Janet Beer, vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, has been elected chair of the University Alliance, the collection of pre- and post-1992 universities that are not members of the sector's other mission groups: the Russell Group, the 1994 Group and Million+. She will replace John Craven, vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth. Professor Beer told Times Higher Education: "In an ideal world, the mission groups would not exist and Universities UK would speak for all of us - but they do exist and Professor Craven has done a really good job of getting the alliance on the radar. We need to build on that trajectory."
The University of Teesside's new deputy vice-chancellor (learning and student experience) has been named. Caroline MacDonald joins from Glasgow Caledonian University, where she was pro vice-chancellor. Professor MacDonald's academic life began as a postdoctoral bioscience research fellow, backed by project funding from the Cancer Research Campaign. Her career has included roles at the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde and the former Paisley University, one of the founding partners of the University of the West of Scotland.
The new director of Universities Scotland will be Alastair Sim, currently director of policy and strategy at the Scottish Court Service. Having undertaken a variety of Civil Service roles, Mr Sim's previous experience includes spells as head of division at the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department, and director of planning services at the University of Glasgow. He takes over the directorship from David Caldwell, who will step down in July.
Glasgow Caledonian University has appointed Sue Scott pro vice-chancellor (learning innovation). Formerly executive dean of humanities and social sciences at Keele University, she has published widely in the field of the sociology of gender and sexuality, and has contributed to a number of national and international research and policy panels. Also at Glasgow Caledonian, Jan Hulme has become university secretary. A University of Edinburgh graduate, Ms Hulme joins the institution from the University of Glasgow, where she was secretary and head of academic planning and support.
Newcastle University Business School has bolstered its marketing and development team by appointing Tristan Alltimes marketing and alumni manager and Laura Watson marketing assistant.
A group of bioscientists from the University of Reading has been awarded a top accolade in the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme. The award, which is run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise, recognises outstanding entrepreneurial skills. It was given to the team from Reading for its proposal to produce vegetarian omega-3 oil from food-industry waste. The team members are Nadia Abed, Federico Dorati, Joao Lopes, Abby Thompson and Cristina Fante.
As part of its plans to develop a new academic structure, the University of Leicester has appointed four pro vice-chancellors, who each will take charge of an individual college. These will be established in the forthcoming academic year and will bring to an end the current faculty-based structure. The heads of the four colleges are: Martin Barstow, head of the College of Science and Engineering; Elizabeth Murphy, head of the College of Social Science; Douglas Tallack, head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Law; and David Wynford-Thomas, head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology. They join Mark Thompson, pro vice-chancellor (resources), and Christine Fyfe, pro vice-chancellor (students), in the university's new executive structure.
The new head of De Montfort Law School is Sheree Peaple. Formerly the head of professional legal studies at the university, she is also a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's Education and Training Committee.
Lee Crust has joined the University of Hull as a lecturer in sports psychology. Also at Hull, Simon Wilson has been appointed senior archivist.
The former head of interactive television and digital text services at the BBC has joined the University of Salford. John Holland will lead the university's initiatives relating to MediaCityUK, a collection of the five BBC departments that will be moved out of London to Salford Quays as part of the broadcaster's reorganisation. The scheme will provide students based at the university with joint courses, enterprise training and placements with the BBC.
Victor Adebowale, chief executive of social care organisation Turning Point, has become the new chancellor of the University of Lincoln. He is the university's second chancellor, replacing Elizabeth Esteve-Coll, who stepped down after seven years in the role. He said: "(Universities) create futures - futures for individuals, futures for societies and futures for communities. I think that is what Lincoln stands for."
A professor of art history at The Open University has won recognition for a French-language book on architecture. Tim Benton has been named joint winner of the Prix du Livre by the Academie d'Architecture in France for his book Le Corbusier conferencier. Selected from a shortlist of eight, he shares the prize with Philippe Prost, an architect and architectural historian.
Alistair Jarvis has been made the first director of communications at the 1994 Group, the organisation that represents smaller research-intensive universities. He joins the mission group from Enterprise Insight, which is responsible for Make your Mark, a national campaign set up to encourage Britons to develop their entrepreneurial potential. Mr Jarvis previously worked in policy communications, where he was in charge of a team that provided communications consultancy, research and events to partners in the higher education, skills and business sectors.
A lecturer in the School of History at the University of St Andrews has been presented with the Scottish History Book of the Year Award. Alex Woolf received the accolade for his research into Scotland in the Viking period, which led to the book From Pictland to Alba: Scotland, 789-1070. It is the first volume in 20 years to look at the destruction of the Picts and the rise to prominence of the Gaelic-speaking Scots. Mr Woolf was awarded the prize by the Saltire Society, a charity that promotes Scottish life and culture.