January 8, 2009

Jonathan Breckon has joined the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as director of policy and public affairs. Having previously headed up the policy and public affairs team at the Royal Geographical Society, Mr Breckon's career history includes time at both the British Academy and Universities UK. Mr Breckon said: "Arts and humanities research underpins our quality of life as well as having a positive impact - both socially and economically. I am delighted to able to lead the AHRC's work in promoting this research to policymakers and opinion-formers."

Trudie Roberts, head of the School of Medicine and director of the medical education unit at the University of Leeds, has been appointed to the General Medical Council, the national body that regulates doctors and ensures good medical practice. Professor Roberts has particular research interests in the assessment of competence, development of expertise and professionalism. David Cottrell, dean of medicine, said: "This is great honour for Professor Roberts but also ... for the school. There are only 12 medical members of the new Council."

The University of Bath has appointed Richard Elliott as dean of its School of Management, taking over from Andrew Pettigrew, who retired in September. Since joining the school in 2007 as professor of marketing and consumer research, Professor Elliott has undertaken the role of director of MBA programmes and founded the Centre for Research in Advertising and Consumption.

Also at the University of Bath, Martyn Whalley has replaced Patrick Finch as the director of estates. Having been involved in the higher education sector for more than ten years, Mr Whalley has worked at Bath since 2004 as a deputy director, responsible for capital procurement. He is a chartered civil engineer and chartered environmentalist, and has worked on major construction projects, private finance initiatives and infrastructure projects, the university said.

A commercial barrister who specialises in Middle East and Islamic law has been appointed visiting professor at the University of Leeds in the School of Law. Mark Hoyle, who is based at Tanfield Chambers in London, will be responsible for developing programmes of study for the areas of Arab and Islamic law and dispute resolution. With more than 20 years' experience of Arab laws, Dr Hoyle - who has counselled private clients and governmental organisations from the Middle East and elsewhere - has also been asked to advise on the cultures and traditions of Arab and Muslim countries. "I believe that a sound partnership between barristers in practice and the academic world benefits both sides, allows ideas to flourish and creates innovation and progress," said Dr Hoyle.

Susan Cartwright has joined Lancaster University as director of the new centre for organisational health and wellbeing. She joins from Manchester Business School where she was professor of organisational psychology and a past director of the centre for business psychology and the centre for organisational psychology. Professor Cartwright is the current adviser to the Government Office for Science on Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project. She is also a fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the British Academy of Management. Her research interests and publications are in the areas of occupational stress, emotional intelligence and organisational change, particularly in the context of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

Dawei Song has been appointed professor of computing at The Robert Gordon University, funded by the Northern Research Partnership. Dr Song, whose research interests include information retrieval, was previously based at the Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University, which he joined in 2005. Joining him as part of the research team are research fellows Qiang Huang (from The Open University) and Yunhyong Kim (from the University of Glasgow).

The new principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde will be Jim McDonald. The current deputy principal, he will succeed Andrew Hamnett, who retires next month after eight years in the post. During his time at the university, Professor McDonald has been responsible for overseeing the organisation of Strathclyde 100, a network of successful entrepreneurs who are graduates of the university, and the development of Strathclyde's new Centre for Sports and Health, as well as being one of the driving forces behind the Excellence Agenda - the university's strategic plan to 2011. He is also involved in advising government, industry and commerce and is a main board director for Scottish Enterprise and a member of the Scottish Enterprise Aerospace, Marine and Defence Industrial Advisory Board. Fraser Livingston, the university's Convener of Court, said: "(Professor McDonald) has already demonstrated the drive and leadership to implement our strategic plan and will continue to enhance Strathclyde's profile and reputation."

Jim Hunter has been appointed deputy principal of The Arts Institute at Bournemouth. Currently director of the School of Art, he joined the institute in 1988 and has contributed to its growth over the past nine years. He was heavily involved in the institute's recent successful application for taught degree-awarding powers. Mr Hunter has maintained his practice as a painter throughout his career in higher education, and has said that he believes that "responsibility as a teacher and manager in art education requires a continuing engagement with creative practice. The reciprocal benefits between practice and teaching sustain a shared sense of inquiry and experiment as a creative community."

Ian Clarke has taken up his new position as director at Newcastle University Business School. Professor Clarke joins from Lancaster University, where he held a chair in strategic management and marketing since 2001. Prior to that he held a number of professorial appointments at the universities of Durham, Sheffield and Glasgow Caledonian, as well as a senior management role at Tesco.

Peter Shaw has been appointed a visiting professor at Newcastle University Business School. Head of public-sector practice at coaching organisation Praesta Partners, Mr Shaw will be the host of a leadership event at the school, and will provide mentoring sessions to some of its MBA students. He said: "Newcastle is a cultural city and the school is open to progression and continued improvement. I am sure that the school and I will find this partnership mutually beneficial."

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