The Governing Authority (Údarás na hOllscoile) of National University of Ireland, Galway has today (15 February 2008) announced the appointment of Professor Jim Browne (55) as the incoming President of the University. Currently Registrar and Deputy-President at NUI Galway, Professor Browne’s appointment will come into effect on 6 March 2008. Professor Browne will be the twelfth President of the University and his term will be for ten years.
Commenting, the Chairman of the Selection Board appointed by the Governing Authority, Dr Noel Dorr, said; “Professor Browne is a distinguished academic with very wide international contacts and experience of other Universities in Europe, the US, Asia and Latin America. He has a personal record of research and an understanding of the importance of promoting it in the University. He combines this with a strong commitment to upholding the traditional values of the University across all of the sciences and the humanities and to developing and enhancing its primary role as an educational institution. In his present post as Registrar and Deputy-President he has been deeply involved in necessary and important changes to the structure and functioning of the University which have been achieved on a basis of participation, to the benefit of both staff and students. It is widely recognised that, in this and other ways, he has made a major contribution to the progress and the success of NUI Galway over the past seven years”.
Concluding, he said: “The post of University President in Ireland today is one of very particular responsibility. It calls for leadership of a high order in shaping the development of the University over the decade ahead. In particular it calls for a capacity to respond creatively and sensitively to regional and national needs while respecting and upholding the traditional educational function of the University as such. It is for these reasons that the Selection Board tasked by the Governing Authority to select a new President, unanimously recommended the appointment of Professor Jim Browne. We wish him the very best in what will be a challenging and rewarding role.”
Dr Dorr also paid tribute to Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh for his tremendous achievements during his successful tenure as President of NUI Galway since 2000.
Professor Browne, a native of Athlone, Co Westmeath, and an engineer graduate of NUI Galway, is a former Dean of Engineering (1996 – 2001) and, for the past seven years, Registrar and Deputy-President of the University. He has a record of achievement in academic leadership, strategic planning and change management within NUI Galway. Professor Browne has published over 200 academic papers and 15 books. He was awarded the degree DSc by the University of Manchester for published work in 1990, is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Irish Academy of Engineers.
Professor Browne’s leadership roles include: member of the editorial board of a number of international research journals; member of Irish Universities Quality Board since 2004; senior Vice-President of Engineers Ireland; Member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland since 2001; member of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council; member of the Board of CAO; Member of the EPSRC Review Group on Engineering Research Centres in the UK; member of the Board of the Galway University Foundation since 2001; and Member of the Board of Music for Galway. Professor Browne also has considerable experience of working with overseas Universities, public and private bodies. Professor Browne is married to Maeve; they have four children.
The Appointment Process
The appointment was made following an extensive national and international search, with professional assistance through a Search Committee. The selection process was conducted by a distinguished Selection Board. Both bodies were chaired in a non-voting capacity by Dr Noel Dorr, Cathaoirleach of Údarás na hOllscoile. The examination in Irish was conducted by a Bord Gaeilge. All three bodies had significant external as well as internal membership.
Established in 1845 as Queen’s College Galway, National University of Ireland, Galway is one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence. With almost 16,000 students, it has a long-established reputation of teaching and research excellence in each of its six Colleges: Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; Science; Law; Commerce; Engineering and Informatics; and Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. It has an annual budget of €205m and an annual research income of over €48m.