On being offered the position of director of University College London’s Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, Dilly Fung immediately thought of her family. “I thought about telling my father, whose own father sold vegetables from a barrow in the Bull Ring in Birmingham, that I would be taking up an important post in one of the world’s top universities,” she said. “I knew he would be delighted. I’d never have progressed with my own career without my parents’ unconditional support.” In her new role, she hopes to be a “catalyst” helping to enhance research-rich education across all subjects. At the heart of many of the challenges facing higher education lies the widespread perception of a research-teaching divide and a “lack of parity of esteem” between them, Dr Fung believes. “Focusing on the development of teaching and curriculum can seem like a distraction for academics who are world-leading researchers, especially when there are so many pressures on time. My preference is to promote development of academic practice in the round by building synergies between cutting-edge research, evidence-based professional practice and creative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment.” Dr Fung, who studied at the universities of Southampton and Exeter and London Metropolitan University, said she got into academia because she liked “reading, writing and talking”.
The new head of drama, dance and performing arts at Liverpool Hope University said working in further education for the first decade of his 23-year academic career gave him a “clear understanding of where students are coming from and how to engage with young people”. Simon Piasecki, who is also a multimedia artist and performer, said he was looking forward to working with the department and exploring a curriculum that exposes students to many performance media, “from the traditional to the abstract”. Mr Piasecki’s creative work has taken in film, painting, installation, theatre and interventions in landscape, and has included night-time performances against the backdrop of mountain ranges in the UK and Spain. “I am very much involved in active research, but teaching is my real love – it is what feeds me,” he said. “[Liverpool Hope’s] Creative Campus is a fantastic place, which naturally lends itself to a creative and collegiate group of students and staff, all working together to create a vibrant space for learning.” Mr Piasecki has previously worked at the University of Salford and Leeds Metropolitan University.
Implementing strategies for internationalisation and global citizenship will be the focus for Jeanne Keay when she starts her new role as vice-principal (international) and executive dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland. She will join in November from the Higher Education Academy, where, as assistant director and head of international strategy, she has been helping UK universities to develop transnational education and to raise teaching quality in international collaborations. In addition to her strategic role, Dr Keay will also be involved in faculty development and cross-faculty collaborations. “I look forward to working with colleagues to ensure the university builds on its successes in the fields of health, education and social sciences and we continue to develop the international agenda,” she said. Dr Keay began her career as a physical education teacher. She has worked at numerous institutions, including the University of Roehampton and Leeds Metropolitan University, predominantly in the areas of education and sport.
An artist who says his painting “resists institutional appropriation” has been appointed head of the School of Art and Design at the University of Gloucestershire. Angus Pryor’s large, tactile works are based around narratives of imagination. They represent his attempt to recycle the “ready-made” object popular in much modern art “back into the made” through the “visceral practice of painting”. “The finished paintings sustain discursive narratives, which explore atomisation and fragmentation within the contemporary art world and its diminishing sense of social responsibility,” he said. In his teaching, Mr Pryor eschews education models that “may be fashionable but transient”. His focus is on student-centred learning and teaching that integrates theory and practice. “I have always taught from the perspective of generating ideas from the student’s own areas of interest. This then leads to them being directed towards individual artists and theorists who have covered much of the ground already, through their individual practice.” Mr Pryor studied at the Wimbledon School of Art, then Bath College of Higher Education and the Kent Institute of Art and Design (now part of the University for the Creative Arts). He was formerly head of the Ashford School of Art and Design – which he developed from its conception – and then deputy head of the School of Arts Medway at the University of Kent.
Diana Wallis, honorary senior fellow in the University of Hull’s Law School, has been elected president of the European Law Institute. The ELI is a non-profit organisation, established in 2011, with the goal of enhancing European legal integration. Ms Wallis said it was a “huge honour” to be elected: “I am convinced that the institute has a leading role to play in the development of European law in the widest sense.” Formerly a solicitor, Ms Wallis turned to politics in 1994 and subsequently become a Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament, representing Yorkshire and the Humber, for 13 years. She resigned as an MEP in January 2012.
The University of Roehampton has appointed David Dickinson its new director of student experience. Mr Dickinson joins from the University of Surrey, where he was director of student support. He has worked in student services leadership since 2002, and he has served on the executive of Amosshe, the student services organisation, as both secretary and vice-chair.
Leeds Trinity University has appointed two new members to its executive team. Ray Lloyd joins as pro vice-chancellor academic and Howard Nelson as chief operating officer and university secretary. Professor Lloyd is charged with ensuring the strategic development and realisation of a successful academic and research portfolio, delivering a distinctive student experience for Leeds Trinity students and overseeing quality enhancement and standards. Mr Nelson joins from Trent College, where he has been bursar since July 2010.
Margaret Bruce has been appointed deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Derby. She previously served as pro vice-chancellor (engagement) at the University of Central Lancashire and has held senior roles at the University of Manchester.
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