The ex-President, and his successor

This blog will not normally feature such self-indulgent posts as this one will be. But yesterday (Tuesday, July 13) was a roller-coaster ride of ceremonial and emotion. I began it as President of Dublin City University, and ended it as one of its faculty, but on leave for the coming year. In between the university held an extraordinarily well planned hand-over ceremony, and the inauguration of my successor, Professor Brian MacCraith. I spoke one last time as President to the large group of people of well over 1,000 who had gathered in the Mahony Hall of the Helix performing arts centre, and received an extraordinarily warm response. And after that, Brian was formally confirmed in office and assumed the role of President. All of this was interspersed with music and short speeches by a number of friends, staff and supporters of DCU.

In his inaugural address, Brian MacCraith drew attention to the risks faced by universities due to financial constraints and funding cuts, but he also set out a strategic agenda for DCU as a university committed to enterprise, the translation of its knowledge for the country’s economic and social benefit, and the engagement by the university with the local, regional and national community. He announced the establishment of an enterprise advisory board (which will include Intel’s former chief Craig Barrett) and a lecture series given by Nobel Prize winners. Under his leadership, DCU will continue to pursue an ambitious and exciting agenda of change and development.

My role as DCU’s President and (often) its public face is now over, but I am confident that it will go from strength to strength. And while I may not be at the helm there any more, I may not fade away altogether from public visibility…

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2 Comments on “The ex-President, and his successor”

  1. Ros Says:

    I was delighted to be present at the ceremony yesterday and it was indeed a wonderful and an emotional experience. DCU has been instrumental in offering me a second chance in education – a second chance which I never expected to be given. I owe this amazing institution an eternal debt of gratitude for being willing to take a chance on me when I had been told by others that I ‘should think again about trying to aim too high’. I was very sad to see you step down yesterday, but judging by Brian MacCraith’s inaugural address, I think we’re in safe hands. Enjoy your ‘sabbatical’!

  2. Mikilin Says:

    I would like to join my voice to Ros’s. In the same way, I had been told that I was aiming too high, but DCU took me on and staff here helped me secure the necessary funding without which I would not have been able to do this. I am delighted that by the time I finish my studies here, I will have (hopefully) received my diplomas from these 2 distinguished Presidents.

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