From education to employment

New appointments to bolster leadership team at University College Birmingham

University College Birmingham is celebrating a trio of influential new executive appointments to further bolster their leadership team at the start of the new academic year.

New appointments include Dr. Helen Poole, who has been named as the new Pro Vice Chancellor (Teaching, Learning and Digital); Professor Gill Brown, who joins as the Executive Dean of School of Psychology; and Dr. David Paulson, who takes the role of Executive Dean of the Business School.

All three new starters bring a wealth of expertise from varied careers within the education industry. 

Firstly, Dr Helen Poole has spent many years working in esteemed roles within higher education including at Coventry University, University of Northampton and most recently, Staffordshire University, where she sat as Executive Dean of Justice, Security and Sustainability. As a result of her roles in HE, Helen has managed a wide range of portfolios from different disciplines, and led on a number of cross-institutional developments. 

Helen said: 

“In my new role as Pro Vice Chancellor (Teaching, Learning and Digital) at University College Birmingham, I will look to address how our curricula meet the needs of prospective employers and how to ensure our students are given a realistic route to employment following graduation.

“We must constantly provide new chances for students to develop, widening the opportunity of participation and setting them up with the skills that will be needed for the jobs of the future.”

New Executive Dean of the School of Psychology, Professor Gill Brown previously worked as Head of Psychology at the University of Bolton and in total has been in the higher education sector for over 15 years. Prior to her academic career, Gill worked within the prison service and has strong experience in both youth offending services and alongside forensic community mental health teams.

On her appointment, Gill said: 

“In my new role as Executive Dean of the School of Psychology, I have the privilege of setting up and developing a school of psychology with a strong suite of applied programmes and supporting the employability skills of future psychology graduates.

“Setting up students for the world of work is a key element of my role and I am keen to create skills-focussed programmes with work-based learning modules in the final year.”

Finally, Dr. David Paulson, has been appointed the role of Executive Dean of the Business School after previously serving as Professor of Practice in Leadership and Management at Queen’s University Belfast. In his earlier business career, he spent seven years with the US multinational General Electric in a variety of international management roles and was Managing Director of internationally focused SMEs for 13 years.

He now oversees the University College Birmingham departments of Business, Tourism and Hospitality, and Creative Industries, with over 120 academic and professional services staff supporting 3800 students across a range of apprentice, undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes.

He said:

“In my new role as Executive Dean of Business School, I’m fully committed to developing new programmes for students of all levels, from those just starting out in their career, to mature learners who are already in employment and want to enhance their skill set and company’s productivity.

“I’m a firm believer that university can play a crucial role throughout people’s careers and I look forward to expanding University College Birmingham’s close relationship with the city’s local SMEs, offering coaching courses and executive education for business leaders, and innovative pathways to employment for students of all ages and backgrounds, providing more opportunities to learn for all.”

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