“I had a tear in my eye,” said the new dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds of the moment he learned of his appointment, which will take him back to his native Yorkshire when he starts in the role in August. “My daughter is a newly qualified doctor just outside Leeds, so there’s also a family social element to it,” said Paul Stewart, who will join Leeds from the University of Birmingham, where he is dean of medicine. One of his primary goals will be to “bring Leeds’ biomedical research back to the Premier League, to use a football analogy”. He also wants the institution to have a “highly selective, focused research strategy that is clear to funders and faculty”. In a rapidly changing field, Professor Stewart is keen to stay abreast of new methods to interact with students. A frequent blogger, he sees opportunities for its use in academia. “There are all sorts of opportunities…sharing research innovation as well as other important issues,” he said. Professor Stewart, who said that he had wanted to be a doctor since the age of 5, studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He has held posts there and at Birmingham, and has served as a senior clinical fellow at the Medical Research Council.
When Robin Remsburg was offered the position of dean of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she thought immediately of the school’s founding dean, Eloise Lewis. “She was a tall, distinguished grey-haired lady that I admired tremendously,” Dr Remsburg said. “I remembered her stories about how she got the School of Nursing started and I thought it was so awesome, and a little bit surreal, to be honoured to walk in her footsteps, so to speak.” Dr Remsburg, who completed her master’s in nursing at Greensboro, is currently director of the School of Nursing and associate dean for the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. She said her aims on taking up the Greensboro post in July will include helping to develop the doctorate of nursing practice, for which the school has recently received approval. After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later a PhD at the University of Maryland, Dr Remsburg worked at a number of institutions including Greensboro.
Southampton Solent University has appointed John Chudley dean of the Maritime and Technology Faculty. Dr Chudley joins Solent from the National Apprenticeship Service, where he was a director. “I’ve been out of higher education for six years and it was time to come back,” he said. “What attracted me to [do so], after perhaps being disillusioned with the sector a number of years ago and the way it was going, was the fact that Solent isn’t trying to be the same as all the rest. A couple of its objectives are around inclusive and flexible forms of higher education.” Dr Chudley said that a lot of his views on how to deliver higher education had been formed by his own experiences. “I left school at 16 and did an apprenticeship, so you might say I have a bias towards that, but I haven’t,” he said. “Of course the A-level route and straightforward degree is right for a lot of people. But I think, partly because we fund age in this country and not stage [of achievement], everything is centred on the premise that at 16 you must do A levels and at 18 you must do a degree.” After studying for an undergraduate degree and PhD at Plymouth University, Dr Chudley worked in industry and then at Plymouth, where he held posts including head of the department of mechanical and marine engineering and director of research and innovation.
“I was delighted to take a leading role in such a prestigious department,” said Ann David, the new head of dance at the University of Roehampton. Dr David, previously principal lecturer at Roehampton, has trained in ballet, folk and contemporary dance styles, as well as the Indian classical styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathak. Her research interests include dance and popular culture. She said the influence of hip hop and breakdance, and the popularity of dance-themed reality TV shows, have helped to change the perception of the art form, especially for men. “The willingness to engage with dance has changed in society, and certainly hip-hop culture has had an enormous influence,” she said. “In terms of programmes like Strictly Come Dancing…when they first put it on, ballroom dancing schools didn’t know what had hit them; they were inundated with people wanting to dance. Their [approach] might not be how we would teach it coming from an academic point of view - but so what? This is contemporary culture. Anything that encourages people to dance and be happy with it is fantastic.” Dr David initially studied education at Roehampton before completing an MA and a PhD at the University of Surrey and De Montfort University, respectively. After teaching at a number of other UK institutions, she returned to Roehampton seven and a half years ago.
Vassilis Konstantinou and Donna Mead have been named deans designate at South Wales’ new university, provisionally titled the University of South Wales, subject to Privy Council approval. The new institution, which is to launch this spring, is the result of a merger between the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport. Mr Konstantinou will take up the post of dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science; Professor Mead will hold the same title in the Faculty of Health, Education, Psychology and Sport.
Heriot-Watt University has announced four appointments across the university. Gillian Hogg, most recently head of the School of Management and Languages, has been made deputy principal for external relations, a new position. Glasgow-based artist, writer and curator Fiona Jardine joins the institution as lecturer in context. Aude Le Guennec, a French fashion historian specialising in children’s clothing, has been appointed lecturer in fashion design. Fashion designer Bruce Munro Roberts, who is the owner of Collections By in Kelso, will become a teaching fellow in fashion technology.
Aston University’s business school has appointed George Feiger to the post of executive dean. Professor Feiger’s career spans the higher education and private sectors and he is currently chief executive of Contango, a US wealth management company.
The Academy of Social Sciences has announced that it has conferred the award of academician upon 35 social scientists at institutions in the UK, France and Poland. The recipients have a wide range of expertise in the social sciences, including housing, child welfare, politics, sociology, economics, criminology, linguistics, governance, language and anthropology. A full list of those who have been honoured can be found here.
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