Archive for Vice-chancellor

Cardiff Schools and Colleges

Posted in Education with tags , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by telescoper

There was a mighty kerfuffle around these parts last week, stirred by an email from the Vice-Chancellor “designate”, Prof. Colin Riordan. The incoming Vee-Cee doesn’t take over until September, but he’s clearly planning to do some pre-emptive reorganization.

The Cardiff University is currently divided into academic Schools and administrative Directorates. There are 27 Schools, including Physics & Astronomy where I work. The current system is a bit unusual in that the Heads of these Schools report directly to the Vice-Chancellor. Some other universities have an extra organization layer on the academic side, sometimes called Faculties.  Cardiff University used to have faculties, actually, but it lost them some time ago. The same could be said for many of its staff, come to think of it.

Anyway, Prof. Riordan has decided that he doesn’t want to have to talk to 27 Heads of School and has proclaimed that Cardiff will have a new structure consisting of three Faculties Colleges into which the existing schools will be grouped in thuswise fashion:


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Cardiff Business School

Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning

Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Cardiff School of European Languages, Translation and Politics

Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Cardiff Law School

Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

School of Music

Cardiff School of Social Sciences

School of Welsh

College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

School of Biosciences

School of Dentistry

School of Healthcare Studies

School of Medicine

Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Wales Deanery / School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education

School of Psychology

College of Physical Sciences

Welsh School of Architecture

Cardiff School of Chemistry

Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics

School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Cardiff School of Engineering

Cardiff School of Mathematics

School of Physics and Astronomy

I didn’t realise before that some Schools are called “Cardiff School of….” or even “Welsh School of…” and others just “School of…”. I wonder why? Anyway, you can see that we’re now in the College of Physical Sciences along with Chemistry, Engineering etc and, um, Architecture. The new arrangement may also provide me with an opportunity to find out what “Informatics” means…

Having these new-fangled Colleges means that there are positions available as Heads thereof, and existing Heads of Schools have been invited to apply, hence a flurry of CV polishing.

Fortunately for all concerned, I’m not eligible.

Cardiff News

Posted in Education, Politics with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2011 by telescoper

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about local affairs, but the emergence of three items of news in the past few days has given me an opportunity to remedy that.

First, and hot off the press this morning, is the news that Cardiff University has at last decided who its next Vice-Chancellor will be after the incumbent,  David Grant, retires next year. The lucky winner is Professor Colin Riordan, who is currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex (which apparently exists). His background is in the humanities, and his speciality post-war German literature. Since his previous institution doesn’t have a Physics Department, we’re probably  safe for a few years until he finds out Cardiff has one and decides to close it.

Anyway, Professor Riordan became a Vice Chancellor for the first time at the age of 48, which is the same age I am now. Maybe I should be climbing aboard the gravy train? I hear there’s a vacancy as Vice Chancellor at the University of Essex. I would apply, but I fear I have all the wrong vices…

That brings me to yesterday’s news that Cardiff University, along with all the proper most other universities in Wales, is to charge annual tuition fees of, you guessed it, £9K. This is despite recent reports that the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) was set to refuse permission to set such high fees. I always thought it was inevitable that Welsh universities would want to charge as much as possible to bring funding levels closer to those in England, but it remains to be seen what effect the new regime will have on student recruitment.  The £9K level is substantially higher than the Welsh Assembly Government’s initial estimate of £7K so it also remains to be seen what the implications are for the WAG budget. We live in interesting times…

However, not wishing to end on a down note, I’ll finish by passing on a bit of up-beat news. Apparently – according to the esteemed National Geographic Magazine – Cardiff is one of the top ten places in the world to visit in 2011, coming in at Number 6 in  this rigorously compiled and totally objective league table. I’m usually a bit skeptical about such things, but who could possibly disagree with the ranking?

1. Muskoka Orange County, Ontario, Canada
2. Patagonia, Argentina
3. San Juan Islands, Washington
4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
5. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
6. Cardiff, Wales
7. Stockholm Archipelago Sweden
8. Azores, Portugal
9. Roatan, Honduras
10. Istria, Croatia

Hang on a minute. Minneapolis? At Number 4?