Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh has been appointed as the 13th president of NUI Galway and will take over the helm next January following the ending of Dr Jim Browne's 10-year term of office.
However, the incoming president has faced immediate calls to meet with Siptu, which has said that it wants talks on how “he intends to resolve the systemic discrimination against women staff across all grades” in the university.
Prof Ó hÓgartaigh has served as principal and dean of UCD College of Business for the last six years, leading its schools in Dublin and its overseas programmes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
The chair of the university’s governing authority, Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness said the university had sought to find “a leader who can build on the significant achievements” during Dr Browne’s tenure.
“With a track record of leadership and achievement nationally and internationally, Professor Ó hÓgartaigh brings both the necessary experience and vision,” she said, “I look forward to working with him.”
Dr Browne said his successor has “a wealth of leadership experience” and “a proven track record” in developing the international reach of an Irish university: “I wish him the very best in leading our terrific staff and students into a bright future.”
Saying that he was honoured to be chosen to lead his alma mater, Prof Ó hÓgartaigh said he believed NUIG is “exceptionally well-placed” to expand its national and international reputation. In unusually sharp remarks, however, Siptu said NUI Galway has been badly affected by “widespread precarious employment practices, problems which continue to plague industrial relations at the troubled institution”.
However, Siptu shop steward Maggie Ronayne said the new president could draw a line under the past and settle the outstanding discrimination cases which have been taken by five women lecturers.