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New GMIT President takes up post amid coronavirus shutdown

GMIT has welcomed the appointment of a new President, Dr Orla Flynn, who has started work at the deep end amid the coronavirus pandemic.

GMIT, like all other colleges in Ireland, was ordered to close in the earliest days of the pandemic here, along with schools and childcare centres.

Currently its efforts are focused on providing a continuity of education, while also protecting its thousands of staff and students.

Since taking up her post a fortnight ago Dr Flynn’s responsibilities have involved ensuring up-to-date information on public health advice, mental health supports, changes to course delivery & assessments and academic integrity makes its way to staff and students.

“These are exceptional times and the health of our students, staff and communities is our top priority while supporting the various teams across the Institute who are striving to maintain core services for staff and students alike.”

“I want to acknowledge the sterling efforts that have been undertaken in this regard by everyone in GMIT to date”, said Dr Flynn.

Dr Flynn is joining GMIT from Cork Institute of Technology where she held the position of Vice President for External Affairs for the last six years.

She racked up a total of 20 years experience in different education management roles during her time at CIT.

These included eight years leading its Crawford College of Art and Design following on from her time as Head of School of Humanities and Head of Department of Media Communications.

Prior to this she was a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Computing at CIT for 13 years.

Dr Flynn holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Mathematical Physics and Computer Science from University College Cork, an MA in Management in Education from WIT, and a PhD from the University of Limerick.

Cormac MacDonncha, Chair of the GMIT Governing Body, welcomed the new President’s appointment, saying she has arrived at a time of “significant improvement” to the college on many fronts.

The Institute is now poised to take advantage of recent gains on many fronts he added.

“She has the right capabilities to lead the team as we navigate through these very challenging times and on to new successes.”

“On behalf of our students, staff and Governing Body I would like to acknowledge the excellent work being done by the entire team at GMIT in rising to meet the unprecedented challenges facing us”.

In a video address to students this week, the new GMIT President advised students to take heart that this challenging time will pass.

“These are unprecedented times but they will end. I want to reassure you that we are here to support you through your final few weeks of this semester.”

“There will be no onsite summer examinations held in GMIT. Instead, we are bringing in amended approaches to assessment and will let you know more detail as soon as we can.”

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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