Appointments - 19 September 2013

September 19, 2013

University of Wolverhampton
Gary Sheffield

“I’ve been interested in military history for almost as long as I can remember,” said Gary Sheffield, who has been appointed professor of war studies at the University of Wolverhampton. “There was something about it that captured my imagination.” Professor Sheffield said that the opportunity to build on such a strong war studies platform was something he “didn’t think twice about, particularly with the centenary of the First World War just around the corner”. Professor Sheffield is working closely with the government on next year’s centenary commemorations and has already held meetings with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. “One thing I’m particularly keen on is to make the commemorations as inclusive as possible,” he said. “The First World War was, for Britain, a truly imperial effort. Whereas I think the Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders have had their contribution recognised, it’s less so for people from British India – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – Africa and the West Indies.” Professor Sheffield, who has held positions at King’s College London, the University of Birmingham and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, acknowledged that his field was slightly “amorphous”. “For me, war studies is a blend of history, politics and various other disciplines, looking at conflict in all its many facets,” he said.

University of Portsmouth
James McCalman

James McCalman, the new director of the Centre for Strategy and Leadership at the University of Portsmouth, said he had “always wanted to teach” but counts himself “lucky in moving on whenever my boredom threshold gets low!” Professor McCalman was managing director of Sotheby’s Institute of Art and has held senior leadership roles in the private and charitable sectors, as well as having been MBA director at the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, and Ashridge Business School. “The move out of academia from Ashridge to Sotheby’s came at a great time for me,” he said. “I wanted to be the leader of an organisation that was going to do big things and to put into practice what I thought leadership was all about. It’s important for anyone who wants to talk about the theory and practice of strategy and leadership to have their own war stories!” He said that his experience at Sotheby’s had taught him that leadership was about “fostering and encouraging people’s creative potential” then “getting out of their way to let them get on with it”. He added that at Sotheby’s he got the urge to dabble in art dealing. “Currently I’m trying to bring a number of exhibitions over from the US,” he said, including one on Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are.

University of Lincoln
Antony Rowland

A British Academy fellow and leading scholar on post-Holocaust poetry has joined the University of Lincoln’s College of Arts as professor of contemporary English literature. Antony Rowland, who gained his fellowship in recognition of his pioneering research on Holocaust poetry, and how poetry more widely can be understood as a form of testimony, joins from the University of Salford, where he held numerous senior positions. “I am delighted to be joining a university that is actively investing in the arts and humanities,” he said. “I am looking forward to building on the research activity within the School of Humanities and College of Arts, which will not be difficult in Lincoln, a place that was once one of the biggest centres of culture and civilisation in Western Europe.” Professor Rowland was the first critic to discover the correspondence between Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin in the Emory University Archives and is an active poet. His work has been published in Critical Quarterly and the Bloodaxe anthology Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets, and he was the recipient of the Manchester Poetry Prize in 2012. He studied at the universities of Hull and Leeds, completing his PhD on the poetry of Tony Harrison as Holocaust literature.

John Latham, University of Law

University of Law
John Latham

The University of Law, which became the UK’s first for-profit university in November last year, has appointed John Latham its provost and chief executive. Mr Latham joins from Laureate Education, part of Laureate International Universities, a global network of private universities, where he was vice-president for international business development. While there, Mr Latham led a major pan-company online initiative to establish new partnerships in the UK and internationally, and oversaw the creation of Laureate’s first UK campus. He previously spent more than a decade working at the universities of Manchester and Liverpool. He was the first chief operating officer at Liverpool and led the establishment of its highly successful online business and its Chinese branch, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. “The University of Law enjoys a terrific reputation in the UK and internationally, and I am delighted to be joining at such an exciting time,” he said. “Our appointment of John is a real coup and a significant milestone in the development of the university,” said Nigel Savage, the institution’s president.

Other changes

Innovation expert Colin Reid has been appointed director of the N8 Industry Innovation Forum (N8 IIF) to bolster the impact of university and industry collaboration across the North of England. N8 IIF is part of the N8 Research Partnership – an alliance of eight research-intensive institutions in the region (the universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York).

Jules Pretty, pro vice-chancellor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Essex and a Times Higher Education contributor, has won the 2013 New Angle Prize for Literature for his book This Luminous Coast – his record and meditation on the 400-mile walk he took around the East Anglian “bulge” (including the Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk coasts). Esther Freud, on behalf of the panel of judges, said the book “gives you stories as vivid as any novel, and ruminations as thought-provoking as philosophy”.

A psychologist and senior lecturer in the department of psychology at the University of Bath has been elected fellow of the American Psychological Association. Michael Proulx, whose research focuses on cognitive behaviours such as attention, perception, learning and memory, has been recognised for his significant and unusual contributions to the discipline.

Gresham College, London’s oldest higher education institution, has announced the appointment of Lynda Nead as the first visiting Gresham professor of history of art. Professor Nead is the Pevsner professor of history of art at Birkbeck, University of London. Her free public lectures on Men in Black and Women in Red: Fashion, Art and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century will continue the college’s tradition of offering free education for all.

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