* David Shemmings has been appointed as Kent University's first chair in social work. Currently head of social work research at Middlesex University, Professor Shemmings will lead the social work degree programme, based at the Medway campus.
* The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics has appointed Celia Hoyles as its director. Professor Hoyles will continue as chief adviser for mathematics to the Department for Education and Skills until November and remain professor of mathematics education at the Institute of Education, University of London.
* Peter Barrett , pro vice-chancellor of Salford University, has been elected the first British president in 30 years of the UN's International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB). His three-year tenure as president will culminate in 2010 as he brings the CIB World Congress to Salford.
* The Arts and Humanities Research Council has appointed Evelyn Welch , professor of Renaissance studies and academic dean for arts at Queen Mary, University of London, as programme director for the council's Beyond Text research programme.
* Timothy Potts , director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas since 1998 and formerly director of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, is to become the next director of the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University. Mr Potts will succeed Duncan Robinson, who has been director since 1995.