Welcome to the new academic year and a new cohort of students, as bright and keen as ever. Some exceptional new staff have also joined us for the new academic year and all are most warmly welcome.
I can't mention everyone, but senior arrivals include Professor Tom McLeish (PVC Research), Professor Francis Watson (Theology and Religion); Professor Habib Ahmed (Sharjah Chair of Islamic Finance - SGIA), Professor Carolyn Summerbell (Principal of John Snow College and Wolfson Institute), and Dr Stephen Conway (Head of the Research Office). Professor Graham Towl will also be joining us in December as Principal of St Cuthbert's Society.
Senior internal appointments taking up the reins in the new term include Robin Coningham (PVC Social Sciences and Health), Martyn Evans (Principal of Trevelyan College) and Chris Hutchison (Principal of St Hild and St Bede). We are also pleased to have several new Heads of Department: Mark White (Archaeology), Rob Edwards (Biological & Biomedical Sciences), Ed Harris (Classics and Ancient History), Iain Stewart (Computer Science), Stephen Regan (English Studies), Jonathan Rigg (Geography), David Cowling (Modern Languages) and Loren Stuckenbruck (Theology and Religion).
Those standing down as Heads of Department have the grateful thanks of all of us for the remarkable work they have done on our behalf. A job well done is demonstrated by Durham's continuous improvement in league table positions and the National Student Survey (NSS), improvements which are now getting noticed and commented on around the country.
This brings me to farewells. A number of senior staff have left us, or retired, and in many ways it is invidious to pick out any individuals. But, I must publicly mention three people who have given so much to the University. Michael Prestwich (History and former PVC); James Stirling (PVC Research); and Lee Sanders (Registrar and Secretary). Many initiatives which they have helped get underway over the past few years will come to fruition during the coming year and we are all, I am certain, immensely grateful to them, and indeed all our exceptional staff across the University.
All-staff meetings with the Vice-Chancellor
All staff are welcome to attend the Dialogue meetings at either campus:
Monday 24 November 2008, 1.10pm in the Calman Learning Centre, Room 203 (Durham).
Wednesday 26 November 2008, 1.10pm in the Ebsworth Building, D004 (Queen's Campus).
This year each meeting will be based on a particular theme or issue and the first meetings will be based around the new University Strategy: 2010 to 2020 and beyond. Come along to hear about the development of the new strategy and how you can get involved in the process, and put your questions to the V-C and members of UEC.