An international faith expert from the University of Derby has been appointed to a new national panel to improve relations between the Government and religious communities. Paul Weller, head of research and commercial development in the faculty of education, health and sciences, and professor of inter-religious relations, is among 13 experts appointed to the panel by John Denham, the Communities Secretary. The group will be expected to act as a "sounding board" to advise on "effective engagement" with faith communities, and to inform the Government about the impact its policies are having on particular groups. Also appointed to the panel are Jenny Kartupelis, director of the East of England Faiths Council and fellow of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Alan Billings, former director of the Centre for Ethics and Religion at Lancaster University.
The Robert Gordon University has recruited a prominent businessman from the North East to its Aberdeen Business School. Neil Bruce, chief operating officer for natural resources and power and process at AMEC, has been made an honorary professor at the institution. He is also a member of the International Oil and Gas Business advisory board and a fellow of the Institute of Directors.
A professor at the University of Glamorgan has been made a special adviser to the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee. Catherine Farrell will undertake a review of the recently proposed Legislative Competence Order on Education, which seeks to increase the authority of the National Assembly for Wales in the governance of schools. The professor in public management, who is also course leader for the public leadership doctorate at Glamorgan, will help prepare a briefing to assist the committee's decision-making.
Gurch Randhawa, professor of diversity in public health and director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire, has been selected as an ambassador for the Government Equalities Office. Professor Randhawa will be involved in promoting diversity in public appointments at the board level. At 26, he became the youngest-ever non-executive director of an NHS trust at the now-defunct South Bedfordshire Community NHS Trust, and at 29 the NHS' youngest-ever trust chairman, this time at the Luton Teaching Primary Care Trust.
The vice-president and dean of the faculty of humanities at the University of Manchester is to retire in September. Under Alistair Ulph's leadership, the faculty has doubled its research income since 2004 and seen 22 per cent of its research classed as "world leading" and another 40 per cent deemed "internationally excellent" in the 2008 research assessment exercise. Professor Ulph was previously based at the University of Southampton, where he served for six years as deputy vice-chancellor. He was also president of the European Association for Environmental and Resource Economists in 2000-01.
A former Welsh international footballer and professor at the University of Liverpool is the new chairwoman of the Sports Council for Wales, it has been announced. Laura McAllister, professor of governance at Liverpool's School of Management, is currently vice-chairwoman of the council, which is responsible for promoting sport and active lifestyles in Wales. Professor McAllister also holds visiting professorships at Cardiff University, the Queensland University of Technology in Australia and the China National School of Administration. Her areas of expertise include devolution, Welsh politics and elections, and sport and public policy. She will become the first female head of the council when she takes up the position next month.
A professor at Imperial College London who was involved in pioneering the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre has been named Innovator of the Year in the NHS Leadership Awards. Stephen Smith, principal of the faculty of medicine and chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, was given the honour for helping to found the centre, which is a collaboration between the university and the trust. He said: "We think that our centre is a hugely important innovation and that academic health science centres have the potential to transform healthcare in the UK."
Simon Bromley has been named dean of the faculty of social sciences at The Open University. The lecturer in politics and international studies joined the institution in 1999 and has been involved in designing new courses within the faculty. His current research focuses on the European Union's international energy policy on oil and gas and its relationship to American policies.
The pro vice-chancellor for research and development at the University for the Creative Arts has been appointed chair of the Design Research Society. Seymour Roworth-Stokes worked as a design consultant for clients including BT, BAA and Huntleigh Technology before moving into the academy. He joined the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, one of UCA's founding institutions, as a senior lecturer in design in 1991 and was later promoted to pro vice-chancellor. In 2001, he formed the department of research and development, which subsequently secured £4 million in income for the university.
Hazel Hall, director of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, has been awarded a prize for her achievements in the field. Dr Hall was named Information Professional of the Year for her role at Edinburgh Napier and her work as executive secretary of the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition. The award was presented by Information World Review magazine and online-information conference organisers Incisive Media.
An associate fellow at the University of Warwick has taken on a role at SQW Consulting. Chris Hasluck becomes associate director at the sustainable economic and social-development consultancy, where he will take responsibility for expanding and developing its research and evaluation base. A labour economist with 38 years' experience of lecturing, academic management and research, Mr Hasluck previously spent 20 years as principal research fellow and director of the work, welfare and policy evaluation research programme at Warwick's Institute for Employment Research.
Universities Scotland has announced the appointment of a new convener. Bernard King, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Abertay Dundee, takes on the role, having previously served as the organisation's vice-convener. He will start his two-year term in August.