NUI Galway elects new Governing Authority

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Photo credit: Nevan McCartin

NUI Galway has announced the results of elections for staff and graduates to its new Governing Authority, which sees women take up six of the 10 positions.

The new Údarás na hOllscoile will come into existence on 1 February 2021 and will serve until 2025.

An online election was held on Monday and Tuesday of this week to appoint the University staff and graduates to the new Governing Authority.

President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh thanked all those who stood for election and welcomed the new members.

“All those who stood for election to the Údarás deserve huge credit for supporting our University’s democracy and raising the profile of the Governing Authority and the important work it does,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said.

“And congratulations to all those who have been successful. The work of the members of the new Údarás in the coming months and years will be crucial as our University implements our strategic plan Shared Vision, Shaped by Values and assesses and supports all the other initiatives and developments that we are pursuing.

“The range of talent, commitment and experience that our graduates, academics and professionals bring to the new Governing Authority will be an enormous asset for our University as we work to ensure the high levels of transparency, accountability and ambition fitting for our university as an institution for the public good.”

The following have been elected to the new Governing Authority:

:: Academic staff – Dr Rachel Hilliard; Dr Anthony Grehan; Dr Dara Cannon

:: Professional service staff – Sinéad Beacom; Eric Mortimer; Monica Crump

:: Graduates – Edel Browne; Conor Fottrell; Retired Brigadier General Ger Aherne; Nuala Ní Chonghaile

More than 5,000 graduates and staff voted in the election.

Three Professors were appointed to the Governing Authority ahead of the election after the number of nominations matched the number of available positions.

They are Professor Aisling McCluskey, School of Mathematics, Statistics & Applied Mathematics; Professor Michal Molcho, Children’s Studies, School of Education; and Professor Jim O’Gara, School of Natural Sciences.

Student elections to elect four representatives to the Governing Authority will begin in late January.

Caroline Loughnane, NUI Galway Secretary for Governance & Academic Affairs, said: “We have experienced unprecedented levels of interest in this election from staff and graduates.

“It is really inspiring to see the range and quality of candidates who are willing to invest their time and energy in shaping the future of the University.”

“There has never been a more important time for effective and agile governance. As universities navigate the uncertain landscape created by the Covid-19 pandemic and look ahead to impending changes in governance legislation from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science, Minister Simon Harris, the role of the Governing Authority is crucial in setting the strategic direction for higher education.”

Professor Ó hÓgartaigh also paid tribute to the members of the outgoing Údarás.

“It was a privilege for our University to have someone like former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness chair the Údarás for the last number of years, working with members who had such a breadth of expertise and knowledge for the betterment of our University.”

“Thank you to everyone who served on the Údarás and supported its work over the last five years,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said.