New Irish university president
NUI Maynooth yesterday announced the appointment of its third president, Professor Philip Nolan. He is currently Deputy President and Registrar of University College Dublin, and he has been a key member of the management team assembled there by President Hugh Brady. Another member of that team. Professor Des Fitzgerald, is a candidate in the election for Provost of Trinity College Dublin.
NUI Maynooth has been a major success story in recent Irish higher education, having in particular built up a very smart framework of student recruitment that increased its size exponentially; but it also faces a number of challenges, not excluding the challenge of explaining what its distinctive role is within the country’s university system. It also has to deal with the complexities of sharing a site with the Pontifical University (St Patrick’s College), of which it was once a component. It is currently involved in partnership discussions with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Dublin City University – discussions I helped to initiate while I was President of DCU.
Philip Nolan himself brings into his new role lots of experience of the university system. He was one of the key movers in the establishment of the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA), about which I shall be writing more later. I wish him well in his new role.