From education to employment

Professor Paul Boyle announced as new chair for UK’s education technology not-for-profit, Jisc

Paul Boyle, New chair for UK's education technology not-for-profit, Jisc

Professor Paul Boyle, vice-chancellor @SwanseaUni is to be the new chair of @Jisc 

New chair to take the helm at Jisc in May 2021. Three new trustees are also appointed to the Jisc board  

With a strong background in social science and research, Boyle has been VC at Swansea since 2019 and prior to this was president and VC of the University of Leicester.  

Previously, Boyle was chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, the international champion of Research Councils UK, and president of Science Europe.  

Prof Boyle says: “I am very pleased to be joining Jisc at this critical time for the higher and further education sectors.  

“The digital platforms that underpin our educational and research needs have never been more important, and the opportunity for Jisc to build upon its longstanding reputation is clear.  

“The breadth of expertise at Jisc is impressive, including the provision of cloud services, cyber security protection, student analytics, championing open access, and much more. 

“I am looking forward to seeing how the vision for Jisc will be shaped, as the reality of more blended, virtual learning and research environments will become the new norm.” 

Boyle will start an induction programme at Jisc from January before fully taking the reins as chair in mid-May 2021. He succeeds Professor David Maguire, interim principal and vice-chancellor at the University of Dundee, who has helped steer Jisc through a period of great change during his six-year tenure. 

Maguire says: “I have great admiration for the skilled and hard-working staff at Jisc and it has been rewarding to work with a succession of very able and committed trustees.  

“Together, they have moved decisively to support the sector with a number of major developments over recent years. Among them is the upgrading of the Janet Network and extra cyber security measures  to protect its users, an expansion of digital resources provision and the creation of the world’s first national learning analytics shared service.  

“In parallel, Jisc has broadened its offering through mergers with Eduserv, HECSU/Graduate Prospects and the business development function in HESA. 

“During 2020, Jisc led from the front with research projects for higher and further education, which have helped members through the pandemic and will help steer them towards profound digital transformation. 

“Paul Boyle inherits a robust, forward-thinking organisation of which I am extraordinarily proud. I’d also like to thank Ken Thomson, principal at Forth Valley College, for his service as a Jisc trustee.”   

Three new trustees are also serving on the Jisc board. They are Joanna Campbell, principal and CEO of Dumfries and Galloway College, Dr David Pilsbury, deputy vice-chancellor (international development) at Coventry University, and Professor Anthony Forster, vice-chancellor at the University of Essex. 

Campbell spent 22 years as a computing lecturer before moving into management roles. She has particular interest in curriculum innovation, widening access, change management and performance excellence. 

Pilsbury brings his knowledge of transnational learning to Jisc. Previously, he was chief executive of the Worldwide Universities Network and head of research policy at the now defunct Higher Education Funding Council for England. 

A former army officer, Forster is a political scientist and author of 11 books. He is an elected academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences and, between 1999 and 2002, was the special advisor to the House of Lords select committee on the European Union common foreign and security policy. 

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