Magazine article Times Higher Education


Magazine article Times Higher Education


Article excerpt

Robert Gordon University

Stephen Vertigans

Robert Gordon University has appointed Stephen Vertigans head of the School of Applied Social Studies. Professor Vertigans took up the role full time last month, having held the position of acting head of school since July 2011. He joined Robert Gordon in 2003 as a lecturer in sociology and was made a reader and professor in 2007 and 2010 respectively. "To become head at a time when society faces tremendous challenges perversely provides opportunities to make major contributions in areas where the school is particularly committed," Professor Vertigans said of his new position. "Against the societal and global downturn our students, graduates and staff are working with the most vulnerable people, seeking to understand the individual and social processes that underpin contemporary problems and to help in the formulation of solutions." Professor Vertigans graduated with a sociology BA from the University of Leeds before completing a PhD there. He held positions at Leeds and The Open University before moving to Scotland. "(I aim) to build upon the school's excellent national reputation for teaching and learning," he added. "In particular there is potential to extend the international profile of the school and to become more renowned for research-focused activities."

Association for University Research and Industry Links

Alasdair Cameron

Alasdair Cameron, director of the West of Scotland Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Centre, has been appointed executive director of the Association for University Research and Industry Links (Auril). Dr Cameron paid tribute to his predecessor, Philip Graham, who held the position for almost 12 years. "Philip is well known and prior to my appointment had represented Auril's members for many years," Dr Cameron said. "He is going to be a hard act to follow. However, it's a fantastic opportunity and through listening to our members' views I hope to vastly broaden my knowledge of the sector and my network of colleagues." In his new position, Dr Cameron will represent Auril's members' views to policymakers and help to encourage members to share best practice. "I want our members to feel part of a supportive community and that together their voice is much stronger through Auril," he added. After study-ing for a BSc in laser physics and optoelectronics at the University of Strathclyde, he gained a doctorate in semiconductor physics from the University of St Andrews. He has previously worked for Motorola and was senior executive with Scottish Enterprise with a special remit for entrepreneurship and research and development collaboration.

Aberystwyth University

Aled Gruffydd Jones

The new head of the department of Welsh at Aberystwyth University has expressed his pleasure at being appointed "at an exciting time for the development of Welsh language provision in higher education". Aled Gruffydd Jones, who in his current role of senior pro vice-chancellor at Aberystwyth is responsible for overseeing the development of Welsh provision throughout the university, has been strengthening the presence of the language since his appointment in 2005. "I am very pleased to be given this opportunity to lead the department of Welsh," he said. "I have been involved with establishing the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (the National College for Welsh Medium Learning in Higher Education) and I am particularly keen to see the department play its part in strengthening the language across the university and to building on the academic provision, particularly at postgraduate level. …

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