, including in chemical engineering and an MBA, and has considerable industrial experience in engineering and marketing. She is co-founder and director at Doqaru, the Aberdeen-based sales and marketing consultancy.
The British Nigerian is also a board member of Interface, which connects organisations from national and international industries to Scotland’s universities, research institutes and colleges, matching them with academic expertise to help them grow. An author and social media expert, she is also known for her innovative use of platforms such as LinkedIn and has founded her own fashion business, Yo Couture.
As chancellor, Ms Otaru will hold formal powers to confer degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions, and will represent UWS at key events as an advocate and dignitary.
She said: “I am honoured to have been appointed chancellor-elect of University of the West of Scotland, following in the footsteps of a remarkable individual in Dame Elish Angiolini.
We are all living through challenging times, and higher education plays a vital role in society and for our economy.
Yekemi Otaru, executive director, Doqaru
“We are all living through challenging times, and higher education plays a vital role in society and for our economy. I eagerly look forward to being part of the university, as it continues to carry out world-class research and knowledge transfer initiatives such as in the areas of healthcare and sports science.
“Now is the perfect time for me to be joining the University’s journey in inspiring and educating the next generation of graduates, equipped with the skills needed to help society recover from the pandemic.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, principal and vice-chancellor at UWS, added: “I am delighted with Yekemi’s appointment as the University’s Chancellor-elect. Yekemi’s values very much align with those of UWS, from her passion for advancing equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to her commitment to enterprise, and her appointment is reflective of our strategic mission to make a positive difference to wider society.
“Yekemi is a remarkable example of entrepreneurship and a tremendous role model for our students and wider University community. I am delighted to welcome her to the UWS family.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Dame Elish Angiolini, who has been an outstanding Chancellor and ambassador for the university. I am deeply grateful for the committed and inspirational role she has played in our UWS community.”
Dame Elish, who steps down from the role, said: “It has been a great honour to represent UWS as its chancellor, and I have truly enjoyed each one of my eight years in this role. Yekemi has my very best wishes and I am sure that she will enjoy being part of the very welcoming UWS community.”
Watch Ms Otaru welcoming new role at university:
Ellie Gomersall, president of the Students’ Union at UWS, said: “Yekemi is a great fit for the role as chancellor of the university. UWS is a 21st century university and, with Yekemi’s impressive background in social media and as a woman in engineering, her modern approach will be really welcomed. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with her and see what we can achieve together.”