June 10, 2010

University of Edinburgh

Kim Waldron

A geologist who was lured away from academic life into university administration has been appointed secretary of the University of Edinburgh. Kim Waldron, who is currently secretary at Colgate University in the US, had a tenure-track position at the institution, but found herself increasingly involved in management. "What motivates me is continual learning," she explained. "When I got a whiff of administration, I realised that there was a whole lot to be learned about how universities operate that I didn't understand either as a student or a faculty member." After a spell as a student dean and working with Colgate's president and board of trustees, Dr Waldron was appointed to her current post in 2003. She said that switching from an academic position had given her a fresh perspective. "You look at the institution as a whole," she said. Dr Waldron is no stranger to Edinburgh, having undertaken postdoctoral study at the institution. She said the university's focus on student support, globalisation and working with alumni had tempted her to return, and that she hoped to bring "small-institution ideas" to a large university. She added that she had met her husband in Edinburgh, who relocated to New York with her when she landed her job at Colgate. She joked that the couple would now be facing "reverse culture shock".

College of Law

Kerry James

"One of life's enthusiasts" is how the new head of the College of Law in Bristol describes herself. Kerry James joins from the University of the West of England, where she was course director of its legal practice course, as well as teaching the graduate diploma in law and the professional skills course programmes. She worked for the institution for 10 years, specialising in civil and commercial litigation, legal research, advocacy and contract law. She said she had also developed a particular interest in e-learning. Previously, Ms James was a social worker and then a solicitor, and said she had "worked with young people and young adults for most of my working life". Her current role "is a very nice combination of working with young people and legal know-how", she added. When it opens in September, the centre in Bristol will become the College of Law's first outpost in the South West.

University of Bedfordshire

Alice Hynes

Alice Hynes, chief executive of the universities group GuildHE, has been appointed registrar of the University of Bedfordshire. "I'm incredibly proud of where GuildHE is and I'm confident that it will continue to thrive," she said following the announcement. "I'm interested in doing things I haven't done before, and Bedfordshire gives me the opportunity to make a difference to the student experience." Although Ms Hynes has a long and distinguished record in higher education, it was not her first career - she initially worked in the City and then for charities and in retail. After completing an MA at Birkbeck, University of London, her first job in higher education was supporting staff development work at the University of London. She explained that she stayed in higher education because it offered different results from her previous jobs. "I felt that what I was working on had more long-term value and had an impact on someone else's life rather than just making someone profit," she said. Ms Hynes moved from London to Roehampton University to work in its registry before joining the science faculty at the former Kingston Polytechnic, where she said she "bounced" into the role of academic registrar. She then worked for the Quality Assurance Agency, was vice-principal of Dartington College of Arts and worked at the University of Liverpool before joining GuildHE. Although she said that she is looking forward to working on the student experience at Bedfordshire, she joked that she had one regret: "What I really should have done is tried to get a job in a 1994 Group university so I had the set."

Soillse project

Iain Campbell

A senior manager has been appointed to lead the way on a research project to encourage the use of Gaelic in Scotland. The Soillse project will last for an initial six-year period with funding of £5.29 million. Half of the funding comes from the Scottish Funding Council, Bord na Gaidhlig and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The remainder comes from the institutions participating in the project: the universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and UHI, the prospective university of the Highlands and Islands. Iain Campbell, from Milton, South Uist, said the senior manager position appealed because of the ability of Soillse to influence policy. "This project is giving the Gaelic community the opportunity to be fully represented when policies about the state of our language are discussed at the highest levels," he said. Mr Campbell outlined lofty aims for the scheme, saying he would "drive to give everyone the opportunity to speak Gaelic". He is director of his own consultancy, Hecla Consulting, and has been involved in several research projects related to the development of Gaelic.

Other changes ...

Niall Comer, lecturer in Irish at the University of Ulster, has been named chief examiner and principal moderator for Asset Languages (Irish) at the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations awarding body.

Colin Jones, programme leader for civil engineering at the University of Wales, Newport's Business School, has become the first academic to receive the Institution of Civil Engineers' Chairman's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Civil Engineering.

Alex Russell, former head of Dundee Business School, has been appointed head of management and professor of petroleum accounting at Robert Gordon University's Aberdeen Business School.

Ken Starkey, professor of management and organisational learning at the University of Nottingham, is to become a member of the Economic and Social Research Council's Evaluation Committee.

The University of Glasgow has made four appointments following the restructuring of the university's faculties into four colleges. The College of Arts will be led by Murray Pittock; the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences by Anna Dominiczak; the College of Science and Engineering by John Chapman; and the College of Social Sciences by Anne Anderson.

The University of York has appointed Helen Fulton professor of medieval English literature. She is currently professor of English and director of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities at Swansea University.

Barbara Colledge, previously dean of Leeds Metropolitan University's Innovation North Faculty of Innovation and Technology, has been appointed dean of the university's Faculty of Business and Law.

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