Choose Cumbria
Jackie Arnold

New appointments at University of Cumbria

Published on: Thursday 22nd February 2018

A number of top management appointments have been made at the University of Cumbria today.

Vice chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said the roles have been introduced to strengthen the university’s leadership.

Prof Mennell said: "I am very pleased to be announcing these new appointments, which ensure we continue to have the skills and expertise necessary to further our future sustainability and success.

"These appointments bring new talent and expertise into our region as well as drawing on the rich talent base we have in Cumbria."

From April, BAE Systems' Jackie Arnold MBE will join as a professor of practice.

The part-time role will see her provide senior executive industrial expertise, supporting the university’s plans to align further to the regional agenda.

Mrs Arnold will remain at BAE Systems as corporate responsibility lead.

She said: "I’m very excited at the prospect of supporting the activity to create a thriving higher education provision within our beautiful county which supports the achievement of our economic ambition."

Prof Sara de Freitas will join the university as deputy vice chancellor (academic) at the beginning of next month.

She replaces Prof Trish Livsey, who has been in the role since July 2017 and is retiring in June.

Prof Livsey will continue to have specific executive leadership of all aspects of the university's health, sport and wellbeing portfolio and resources with line management of the nursing, health and professional practice, health, psychology and social studies and medical and sports sciences departments from next month until her retirement.

Prof de Freitas will lead on all student-focused activity in the university, including academic quality.

She is returning to the UK from Murdoch University in Australia where she held the post of PVC in learning and teaching.

Prof de Freitas was named most Influential Woman in Technology 2009 and 2010 by the US Fast Company and has published seven books and more than 100 journal articles, conference papers and reports.

Professor de Freitas said: "I’m looking forward to working closely with students and staff to ensure that they have the best experience and set of outcomes.

"The University of Cumbria has many strengths to build upon, not least its commitment to high-quality education and widening participation, connections to the local area and relationships with external partners.”

Robin Casson joined the university before Christmas in an interim role and has been confirmed head of academic partnerships and skills.

He has spent 40 years in the education and skills sector.

Dr Jean Brown, former head of strategic development service at UCLan, will take up the post of university secretary on April 1.

Sandra Booth, pro vice chancellor of enterprise, business development and engagement, will leave the university in April.

A university spokesman said: "She is leaving to enable her to scale back her professional commitments to focus on her caring responsibilities.

"Sandra has made an outstanding contribution to our university, raising our profile and visibility significantly across Cumbria and Lancashire, forging many new partnerships and collaborations."

Subscribe to our newsletter: get a glimpse of what it's really like to live and work in Cumbria.