TRIBUTES have been paid to respected academic Dr Tony Rich who has died of cancer.

Dr Rich, who was 58, was described as an exemplary and popular registrar at the University of Essex, a post he held for 12 years.

While based in Colchester, Dr Rich played a key role in community life.

He served as a governor at Colchester Institute, was chairman of the Colchester Partnership for London 2012 and was on Colchester‘s local strategic partnership Colchester 2020.

Dr Rich left to become registrar and chief operating officer at the University of Bristol last year but took medical retirement after being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

Essex Vice Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “Tony was admired and respected throughout the sector as an exemplary registrar and secretary and he made an immense contribution both to the university and to the broader community."