1. Review of first months

Thank you to everyone who welcomed me as the new Vice-Chancellor and President on Thursday 11 April.

I have also been most grateful for the opportunity to meet staff and student colleagues in the University both at several planned events and on more informal occasions. I have set up a series of informal events to meet more colleagues.

I will reflect further verbally at the meeting.

2. League Tables

The University has been ranked 9th in the Complete University Guide 2020.

3. Athena SWAN

The University’s commitment to gender equality and career progression has been further recognised with five Departments achieving Athena SWAN awards in the latest round. The Departments of Architecture and Civil Engineering and Chemistry have received prestigious Silver awards. In addition to the future planning required for Bronze department recognition, Silver department awards recognise that the department has taken action in response to previously identified challenges and can demonstrate the impact of the actions implemented. Architecture and Civil Engineering and Chemistry join existing Silver award holders – Departments of Pharmacy and Pharmacology and Mechanical Engineering - and increase the total number of Departments with Silver awards from two to four. The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the School of Management have received Bronze awards at their first attempt.

4. International Engagements

Since the last meeting:

4.1 Professor Jeremy Bradshaw visited Stellenbosch University in April in order further to cement our institutional links and to explore new areas of collaboration including with mutual international partners and to share good practice in the use of systems and processes which support internationalisation.

4.2 Professor Bradshaw attended a reception at the German Ambassador’s residence on my behalf in May. The reception celebrated the application of the City of Baden-Baden as one of the Great Spas of Europe on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

5. Other University news

I particularly wish to draw the attention of Senate to the following appointments and developments since our previous meeting:

5.1 Professor Jonathan Knight has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

5.2 Professor Marcelle McManus of the Department of Mechanical Engineering won a West Women of the Year award for 2019, in the Most inspirational woman in STEM in the West category.

5.3 Dr Charlie Larkin has joined the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) as its new Director of Research. He was most recently Parliamentary Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health, and previously Chief of Staff to Senator Sean Barrett (Ind) of the Trinity College Dublin constituency of Seanad Éireann.

5.4 Dr Felia Allum has been awarded the prestigious Political Studies Association Jennie Lee Prize for Outstanding Teaching 2019.

5.5 Professor Veronica Hope Hailey has decided that she will step back from the role of Dean of the School of Management from 30 September, continuing as Chair of the School until a successor is appointed. She will continue part-time in her role of Vice-President (Corporate Engagement).

5.6 To celebrate the successes of our second cohort of Gold Scholars, there was a special dinner for scholars, supporters and Alumni Mentors in Bath on 12 April.

5.7 The University’s KTP with Spirent Communications has been announced among the finalists for the national KTP Best of the Best Awards 2019.

5.8 Recent significant grant awards include:

Description Funder Principal Investigator(s) Department Amount £
Supergen Bioenergy Hub EPSRC Professor Marcelle McManus Mechanical Engineering 443,657
Marie Curie ITN Fellow 1 - MICROresonator frequency COMBs: Fundamentals and Applications EU – Horizon 2020 Professor Dmitry Skryabin Physics 399,958
Marie Curie ITN Fellow 1 - MICROresonator frequency COMBs: Fundamentals and Applications EU – Horizon 2020 Professor Dmitry Skryabin Physics 276,591 Additional funds
Open Access Block Award - 2019 RCUK SSC Ltd Professor Jonathan Knight Library 253,589
One Health Drivers of Antibacterial Resistance in Thailand MRC Professor Edward Feil Biology & Biochemistry 605,761

Professor Ian White FREng
Vice-Chancellor and President
May 2019