Sir Colin Campbell, DL, FRSA, an academic lawyer, was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, England and served until 2006 as Her Majesty's First Commissioner of Judicial Appointments.
Campbell retired as vice chancellor of the University of Nottingham in September 2008. He was appointed in 1988 as the country's youngest vice chancellor at the age of 43. He was the driving force behind the expansion of the university overseas, the first such move amongst British universities. The University of Nottingham has two campuses in Asia: The University of Nottingham in Malaysia and The University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.
In 1999 he caused much cacchination in the HE sector by proposing the effective privatisation of universities, saying that what was good for telephone companies, railways and airlines must be good for academia, too. He was long a loud advocate of controversial plans to introduce tuition fees. He was criticised for the university's decision to accept, in 2001, a £3.8M endowment from tobacco multinational British American Tobacco aimed at establishing an International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham University Business School. Many current and prospective staff at the university felt that such a relationship with a tobacco company that has been accused, amongst other things, of illegal smuggling; trading with the Burmese junta; and illegally targeting their products at African children, was highly unethical however. This belief lead to resignations, including that of Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal, the loss of at least one grant for £1.5m from the Cancer Research Campaign, and the decision of the director of the Gene Targeted Drug Design Research Group to take his 15-strong team to the University of London.