John Craven smiling to camera in headshot

Doctor of Law

A long-serving Vice-Chancellor of the University and supporter of the Portsmouth community.

Professor John Craven started his career as a lecturer in mathematical economics at the University of Kent, later becoming Professor of Economics with specialism in social choice, regulation and other aspects of economic theory. He was elected Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, followed by Pro Vice-Chancellor, then Deputy Vice-Chancellor. 

From 1997 to 2013, he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth. His inaugural lecture focused on the relevance of social choice theory to issues of accountability facing Vice-Chancellors and others in publicly funded organisations. He was the founding chair of the University Alliance, a Board member of Universities UK, and a trustee of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

John was an enthusiastic member of the University of Portsmouth’s choir bass section and, on retiring, set up the choir fund at the University.

In Portsmouth, John was also a Board member of the New Theatre Royal and of Highbury College. He is currently a trustee of the EC Roberts Centre, which works to support children and families from the city of Portsmouth’s most disadvantaged groups. He is a Governor at the University of the West of England, and Chair of the Board at Chaucer College, Canterbury.

John completed a seven-year term on the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England in 2013, where he offered advice on education and finance. He continues to advise the Church of England on the funding of training for its clergy. 

In 2013, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Portsmouth, alongside a CBE for his services to higher education and the community in Portsmouth.

In retirement, he has been completing a PhD in Philosophy at King’s College London, adding to his list of academic achievements which include an undergraduate degree from Cambridge, a Kennedy Memorial Scholarship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MA in Philosophy from King's College London.