Professor Paul Bartholomew has been appointed as the new vice-chancellor of Ulster University (UU).
The former deputy vice-chancellor had been in the role since February on an interim basis.
He succeeds Professor Paddy Nixon who left to work at the University of Canberra in Australia.
Prof Bartholomew said he was "truly privileged" to lead the university which has 27,000 students across four campuses.
"Our unique role and responsibility as a core economic engine to support individuals and communities right across Northern Ireland is something I know every colleague feels passionately about and I share that commitment," he said.
"Never has Ulster's vital and multi-faceted impact been more needed than at this unprecedented time.
"The natural pace of change has become much amplified over 2020 and we will meet these challenges with the commitment, profound expertise and collaborative spirit and that is so much part of Ulster's strength and value."
Prof Bartholomew worked as a diagnostic radiographer in the NHS before he moved to work in higher education in 2001.
The chairwoman of Council at the University, Jenny Pyper, welcomed the appointment and said the professor had demonstrated "strong, clear and progressive leadership" over recent months.
"With the recent news that our graduate entry medical school at the Magee campus will welcome its first students in September 2021 and the Belfast campus currently also on track for a September 2021 opening, this is an exciting time," she added.