Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Appointments: People

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Appointments: People

Article excerpt

Royal College of Art

Jordan Baseman

"If you had told me when I was 22 and graduating from art school that I would spend almost my entire adult life working in art schools I wouldn't have believed you for a second," said Jordan Baseman, who has been appointed head of sculpture at the Royal College of Art. "I'm a frustrated musician so I would have liked to have been in a loud rock band playing guitar! (If he wasn't an artist.) I never planned to work within academia but it has certainly allowed me opportunities that wouldn't have existed otherwise." As a practising artist alongside his role as an academic, he said it was important to be prepared to "adapt, change and alter perpetually". "I'm interested in experimentation, trial and error, spontaneity and taking risks," he said. "I hope to create, with the team, an environment where that is possible." Mr Baseman has exhibited and held residencies at many public institutions across the UK and thinks the cuts in arts funding in the UK are a "tragedy" and "devastating" to such places, some of which have closed since. "We haven't begun to feel the long-term impact yet, but it's something that future generations will be hurt by, not only that there are fewer opportunities for artists but it's important for everybody to have access to art," he said.

London South Bank University

David Phoenix

David Phoenix, who has been named as the next vice-chancellor of London South Bank University, said he felt "real excitement" at being offered the opportunity to lead an institution with such a "long and distinguished history of helping people from all walks of life achieve their potential". Professor Phoenix said that LSBU had a range of strengths, especially around engagement with business and the professions, as well as its "great asset" in having a central London campus. He said he wanted to ensure that the university continues to build on these strengths and become recognised in the capital and beyond as a "model of an enterprising civic university". Professor Phoenix joins LSBU from the University of Central Lancashire, where he has worked for the past 21 years, most recently as deputy vice-chancellor. "Of course there will be a degree of sadness (in leaving)," he said. "But once I overcome the shock of property prices I look forward to the adventure of developing new friends and exploring new places." Professor Phoenix studied at the University of Liverpool and The Open University and has worked at many institutions including Liverpool, Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Sichuan University in China.

University of Surrey

Derk-Jan Dijk

Derk-Jan Dijk, who has been appointed associate dean (research) in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, said he wanted to "emphasise the quality and impact" of research in his faculty. "We can talk about volume, income or impact factors of the journals in which we publish - which is, of course, significant - but it is important that our research has (a societal) impact as well," he said. "I would (like) the researchers to think about... that particular context and then they will see how well their research fits and how it could maybe fit even better." Professor Dijk is a professor of sleep and physiology and director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre and will continue to do his own research. He noted Surrey's commitment to continue improving as a university with its recent recruitment drive. "Surrey is a research- intensive university and that is one of the signals being sent by all these appointments," he said. …

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