July 23, 2009

The University of Glamorgan's vice-chancellor has announced plans to retire at the end of the next academic year. David Halton, who turned 60 this year, joined Glamorgan in 2004. Since then, the university has become the second-largest in Wales. He oversaw Glamorgan's recent merger with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Merthyr Tydfil College of Further Education to form the Glamorgan Group.

Mark Flinn, pro vice-chancellor at Edge Hill University, is to retire after 17 years at the institution. Mr Flinn joined Edge Hill in 1992 and played a key role in its gaining university status and achieving both taught and research degree-awarding powers. John Cater, vice-chancellor of Edge Hill, said: "Everything this university achieves is achieved by people, and in any hierarchy of contribution, Mark's name rests at the very top."

A new principal and vice-chancellor has been appointed by the University of Dundee. Pete Downes, currently vice-principal and head of the College of Life Sciences, has been acting principal of Dundee since the departure of Sir Alan Langlands earlier this year, who left to become chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Professor Downes joined Dundee as professor of biochemistry in 1989, and has been involved in developing its life sciences to become a centre of excellence in researching diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

A professor at the University of Huddersfield has been honoured for his work in academic accounting and finance. Colin Drury has been given a lifetime achievement award by the British Accounting Association. The award is in recognition of a career in which he has published several works that have become core textbooks at universities around the world. Professor Drury has also served on a number of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants committees.

University College London has expanded its life and biomedical sciences faculty with the appointment of three members. They are: Sir John Tooke, formerly of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, who will become vice-provost (health), head of the School of Life and Medical Sciences and head of the Medical School; Mary Collins, who in 2008 became director of the UCL Division of Infection and Immunity and has now been appointed as dean of life sciences; and Ian Jacobs, founder of UCL's Institute for Women's Health, who becomes dean of biomedical sciences.

A new assistant director has been appointed at the Engineering Professors' Council, which provides a forum for senior academics involved in engineering teaching and research. Piers Baker was formerly director of the International Office at Imperial College London, and has also previously worked in the British Diplomatic Service, most recently as a deputy ambassador in Vienna.

A specialist in investigative interviewing techniques from the University of Portsmouth has won an award for her work with the police. Becky Milne is the first person to receive the Tom Williamson memorial award from the Association of Chief Police Officers. Dr Milne acts as an intermediary between academia and the law, working with police and other criminal justice organisations in the UK and abroad. The award is named in honour of the former policeman and senior research fellow at Portsmouth who helped to set up its Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, who died in 2007.

Queen's University Belfast has recruited two prominent figures in the field of architecture to its School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering. Ruth Morrow, who is known for her innovative approach to architectural training, and Michael McGarry, a partner at McGarry Ni Eanaigh Architects, will contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate architecture-degree programmes.

A lecturer at Bangor University has been appointed as a member of the S4C Authority, the Welsh-language television broadcaster's governing body. Dyfrig Jones, tutor in media studies and media production, has also worked as producer-director on numerous TV and radio series.

An academic has won his fourth lifetime achievement award, this time the Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize in European Political Sociology. The accolade was handed to Richard Rose, director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy and professor of politics at the University of Aberdeen, for his contribution to the subject, including books such as The Problem of Party Government (1974) and Do Parties Make a Difference? (1980). - Opinion, page 26

Robert Hutchinson will be the next provost and dean of campus development at the University of Ulster, following the retirement of Alan Sharp this summer. Professor Hutchinson was the first graduate of the university to be appointed to one of its lectureships. In his most recent position as dean of the Ulster Business School, Professor Hutchinson was responsible for business and management teaching.

Medical sociologist Edwin van Teijlingen has joined Bournemouth University's School of Health and Social Care as professor of maternal and perinatal health research. Well known in the midwifery field, he has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. He joins from the University of Aberdeen, where he was reader in public health.

An international commission set up in the wake of the devastating earthquake in the Italian city of L'Aquila earlier this year will include a professor at the University of Edinburgh. Ian Main, professor of seismology and rock physics, is the sole representative from the UK on the committee, which has been formed by the Italian Government. He will join nine other experts who will work on earthquake forecasting and prepare guidelines on damage prevention.

An "entrepreneur-in-residence" has been appointed by Manchester Metropolitan University. Mark Sims, a former commercial director of Kellogg in the UK, will be based at the university's business school. He will be charged with helping to bridge the gap between academia and industry, drawing on his three decades of experience in business.

Miles Pennington has been appointed as professor and head of the department of industrial design engineering at the Royal College of Art. In the role, he will lead the industrial design engineering course, which is run jointly with Imperial College London.

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