University Registrar John Duffy has resigned and will leave in December.
Mr Duffy will be moving to London Met University as Chief Operating Officer.
Duffy said: “I am delighted to be joining London Met at what is a very exciting time for the University. It is clear to me that this is a university on the rise, and I think there is tremendous potential for success in the One Campus, One Community project.”
Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell told The Badger: “John has been Registrar during a period of significant growth and development of the University and I would like to thank him for his contribution to our evident current success”.
A University of Sussex spokesperson clarified: “The appointment of the University’s Registrar is overseen by the VC and that process is already underway.
“Students are not traditionally involved with this process.”
Duffy began work at Sussex as Registrar and Secretary in June 2009. He was appointed by former Vice-Chancellor Michael Farthing, who himself resigned last year.
The pair had worked closely while at Sussex and previously at St. George’s, University of London where Farthing was Principal and Duffy was Director of Administration.
While at Sussex, John Duffy headed up the controversial privatisation of Sussex’s catering and estates services, which sparked mass protest from students and staff.
Last year The Badger revealed through Freedom of Information requests that John Duffy did not face any disciplinary action for the 2013 statement which he released, wrongly accusing Sussex students of criminal behaviour.
As The Badger reported last year, the article ended up costing the University over £30,000 in damages and legal fees but, despite the serious nature of the incident, John Duffy’s line manager Vice Chancellor Michael Farthing chose not to refer him to a disciplinary hearing.
The Badger asked Annie Pickering, Students’ Union President, whether Duffy’s controversial history as an inflammatory figure for the student activists on campus and Adam Tickell’s new, less harsh attitude towards student protesters might have any bearing on the resignation.
Ms Pickering said: “I don’t know why John Duffy is leaving but perhaps that could be one of the reasons”.
She added she would like to see some student involvement in choosing Duffy’s successor and said: “We hope, that like with the appointment of Adam Tickell himself and of the Deputy Vice Chancellors for Equalities and Diversity that the student voice is included in the selection process for this position.
“I would hope that a representative of the Students’ Union can play a part in the selection process.”