University of Limerick confirms appointment of new president for ten-year term

University of Limerick appointment new president for ten-year term

Professor Kerstin Mey has been interim president of UL since September 2020

THE University of Limerick Governing Authority has today approved the appointment of Professor Kerstin Mey as its new president.

Professor Mey has served as interim president of UL since September 1, 2020 and her appointment as president for a ten-year term follows an open competition and recruitment process.

The Chancellor of UL’s Governing Authority, Mary Harney, who confirmed that the Governing Authority has approved the appointment of Professor Mey as President, announced the appointment this Friday evening.

A Selection Board comprised of both internal and external members to the University recommended Professor Mey’s appointment following an extensive search and recruitment process.

"President Mey is a very worthy appointee and one who has led the University through a very challenging time in the past year. She has more than demonstrated her capacity for leadership in her interim role as President and brought great pride to the entire UL community as the first female President of an Irish university," said Ms Harney.

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Mey said: “I am honoured that the Governing Authority has appointed me to lead the University of Limerick through the next decade of its advancement. I am very much looking forward to build on the many achievements of UL and ensure this University will continue to thrive."

Prof Mey, who succeeds Dr Des Fitzgerald as presidents added: “Fifty years on, as a still young and dynamic institution, I want us to capitalise on UL’s heritage as pioneer, entrepreneur and disruptor. We have a major part to play in the social, economic and ecological transformation of the Mid-West region. “It is an exciting time for us. Developing our city centre campus over the next period will enable us to strengthen UL’s civil and civic mission, to grow connectivity and collaborations with communities, businesses and industry as well as with Limerick City and County Council and impact on place-making and the regeneration of the city and the region."

Prof Mey says there are significant opportunities now to re-examine the higher education model in Ireland and preserve the learnings which have come from the impact on academic delivery and research during the Covid-19 period.

"We must weave what we have learned into advancing our working practices, transforming how we teach and learn and how we engage in research and knowledge exchange. We will grow our high quality research with impact, knowledge exchange and innovation drive, alongside challenge-based and research-led, work-integrated and experiential learning approaches to address pressing societal challenges and put sustainability at the heart of everything we do," she stated. 

Prof Mey says UL needs to support its graduates to embrace complexity and change, live with ambiguity and develop resilience.

"To build a thriving world, to move towards sustainable growth and shared prosperity, we must stimulate our students’ inquisitiveness and imagination, critical judgement and agency for change. We are a welcoming and inclusive University and we will continue to widen access to higher education and foster opportunity that values diversity of talent and experience. Having confidence in our human rights and equality, diversity and inclusion policy means ‘living our values’ so that we will develop our organisation, our people, and continue to improve collectively and individually."

“We are fortunate to have great cultural and creative wealth. If proof was needed, the pandemic has demonstrated what an immense contribution the arts and sports make to our sense of identity and belonging, to the sharing of beliefs and values, and to our well-being, individually and collectively. We have a wonderful opportunity to nurture, enrich and share our creativity with the communities we serve to stimulate curiosity, to imagine alternative futures and to encourage empathy, understanding and the appreciation of difference,” she added.

Prior to taking on the role of interim president, Professor Mey held the position of Vice President Academic Affairs and Student Engagement at UL.

She was appointed Vice President and Professor of Visual Culture at UL in April 2018, having previously held roles as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design and as Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at the University of Westminster, London.

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