October 16, 2008

The former controller of public policy at the BBC, David Levy, is to become the new director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at the University of Oxford. The RISJ is an international research centre in journalism, founded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which provides a forum for scholars to engage with journalists from around the world. Dr Levy, currently an associate fellow in media communications at the Said Business School at Oxford, will continue to carry out both roles. He started his career as a journalist at BBC World Service before moving on to work as a radio and TV reporter on File on 4 and Newsnight. He was also editor of Analysis on BBC Radio 4 and recently co-edited a book for the RISJ on the future of plurality in public-service broadcasting.

Liverpool John Moores University has appointed professor of education Diana Burton as pro vice-chancellor. Professor Burton has been the dean of the faculty of education, community and leisure for the past six years and previously held the post of deputy director of the Institute of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Mark Mabey has joined the University Centre Doncaster as vice-president, higher education, to spearhead the institution's attempts to gain taught degree awarding powers and independent university status. He joins the institution from Foundation Degree Forward, where he held the post of regional director. Dr Mabey previously held positions at De Montfort and Wolverhampton universities.

Two law academics from the University of Leicester have taken new roles at institutions abroad. Mads Andenas will take on the role of director of the Norwegian centre for human rights in the University of Oslo for the next three years. Stefano Bertea will combine his research at Leicester with a half-time appointment as a senior research fellow at the University of Antwerp, where he will co-manage the forum of law and philosophy for the next four years.

The University of Leicester has also announced three further appointments. Pablo Cortes has joined the school of law as a lecturer. Dr Cortes taught EU and contract law while conducting his doctoral research at University College Cork. Catherine Morley will take up a role as lecturer in American literature where she will lead courses on New York City in American fiction, masculinity in American writing, and ethnicity and diversity in American literature. Dr Morley was the first winner of the George Mitchell Peace Prize, which enabled her to spend a year teaching and researching at the University of Maine. Ingrid Spencer has joined the School of Education as a lecturer. Formerly a teacher at Longsdale Community College, she has taught English in Japan and is a member of the Society for Storytelling.

The University of Aberdeen has appointed science promoter Ken Skeldon as part of its drive to engage the public in its research into science, technology, engineering and maths. He has previously been involved in engagement initiatives at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institute of Physics and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts. Dr Skeldon, who will also be involved in helping guide many of the university's researchers to communicate their research to the wider community, said: "I'm excited by my new role, being a strong believer that people working at the research front are those best placed to engage the public and inspire the next generation of scientists."

David Gray, dean of the faculty at the University of Derby, Buxton, has been selected as the new director for the NAFC Marine Centre in Shetland, which provides resources to support and enhance the development and sustainability of marine industries. After lecturing at Rhodes University in South Africa, Professor Gray took up a position at the University of the West of England, where he was appointed deputy principal and dean of faculty before moving to Derby. He was awarded a personal professorial chair in 2007 and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Iris Hawkins, chair of the NAFC Marine Centre, said: "Professor Gray will be able to help us ensure that our training programmes are well matched to local needs. His research background in marine biology fits in with our own scientific programme, which is tailored to the needs of the fishing and aquaculture industries."

The vice-chancellor of the University of Cumbria, Christopher Carr, has announced his retirement. He will step down in April 2009. Peter Ballard, Archdeacon of Lancaster and the chairman of Cumbria's board, said: "He will be a sad loss not only to the institution but to the world of education. I would like to thank Chris for the major contribution he has made in establishing the new university and for his leadership during this challenging first year."

David Barton, director of the literacy research centre at Lancaster University, has been appointed professor II, distinguished visiting professor, at the University of Stavanger. Norway uses "professor II" posts to develop specific areas of research. Professor Barton will work with colleagues in Stavanger to draw together historical, cultural, developmental and linguistic approaches to reading and writing. This work will also involve developing and supporting a doctoral programme in literacy studies and carrying out joint projects researching contemporary changes in reading and writing practices.

Norwich University College of the Arts has appointed John Last as its new principal. Currently deputy principal at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, Professor Last is a member of the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design, the management board for the Art, Design and Media Subject Centre, and he is also chair of the Group for Learning in Art and Design. He will join Norwich University College in January 2009 and replaces Sue Tuckett, who is retiring in December.

The University of Cambridge has appointed a new director of undergraduate recruitment. Jon Beard will take up the post at the beginning of December, and his appointment will coincide with the university's new initiatives on widening access for state school pupils. These include offering students the chance to visit the university, providing them with advice and mentoring and exploring the use of social networking sites and SMS in delivering information for potential applicants. Mr Beard previously worked at the University of East Anglia, where he was head of the admissions and outreach office. He said: "I'm relishing the opportunity to encourage those who have the talent to exploit their full potential in such an environment. As a state school student who very nearly didn't go to university, I understand some of the reasons why others never apply. The widening participation agenda is important to me because of that."

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