August 14, 2008

Sir Timothy O'Shea has been appointed chair of the Joint Information Systems Committee, the body that manages the universities' computer network, from January. Currently principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Sir Timothy also worked in the 1990s at The Open University, where he founded the Computer Assisted Learning Research Group, held a personal chair in information technology and education and also served for a time as its pro vice-chancellor. He has held posts as master of Birkbeck, University of London, provost of Gresham College and pro vice-chancellor of the University of London.

The University of Ulster has announced the appointment of three new pro vice-chancellors. Alastair Adair, formerly dean of the faculty of art, design and the built environment, becomes pro vice-chancellor (communication and external affairs); Jim Allen, provost of the university's Magee campus in Londonderry, becomes pro vice-chancellor (information and student services); and Norman Black becomes pro vice-chancellor (research and innovation). Professor Adair has been professor and head of the school of the built environment since 1996. Professor Allen is a member of the Physiological Society and the British Pharmacological Society and an elected fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and the Institute of Biology. Professor Black, who joined Ulster in 1985, was formerly dean of the faculties of informatics and engineering.

Nicolas Childs, director of music of the Black Dyke Band, the brass band founded in 1855, has been appointed visiting professor at Leeds Metropolitan University's Innovation North faculty. Cath Orange, pro vice-chancellor and dean of Innovation North, said the position "acknowledges his outstanding leadership qualities and his status as an internationally recognised scholar".

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has announced three new appointments to its senior management team. Janet Allen, currently director of the Conway Institute of University College Dublin, has been appointed director of research; Celia Caulcott, research manager at Imperial College London and a research management consultant, will become director for innovation and skills; and Paul Gemmill, currently the BBSRC's interim executive director, will become director of communications and information management.

The deputy head of geography at the University of Hull, Lynne Frostick, has become the first person to serve simultaneously as chair of the British Society for Geomorphology and president of the Geological Society. Professor Frostick is also chair of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills' group Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and director of the Hull Environment Research Institute and the Environmental Technologies Centre for Industrial Collaboration.

Nigel Bowles will take over in September as the new director of the University of Oxford's Rothermere American Institute (RAI), when Paul Giles will step down after five years at the helm. Professor Bowles is a lecturer in politics and Balfour fellow in politics at St Anne's College. He said: "The RAI's purpose is to foster academic understanding of the events, processes and forces that have formed and periodically reformed the United States's distinctive polity and culture. It is a challenge that the specialists in American history, politics and literature at Oxford are ideally placed to meet."

The University of Worcester has appointed Antonia Payne head of the Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts. Currently dean of research at Dartington College of Arts, now incorporated within University College Falmouth, Professor Payne will take up the new post in September. Before joining Dartington, she was associate dean and then acting dean at the University of Wolverhampton's School of Art and Design, after spending time as a tutor in fine art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford. Professor Payne is currently convenor of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Peer Review Panel 2: Visual Arts and Media.

Durham University has appointed Carolyn Summerbell, Chris Hutchison, Robin Coningham and Rob Edwards to new posts. Professor Summerbell, currently professor of human nutrition and assistant dean of research in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Teesside, has been appointed principal of John Snow College at Durham from September. Professor Hutchison, head of the School of Biological and BioMedical Sciences at Durham, has been appointed principal of the College of St Hild and St Bede from October. His current position as head of school will be taken by Professor Edwards. Professor Coningham, head of the department of archaeology, has been appointed executive dean of the faculty of social sciences and health, from September.

Knowledge Chinyanyu Mpofu, a PhD student at Bucks New University, has been selected as the Zimbabwean representative for the World Network of Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs (WNYLE). During the two-year appointment, Mr Mpofu will seek to promote WNYLE's work in Zimbabwe, encouraging youth entrepreneurship and innovative leadership. Mr Mpofu's doctoral research focuses on the factors that influence the adoption and diffusion of information and communication technology in small businesses in the South African Development Community countries of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

At the University of Huddersfield, a number of long-serving members of staff have been invited to choose from a selection of gifts to mark their continuous service over the past 40 years. They include Tom Anderson, technician in the School of Education and Professional Development; Kathleen Chirema, complex pathway leader in adult and child nursing in the School of Human and Health Sciences; Cathy Doggett, head of centre, University Centre Barnsley; and Sylvia Hepworth, head of the division of health and social studies in the School of Human and Health Sciences.

From September, Jos Hackforth-Jones will join Sotheby's Institute of Art as director of its London Institute. She is presently the provost and president of Richmond, the American International University in London. Prior to this, Dr Hackforth-Jones was dean of the university's School of Arts and Sciences. Last year, she was lead curator of the exhibition Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850 at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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