University of the Highlands: University of the Highlands and Islands appoints new health school leader

The University of the Highlands and Islands has appointed a new leader for its School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences. Professor Brian Williams will be joining the university as of head of health, social care and life sciences in November.

Originally from Lancaster, Professor Williams is currently head of health and social care sciences at Edinburgh Napier University. During his 30-year career, he has built up experience in education, research and management across seven UK higher education institutions.

Professor Williams has worked in both medical and nursing schools, and has supported education in medicine, nursing and the allied health professions. He also has a significant track record in research and is a former director of Scotland’s national research unit for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions. His research interests include health behaviour change and complex service evaluations. He is passionate about developing research expertise at individual, group and organisational levels.

Professor Williams will take up his post on Monday 1 November. He replaces Professor Crichton Lang who retired last year and Professor Sandra MacRury who led the school on an interim basis. Professor Williams will be based at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness.

Speaking about his appointment, Professor Todd Walker, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “Professor Brian Williams will be an excellent addition to our university partnership. As a flourishing university for the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire we aim to retain, attract and nurture talent in our region, helping to reverse population decline and build innovation and socio-economic prosperity. Our School of Health Social Care and Life Sciences plays a vital part in this agenda. It has seen much growth and development over the last decade and we have huge ambitions for its future.”

Professor Williams said: “It is a huge privilege to be taking up the role of head of school. There have been major achievements over the past decade and I am excited to be working with staff and our partners across the Highlands and Islands to build on these, ensuring education and research work together to make a meaningful difference to society, students and staff across the region and beyond.”

Professor Neil Simco, vice-principal (research and impact), added: “I am delighted that Professor Brian Williams will be joining the university later this year as our new head of health, social care and life sciences. As head of health and social care at Edinburgh Napier University, Brian is a highly experienced academic across education, research and leadership. He is very well placed to build on the existing achievements of our School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences to secure its further growth and development and I very much look forward to welcoming him to his new role.”

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