Durham University Business School has appointed Dr Ian Baggett, a prominent North East businessman and entrepreneur, to join its Departments of Finance, and Management and Marketing as a Professor in Practice, from September 2023.
The Professors in Practice initiative brings experienced professionals from across a wide variety of disciplines and sectors into classroom to share their skills, insights and knowledge directly with students, supplementing a rigorous academic curriculum with a first-hand, senior-level insight into current industry thinking.
Ian is the founder, owner and acting CEO of Adderstone Group – one of the largest privately owned companies in the North East of England.
His impressive career has seen him at the helm of more than 50 start-ups, including North East construction giant Brims, creating in excess of £1.1bn in economic output and thousands of jobs across the North East. Ian’s early accomplishments resulted in him being named North East Entrepreneur of the Year by his peers in 2007.
His professional life has also included service within the Royal Navy, taking on deployments in the Mediterranean and Hong Kong, and a position as shareholder director of Openworks Engineering Limited, a North East based defence engineering business whose counter drone technology has been used to defend three successive US presidents.
Nominated to Durham’s faculty due to his significant business success and industry expertise, Ian will deliver guest lectures and support the development of postgraduate curriculum at the Business School in relation to real-estate finance, and entrepreneurship.
In a further move to embed industry knowledge within academic practice, Ian will support academic discovery, engaging in research conversations and projects with fellow Durham University Business School faculty.
Commenting on his appointment, Professor Cathy Cassell, Executive Dean of Durham University Business School said;
“Our Professor in Practice initiative has brought an invaluable wealth of expertise and real-world perspective into our classrooms and curriculums. Ian’s knowledge and his passion for the Northeast, alongside his immeasurable success as an entrepreneur and across the real estate industry, provides us with a tangible link into areas important for the future development, both in the Northeast and beyond. We look forward to welcoming him back to the campus and to the classroom.”
Ian is no stranger to higher education and academia having previously held visiting fellowship positions at both Northumbria University and Durham University. Currently, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
In his personal life after a short career as a tennis professional, during which he represented Great Britain, Ian went on to become an accomplished sailor and a published author.
Undertaking the Professor in Practice role keeps Ian close to his passion projects. Alongside his business ventures, Ian runs the Adderstone Foundation; which he founded to support a range of causes from tennis development for junior and visually impaired players, to supporting armed forces veterans and international humanitarian causes such as medical relief efforts in Ukraine and Durham University’s work with Sport in Action in Zambia.
Upon his appointment, Ian said;
“I look forward to doing whatever I can to help strengthen ties between the University and industry. I also hope to inspire pupils from the region to choose Durham and students already at Durham to stay on in the region to build great careers, businesses and lives. If I can, they can.”
Ian will be joining the Professor in Practice initiative alongside Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director of Markets and Executive Director of International at the Financial Conduct Authority, and Michael Izza, Chief Executive at the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales, whose appointments were announced earlier this summer.
Other experts currently holding Professor in Practice titles at the School include Sally Guyer, Global CEO at World Commerce and Contracting, Victoria Saporta, Executive Director, Prudential Policy at Bank of England, Robert Gillespie, a non-executive Director at RBS Group PLC and David Jakubovic, Senior Director of L&D and Open Innovation for Asia at Proctor and Gamble, amongst others.