July 1, 2010

University of Nottingham, Malaysia

Stephen Doughty

Stephen Doughty, new vice-provost (teaching and learning) at the University of Nottingham's Malaysia campus, has no regrets about leaving Britain for Asia. The chemist said that the only problem he had encountered after his move was with mosquitoes. "It's been fantastic; an excellent decision," he said. "I originally came out on a two-year secondment (in 2005), and I'm still here." Professor Doughty studied chemistry at the University of Essex as an undergraduate before going on to do a PhD at the University of Oxford. His research has focused on computer-aided drug design. He lectured at the University of Bradford in the School of Pharmacy before moving to Nottingham in 2000. Five years later, the campus in Malaysia proposed setting up a School of Pharmacy and Professor Doughty moved out to establish it. He subsequently became dean of science at the Malaysia campus and has also been chair of the campus Learning and Teaching Committee since 2007. He had a key role in the University of Nottingham Malaysia's successful bid to obtain self-accrediting status from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, awarded in May 2010.

University of Surrey

David Allen

An American studies scholar who switched disciplines mid-career to enjoy the "fun" of business has been named as the new dean of the faculty of management and law at the University of Surrey. David Allen spent the past 15 years at IE Business School in Madrid as professor of strategy, vice-dean for research and chair of the strategy department. He is an expert on the relationship between business and society and has also produced his own film in Spain. He is a partner in a banking firm, publishes fiction and works in executive education with clients such as CitiBank and British Telecom. However, Professor Allen said he had no plans to give up scholarly life to concentrate on potentially more lucrative avenues. "I don't have any illusion that I'm making some great sacrifice by being an academic," he said. "I like doing it, it's fun doing it and now I get the opportunity to look at how the rules are made, how we get things done with the laws we have and management." Professor Allen said his switch from American studies to business as a Fulbright scholar was "one of those nice, strange, wonderful things that happen". "Studying business is a portal to the way the world works," he added.

New York University

J. Anthony Movshon

The director of New York University's Center for Neural Science has won the 2010 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award for his work on how the brain reconstructs images. J. Anthony Movshon shares the award with William T. Newsome of Stanford University, and explained that the working relationship the pair enjoyed had started in a rather peculiar way. "We started out arguing and ultimately decided to do some research to find out who was right," he said. Professor Movshon studied under Colin Blakemore at the University of Cambridge, and credited the professor of neuroscience and the "rich" learning environment at the institution with igniting his interest in visual development. "If anyone tells you that they've wanted to be a visual neuro-scientist since they were a small child, they're not actually being truthful," he said. "I think the way students get interested in things is that they find interesting people who are doing things and then they get interested in the things that those interesting people are doing." Professor Movshon moved to NYU in 1975. "It's not very enterprising or very common, but somehow I never got around to moving," he said. "You could call it inertia, but to me it is home. I wouldn't rule out leaving, but it's always been the best place for me." The award comes with a $1.3 million (£870,000) prize, and Professor Movshon said he was looking forward to the "enormous freedom" the funding represents.

University of Birmingham

Ian Grosvenor

The University of Birmingham has appointed Ian Grosvenor as its deputy pro vice-chancellor (cultural engagement). Professor Grosvenor studied history and politics at the University of Hull before completing a doctorate in educational history at Birmingham. He taught in schools in the Midlands for 13 years, then became head of history at Newman University College before moving to University College Northampton as director of educational research. He said he had moved back into higher education because he became "more and more interested in the context in which decisions are made and the experiences that young people have in schooling and I wanted better ways of being able to research that". Professor Grosvenor returned to Birmingham in 1998 to head its PGCE in secondary history, and was subsequently promoted to a personal chair in urban educational history in 2004 and to head of the School of Education in 2006. He said that he relished his new responsibility for "cultural engagement", as he had a lifelong interest in museums and "cultural spaces" and a particular interest in multiculturalism after spending much of his career in Birmingham.

Other changes

The University of Toronto has appointed Steve Scherer director of the McLaughlin Centre for genetic research. Professor Scherer currently holds the GlaxoSmithKline-CIHR endowed chair in genetics and genomics at the university.

David Shankland is the new director of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Dr Shankland is currently reader in social anthropology at the University of Bristol.

The University of Leicester has promoted Pallab Majumder to lecturer in child and adolescent psychiatry in the Greenwood Institute for Child Health. Also at Leicester, the Revd Canon Stephen Foster has been appointed coordinating chaplain.

The University of Salford has appointed Judith Smith head of its School of Environment and Life Sciences. Professor Smith joins from the University of Leeds where she was director of the Faculty of Biological Sciences Graduate School and head of the School of Biology.

James F. Smith, law professor at the University of California, Davis, has been awarded the Ohtli Award by the Consul General of Mexico for his contributions to human rights. The award honours "individuals who pave pathways for Mexicans abroad".

The University of East Anglia has appointed Paul Dobson the new head of its business school. Professor Dobson joins Norwich Business School as professor of business strategy and public policy, having formerly held the Storaid chair of retailing at Loughborough University.

Christopher Day, professor of liver medicine and pro vice-chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University, has been appointed to the council of the Medical Research Council.

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