Professor Martin Hall


Professor Martin Hall is a historical archaeologist and strategic leader. He joined the University of Salford in April 2009 as VC Designate, before taking up his role as VC on 1 August, 2009.

He believes that universities are engines of economic, social and cultural transformation and are able to draw on knowledge from around the world and celebrate diversity.

The University of Salford, he says, offers a wonderful learning environment for students with strong opportunities in research, innovation, enterprise and employer and community engagement. Salford is in a unique position to be able to develop these areas significantly.

Professor Hall wants the University to play a key role in re-connecting with local communities and creating economic and social value and believes that intense local engagement - social responsiveness - leads to academic excellence and international recognition.

His position on equality diversity is clear, and twofold. First, there can be no tolerance for unfair discrimination, whether on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation. Secondly, enhancing diversity is key to building a university as a knowledge community, since advancing diversity brings key assets in the way we see, understand and interpret the world.

Salford can become a new sort of university with its late 19th century tradition: that richness of the past and traditional excellence and the new developments such as Media City and key partnerships in health care management and science and technology can forge an opportunity for it to further sharpen its leading edge.

Professor Martin Hall has a career that has spanned both political change and transformation in South Africa and new directions in archaeology over the past four decades. He has written extensively on South African history, culture and higher education policy. Full details of his current and previous writing can be found at

Born in Guildford, Professor Hall holds dual British and South African citizenship. After undertaking undergraduate and post-graduate studies in archaeology at the University of Cambridge he moved to South Africa in 1974.

He was for a time President of the World Archaeological Congress and General Secretary of the South African Archaeological Society. After working at two major museums in the 1980s, he moved to UCT in 1983, where he led the Centre for African Studies and later became the Head of the Department of Archaeology.

He was the inaugural Dean of Higher Education Development between 1999 and 2002 when he was able to exercise another of his interests, academic technology for innovative teaching and learning – particularly the use of digital and new media. He continues these interests today as chair of the Board of Jisc – the UK’s provider of digital services and solutions for further and higher education (

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UCT for six years he had responsibilities for strategic, academic and budget planning.

He had a high profile with employers in the city of Cape Town and the wider region and has developed relationships with US-based foundations to negotiate financial support and grants for UCT.

Martin Hall has a strong commitment to community engagement and has played a key leadership role in his university’s work in Cape Town including innovative programmes to combat HIV/AIDS.

Professor Hall is married with three children. His wife, Professor Brenda Cooper, is an academic specialising in post-colonial and African literature.

Further details about Professor Hall’s work can be found at

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