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July 18, 2013

University of Dundee

Mark Robson

The newly appointed professor of English and theatre studies at the University of Dundee has pointed to the post’s “enormous potential”. “The role that I’ll have at Dundee is unique, I suspect. The School of Humanities has committed itself to pursuing precisely the kind of interdisciplinary work that I’ve always been attracted to,” Mark Robson said. Maintaining the role the university plays in the cultural life of the city is among his aims, particularly in light of Dundee’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2017. He also hoped that the degree course in theatre studies he is to head will become one of the landmark programmes in the UK. The strength of theatre comes from “its ability to supplement the verbal with the visual, and vice versa”, Professor Robson observed. “There is also something remarkably powerful in the theatre’s ability to offer forms of experience that other art forms don’t quite match, and theatre has always struck me as having a vital democratic potential.” Professor Robson has previously worked at the universities of Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds.

Stuart Corbridge, London School of Economics

London School of Economics

Stuart Corbridge

The scholar who will take on the new role of provost and deputy director of the London School of Economics has described the appointment as a “great honour”. Professor Corbridge, who is currently professor of international development and pro-director for research and external relations at the LSE, observed that any new role had an “element of stepping into the unknown” but added that the institution was clear about what it wanted. “They were looking for a chief academic officer,” he said. “I will work closely with colleagues and the director on a number of issues, including the development of new academic initiatives, and will lead on academic recruitment, review, mentoring and retention.” He said that despite taking on the strategic role, he hoped to continue with some of his research projects. Professor Corbridge began his academic career at Huddersfield Polytechnic (now the University of Huddersfield) in 1981 after taking an undergraduate degree and a doctorate at the University of Cambridge. While he was not sure what he would be doing were he not an academic, his boyhood ambition was to be a footballer. “I enjoyed playing until late in my forties but very much Sunday-league level,” he added.

John Drew, Regent's University

Regent’s University

John Drew

Regent’s University’s first chancellor, after the institution gained university title earlier this year, said it was a surprise as well as a privilege to have been chosen. “I thought that normally you get somebody…who’s particularly well-known,” John Drew said. “Being a new university, the role of the chancellor is probably to be determined. In some universities, the role is very clear - they have a well-known figurehead who appears from time to time, not very often. My view is that it’s a good idea to have a chancellor who’s really tuned into the university. I won’t make much [fuss] of being chancellor, I’ll just go and have a pork pie and a beer with the students and just be around a bit!” Professor Drew has been a supporter of Regent’s since its inception 25 years ago and said that his interest in the “core values of universities” was one of the driving motivations for his chancellorship. “There will be a lot of external representation of the university that I’ll be able to contribute to, and being chancellor will make that more obvious,” he said. He added that the predominantly international student make-up at Regent’s was a key marker for how universities will develop in the future. “Where will universities be in 50 years? My view is that probably many world universities will need to look at having only 10 to 20 per cent of home- based [students]…because you want to end up as an alumnus of a university whose people are from all over the world, not just one country.”

University of Nottingham

Joanne Hort

The University of Nottingham’s new head of brewing research said that she was looking forward to heading a “world-leading brewing science team”. Joanne Hort, who has been appointed the SABMiller chair of sensory science and head of brewing in the division of food sciences, said she was aware of the difficult times her field was experiencing. “Brewing faces many challenges in the future, not least in terms of sustainable production,” she said. “Understanding and maintaining the sensory quality of beer has never been more critical for the industry as it continues to consider developments in raw material selection, the beer-making process and the needs of its discerning consumers.” Professor Hort initially studied food technology and began her career in teaching. However, she returned to academic study to take a doctorate concerning the modelling of the sensory attributes of cheese. Professor Hort has an international reputation in the field of sensory science and is the chair of the European Sensory Science Society. Her research focuses on how people perceive their food and beverages, extending beyond the purely chemical analysis of taste to consider consumers’ emotional response. Before moving to Nottingham in 2002, she held a number of positions at Sheffield Hallam University.

Other changes

Louise Amery, currently deputy director of the Aberystwyth Arts Centre at the University of Aberystwyth, has been seconded to take over as director in the wake of the retirement of Alan Hewson. Ms Amery joined the centre as marketing manager in 1993 and has been deputy director since 2001.

Sheffield Hallam University has appointed Martyn Newman, author of the book Emotional Capitalists: The New Leaders, as visiting fellow in leadership and emotional intelligence. Dr Newman has worked with firms such as Ernst & Young and Boeing and will work with academics and students from Sheffield Hallam’s business school to boost their leadership skills.

Two University of Dundee academics who established a Scotland-wide cancer prevention network have been made fellows of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Robert Steele, an expert in the field of colorectal cancer prevention, screening and surgery, and Annie Anderson, a leader in the field of public health nutrition, in particular the field of cancer prevention, jointly founded the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network, based at Ninewells Hospital.

Carlos Fraenkel, associate professor in the departments of philosophy and Jewish studies at McGill University, has been appointed to the professorship of the study of the Abrahamic religions at the University of Oxford, from 1 October. He will also be a fellow of Lady Margaret Hall.

Roger Mosey has been elected master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and will take up post on 1 October. Mr Mosey is currently editorial director of the BBC. He has spent much of his career to date at the corporation, having been successively an editor of the Today programme, controller of Radio 5 Live and head of television news.

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