Kathleen Jamie is a poet in motion as she moves to the University of Stirling to take up a chair in creative writing. Professor Jamie began creative writing while at school and won an Eric Gregory Award for her poetry when she was 19. She said that she had been driven to write because it provided an alternative to the life she felt was offered to her otherwise: "There seemed to be no pleasure in the world beyond leaving school, just an imprisonment of jobs until you died," she said. "I thought there must be another way of living. It was a bid for freedom, really." Her preferred medium is poetry, and her prizewinning collections include The Queen of Sheba (1994), Jizzen (1999) and The Tree House (2004). She has won the Somerset Maugham Award, three T.S. Eliot Award nominations, two Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prizes and two Forward Poetry Prizes. The Tree House also won the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award. "The thing I love about poetry is that you can be very precise and very playful and joyous with language," she explained. "It allows you to explore language at its most flexible and its most jubilant." Her most recent academic role was at the University of St Andrews, where she was a lecturer in creative writing. Professor Jamie said that good writers benefited from a "big soul" as well as a different way of looking at the world: "If you're not born with a big soul, you need to develop one," she advised budding poets.
Anita McGahan, professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, has been promoted to associate dean, research. She is interested in strategic issues of competitive advantage and financial performance, and her research focuses on models of industry evolution. Currently she is studying the inception of new industries and their implications for comparative advantage and international development. "I've been interested in management all my life," she said. "My interests are in how organisations make progress, how they innovate." In addition to her position at the Rotman School, Professor McGahan is a senior associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University. She is also senior economist at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Division for Global Health and Human Rights. She was formerly a consultant at McKinsey and from 2000 to 2007 was professor of strategy and policy and the inaugural Everett Lord distinguished faculty scholar at Boston University.
An academic who has been described as "the answer to the prayers of any pub quiz team" because of his varied career has been appointed to the new chair in digital economy at Cardiff University. "I've done so many crazily different jobs," said Ian Hargreaves. "I think it's down to some kind of restlessness and love of change." Professor Hargreaves was director of the Centre for Journalism Studies at Cardiff from 1999 to 2003. As a professor of journalism since 1999 to the present, he has undertaken a number of research projects in fields including the future of journalism, and science and journalism. Before 1999, he held senior positions in the media, including deputy editor of the Financial Times; editor of The Independent; editor of New Statesman; and director of BBC News and Current Affairs. More recently, he was director of strategic communications at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - a role he said had been "carefully timed" to conclude with the general election - and senior partner at Ofcom, the media and communications regulator. He said that he had "never felt very tempted to sit in one institution for years and years. I've always been open to new challenges and enjoy the unfamiliarity of finding one's way through problems in organisations you know nothing about."
A former secondary school teacher who moved into the academy has been appointed to the chair of teacher education and made director of learning and teaching at the University of Melbourne. Stephen Dinham was originally a history and geography teacher but became a university scholar after undertaking a master's degree and a doctorate. "There was no grand plan to move into academia," he said. "I just gradually found myself moving into that area." His first academic role was at the University of Western Sydney, where he held a number of positions including head of the department of curriculum studies, associate dean (postgraduate) and associate professor. In 2002, he took up a position as professor of teacher education, pedagogy and professional development at the University of New England in New South Wales, and in 2005 became professor of educational leadership and pedagogy at the University of Wollongong. He is currently research director of the Australian Council for Educational Research's teaching, learning and leadership-research programme, and will take up the Melbourne roles in January.
Wes Streeting, former president of the National Union of Students, has been made chief executive of the Helena Kennedy Foundation.
The Quality Strategy Network has re-elected Jon Renyard chair of its executive committee. Mr Renyard is director of academic services at the Arts University College at Bournemouth.
Sheila Hollins, professor of psychiatry of learning disability at St George's, University of London, and Peter Hennessy, Attlee professor of contemporary British history at Queen Mary, University of London, have been appointed to the House of Lords. Both will be life peers and non-party-affiliated crossbenchers.
Universities Human Resources has announced that Matthew Knight, director of human resources at the University of Leeds, will take over from Mike Moore, director of HR services at the University of East London, as chair of the organisation.
Paul Webley, director of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, will serve a second term as head of the institution, ending in 2018.