Key appointment will help drive digital transformation

A new senior appointment has been made to further establish Leeds as a globally leading, digitally enabled university.

Professor Jo-Anne Murray, who has been appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation at Leeds

Appointment of the Pro Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation. September 2022

Professor Jo-Anne Murray joins us at the start of October as our first Pro Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, to lead on the implementation of our new Digital Transformation Strategy.

Reporting to Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Professor Murray will work with the University Executive Group (UEG), our Dean for Digital Transformation and Deans for Online Education and Professional Learning, as well as staff, students and external organisations.

Their work will help ensure digital innovation secures an excellent education for our students, underpins the development of our research and innovation activities, and supports the achievement of the University’s international strategy. 

Professor Murray will also help establish Leeds as an innovative leader in the use of digital technology, data and digital approaches to solve global challenges through research and innovation.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “The University of Leeds is at a pivotal moment in its history. Work is now underway to implement our ambitious 10-year strategy, which sets a blueprint for a values-driven university that will harness its expertise in research and education to tackle inequalities and drive change. 

“Digital transformation is a fundamental part of this mission, which is why we’ve created this new role. I’m really excited Jo-Anne has agreed to join us, to provide clear academic leadership in this area, ensuring the digital transformation of Leeds and establishing us as a globally leading, digitally enabled university.”

Strategic vision

Professor Murray was Assistant Vice-Principal for Digital Education at the University of Glasgow, where she was responsible for the development of online distance learning, blended learning, massive open online courses (MOOCs) and micro credentials. She is currently Partnerships Director/Managing Director at Higher Ed Partners (HEP), responsible for the overall success of university partnerships, and works with senior executive-level colleagues within universities to define and deliver strategic vision for online distance learning.    

Jo-Anne is Professor of Educational Innovation and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has led the development of many novel approaches to learning, teaching and assessment, including virtual worlds, mobile apps and the use of robots in education. Professor Murray has also led, and participated in, a range of research activities in education and the biological sciences, publishing more than 130 peer-reviewed articles in these areas.

Driving global change

Professor Murray said: “I’m thoroughly delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to undertake this exciting new role.

“I’ve followed the University of Leeds with great admiration as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, has created an environment for innovation, excellence and ambition that has set the University apart, and on a path to drive worldwide change – making a difference locally, regionally, nationally and globally.  

“Creating this role to lead digital transformation signals the intent and importance the University places on the role of technology in all aspects of life, which aligns with my passion around the power of technology to help enhance and shape the future of education, research, innovation and enterprise. 

“Professor Buitendijk and the senior leadership team are trailblazing the future of higher education, and have created a culture of creativity, courage and compassion at the University, which is why I feel incredibly privileged to join a team of like-minded individuals with a passion for driving change.”

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