An expert in entrepreneurial theory, who claims Bob Dylan is the world's greatest "serial entrepreneur", has been awarded a distinguished fellowship by a US university. Mike Wright, professor of financial studies at Nottingham University Business School, has been named the 2010 Falcone distinguished entrepreneurship scholar by the department of entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Professor Wright has been based at Nottingham for more than a decade, and attributes his long service to the institution's "supportive environment". He is also director and founder of the Centre for Management Buy-Out Research at Nottingham, chair-elect of the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division, and visiting professor at Erasmus University, EMLyon Business School, and University of Ghent. He said that his description of Bob Dylan was not an exaggeration: "He's maintained his career over several decades by being innovative in the way he changes his style of music and doing things like radio shows and writing books."
University of California
Rachel Moran has been appointed dean of the School of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Moran, who joined the law faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1983, received a distinguished teaching award from the Berkeley campus in 1995. From 1993 to 1996, she served as chair of the Chicano/Latino Policy Project, and from 2003 to 2008, she was director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. In addition to her position at Berkeley, she was a founding faculty member at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. She said she had been torn between law and psychology as an undergraduate, but that testimony from two of her professors in an equality trial against the Department of Labor decided her course. "I saw a highway construction site and someone stood up and it was a woman in a hard hat. I realised at that moment the power of law to change people's lives." Following her undergraduate education at Stanford and law school at Yale, Professor Moran clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the US Court of Appeal for the second circuit and worked for San Francisco firm Heller Ehrman White and McAuliffe. She said that teaching was the passion that lured her from the private sector. "What I liked about teaching was the ability to set an agenda for myself; an autonomy that allows you to explore ideas and choose which one to study," she explained.
A musician-turned-archaeologist has been appointed a professor in the department of history at the University of Huddersfield. Richard Morris said he "wasn't really qualified" for any job when he started out writing music. His career took a turn after excavations began under York Minister: "They were short of staff, so I put my head round the corner one October morning and asked if I could help. They gave me a day's work," he recalled. "At the end of the day, they asked what I was doing tomorrow. To cut a long story short, I stayed there in the end for three years." He went on to work for the Council for British Archaeology and became director of the organisation. Professor Morris said he enjoyed the work because it allowed him to meet many different archaeologists as well as champion a part of archaeology he felt was undervalued. "People assume that archaeology only covers things that are buried," he said. "It doesn't. If it's old and physical, it's archaeological; it doesn't matter whether it's buried or not." He joins Huddersfield after seven years at near neighbour the University of Leeds, where he was the director of the Institute for Medieval Studies. He said of his career: "My entire academic life has been fortuitous. I've never really planned anything, it's just sort of happened to me."
An academic who admits to an inauspicious start to her career by "not doing very well" in her A levels has risen up the ranks to become assistant vice-chancellor for teaching, learning and the student experience at the University of the West of England. Julie Mcleod said the unconventional beginning to her academic life inspired her to "look for alternatives" when it came to methods of entry for students in higher education. She was working as a medical laboratory technician when she decided to become a researcher, and went to study for her undergraduate degree at University College London. She continued on to a PhD investigating the immune-pharmacology of cardiovascular disease, and to postdoctoral research, at the University of Bath, examining multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. From there, she was appointed a senior lecturer in immunology within UWE in 1998. She was promoted to reader, head of school and then associate dean (academic). She said she hoped her new role wouldn't mean leaving the lab behind: "I still keep a hand in with research," she said.
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance has announced that Claire Mera-Nelson, who has worked for the institution for 10 years, is to become director of music.
Tim Baines has been appointed a professor within the operations and information management group at Aston Business School. He joins from Cranfield University where he was a professor in the manufacturing department of the School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science.
Jeff Magee, currently deputy principal (research) and head of the department of computing at Imperial College London, has been appointed principal of the Faculty of Engineering at the college.
Steven Barnett, professor of communications at the University of Westminster, has been appointed a specialist adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications.
The Wellcome Trust has appointed Anne Johnson, co-director of the Institute for Global Health at University College London, to its board of governors.
John Harper, a research professor in music at Bangor University, has been made a doctor of music by the Archbishop of Canterbury for his contribution to the development and appreciation of church music.
Former Labour MP, Tony Wright, has joined the department of politics at Birkbeck, University of London, as professorial Fellow in British politics.
Ann Markusen, professor and director of the Arts Economy Initiative Project on regional and industrial economics at the University of Minnesota, is joining the Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh School of Architecture as the first holder of the Glasgow Urban Lab's Distinguished Chair Award.