October 23, 2008

The University of Staffordshire's vice-chancellor has been named Woman of Achievement 2008 in the Vitalise Women of the Year Awards. Christine King, a professor of history with research interests in medieval and modern pilgrimage, won the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to higher education and lifelong learning. Professor King said: "This award represents to me the achievement of so many women - my late mum, Elizabeth, left school at 14 but was passionate about social justice. All my students, my many women colleagues and my friends - I have accepted the award on their behalf!"

Geoffrey Mann, a lecturer at The Robert Gordon University, has won the World Crafts Council Europe award for contemporary crafts in recognition of his glass sculpture. The council is a non-profit organisation set up to strengthen the status of crafts as a vital part of cultural and economic life and to promote fellowship among craftspeople worldwide. Stuart MacDonald, head of the university's School of Art, said: "Geoff's work demonstrates the crucial link between art, craft and design, and this award is testimony to that."

A former director of Tesco, Christine Cross, is joining the University of Hull's Business School as a visiting professor. She aims to increase the institution's commercial activity, offering advice on creating and winning proposals in the retail industry. Ms Cross will also co-chair a steering group of senior retail professionals. She said: "Universities struggle when developing this kind of venture as they are not set up as consultancies. Business advisers are crucial to ensure initiatives such as this succeed."

Tom McLeish has taken up the post of pro vice-chancellor (research) at the University of Durham. Previously a professor of polymer physics at the University of Leeds, he is an elected fellow of the American Institute of Physics and director of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science and Technology UK (Polymer IRC), a consortium of more than 100 polymer scientists in universities and industry. Professor McLeish succeeds James Stirling, who has been appointed Jacksonian professor of natural philosophy at the University of Cambridge.

Leeds University Business School has appointed Peter Moizer as dean. He trained as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse and has held a number of roles at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Professor Moizer has produced reports for the Department of Trade and Industry and continues to be a member of the Competition Commission's inquiry into BAA-run airports. He has worked as a professor of accounting and finance at the Business School for 19 years and takes over the dean's role from Andrew Lock.

The University of Wolverhampton has announced two appointments to its pharmacy department; Satya Sarker joins as professor of pharmacy in its School of Applied Sciences. A former adviser to the State University of Bangladesh, he previously worked as a reader in pharmacy at the University of Ulster, where he chaired the MPharm course planning team. Rae Morgan has been appointed head of the pharmacy department. Formerly director for programmes at the Sunderland School of Pharmacy, Dr Morgan has advised on pharmacy development in Indonesia, Jordan and Hong Kong.

The University of Wolverhampton's director of learning centres, Fiona Parsons, has been elected vice-chair of the Society of College, National and University Libraries. The organisation, whose members are directors of library and information services, promotes and develops outstanding work in library services in higher education. Ms Parsons will oversee research support, performance measurement and scholarly communications.

Nigel Lockett is joining the University of Bradford's School of Management as head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Management. A former company director, Dr Lockett has also lectured at Brunel University, where he ran programmes in entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, e-business and technology enterprise. Nelarine Cornelius will join the university's Business School as professor of human resource management and organisational studies. Her current research focuses on black and minority ethnic communities, mentoring and studies of social enterprises and entrepreneurs.

After 21 years as rector of University College Falmouth, Alan Livingston is to retire. Professor Livingston contributed to the development of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative, a partnership of further and higher education providers, and in 2006 he was awarded a CBE. James Williams, chairman of the University College's board of governors, said: "The contribution Alan has made to Cornwall has been immense. As a board, we will be working hard with Alan over the next nine months in order to ensure that his legacy lives on, and his vision to create Arts University Cornwall is realised."

The University of Bedfordshire has appointed Cara Aitchison dean of the faculty of education and sport. Formerly professor in human geography at the University of the West of England, she is best known for her research into social inclusion theory in leisure, sport and tourism. She will provide strategic management, academic leadership and operational compliance with university policy and national legislation. Professor Aitchison takes over from Kate Jacques, who retired in August.

Lawrence Whalley, professor of mental health at the University of Aberdeen, whose work on the ageing brain and dementia has attracted worldwide attention, is taking early retirement after 16 years at the university. Professor Whalley has conducted long-term studies of more than 1,000 pensioners, exploring how dementia and Alzheimer's disease are linked to childhood factors by using the mental ability records of two generations of Aberdonians. Professor Whalley said that he would spend at least a year writing up his research and will also be taking up an appointment as visiting professor at the University of Canberra.

The Central School of Speech and Drama, a federated college of the University of London, has appointed playwright Harold Pinter as president. School principal Gavin Henderson said: "As one of the greatest playwrights of our age, and also a formidable director, actor, poet and political activist, no one could set a more powerful example to our students." Mr Pinter succeeds a number of distinguished alumni as president, including actors Laurence Olivier and Judi Dench. His immediate predecessor is Lord Peter Mandelson, who has recently returned to government as business secretary.

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