Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli will retire as Principal and Vice Chancellor of Glasgow University next year after more than 20 years in senior management at the institution. 

Sir Anton said it was the "right time" to step back. He will formally retire in September 2025. 

In a letter to staff and students, Sir Anton said: "By next year, I will have served 16 years as Principal, and I will have served over 20 years in University senior management.

"I feel this is the right time to finally step back from my current role, and to enable a new Principal to come forward to lead our institution through the next chapter.

"This is an opportune time to hand over the leadership of the University.

"We are at the end of a strategic planning cycle, and we have completed the first phase of our campus development, backed by a highly successful fundraising campaign.

"The University is in a very good place at present, both academically and financially. This is your achievement."


Born in Italy in 1962, his parents relocated to Glasgow via the Netherlands, and he went on to be educated at the High School of Glasgow.

Sir Anton's association with Glasgow University goes back more than 40 years, including his time as a student, lecturer and professor. 

He graduated with an undergraduate degree in political economy in 1984 and complete a PhD in economics in 1989.

He was a lecturer, senior lecturer and professor of political economy from 1984 to 1994, and the Daniel Jack Professor of Political Economy from 1994 until 2007. 

Sir Anton has also been a consultant to the World Bank and the European Commission, and a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers of the Secretary of State for Scotland from 1998 to 2000.

In 2008, he was appointed to chair an independent expert group for the Calman Commission on Devolution, set up by the Scottish Parliament and UK Government and led by then-chancellor of Glasgow University, Sir Kenneth Calman.

Sir Anton will remain in post until his retirement to enable the university to appoint a successor.

He added: “There will be plenty of opportunities in the coming months for me to reflect and thank all of the colleagues, students, friends and stakeholders who have shaped my tenure as Principal.

"I feel this is the right time to step back from my current role, to enjoy retirement and continue to be a loyal supporter of our institution, albeit from a new and different perspective.”

Sir Anton added that he was stepping down with Glasgow University currently the top-rated centre for higher education in Scotland, and among the 100 best universities in the world. 

It's accolades had come "despite considerable headwinds, like Brexit, economic instability and the global pandemic", said Sir Anton, adding: "We have transformed ourselves from a smaller Russell Group University to a leading research-intensive university with global reach and even stronger civic roots in Glasgow.

"We have grown a reputation as a University which widens access to education, is proudly international, and uses our research to effect positive change on a local and global scale.

"I am proud that we have been able to grow our academic base substantially in recent years, supporting and investing in the student experience.

"We now employ well over 11,000 staff and we have grown to have a £4.4 billion economic impact on the UK and Scottish economies."

Sir Anton has been an outspoken critic of Brexit. In 2018, he warned that removing Britain from both the single market and the customs union - a so-called 'hard Brexit' - would be "the most unhinged example of national self-sabotage in living memory".