March 13, 2008

Sir Martin Harris, the head of the Office for Fair Access, has been elected president of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Sir Martin, a former vice-chancellor of the universities of Essex and Manchester and a former chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals - now Universities UK, will take up post in October. He said: "I believe strongly in the importance of graduate education and I am honoured to have been asked to lead Clare Hall. What appeals to me is the opportunity to reimmerse myself in the life of a scholarly community and, in particular, one dominated by research and postgraduate learning." Sir Martin will succeed mineralogist Ekhard Salje.

Jeff Duckett, of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, has won the 2008 Linnean Medal for Botany. Professor Duckett said: "It is a great honour ... I published my first paper back in 1968 and my work has since covered a range of topics, including research on the sex determination of mosses and ferns and other lower end land plants." The Linnean Society of London was founded in 1788 and is the world's oldest active biological society.

Canterbury Christ Church University has hired its first director of marketing. Marco Keir is embarking on a six-month review of the university's marketing activities and branding. He was formerly the assistant head of service for culture and communications at Canterbury City Council. Mr Keir also worked for ten years at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. He said: "The higher education market is at a crucial stage of development and the university has a fantastic opportunity to excel, but we need to be nimble and not only respond to the challenges, but also to understand where the opportunities are." Canterbury Christ Church has also appointed a new dean of its faculty of health and social care, Hazel Colyer. Ms Colyer, the university's former director of interprofessional education, said: "The pace of change in health and social care seems to be increasing. Services are being reconfigured to better reflect the needs of local communities, and this will require a more diverse, nimble and skilled workforce in the future."

Martin Hadland has moved into private consultancy after 14 years in universities. Mr Hadland is joining the national education practice at property consultants Drivers Jonas from City University London, where he has been director of estates for the past six years. Mr Hadland oversaw City's estates strategy, including the completion of the £335 million Cass Business School and a new £21 million social science building.

The British Academy, the national academy for arts and humanities research, has appointed three new directors to newly created posts. Birgit Brandt has been appointed director of programmes, Paola Morris has been appointed director of finance and corporate services and Tim Brassell has been appointed director of external relations. Dr Brandt was previously head of grants at the Royal Society, Ms Morris was previously head of financial operations at the House of Lords, and Mr Brassell had been at the BBC for 20 years, latterly as head of communications.

Anglia Ruskin University has appointed Paul Smith as pro vice-chancellor and dean of the faculty of science and technology. Dr Smith is currently head of the School of Computing and Technology at the University of East London. He was previously a Quality Assurance Agency specialist reviewer and auditor, and part of the advisory group working on the development of the new national diploma in engineering. A member of the Territorial Army, Dr Smith is a qualified expedition leader, an assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and a county rugby referee.

Josh Hillman, former head of education policy at the BBC, has been appointed assistant director at the Nuffield Foundation. Mr Hillman was previously senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and the author of IPPR's blueprint for the University for Industry, which became the Government's "learndirect" initiative.

David Brooksbank has been appointed director and professor of enterprise at the School of Management at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. He departs the University of Glamorgan, where he was co-founder and director of the Welsh Enterprise Institute. Professor Brooksbank is vice-chairman of Venture Wales, the largest business support provider in Wales. His appointment comes at a time when the Welsh Assembly is examining the impact of higher education on the economy, and part of Professor Brooksbank's brief is to position UWIC as a centre for the development of entrepreneurship in Wales.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has confirmed the reappointment of Chris Banks as chairman of the Learning and Skills Council for a further three years. John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said: "Improving the skills of the nation has never been more important. The LSC will invest £11.6 billion in 2008-09, £12 billion in 2009-10 and £12.6 billion in 2010-11 of public money for the benefit of young people, adults and employers. Chris Banks will be instrumental in ensuring value for money and driving forward the Leitch skills agenda."

An academic has won the largest individual research grant ever received by a London Business School faculty member. Helene Rey, professor of economics, has been awarded funding of EUR1.34 million (£1.03 million) from the European Research Council. The grant will help fund a five-year research programme on countries' "external balance sheets, dynamics of international adjustment and capital flows".

Mark McIntosh, a theologian at Loyola University in Chicago, has been appointed to Durham University's Van Mildert chair. One of the oldest chairs at the institution, the professorship of divinity is named after Bishop William Van Mildert, one of the founders of the university.

Also at Durham, history professor David Moon has been confirmed as a guest of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg. He will visit the institution as part of his work on the environmental history of the Russian steppes.

Kate Barker, the economics expert who helps set interest rates as a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, will next week give a lecture at Anglia Ruskin University on the state of the housing market as part of the university's 150th anniversary celebrations. The public event will be held on 19 March.

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