March 8, 2012

University of Oxford

Gordon Clark

The University of Oxford has appointed Gordon Clark, Halford Mackinder professor of geography, director of its Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. Professor Clark studied for his bachelor's degree in economics at Monash University in Australia, where he also completed a master's. He went on to win a doctorate at McMaster University in Canada. Professor Clark has a particular interest in global financial integration and environmental sustainability, and is leading research into the responsibilities and behaviour of institutional investors in corporate engagement and environmental management. "The Smith School has become a globally recognised research centre (and) our aim is to build new educational and research programmes that will educate tomorrow's leaders," he said. Professor Clark has previously held positions at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University and Monash. He will become the second director of the Smith School when he succeeds its founding director, Sir David King, next January.

University of Sheffield

Gill Valentine

The newly appointed pro vice-chancellor for social sciences at the University of Sheffield has expressed a desire to use her experience in international higher education to strengthen the faculty's global reputation and social science strategy. Gill Valentine, currently head of the School of Geography at the University of Leeds, added that she was excited by the prospect of joining Sheffield's senior management team. Professor Valentine's career is steeped in international collaboration: she has held visiting fellowships at the University of Sydney and the University of Otago, and has given keynote addresses for international conferences at numerous overseas universities. "I am thrilled to be offered the opportunity to take up the role," she said of her appointment. "Social sciences in Sheffield are held in high regard...and its diverse departments allow real scope for creating synergies between disciplines." Educated at Durham University and the University of Reading, Professor Valentine was co-founder and co-editor of the journal Social and Cultural Geography and was co-editor of Gender, Place and Culture. She hopes to develop Sheffield's international strategy further. "I am also looking forward to supporting its genuine commitment to the application of ideas for the good of people both locally and around the world," she added. Professor Valentine will take up the post in September.


Daniel Huttenlocher

The head of the science and engineering institution being set up in New York via a joint venture between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has been announced by the city's mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Daniel Huttenlocher, dean of Computing and Information Science (CIS) at Cornell, has been installed as the founding dean of the multimillion-dollar applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island. Professor Huttenlocher was instrumental in formulating and promoting the winning proposal with Technion during the selection process for the state-of-the-art graduate campus. He will oversee the creation of an environmentally sustainable site and innovative academic "hubs", which will feature a curriculum and research organised across multiple disciplines and directed towards particular sectors of New York's economy. Professor Huttenlocher received his bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan and his master's and doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined CIS in 1988. "This is an unprecedented opportunity to build a new kind of university campus, focused on technology commercialisation rooted in the very best academic research," he said.

University of Cumbria

Barry Hymer

The University of Cumbria has appointed one of the UK's most "inspirational communicators in his field" to the position of professor of psychology in education. Barry Hymer, an educational psychologist, has been involved in education for 30 years. He gained undergraduate degrees in English and psychology and then psychology from the universities of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, respectively. On coming to the UK, he obtained master's degrees at the universities of Cambridge and Southampton - where he also obtained a PGCE - before securing a doctorate at Newcastle University. Professor Hymer began as a teacher and subsequently became an educational psychologist, trainer and consultant, and is committed to evidence-led, non-deterministic and learner-centred approaches to pedagogy. "I'm hugely honoured to have been offered this position, after a decade spent fitting my research and writing around the travelling associated with my role as a freelance educational consultant," he said. "I am looking forward to conducting further enquiries into children's learning and supporting practitioner-researchers' own enquiries via master's and doctoral supervision."


Oxford University Press has named Karen Devine, a lecturer at the University of Kent Law School, its Law Teacher of the Year. Dr Devine, who has spent her entire academic law career at the institution, joined the school as a lecturer in 2010.

Dame Elish Angiolini has been appointed the next principal of St Hugh's College, Oxford. She will take over from Andrew Dilnot, who is to become the warden of Nuffield College, Oxford. Dame Elish, who studied law at the University of Strathclyde, is a former Lord Advocate of Scotland - the highest law officer in the Scottish legal system - and Solicitor General for the country. She was the first woman, and the first solicitor in the modern era, to hold both positions.

The Higher Education Academy has appointed Philippa Levy its deputy chief executive. Professor Levy will lead the HEA's initiatives to enhance learning and teaching in higher education. She joins from the University of Sheffield, where she is currently head of the Information School.

Emma Bell has joined Keele Management School as chair in management and organisation studies. Professor Bell was previously senior lecturer in organisation studies at the University of Exeter Business School.

Jon Brown and Andy Randall, scholars at the University of Bristol, have become the only UK-based academic members of the "PharmaCog" consortium - a European Union-funded body dedicated to accelerating progress towards the development of the next generation of drugs to tackle Alzheimer's disease. Dr Brown is a research fellow at Bristol's School of Physiology and Pharmacology and Professor Randall is professor in applied neurophysiology.

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