Three new Deans for Student Education appointed

Three new Deans for Student Education have been appointed to provide increased leadership and focus on critical areas of our forthcoming strategy.

New Deans for Student Education have been appointed

Profile pictures of the three Deans of Student Education. February 2021.

They will lead activity around student experience, portfolio and curriculum, and quality and standards.

The new Deans are Professor Alice O’Grady (Quality and Standards), Professor Kenny McDowall (Portfolio and Curriculum) and Professor Paul Taylor (Experience).

The three areas of focus cover the full remit of student education, with sufficient overlap to ensure a joined-up approach to the delivery of all aspects of the student experience.

Working with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education and the seven Pro-Deans for Student Education, the new Deans will develop and lead the implementation of the student education elements of the new ten-year strategy

‘Great mix of expertise’

Professor Peter Jimack, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, said: “Although the three posts were recruited independently, the outcome is a new team with a great mix of expertise, experience and academic backgrounds.

“The new roles will allow us both to progress with an ambitious and transformative strategy in student education, whilst at the same time responding pro-actively to external challenges – such as those posed by covid-19 now and in the future.

“Alice, Kenny and Paul will help to ensure that, as we adopt and implement fundamental enhancements to our educational provision, we are able to take on board views from all stakeholders and support students, academics and professional staff in the successful delivery of these enhancements.”

A profile picture of Professor Alice O'Grady. February 2021Professor O’Grady, Dean: Student Education (Quality and Standards)

Alice O’Grady is Professor of Applied Performance in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries (PCI) and was Head of School between 2015 and 2020. She’s a member of the Cultural Institute Steering Group and of the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence. 

Professor O’Grady will be responsible for ensuring that quality and standards are maintained across the taught student portfolio and will oversee the University’s assessment and degree classification processes, ensuring assessments are fit for purpose, authentic, rigorous and ensure academic standards with inclusivity and student success as key criteria.

A profile picture of Professor Kenny McDowall. February 2021Professor McDowall, Dean: Student Education (Portfolio and Curriculum)

Professor Kenny McDowall came to Leeds in 1996 after postdoctoral work at Stanford and has served as Pro-Dean for Student Education in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

He will be responsible for the academic leadership of the taught education portfolio and curriculum, including the active management and evolution of the portfolio of taught programmes at taught postgraduate and undergraduate level.

Professor McDowall will also provide academic leadership to embed decolonisation and inclusive teaching, and will lead the Curriculum Enhancement project.

A profile picture of Professor Paul Taylor. February 2021.Professor Taylor, Dean: Student Education (Experience)

Paul Taylor is Professor of Chemical Education in the School of Chemistry, and Pro-Dean for Student Education in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in August 2020.

He will be responsible for providing academic leadership of the student experience and for driving forward the delivery of the University’s Student Education strategy.

Professor Taylor will focus, in particular, on embedding digital pedagogic practice into the curriculum, ensuring a high-quality experience for all students.

The University Strategy 2020-2030 will be launched in mid-February, followed later in the spring by the five-year delivery plan, which will set out in more detail how the vision and objectives in the strategy will be delivered sustainably and effectively.

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