27 July, 2016 - Minister Bruton Announces Appointments to the Higher Education Authority

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., today announced the following appointments to the board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA). 

Chairperson:- Mr.  Michael Horgan.  Mr. Horgan is the current Chair of the Health & Safety Authority and was formerly the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). In accordance with the Programme for a Partnership Government, Mr. Horgan will appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education & Skills, prior to his appointment being confirmed. 

Academic Members:

  • Professor Orla Feely is currently the Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact in University College Dublin.
  • Dr. Sinéad O'Flanagan is currently Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • Dr. Lynn Ramsey is currently the Head of Teaching and Learning, Letterkenny Institute of Technology
  • Dr. John Wall is currently the Head of School of Lifelong Learning and Education, Waterford Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Sharon Feeney is currently Head of Learning Development, College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology

Non-Academic Members:

  • Tony Donohoe is the Head of Education, Social and Innovation Policy in IBEC.
  • Judith Eaton is currently the President on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington D.C.
  • Darina Kneafsey is a Founder/Partner of Quilly Ltd. and is the former Chief Operating Officer in Trinity College Dublin.
  • Pól Ó’Móráin is a member of the Irish Export Trade Council and is also a partner in EnterpriseLab, London

The appointments are for a period of five years.

Minister Bruton said, “At the heart of what the Government is trying to achieve is to use our economic success to make life a little easier for people.  High quality education and training is key to this ambition.  I want to ensure that the higher education system equips people with the knowledge and skills necessary to live fulfilled and rewarding lives, and to meet the social and economic challenges facing Ireland.” 

The implementation of the System Performance Framework, Strategic Dialogue and agreement of compacts between the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) underpins a changed relationship between the State and the higher education system and provides for a new level of accountability for public funding against national objectives for the public funded higher education system.

“Now, I want to examine the potential for new funding models to ensure that we can deliver results in areas such as disadvantage, skills and research.

“In addition, I will be mapping out a multi-year vision for the future of this crucial sector which will see the development of a new Systems Performance Framework for Higher Education for the period to 2021. I will be examining measurement instruments for key areas that will include increasing access for underrepresented groups, flexible and online learning, responsiveness to emerging skills needs, student retention, new apprenticeship models and a renewed focus on improving the quality of the student experience and learning outcomes.

The knowledge and capability which these appointments will bring to the Board will ensure that we can deliver on these national objectives.”

All of the nominees for the positions have been selected by the Minister having come through the process ran by the Public Appointments Service.

The Minister welcomed the new appointees and wished them well in their important roles.