Professor Craig Mahoney Appointed as New Principal of UWS

20 Mar 2013

Professor Craig Mahoney
University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has announced the appointment of Professor Craig Mahoney as its new Principal and Vice-Chancellor. 

Professor Mahoney, is a dynamic, internationally experienced leader, who currently holds the post of Chief Executive of The Higher Education Academy, the organisation that champions excellent learning and teaching in Higher Education across the UK.

Professor Mahoney has had a distinguished career in academia and sport. He has published widely in the areas of children’s fitness, health, sport, exercise, performance and education and was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University with responsibility for all learning and teaching activity. Prior to his appointment at Northumbria he was the founding Dean of the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure at Wolverhampton University.

Born and brought up on a farm in Tasmania, Professor Mahoney has lived in the UK for over 20 years. He is a graduate in Chemistry and Maths from the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education (now the University of Tasmania); he also holds a Masters degree from Birmingham University and a Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) from Queen’s University Belfast.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Mahoney said: “University of the West of Scotland has an extremely strong reputation for delivering excellent Higher Education nationally and internationally. I am naturally delighted to be appointed as its new Principal and Vice Chancellor and relish the challenge of my new role.

“The University has undergone transformational development in recent years. I look forward to working with colleagues to build on its success and on UWS’ clear and unambiguous strategic commitment to delivering excellence in the student experience and engaging with students – areas that are close to my own heart and that I believe are fundamental to the success of any university.

"I want to see UWS realise its full potential across all aspects of its business, but specifically in delivery of high-quality, internationalised, research, teaching and learning - and for UWS to continue to play a pivotal role in furthering economic development and enhancing quality of life, in Scotland and beyond.”

The appointment of Professor Craig Mahoney was confirmed at a special meeting of the University Court on 12th March: the Court is the governing body of University of the West of Scotland.

Richard Blackburn, Chair of Court, who led the Selection Committee to find a replacement for Professor Seamus McDaid, commented: “Our process to find a new Principal and Vice-Chancellor has been underway since November 2012, and attracted a very strong field of applicants from across the UK and beyond. I am delighted that we have been able to appoint such a high calibre individual with the academic and management skills required to take the University forward, building on its achievements in recent years. Professor Mahoney’s unique blend of leadership experience across a range of HE settings, means that he is ideally placed to lead UWS through the next stage of its development as we seek to achieve the ambitious outcomes in our plans.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our current Principal and Vice- Chancellor, Professor Seamus McDaid CBE, who retires in July 2013 after 8 years. During this time Professor McDaid has achieved a great deal: the merger of University of Paisley and Bell College and the creation of University of the West of Scotland – bringing a University presence to Lanarkshire; creation of a 21st century building on our Ayr Campus; new residences in Ayr and in Paisley; expanded student numbers; a strong revenue and asset base; expanded student numbers and growth in research activity; and, perhaps most significantly, an enhanced reputation for the University and its graduates.”

Professor Mahoney will take up the position of Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland on 1 August 2013.