A leading Scottish academic has been named as the first President of the newly formed Munster Technological University (MTU), which has been created following the merger of Tralee and Cork’s institutes of technology.
Last Thursday Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris announced that Professor Maggie Cusack has been appointed President of the MTU, which is due to be officially established on January 1, 2021.
The announcement comes just a week after Minister Harris signed the order to dissolve IT Tralee and CIT and follows a four-month recruitment process that was handled by leading international ‘executive search’ firm Perrett Laver.
Professor Cusack has enjoyed a long and successful career in academic leadership and research.
Since March 2017, she has been the Dean of the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, and she is also Professor of Biomineralisation at the university in central Scotland.
She was previously Associate Dean for the Faculty of Physical Sciences; International Lead for the College of Science and Engineering; and Head of School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow.
In addition to her academic work Prof Cusack is a member of the Scottish Government’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Strategy Advisory Group and chairs the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s “Learned Societies’ Group”, which was created up promote and develop STEM education in Scotland.
An MTU spokesperson said that Prof Cusack brings “a broad portfolio of academic-leadership experience and skills that are ideally suited to leading MTU.
“Her experience and leadership ability will provide the catalyst to launch the MTU and establishing it at the forefront of Technological Universities,” said the MTU statement.
Chair of IT Tralee’s Governing Body Lionel Alexander said Prof Cusack has an “outstanding” academic record and will provide excellent leadership to the new university.
Professor Cusack said she was “thrilled” to be appointed inaugural President of the MTU, the creation of which, she added, was “the culmination of many years of planning, preparation and hard work”.
“I look forward to working with my MTU colleagues at this exciting and profoundly important time for staff, students, and all stakeholders to maximise the opportunities of a Technological University to bring educational, economic and social benefit to the region for generations to come,” said Professor Cusack.