November 8, 2012

University of Edinburgh

Julie Taylor

The head of strategy and development at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has taken up a new post at the University of Edinburgh. Julie Taylor now holds the inaugural NSPCC chair in child protection at Edinburgh's Moray House School of Education. A registered nurse who then trained as an academic, Professor Taylor said that she was looking forward to having more time to focus on research, but that her time at the charity had brought home to her the realities of child protection "on the ground". "Child maltreatment is a serious international problem with numerous intractable questions as yet unanswered," she said. "That a Russell Group university and the UK's leading child protection charity have demonstrated a joint commitment to addressing the issue is commendable. It is a real privilege to have been appointed." Professor Taylor joined the NSPCC on secondment from the University of Dundee, where she was professor of family health at the School of Nursing and Midwifery. She has experience of child protection in sub-Saharan Africa, which she said had sharpened her focus on the small minority of children in the UK who are also in immediate danger. Professor Taylor is a fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science and a founding member of the international Child Welfare and Gender Network.

University of Worcester

Jan Quallington

With nearly 30 years' nursing experience, the new head of the University of Worcester's Institute of Health and Society hopes to bring both practical and academic knowledge to the role. Jan Quallington was educated at University College Hospital London, qualifying as a nurse in the 1980s. Dr Quallington has been lecturing at Worcester since 1995 but has always maintained close links with nursing practice; her research focuses on medical ethics and care practice. Latterly, as associate head, she has had responsibility for educational quality and student experience at the institute and is an advocate for the value of degree-level training for nursing and other healthcare professions. "It's a positive thing to have students who learn not only to do but [also] to think about why and how," she said. Dr Quallington will take up her new role this month and is looking forward to expanding the institute's remit into areas such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy. "We're entering a new and challenging era in both healthcare and education, and it provides enormous opportunities for us. But we need to be fleet of foot and prepared to do things differently."

University of Northampton

Debbie Morgan

Being appointed director for primary mathematics at the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics will not prevent Debbie Morgan from continuing to teach students at the University of Northampton. A senior lecturer in mathematics education at the university, Ms Morgan began her teaching career after acquiring a postgraduate certificate in education from Northampton in 1990. Having gathered teaching experience at every level, she moved into the provision of professional development via the Mathematics Specialist Teacher (MaST) programme, of which Northampton is the lead provider. "Through this work I saw how quality professional development could transform the practice of teachers and generate excitement and success in the subject for thousands of children," she said. Ms Morgan sees her appointment to the government-funded centre of excellence as an opportunity to influence the provision of professional development at a national level and to help implement the government's soon-to-be-unveiled primary mathematics curriculum. However, teaching remains "close to her heart" and she will continue to lecture part-time on Northampton's MaST course.

University of Southampton

Alex Neill

A philosopher who specialises in the works of Schopenhauer has been appointed pro vice-chancellor (education) at the University of Southampton. Alex Neill, formerly associate dean in the Faculty of Humanities at Southampton, takes over from Debra Humphris, who has become pro-rector for education at Imperial College London. An undergraduate at Southampton, Professor Neill completed his master's at the University of Alberta in Canada and his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He taught in the US at Pennsylvania State University and Trinity University, San Antonio, and at the University of St Andrews before moving to Southampton in 1999. Professor Neill said he wants to help more students take advantage of opportunities to study abroad as part of their Southampton degree programme. "Studying abroad should not be seen as something done only by a few adventurous students, but should be on everyone's radar," he said. "By focusing on curriculum structure, credit transfer, accommodation arrangements and the quality of advice that we offer about opportunities to study abroad, I hope that we will see a steadily increasing number of our students include a period of study overseas in their programmes." Professor Neill's research has centred on the history of philosophical aesthetics, and he is currently writing a book on Schopenhauer's aesthetic theory, as well as trying to improve his skills on the banjo and ukulele.


The University of London has announced three new appointments to its senior management team. Maureen Boylan has been appointed to the newly created post of deputy university secretary, James Pestell has joined as the university's director of marketing and external relations, and Andrew Murphy has been appointed to the post of director of finance and planning. Ms Boylan was most recently chief operating officer and secretary to council at the School of Pharmacy, where she was a principal architect of its merger with University College London. Mr Pestell has previously held senior positions at the BBC, BSkyB and English National Opera in a marketing and communications career spanning more than 20 years. Mr Murphy is currently finance director at Imperial College London.

A former student of the University of Leicester is to return as its chancellor. Lord Grocott - a Labour MP for 20 years and also an honorary graduate of the university - will be installed at a ceremony in January 2013. He is the sixth chancellor of the university, succeeding Sir Peter Williams who stepped down in 2010 after five years.

The University of Westminster has appointed Graham Smith professor of politics at the Centre for the Study of Democracy. Professor Smith joins from the University of Southampton, where he was professor and head of the politics and international relations division. Professor Smith is a specialist in democratic theory and practice and in environmental politics. Among other roles he is on the executive committee of Participedia - a global online platform for researchers of democratic innovations led by colleagues at Harvard University and the University of British Columbia.

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