Applications for new UCD President to close next month


Applications for the job of President of UCD will close on February 4th. Current UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady’s ten-year term will finish on December 31st 2013 and a search committee was set up several months ago to find Dr Brady’s replacement.

Although a confirmed list of applicants was not available at the time of going to press, the University Observer understands that likely candidates for the position include Dean of UCD’s Schools of Business Professor Ciarán Ó’hÓgartaigh, Principal of UCD’s School of Human Sciences Brigid Laffan, UCD’s Registrar Mark Rogers, Vice President of Innovation in UCD Peter Clinch, as well as President of National University Maynooth and former UCD Registrar Philip Nolan.

The search committee was chosen by the university governing authorities, comprised of a number of academics and campus administrative figures. Their role is to ensure that the position is advertised both nationally and internationally, as described by Students’ Union President Rachel Breslin: “It’s being advertised in Ireland and quite literally across the world, in publications and online and through, headhunting and contacting individuals in the third level sector.” Breslin also noted that “no Irish university has ever appointed a president or leader from outside of Ireland.”

Among the credentials sought are “an internationally recognised academic research record, extensive teaching experience at university level and a proven track record of leadership in a university or in a public service organisation.”

A recent survey by the SU asked students what they wish to see in a President, a survey which played a role in the writing of the job description. Results showed that students called for a President who engaged with students and had a student-orientated focus during decision making. Along with this, students wished to see a job description which highlighted the diversity of the disciplines and student population of UCD.

Applicants which meet these criteria are put forward to the selection committee, where all applications are re-examined and candidates’ academic backgrounds will go through an in-depth investigation.

Shortlisted candidates are required to meet with a panel consisting of six members chosen by UCD’s governing authority, ensuring a cross-examination and the best candidate is selected. At least one member of the panel must be a student, assuring the voice of the student body is heard.

The governing authority may appoint the candidate put forward by the committee or refuse on the grounds of unsuitability for the €200,000 per annum position. The successful candidate must then undergo a medical examination.

Breslin believes that there has been substantial interest in the position: “There certainly does seem to have been [a lot of interest], I don’t know any sort of application details or applicant details, but by the hits on the website, by the feedback that we have had from the company that are advertising and targeting individuals to spread the word internationally, it has been very good.”

The new president will begin their term on January 1st 2014.