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June 13, 2013

Queen’s University, Canada

Susan Mumm

The new dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario said she was “excited by the prospect of working at one of Canada’s premier universities” but “appalled by the idea of having to buy a snow shovel”. Susan Mumm said Queen’s was an interesting example of a traditionally elite institution responding to shifts in societal and student expectations about universities. “Most universities don’t take change seriously until they are in trouble and are forced to do so; Queen’s is changing voluntarily, and from a position of strength,” she said. Professor Mumm, who takes up post in August, moves to Canada from Massey University in New Zealand, where she was pro vice-chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for the past four years. “I love New Zealand, but Canada is one of the few countries that hasn’t surrendered the value of curiosity-driven research to the demands of a narrowly utilitarian audit culture,” she said. After taking an undergraduate degree and a doctorate at the universities of Saskatchewan and Sussex, respectively, she worked at York University in Toronto, The Open University and Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia.

Rebecca Margetts, University of Lincoln

University of Lincoln

Rebecca Margetts

A new lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Lincoln has said that getting involved with a growing university could be a “really interesting experience” offering an opportunity to work with newer technologies and ideas. Rebecca Margetts, who is taking up her first post in academia, said she admired the close industry links that the university’s Engineering Hub had built up and the focus on preparing students for careers in the field. “I’m very conscious of the gap that sometimes exists between academia and industry,” she said. “I aim to bring some of my experiences and industry links to the students I will be teaching, and hopefully inspire them. As a (relatively) local girl, I hope I can be a role model of sorts, too!” Dr Margetts spent her teenage years in north Lincolnshire and cited those “happy memories”, and the “friendly and lively” city of Lincoln, among the reasons for her enthusiasm about the new post. She became interested in test engineering while working for Ford as an undergraduate at Cardiff University. She took her PhD at the University of Bath and has previously worked at Ricardo, an engineering consultancy.

Chris Proudman, University of Surrey

University of Surrey

Chris Proudman

The head of the new School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey said he was excited to be part of a “real opportunity to develop something that’s innovative and distinctive in veterinary research and education”. Chris Proudman, who joins from the University of Liverpool, pointed out that the field is very different from the days of pioneering veterinary surgeon James Herriot. “It’s a very high-tech, global and multidisciplinary world now,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the case any more that veterinary science has a defined career pathway at the end. Time was when the majority of graduates went out into practice; however, there is now a whole raft of different career opportunities.” Professor Proudman said food safety issues raised in the recent horsemeat scandal suggest some career paths other than clinical practice. But he added that recent focuses of public concern such as food safety, the badger cull and dangerous dogs have both helped and hindered his field. “Interpretation of the science by the general public is often not very critical - science doesn’t often enter their thinking on deciding how desirable they consider a badger cull to be,” he said. “There’s an angle in understanding how public policy is made, how veterinary surgeons can influence public policy, but also the way public policy can be enacted so that people’s behaviours change.” Professor Proudman studied at the universities of Cambridge and Liverpool and at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Toby Greany, Institute of Education

Institute of Education

Toby Greany

Toby Greany, who takes up a chair in leadership and innovation at the Institute of Education, University of London, said he was keen to find better ways to help schools use research evidence to make improvements. He joins the IoE from the National College for Teaching and Leadership, where he was acting executive director for leadership development. He said that evidence-based practice was “talked about a lot and does happen, but this role will allow me to build a network of schools that do it effectively”. As relations between education academics and the Department for Education grow more strained, Professor Greany said that his experience would help. “I worked closely with senior civil servants over many years to help bring about some of the policy changes we’ve seen,” he said. “Equally, I’ve been a commissioner of research for many years and think that’s a helpful thing - someone who’s sat on the other side of bids.” Professor Greany has worked at the Design Council, the Campaign for Learning (during which he was seconded to the Cabinet Office) and at Jianghan University in China. He holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the universities of Birmingham and Manchester, respectively.

Other changes

DASSH UK, the representative body for deans of arts, social sciences and humanities departments, has made two senior appointments. Mike Molan has been named its new chair, while Kristyan Spelman Miller becomes secretary. Professor Molan, executive dean of arts and human sciences at London South Bank University, succeeds Dorothy Miell. Professor Spelman Miller is dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Winchester.

The University of Derby has named Richard Hall inaugural director of its Institute of Innovation in Sustainable Engineering. Professor Hall, who takes up the role in September, is associate dean and professor of engineering design and simulation at the University of Wolverhampton.

The University of Roehampton has recruited three academics to join its internationally renowned department of dance. Theresa Buckland joins as professor of dance history and ethnography, Emilyn Claid as professor of choreographic practice, and Efrosini Protopapa as senior lecturer. Professor Buckland joins from De Montfort University, where she was professor of performing arts, Professor Claid comes to Roehampton from Falmouth University, and Dr Protopapa returns to the university, having completed her PhD there in 2009.

Rhodri Llwyd Morgan has been appointed pro vice-chancellor at Aberystwyth University with responsibility for the Welsh language and culture and external engagement. Dr Morgan, who is currently head of policy support for Ceredigion County Council, will take up his new post in early September.

Sue Mullaney has been appointed pro dean for pre-registration education and quality at the Faculty of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University. Ms Mullaney was formerly head of the department of children’s nursing at LSBU.

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