June 28, 2012

University of Lincoln

John Drakakis

John Drakakis, the new visiting professor of English studies at the University of Lincoln, said he was "flattered" to be offered the role. Professor Drakakis, who is one of the world's leading Shakespeare scholars and is emeritus professor at the University of Stirling, added that he was already familiar with Lincoln's work through his role as an external examiner for its MA in 21st-century English literature. In his new position he will conduct seminars, supervise postgraduates and offer lectures. "[I will also] visit the department and advise younger colleagues with regard to research strategies," he added. Professor Drakakis said that those who feel Shakespeare is redundant or did not write all his own plays are peddling "old chestnuts". "The reason Shakespeare still speaks to us is because we make an effort to make sense of him. That sounds rather obvious, but Shakespeare's plays are endlessly being brought up to date, both in terms of academic theoretical advances but also at a popular level in films and TV." Another issue is Shakespeare's role as the UK's "national poet", he argued, which made him "an important cultural icon who has international appeal". Professor Drakakis gained a BA and MA from Cardiff University before completing his PhD at the University of Leeds. After lecturing at Trinity and All Saints College of Education (now Leeds Trinity University College), he moved to Stirling, where he remained until his retirement last year. He is also a visiting professor at Glyndwr University.

Bucks New University

Anne Eden

Anne Eden, who has been appointed visiting professor in public sector leadership at Bucks New University, said her appointment felt "like an absolute privilege". "Lots of things happen to you [during your career] that you feel proud of, but this really does feel like recognition of the work I've been doing over the years." Ms Eden, who is chief executive officer of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, has worked with Bucks New for a number of years as a lecturer on its MA in leadership and management. She hopes to use her new role to develop future healthcare leaders locally and nationally. "Leadership saves lives. It sounds a little bit trite, but I believe that if you get the leadership and the culture of an organisation makes for better patient care and can improve and save patients' lives," she said. Ms Eden was an NHS management trainee and has held a series of management posts over the past 30 years. Most recently, she worked at two London teaching hospitals and has lectured at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London. She holds an MBA from the University of Leeds and postgraduate qualifications in health and marketing.

Middlesex University

Brendan Walker

The world's first "thrill engineer" has joined Middlesex University. Technology-inspired performance artist Brendan Walker, a theme park adviser and star of the Channel 4 series The House the 50s Built, has joined as professor of creative industries. "More and more companies are looking for talented graduates who can effectively bridge [the gap] between different subject areas, bringing together the arts, science and new digital technologies as the user experience becomes increasingly important," he said. Professor Walker studied aeronautical engineering at Imperial College London and worked for British Aerospace before completing an MA in industrial design engineering at the Royal College of Art. He subsequently worked in the research studio of the design interaction department at the RCA, where he was also a senior tutor and research fellow. He set up his own design practice, Aerial, in 1997, specialising in the creation of "tailored emotional experience". "One of the best things about my job is that I take on a range of exciting projects in different sectors that many other jobs aren't able to offer," he added. Professor Walker is also senior research fellow at the University of Nottingham.

University of Huddersfield

Nicholas Temple

The University of Huddersfield has appointed a specialist in Italian culture and civilisation as professor of architecture. Nicholas Temple, who joins from the University of Lincoln, has been a practising architect as well as an academic. "My research has always been embedded in practice," he said. "The way that architecture has responded to existing or pre-existing urban contexts has led to a series of practices that I think are sometimes forgotten." Professor Temple was educated at the University of Cambridge and has held positions at the universities of Liverpool, Nottingham and Pennsylvania, plus Leeds Metropolitan University. At Huddersfield, he will principally be engaged in research but will also deliver lectures and mentor researchers. In addition, he is assembling a large-scale research project titled "Redefining architectures in humanistic discipline". Professor Temple was also recently awarded a four-month Rome fellowship by the Yale University-based Paul Mellon Trust.


The University of Dundee has appointed its first entrepreneur-in-residence. Businessman Scott Brady will advise students and graduates on how to commercialise their talents and ideas.

Raymond Playford, dean of the Faculty of Health Science at the University of Tasmania, and David Coslett, pro vice-chancellor and dean of arts at Plymouth University, have both been named deputy vice-chancellors at Plymouth. They will replace the incumbents, Mary Watkins - who will retire later this summer - and Bill Rammell, who will take up the vice-chancellorship of the University of Bedfordshire. Mr Rammell replaces Les Ebdon, the new head of the Office for Fair Access, and joins Bedfordshire in August.

The University of Westminster has appointed Barbara Allan dean of its business school. Professor Allan, an expert in business and management learning and teaching innovations, joins from Hull University Business School, where she was deputy and acting dean. She holds a master's and a doctorate from the University of Sheffield.

Astrid Wissenburg, director of partnerships and communications at the Economic and Social Research Council and chair of Research Council UK's impact group, will join The Open University to head the office of the pro vice-chancellor for research, scholarship and quality. She has previously held positions at institutions including King's College London and the universities of Glasgow and Leiden.

Charles Withers, professor of historical geography at the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded the Royal Geographical Society Founder's Gold Medal. The award, which has royal approval, is given for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery.

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