In Memory of Howard Colley

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Professor Howard Colley who passed away on 4th November 2015. Professor Colley was a Pro-Vice Chancellor at Brookes for over twenty years (1980-2004) and, following his retirement from the University, served as the Director of Institutions at the Higher Education Academy, Birmingham.

Howard Colley is fondly remembered by his former colleagues who will miss him greatly. He is survived by his wife Barbara.

Brian Marshall, Associate Dean (Student Experience) in 2010-2016, shares:

"I was very sorry to read of Howard's death. I remember Howard well and will always be grateful for the support he gave to me during our preparations for the QAA Subject Review of Theology and Religious Studies in 2001. Howard's wisdom and experience helped us greatly and I can remember saying that it was always worth going to a meeting if Howard was going to be speaking. I will remember him fondly and I offer my condolences to his family."

Mary Webb, Brookes first Environmental Co-ordinator, remembers working with Professor Colley:

"In the early days of environmental awareness and action at Oxford Brookes​, Howard was a staunch supporter of the policy and of the Environmental Co-ordinator who that point was battling against all the odds. I will always remember his encouragement and kindness."

Clare Fox, former Executive Assistant to Vice-Chancellor, recalls:

"I worked with Howard for several years when he was Pro-Vice Chancellor to Professor Graham Upton. I was Professor Upton's assistant at the time. Howard was a delight to work with and I know that Graham valued him being on his team. I treasure a piece of amethyst Howard brought me from one of his trips as it is my birth stone."

Jamie Robinson, graduate of Oxford Polytechnic and Professor Colley's student, remembers:

"I studied at Oxford Polytechnic from 1984 to 1987, reading Earth Sciences. I thoroughly enjoyed Howard’s company and undertook several modules with him as a leader – in addition Howard also supervised my research looking at the genesis of apatites in Chile, including rare earth element analysis. I went on to study for an MSc in Geochemistry at Leeds University after working for a year in the oil rigs to pay for it. I was in contact with Howard at this time, and he then suggested I studied his collection of epithermal gold/silver deposits from Chile, which he collected with Peter Treloar. I was always amazed at how Howard had the time to provide me with so much advise and guidance, and I am certain I would not be working in geochemistry today, had it not been for his help. A sad day when such a gifted individual moves on, and I can only hope his legacy at Brooks is realized."

If you would like to contribute further memories or photos of Howard, please send them to