February 5, 2009

A former Welsh rugby union international has been made a dean at Leeds Metropolitan University. Gareth Davies, who was capped 21 times by his country, has been appointed dean of the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education. His varied career includes spells as director of Welsh affairs with the Royal Mail Group, head of sport at BBC Wales and chief executive of Cardiff Athletic Club/Cardiff Rugby Football Club.

University College Falmouth has announced that Anne Carlisle will be its new rector, following Alan Livingston's decision to retire at the end of the academic year. A writer, broadcaster and artist, Professor Carlisle is also the founder of CIRCA, the visual arts journal. She is the current deputy vice-chancellor (academic) of the University of Wales, Newport. James Williams, chair of Falmouth's board of governors, said: "Her qualifications, experience, expertise and leadership skills equip her perfectly to further the excellent work undertaken by Professor Livingston to fulfil the college's aspirations to become a global leader in higher education in the field of the creative arts."

The "chief people's officer" at fast-food company McDonald's has joined Manchester Metropolitan University Business School as a visiting professor. David Fairhurst, who is well known for his efforts to redefine the term "McJob", which is commonly used to suggest low-skilled work with low rewards, will join its human resource management team.

The vice-chancellor of Bucks New University has been selected to the chair of GuildHE, the representative body for smaller and specialist higher education institutions. Ruth Farwell, one of two current GuildHE vice-chairs, has been elected to succeed David Baker, who has announced he will step down at the end of the academic year. Professor Farwell also represents GuildHE on the board of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association and serves on the Universities UK Student Experience Policy Committee and Health and Social Care Policy Committee.

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales has announced the appointment of four new members. HEFCW, which has a budget of £449 million for 2008-09, has appointed Katherine Oglesby, senior deputy vice-chancellor, University of Teesside; Alexandra Burslem, chair of the Education Honours Committee; David Allen, registrar and secretary at the University of Exeter; and Anthony Hazell, lay member of the Health Professions Council. Brian Smith, a member of HEFCW since 2002, has been reappointed for a third term.

The head of Heriot-Watt University's Dubai campus, Ruth Moir, has been made the university's new director of international development. She will take responsibility for the implementation and management of its international strategy.

Tessa Blackstone, former Higher Education Minister and the vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich, has been made chair of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. She replaces Cyril Chantler and will serve a four- year term.

A University of Oxford professor has been called upon to advise the US Government on its efforts to tackle climate change. Diana Liverman, director of the Environmental Change Institute, has been selected vice-chair of the Informing Effective Decisions and Actions Related to Climate Change panel. The group is part of Washington's plans to bring together leading figures from a variety of disciplines to provide recommendations to Congress on the most effective strategies to tackle the threat of global warming.

Mike Fullen, professor of soil technology at the University of Wolverhampton, has been made an academician of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.

Scientists at the University of Nottingham's schools of pharmacy and biosciences have scooped a national award that encourages innovation in healthcare technologies. They have won a Da Vinci Award, worth £15,000, for their development of a technique that can test for up to 5,000 different allergens from one drop of blood. Franco Falcone, associate professor in the university's School of Pharmacy, said the award would act as a springboard to the further progression of their research.

Bangor University has awarded an honorary chair in business to Colyn Gardner in recognition of his contributions to entrepreneurship and financial education. Professor Gardner is a business and careers consultant.

The University of Ulster has appointed Chris Nugent professor of biomedical engineering. Professor Nugent's specialism lies in the development of technology to improve the quality of elderly and disabled people's lives.

Also at the University of Ulster, vice-chancellor Richard Barnett has been confirmed as the new chair of a governmental review panel set up to examine economic development policy in Northern Ireland. Professor Barnett will be supported by four individuals from the world of academia and business. They are: Brian Ashcroft, professor, University of Strathclyde Business School; Graham Gudgin of the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge; Michael Moore, professor in the Management School at Queen's University Belfast; and John Wright, a former international banking director.

A specialist on international development and the environment has been appointed to the University of Manchester. Partha Dasgupta joins the university part time as professor of environmental and development economics, conducting research into the links between Third World poverty and localised environmental problems.

A researcher at the University of Southampton has been acknowledged for his long-term work in communicating science to the public. Jon Copley, a lecturer in marine ecology, has been awarded a Science Communication Award by the Biosciences Federation. Dr Copley regularly gives talks, writes articles and trains scientists in the art of communication.

The chief executive of E.ON UK has been appointed pro chancellor and chair of Aston University's council. Paul Golby, an alumnus of the university, has led the energy company through two multibillion-pound acquisitions and replaces Geoffrey John, who steps down after five years as pro chancellor.

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