Karen Doyle's passion for protecting the arts during these difficult economic times will inspire her in her new job. Currently director of communications and development at the University of Kent, Ms Doyle will move to become director of development and alumni relations at the University of the Arts London in January. "The economic climate is going to make fundraising for the arts even more important," she said. "I want to do what I can to help." The role is newly created within the institution, bringing together responsibility for two previously separate departments: development and communications. It will also encourage the university's constituent colleges to work together to raise funds. Ms Doyle said she was inspired by the university's impressive alumni roll, including the designer Stella McCartney, the artists Gilbert and George and the actor Pierce Brosnan. "It has an established heritage I can work with," she said. Non-academic marketing roles at the Football Association, Barclaycard and the International Airline Passengers Association also leave her well equipped to improve the university's fundraising links with businesses. "I have been that person - I have been the person who is approached for fundraising and I know what it is like," she said.
It is not a surprise when a professor leaves the academy for a new career, but David Dabydeen's shift represents a startling change in direction. Professor Dabydeen, who has worked in cultural studies at the University of Warwick for 26 years and is a celebrated novelist, has been appointed the Guyanese ambassador to the People's Republic of China. He said the role marked a new connection between the two countries, as the post had remained empty for 16 years. Almost 40 years ago, Guyana became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to establish diplomatic links with China, and its first president, Arthur Chung, was of Chinese descent. "China is the future, and Guyana wishes to be part of that future," said Professor Dabydeen. "I have huge admiration for Chinese culture and philosophy." Now living in Beijing, Professor Dabydeen will remain an active member of Warwick. He said he would use his new post to ensure the two countries supported each other on issues of sustainability. "China is the future, and the future is green. Guyana is fortunate in having a rainforest the size of England, and we intend to protect it as the lungs of the world and to treasure its wondrous biodiversity. In these matters we look forward to benefiting from Chinese green technology, since China leads the world in such manufacture."
Nanyang Technological University
A world-famous Swedish scientist, who received the Wilhelm Exner Medal in recognition of his work in biochemistry developing artificial leaves, has been named president of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Bertil Andersson, currently provost of NTU, is its first foreign president. Professor Andersson is from Sweden and claims there are similarities between it and Singapore, labelling both "small, smart countries". The university has focused on transforming itself into a research-led institution since 2003, and Professor Andersson is credited with turning it into an attractive destination for young researchers. He has also brought in academic talent from around the world. "It's not that difficult. I attract one good academic and he draws fellow top academics over," he explained. "Before long, a galaxy of superstar academics in Earth sciences has evolved." The challenges in the past few years have not just been academic: "I have had to acclimatise to the tropical weather in Singapore," he explained.
It must be his personal career history that convinces the new vice-chancellor of Kingston University that the best universities are created by "blurring boundaries" between teaching, research and practice. Julius Weinberg, who will take up the post in the spring after the retirement of Sir Peter Scott, has worked in the academy, clinical practice and public health strategy in Britain, the developing world and war-torn regions. Under his leadership, he said, Kingston would be known for inspiring academics to contribute to society and "creating the next generation of enthusiasts". After a degree in medicine at the University of Oxford, Professor Weinberg specialised in infectious diseases and tropical medicine, moving into teaching in the late 1980s. In the next decade he moved into public health and set up a system of disease surveillance in the former Yugoslavia for the World Health Organisation. In 1999, he joined City University London as director of the Institute of Health Sciences, becoming deputy vice-chancellor by 2007. He is something of a polymath, carrying out research into cell biology, mathematical modelling, computer gaming and artists. "I am opposed to the notion that universities (should) become more focused," he said. "My experience has shown the value of drawing upon a broad variety of disciplines."
Birmingham City University has appointed Martin Reynolds the head of the Centre for Leadership and Management at Birmingham City Business School. He joined from Anglia Ruskin University, where he was pro vice-chancellor. He helped secure a £5 million corporate donation last year to establish a new international management practice research centre at Anglia Ruskin.
Francesco Colella, lecturer in engineering at the University of Edinburgh, has won the 2010 Lloyd's Science of Risk in Technology Award in recognition of his work modelling the potential spread of fires in tunnels.
Blair Jenkins, the former head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland and a print and broadcast journalist with 30 years' experience, has been named visiting professor in journalism at the University of Strathclyde.
John Haldane, director of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St Andrews, has been elected chair of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
Adam Tickell, vice-principal for research, enterprise and communications at Royal Holloway, University of London, has been appointed pro vice-chancellor for research and knowledge transfer at the University of Birmingham.
The University of the West of England has awarded an honorary degree to Steve Smith in recognition of his "significant contribution to the regional higher education agenda". Professor Smith is vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter and president of Universities UK.
The governing body of St Cross College, Oxford has elected Sir Mark Ellis Powell Jones, the art historian and director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, master of the college.