Professor Philip Nolan Appointed President of NUI Maynooth

Press Release

The Governing Authority of NUI Maynooth today confirmed the appointment of Professor Philip Nolan as President of the University. He will take up the position on 15th August 2011.

Professor Nolan is currently Registrar, Deputy President and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at University College Dublin, a position he has held since 2004. He is a distinguished medical scientist and highly respected university teacher, who has been central to the changes and developments at UCD in recent years. 

Professor Nolan said his priorities include strengthening NUI Maynooth’s national and international reputation as one of Ireland’s finest universities, through outstanding teaching that equips students for careers and for life, by focusing on number of priority areas of research where NUI Maynooth can truly excel, and by fostering strong collaborations with other higher education institutions, with enterprise, and with the community.

Professor Nolan said, “I am delighted and honoured to take up this role at NUI Maynooth. The world of international academia is highly competitive and NUI Maynooth has developed tremendously under the guidance of two outstanding Presidents, Seamus Smyth and John Hughes, and the important recent leadership of Tom Collins, so that it is now an exceptional academic institution. I intend to build on this success, consolidating NUI Maynooth’s distinctive and special contribution to our national system of higher education and growing its international reputation. I look forward to working with all staff and students towards this goal.”

He added that NUI Maynooth would continue its links with enterprise and the community which have proved so successful in recent years, saying “The impact of a university on the cultural, social and economic development of a region is enormous, and represents an extraordinary return on investment.  NUI Maynooth in particular, and higher education in general, will be central to our national recovery”

Professor Nolan is widely acknowledged to have been critical to the success of the very ambitious programme of change pursued at UCD, led by President Hugh Brady, which has seen UCD rise in international rankings to become one of the world’s top 100 universities.  Professor Nolan was responsible for the introduction of the UCD Horizons modular undergraduate curriculum, major reforms in doctoral education, expansion of UCD’s international activities, and for brokering important alliances with the National College of Art and Design and the Institute of Public Administration.  He was a prime mover in the development of the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance, thought to be one of the models for the idea of regional clusters of higher education institutions proposed in the Hunt Report.

Commenting on the appointment, Chairperson of the NUI Maynooth Governing Authority, Baroness Nuala O’Loan said, “We are very pleased to appoint Philip Nolan to the position of President. He is a proven leader and an academic of considerable international pedigree. His achievements at UCD in recent years demonstrate his abilities and I look forward to working with him to deliver our shared vision for the University. I would also like to pay particular tribute to interim President Professor Tom Collins whose tenure has been superb in ensuring the sustained development of the college. He will remain at the helm until Professor Nolan takes up his position.  We wish him well and continued success”.

NUI Maynooth has been Ireland’s fast growing university in recent years, doubling in size to over 8,000 students since 2004.  Postgraduate student numbers have increased by more than 50% to 1,800 and average entrance points have risen from 397 to 425. Research income has tripled to €34 million in the same period.


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