“I need to convince myself that I should not interfere because the chancellor needs to understand that the rector does the day-to-day jobs,” said Thomas Wilhelmsson, rector of the University of Helsinki since 2008 and recently announced as the institution’s next chancellor. “It’s like the president and the prime minister: the chancellor is the president who represents the university as head; the rector is like the prime minister who does the work!” The chancellorship is the latest stage of Professor Wilhelmsson’s long career at Helsinki, which began with him graduating with a master’s of laws in 1971. “It’s a very honourable position and there was good competition for the post,” he said. “It was nice to see that the university thought I had been successful as rector.” He added that the post, which he will take up in June, would be less frenetic than his current role. “After five years I’m looking forward to leaning back a little bit. But it is a prominent position in Finnish society.” Professor Wilhelmsson holds a doctorate of laws besides his undergraduate degree. He was made professor of civil and commercial law in 1981.
Aberystwyth/Wales Trinity Saint David
Manoj Kulshrestha, who has been appointed Wales’ first reader in rural health and community well-being by the universities of Aberystwyth and Wales Trinity Saint David, said it was an “eye-opener” when he looked around the institutions at his interview. “Both sites are very close to my workplace. When you’re busy at work you often don’t get the chance to get out and see what is next door,” he said. “That was quite an eye-opener: the buildings, the equipment, the expertise, the number of departments. I think it’s amazing.” Mr Kulshrestha, a consultant ophthalmologist based at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, said the position will encourage strategic partnerships between the universities and the NHS and, potentially, help to improve patient care in remote areas. “I see this as a big opportunity to develop existing local and national community projects for the benefit of our patients,” he said. “There are lots of exciting developments that the Welsh Assembly has been encouraging, such as more use of telemedicine for the benefit of communication between patients and staff…Add in the university expertise to these types of project [and] they could be developed much more strongly, and be in much more widespread use…to help people maintain their independence.” Mr Kulshrestha studied medicine at the University of Birmingham before specialising in ophthalmology. He has previously lectured at the University of Bristol.
The new dean of the School of Law at New York University has said he was “thrilled and deeply honoured” by the appointment, and was eager to get started. Trevor Morrison, a constitutional law expert and Liviu Librescu professor of law at Columbia Law School, will take over from Richard Revesz, who steps down at the end of May. “NYU School of Law is a spectacular and inspiring institution,” he said. “It has a rich history, and over the past 25 years in particular has emerged as a centre of unsurpassed excellence in a wide variety of areas.” Professor Morrison said that for “a variety of reasons” questions have been raised in recent years about the “basic value of a legal education. In the minds of some, there is now an onus on law schools to justify the enterprise of legal education itself. I think it is important for the best law schools to be responsive to the changing demands of the legal profession so that their graduates are well positioned to pursue the legal careers they most desire.” Professor Morrison studied for a BA in history at the University of British Columbia before obtaining a JD from Columbia, and served as associate counsel to President Barack Obama.
Birmingham City University has promoted Lubo Jankovic to the position of professor of zero-carbon design. Professor Jankovic, who is already senior lecturer at the university’s Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, has been an academic, researcher and practitioner in the areas of instrumental monitoring, dynamic simulation and the environmental design of buildings for almost three decades. His new position comes after work including a patent for an expandable and contractible building and research into the “zero-carbon retrofit” of buildings using Birmingham’s groundbreaking zero-carbon house. That research culminated in a book: Designing Zero Carbon Buildings Using Dynamic Simulation Methods (2012). “I am extremely honoured, and delighted that the new title will add to the momentum that seems to be building in relation to my work,” he said. “This will enable me to continue as an ambassador for the university, the faculty and the School of Architecture, and to continue developing research that can help create a better world.” Professor Jankovic studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Belgrade and his PhD at the University of Birmingham. He joined Birmingham City’s School of Architecture in 1989 and is a member of the university’s Centre for Low-Carbon Research.
Richard Black has been appointed pro-director (research and enterprise) of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Professor Black, who is currently head of the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, will take up the post in September. As pro- director, he will lead the strategic development and delivery of all research and enterprise across Soas.
The University of Glasgow has appointed Neal Juster senior vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor for a three-year term starting in July. He succeeds Andrea Nolan, who will leave Glasgow at the end of June to take up the post of principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University.
Acclaimed author Rose Tremain has been appointed chancellor of the University of East Anglia. Ms Tremain, one of UEA’s earliest students, takes up the role as the university celebrates its 50th anniversary. After studying English as an undergraduate at the institution in the 1960s, Ms Tremain returned to teach on UEA’s renowned creative writing programme from 1989 to 1995, has given numerous readings at its long-running literary festival, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2000. She will be the first writer, the first woman and the first UEA graduate to take on the university’s chancellorship.
The creative director and executive vice-president of design at clothing and accessories retailer Banana Republic has been awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, Kingston University. Simon Kneen, who has worked for leading fashion labels in Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Monaco and New York, received the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the industry and commitment to fashion education. Mr Kneen completed his fashion degree at Kingston in 1982.
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