New talent at Cumbria’s top table

University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor announces a number of new top management appointments at the institution

New managerial roles at the University of Cumbria have been introduced to strengthen further its leadership in the context of a drive to position itself as a thriving, leading player in professional and vocational higher education.

Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said: “These appointments bring new talent and expertise into our region as well as drawing on the rich talent base we have in Cumbria. I look forward to our new colleagues joining us soon – I know they will play a major role in our contributing to our region’s and university’s future prosperity and pride.”

Professor Sara de Freitas, will be joining the university as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the beginning of March 2018 replacing Professor Trish Livsey who will be retiring in June.  Sara will lead on all student-focused activity in the university, including academic quality. Sara is an outstanding academic of international standing with a wealth of expertise in highly respected research and higher education institutions. She comes back to the UK from Murdoch University in Australia where she held the post of PVC in Learning and Teaching.  Professor de Freitas was named most Influential Woman in Technology 2009 and 2010 by the US Fast Company and has published seven books and more than 100 journal articles, conference papers and reports.

Professor Sara de Freitas

From 4 April, 2018, Jackie Arnold MBE, currently corporate responsibility lead (and former Head of Strategy and Skills) for BAE Systems, will join us on a part-time basis as a Professor of Practice. Jackie has an outstanding track record in industry and has a passionate belief in this region and a desire to ensure the future growth of the Cumbrian business economy, opening up new opportunities for generations to come.  Jackie will provide senior executive industrial expertise, supporting the university’s plans to align further to the regional agenda.

Jackie Arnold MBE

Robin Casson, who joined the university before Christmas in an interim role, has been confirmed Head of Academic Partnerships & Skills. Robin brings a wealth of experience and skills having spent forty years in the education and skills arena, including as a head teacher and as Director of Education & Skills for Northumberland County Council.

Robin Casson

The final new appointment in this cohort is that of Dr Jean Brown, former Head of Strategic Development Service at UCLan, who will take up post as University Secretary on 1 April 2018.

Dr Jean Brown