The University of Birmingham is proud to announce the appointment of Professor Randall Curren as Professor of Moral and Virtue Education to the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values, in the School of Education.

The newly created post is the first of its kind in the UK and comes just a week after Dr Anthony Seldon, Britain’s best known Headmaster and the acclaimed biographer of recent prime ministers, called for schools to offer compulsory qualifications in good manners and self control.

Professor Curren is currently at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rochester, where he holds a Chair in Philosophy and a secondary Chair in Education. His research interests include philosophy of education, ethics, philosophy of law, and the history of philosophy. He will take up his new part-time post this summer.

The Professor of Moral and Virtue Education role is a joint appointment with the Royal Institute of Philosophy; the first that the Royal Institute has established in the UK.

Professor Randall Curren said "The Jubilee Centre is rapidly establishing itself as a leading centre for the study of character and related issues in philosophy of education. Joining the Centre and School of Education offers exciting possibilities for collaborations productive for both fundamental research and service to the global community through the advancement of sound education."

Professor James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre and Head of the School of Education, said: “This is a very significant appointment. The Royal Institute of Philosophy has never supported such a Chair before, and we are delighted to be able to offer this post in the School of Education. It is a very proud moment for the School and for the Jubilee Centre. We are delighted to appoint someone of the stature and standing of Professor Curren to this position. He will bring a wealth of experience to the Jubilee Centre, and help us in producing first class research.”

Professor John Haldane, Chairman of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, commented: “We are keen to forge connections which take themselves beyond London. We are very pleased to be associated with the Jubilee Centre and have high hoped of what this Chair can offer.” Watch Professor John Haldane speaking about the joint Chair.

For more information please contact Deborah Walker, press office, University of Birmingham, +44 (0)121 414 9041 or mobile +44 (0)7776 465138 or email

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Values was established in May 2012 in the wake of London riots of the previous year. Based at the University of Birmingham’s School of Education is it supported by the John Templeton Foundation. The Centre aims to contribute to the renewal of character and values in Britain through research and development activities.

Research projects at the Centre cover all areas of British society: from character education in schools, to examining the values that motivate professionals such as teachers, lawyers and doctors,

Dr Anthony Seldon made his comments about good manners and self-control at the Priestley Lecture at the University of Birmingham, School of Education on Wednesday 23rd January 2013.