Further changes to University management

ABERYSTWYTH University have announced further changes to the senior staff structure in the University following a meeting of the University’s Council last week.

As The Courier exclusively announced last week, Dr Jennifer Mathers has been appointed Acting Head of the Department of International Politics.

Dr Mathers replaces Professor Mike Foley, who – as The Courier again exclusively reported– stood down after accepting “an invitation from the Vice Chancellor to take on a leadership role in a number of areas”.

According to a University spokesperson, these include “undertaking a review of best practice in interdisciplinary postgraduate taught programmes” and the establishment of a joint international research centre with Xiamen University.

Dr Mathers received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College in the United States and her MPhil and DPhil from Oxford University. She joined the Department of International Politics in 1992, and teaches and researches in the areas of Russian politics and security and gender and war. Dr Mathers served as Director of Postgraduate Studies for the University from 2006-2009, and took over as departmental Director of Graduate Studies in 2011. Dr Mathers will serve from 1 October 2012 to 31 July 2013.

Dr Allen Foster has been appointed Head of the Department of Information Studies. Dr Foster is a graduate of the University of Sheffield where he studied History before going on to complete an MSc in Information Management and then a PhD in the area of information behaviour. He joined Aberystwyth in 2002 as a lecturer. Dr Foster’s teaching and research interests span the study of information and its users, including information services and systems, information retrieval, information literacy, music librarianship, and information seeking and searching behaviour. The appointment is for a period of 5 years and Dr Foster took up the post on 1 September.

Dr Foster succeeds Dr Gayner Eyre, who was Head of the Department for seven years until she retired from full time academic work at the end of August 2012. During her 21 year career as an academic , Dr Eyre made contributions in research and teaching to the areas of school librarianship, social aspects of information literacy, literacy and reading development and literature and information services for young people. Dr Eyre will continue to be associated with the Department through projects in CPD and business engagement.

Nicholas Perdikis will continue in his role of Director of the School of Management and Business for a period of one year. Perdikis began his term in office on 1 November 2007, following a period of 18 months as the School’s Acting Director. Perdikis is an international business economist who graduated from Cardiff University. His teaching and research focuses on international trade and trade policy, international business, the business cycle and the business environment.

Dr Catrin Hughes will be taking up the role of Special Adviser on Strategic Governance and Collaboration within the Strategic Alliance office from 1 December 2012. Her role will involve developing and encouraging joint activity between Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities, “raising awareness” of the Strategic Alliance and progressing and communicating its aims and aspirations. Professor McMahon said “While recognising the exciting and important work ahead, I would like to express my thanks to Catrin for her contribution and commitment to the University as Registrar and Secretary for the past eight years.”