Emeritus Principal James Drever

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Emeritus Principal James Drever

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James Drever (1910-1991) was born in Edinburgh to Orcadian parents. He was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh, and at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge. His training was in philosophy, but during his years as an Assistant in Philosophy at Edinburgh and a lecturer at Newcastle (and his service in the Royal Navy) he nurtured an interest in Psychology. In 1944, he was appointed to succeed his father, also James Drever (1873-1950), as Professor of Psychology at Edinburgh. He became Editor of the British Journal of Psychology and served as President of the British Psychological Society in 1960-1961. He further developed an interest in the theory, principles and practice of higher education and was appointed to the Committee on Higher Education, the Robbins Committee, in 1961, the report of which would lead to the expansion of university education in the United Kingdom, and led to Queens's College Dundee, becoming the University of Dundee. He was appointed as Master of Queen's College in 1966 to oversee its transition to University status and became the first Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee upon its establishment in 1967. Under his leadership the newly independent instituion rapidly developed, although restrained by financial issues and changing government policies. He retired in 1978, but kept up his links with the University until his death in 1991 at the age of 81.

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