Professor Catherine O’Connor has been appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Experience at Leeds Trinity University.
In this crucial new academic role, Professor O’Connor will be responsible for strategic leadership and oversight of policies and activities to enhance teaching, curriculum and the broader student experience. As part of this, she will be instrumental in delivering the University’s ambition to become a highly regarded higher education digital provider, and will lead the development of the newly formed Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.
Professor O’Connor will also support the University in delivering on key pillars of its new Strategic Plan, which will be launched later this year, and join the University’s Executive team.
Prior to her appointment as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor O’Connor was Dean of the School of Communication, Business and Law at Leeds Trinity University, and Institutional Lead for Learning, Teaching and Employability. Before joining Leeds Trinity in 2007, Professor O’Connor spent 15 years working in the regional news media. Her research interests are in higher education pedagogy, graduate employability and skills gaps.
Professor O’Connor said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor and a member of the Executive team at Leeds Trinity. The University is committed to providing excellent learning, teaching and experience for each and every one of its students and I’m looking forward to working with our student body and staff to deliver on this agenda.”
Professor Charles Egbu, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds University, said: “I am very pleased to announce that Professor Catherine O’Connor has been appointed as the new Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Experience at Leeds Trinity University. This is a crucial academic role to support the University in delivering on the key pillars of its new Strategic Plan and demonstrates our commitment to providing an outstanding educational experience for all our students. Catherine has a wealth of experience that underpins this, and I look forward to working in partnership with her.”
The appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process led by the University’s Board of Governors.
Professor Catherine O’Connor: Biography
Professor Catherine O’Connor joined Leeds Trinity University in 2007, initially as a visiting lecturer in journalism before being appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Journalism. She was appointed as Head of Journalism in 2009 and later became Head of Journalism, Media and Business before being appointed as founding Head of the School of Arts and Communication in 2015. This transitioned to be the School of Communication, Business and Law in 2019.
Catherine has been Institutional Lead for Learning, Teaching and Employability at the University since September 2019 and was appointed as Professor for Higher Education, Learning and Teaching at Leeds Trinity in February 2021.
Prior to joining Leeds Trinity in 2007, Catherine spent 15 years working in the regional news media. She began her journalism career as a trainee reporter for the Halifax Courier and worked on the newsdesk there before becoming Deputy News Editor at the Yorkshire Evening Post. She then spent eight years at the Telegraph & Argus, Bradford, where she was Deputy Editor.
Catherine’s research interests are in higher education pedagogy, graduate employability and skills gaps. She has utilised her background in journalism to co-supervise PhD projects looking at the impact of digital and social media on the regional news industry and is currently co-supervising further projects examining journalism training and the impact of work-integrated learning.
She is a member of the MillionPlus Learning and Teaching Network and Leeds Digital Steering Group.
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