The new university librarian at the University of Salford has pledged to use her role to help part-time students make the most of the resources available to them. Julie Berry, who has been at Salford since 1993, said that her own experiences had left her well placed to understand what part-timers need. "I've been a part-time student so it's important to me to make sure the library is offering excellent services to people who might not have a lot of time and so need to access resources quickly," she explained. Ms Berry said the library was a particularly vital part of university life. "It plays a role in the experiences of staff, students and researchers. It cuts across some of the boundaries." She began her career at the University of Manchester, and joined Salford via University College Salford. In almost two decades at the university, she has held a number of roles including associate director of information learning services. Ms Berry has a degree in library and information management, a postgraduate diploma in management and chartered librarian qualifications. She is also a board member and treasurer of the North West Academic Libraries Consortium, and represents Salford in the Society of College, National and University Libraries.
University of Wolverhampton
A lawyer who declares he has an "absolute passion" for widening access has been appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton. Geoff Layer is currently deputy vice-chancellor (academic) at the University of Bradford. He graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic with a degree in law before becoming an academic. He said: "I decided that what I really wanted to do was teach, and I was offered the opportunity to work part time at Newcastle. It hooked me into teaching." He joined Sheffield Business School in 1983 as a lecturer in law and became professor of lifelong learning in 1996. In 1999, he joined Bradford as director of the Centre for Continuing Education, becoming the founding dean of the School of Lifelong Education and Development in 2001. He was pro vice-chancellor (learning and teaching) from 2004 until 2008. Between 2000 and 2006, he was director of Action on Access, an agency that advises the Higher Education Funding Council for England on its widening participation strategy. Professor Layer wants to build on Wolverhampton's entrepreneurial bent and its widening-participation schemes."My major focus and my raison d'etre is about seeking to enable people to gain opportunities and to use those opportunities to the maximum, be they students, or businesses or people seeking to work in different ways," he said.
University of Illinois
The exotic animal department at the University of Illinois' Teaching Hospital has a new big beast: an expert in avian medicine who has joined the institution after 22 years in private practice. Kenneth Welle said he chose to study birds because of the lack of expertise in the area. "There are more than 8,900 bird species overall, and the data that we have are only on a small fraction of them," he said. "There's a lot less literature about birds than other animals, such as the aetiology of diseases, the validity of diagnostic tests and drug dosages." Professor Welle has been associated with Illinois since his student days; he graduated from the institution in 1988 and joined the staff in 1991 as clinical assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He also taught avian, exotic and wildlife medicine at Purdue University and at St George's University in Grenada. He said that treating birds could often be a challenge: "They are very delicate and more prone to stress than the typical veterinary patient. They also have long memories and, if someone handles them roughly, it may permanently damage their relationship with their owner."
Surinder Chopra, associate professor of maize genetics at Pennsylvania State University, has been given a $1 million (£620,000) grant from the US Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to investigate anthracnose disease in sorghum. Sorghum is seen as a sustainable bioenergy crop substitute for corn. "This research will address the possibility that new and increased disease pressure for both maize and feedstock sorghum will result from the widespread introduction of sorghum," he said. Professor Chopra gained postgraduate degrees in plant breeding and genetics from Punjab Agricultural University and molecular biology from Vrije University, before going on to study for a doctorate in plant molecular genetics at Vrije. He worked at Iowa State University as a postdoctoral research associate and associate scientist before coming to Penn State as an assistant professor in 2000. He was appointed associate professor in 2006. His project will focus on sorghum farming in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, but he said the research may have far-reaching results. "As acreage increases, diseases will become a significant limiting factor for production," he said.
Sheree Peaple, head of Leicester De Montfort Law School at De Montfort University, has been reappointed to the Education and Training Committee of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Magi Sque has been appointed chair in clinical practice and innovation, a joint post at the University of Wolverhampton and the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals National Health Service Trust. She was previously senior lecturer at the University of Southampton.
The University of York has appointed Mary Haworth director of development and alumni relations. She was previously deputy director of development at Newcastle University.
Tony Rich has been appointed registrar and chief operating officer at the University of Bristol. He was registrar and secretary at the University of Essex.
Swansea Metropolitan University has appointed David Hopkins, emeritus professor at the Institute of Education, visiting professor within its School of Education.
Kingston University has appointed two new professors to join the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. Howard Caygill was previously professor of cultural history at Goldsmiths, University of London. Catherine Malabou joins Kingston from the University of Paris X Nanterre.
Nottingham Trent University has appointed Chris Pole, dean of the university's School of Social Sciences, pro vice-chancellor academic.
Katrina Payne has been appointed director of marketing and external linkages at Lancaster University. Ms Payne joins from Cranfield University, where she was director of business development.
• To send submissions - with pictures - to the People section email: firstname.lastname@example.org