May 13, 2010

King's College London

Jeremy Horder

A professor whose academic career blossomed after he decided not to join his father's second-hand car business has been appointed Edmund-Davies chair in criminal law at King's College London. Jeremy Horder's decision not to work in the family business led him to leave home to study law at the University of Hull instead. "It could have been philosophy or politics, but law was a safe option in that it was pretty much guaranteed that there would be a job at the end of it," he said. From there he went to Keble College, Oxford for postgraduate study that he hoped would lead to a job as a barrister. However, at Oxford he developed a passion for academic study that led to a DPhil in provocation as a defence for murder. He recalled that he was "lucky enough" to win a research fellowship at Jesus College, Oxford that allowed him to finish his thesis. In 2005, he was appointed Law Commissioner for England and Wales and worked on projects including the development of the Bribery Act 2010. He said that while he enjoyed the role, he looked forward to returning to more scholarly pursuits. "I've learned the value of independent scholarship. I haven't outgrown the academy - if anything, I realise how much more there is to do," he said.

Birmingham City University

Fiona Church

Birmingham City University has announced the appointment of Fiona Church to the post of executive dean of the Faculty of Education, Law and Social Sciences. She is currently dean of the Faculty of Business, Computing and Law at the University of Derby, where she has taught since 1992. She joined Derby shortly after it gained university status, which she said was a particularly exciting time in its history. "Student numbers doubled overnight and we were developing lots of new courses. So I've grown in my career as the university has grown." Professor Church started at Derby as a senior lecturer, and went on to become the head of the undergraduate business programme, head of law and dean. She said that Birmingham City's size and reputation had attracted her, and that she was looking forward to using her skills in a new environment. The move allows Professor Church to return to her subject specialism, employment law, which she said was "people-orientated". "It combines my interest in law with me as a person. I like to know what makes people tick," she said.

University of Glasgow

Chris Parkes

Chris Parkes, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow, has been awarded the Institute of Physics' High Energy Particle Physics Group Prize. Dr Parkes has a long-standing relationship with Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and has been involved in a number of its experiments, including the Detector with Lepton, Photon and Hadron Identification that operated in the Large Electron Positron Collider, now the Large Hadron Collider. Dr Parkes, who is originally from Northampton, said he was "one of those people who always knew what they wanted to do. I told my parents that I would be some sort of scientist when I was 11, and by the age of 13 I had settled on physics." He studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge, and went on to a doctorate at the University of Oxford. Post-PhD, he worked at Cern as a Fellow, where he first became involved with the Large Hadron Collider. After leaving Cern, he continued to be involved with the organisation as a Fellow of the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Rather fittingly, Dr Parkes received news of his award at Cern while witnessing proton beams colliding at the highest energies ever achieved. "Obviously I was delighted with the award, but having worked for Cern for 10 years, I was a bit more excited about the collisions," he said.

Birkbeck, University of London

David Feldman

David Feldman of the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, has been appointed professor and first director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism. The institute's foundation was announced in November 2009, following a £1.5 million investment from The Pears Foundation. As a PhD student, Professor Feldman studied Jewish immigration in the East End at the turn of the 20th century. He recalled that the subject "was much less accepted as a legitimate historical subject then than it is now. I remember one of my teachers at the University of Cambridge asking me why I would want to do a PhD on 'ghetto history'. It's a mark of how much things have changed that I don't think a student would be asked that today." Professor Feldman said that he wanted to connect the themes of British and Jewish history in his work and place hostility to immigration, racism and anti-Semitism in a more mainstream context. "An understanding of anti-Semitism is essential to understanding racism, prejudice and xenophobia more generally," he said. "So an overarching aim of the institute will be to re-establish a dialogue between scholars interested in anti-Semitism and those interested in race and racism, past and present."

Other changes ...

Canterbury Christ Church University has appointed four academics to its Faculty of Education. Trevor Cooling joins as director of the National Institute for Christian Education Research; Trisha Maynard becomes head of the Centre for Research into Children, Families and Communities; and Felicity Wikeley and Petra Engelbrecht join as professors of education and will contribute to the faculty's research strategy.

The University of Strathclyde has appointed Tony McGrew as dean of its new Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Professor McGrew is currently head of the University of Southampton's School of Social Sciences.

Brunel Business School has appointed two professors. Neil Anderson is professor of human resource management and director of the Centre for Research into Emotion, Work and Employment Studies. Robin Jarvis has been made professor of accounting in a joint appointment with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

The University of Northampton has presented its annual Court Award to Joanna Moxham, divisional leader in teacher education. The accolade is awarded annually to an employee who has made an exceptional contribution to the university.

Stuart Reid, dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow, has received the Petplan Charitable Trust Scientific Award 2010.

Liverpool John Moores University has appointed Patricia Livsey as director of academic delivery at the Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences.

Actor James Nesbitt has succeeded Sir Richard Nichols, the former Lord Mayor of London, as chancellor of the University of Ulster.

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