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Queen Margaret University Appoints New Chair of Court

Posted: 15th October 2015

Frances Dow

An experienced educational leader and academic has been announced as Queen Margaret University’s new Chair of Court.

Dr Frances Dow CBE MA DPhil FRHistS FRSA will take up her appointment as Chair of the University Court in March 2016 and will serve for three years in the first instance. She will replace Keir Bloomer BA MA FRSE, the outgoing Chair of Queen Margaret University’s Court, who has served in the position with distinction since October 2010.

Dr Dow was appointed to the role after public advertisement and interview by an appointment panel, whose membership included staff and student members of the University. 

With a strong background in higher education and recent involvement in healthcare improvement, Dr Dow brings to the role wide-ranging experience in academic leadership and in governance.  Dr Dow was a member of the Queen Margaret University Court between 2005 and 2012, and its Vice-Chair in 2011-2012. 

Dr Dow has enjoyed a number of public appointments, including since 2014 ministerial appointment to the Scottish Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards for NHS consultants, and membership of the Appointments Committee of the General Teaching Council for Scotland. In 2013, Dr Dow chaired the Independent Review of Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s inspection of the care of older people in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.  Previously she chaired two Scottish Government Health Directorates steering groups on the regulation of healthcare support workers and on Professionalism in the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions.  From 2007 to 2011, she was Chair of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, which oversees the award of Marshall Scholarships to highly-qualified US graduate students for study anywhere in the UK. Dr Dow was awarded the CBE in the New Year Honours List 2012 for services to UK/USA relations.

Dr Dow is currently Vice Convener of the Business Committee of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh, a Trustee of Scotland Inheritance Fund; and a member of the Council for At-Risk Academics.  The latter assists overseas academics, often refugees, who are threatened with discrimination or persecution.

Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Queen Margaret University said: “I am delighted that Dr Dow has accepted the appointment. She has already made a significant contribution to higher education in Scotland and to public life. I believe that her incredible depth of experience of the sector, and her passion for what QMU stands for, will help us with our ambitious and enterprising plans to create a community without borders which helps to improve people’s lives locally, nationally and internationally.”

Dr Frances Dow, concluded: “It is a great honour to be appointed to chair the Court of Queen Margaret University. QMU’s excellence in research, teaching and knowledge exchange, and its commitment to social justice, are well established and I look forward to working with fellow Court members, staff and students, to enhance its renown as a leading centre of ideas and influence.”  

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