20 June, 2017 - Minister Bruton fills vacancies on the Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA)

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, today announced measures to fill vacancies on the Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

Following consultation with the Chair of the HEA, the Minister is pleased to reappoint two non-academic Members to the HEA Board: Mr Jim Mountjoy and Mr Bahram Bekhradnia. 

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the lead organisation for the development of a higher education and research system that meets the needs of Irish society and our economy and is accountable to the Minister for Education and Skills for that leadership.

The HEA is the statutory funding authority for the universities, institutes of technology and a number of other designated institutions and is the advisory body to the Minister for Education and Skills in relation to the higher education sector.    The HEA also has a statutory responsibility for the effective governance and regulation of higher education institutions and the higher education system.

The Board is collectively responsible for promoting the success of the HEA by leading and directing the Authority’s activities. It provides strategic guidance to the HEA executive team and monitors the activities and effectiveness of management.

Minister Bruton also signalled today that expressions of interest are now being sought to fill a further two academic vacancies on the HEA Board. 

This process is being managed by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) under the revised procedures put in place in late 2014 for the appointment of persons to positions on State boards. Applications may only be made through the dedicated website www.stateboards.ie. PAS will undertake an assessment process in relation to the expressions of interest received and at the end of that process it will provide the Minister with a list of candidates deemed to be suitable for appointment to the Board.

The closing date for the receipt of applications via the website www.stateboards.ie is 7th July 2017.

Minster Bruton said

“Higher education is a central part of our plan as a Government to support a strong economy and deliver a fair society. The reappointment of Mr. Mountjoy and Mr Bekhradnia, and the filling of two further positions on the Board through the Public Appointments Service, will provide the breadth and diversity of expertise that the HEA will require in the years ahead to deliver on the government’s ambition for the higher education sector ”.

The reappointment of Mr. Mountjoy and Mr. Bekhradnia will bring the number of Ordinary Board Members to 12 (5 academic and 7 non-academic). 

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

The Higher Education Authority (HEA)

The HEA is the lead organisation for the development of a higher education and research system that meets the needs of Irish society and our economy and is accountable to the Minister for Education and Skills for that leadership.  In 2016 the HEA was responsible for the allocation of c €1.2bn exchequer funding to the higher education institutions.

The Irish Research Council operates as a sub-board of the HEA and is responsible primarily for funding early stage career researchers: namely, postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The Council allocates c. €34m in Exchequer funding.

The HEA and IRC currently employ c. 63 staff

In 2016 the HEA was responsible for the allocation of c €1.2bn exchequer funding to the higher education institutions.

The website of the HEA is available at www.hea.ie

Functions of the Board:

The Board is collectively responsible for promoting the success of the HEA by leading and directing the Authority’s activities. It provides strategic guidance to the HEA executive team and monitors the activities and effectiveness of management. The HEA has a schedule of matters reserved for the Board. Specifically the Board is responsible for the following:

·        Set strategic direction in approving statements of strategy and its implementation through annual work plans

·        Approve allocation of exchequer funding

·        Approve policy advice

·        Approve HEA governance arrangements

·        Approve functions assigned to the HEA under legislation

The fees payable to board members are as follows:€7,695 per annum for Ordinary Members. Fee not payable to serving public servants.  Travel and subsistence allowances will be paid in respect of journeys undertaken to attend meetings of the Board or to transact its business.

Gender balance

Following the reappointment of Mr. Mountjoy and Mr Bekhradnia, the gender balance of the Board will be 54% female representation and 46% male representation, aligning with the Government’s commitment to achieve a target of 40% representation of each gender on all State Boards.

Reappointment of members to State Boards

The Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards specifies that there are certain exemptions relating to the appointment of persons to state boards including -

“In the case of proposed re-appointments to State Boards where the Minister is satisfied having consulted with the Chair that the Board member has already demonstrated through their performance as a member of the State Board their effectiveness and contribution which warrants their re-appointment. “

 

Expressions of Interest

Submission of Expressions of Interest in the filling of vacancies on the HEA Board may be made through the following link - 

http://www.stateboards.ie/stateboards/campaignAdvert/55318.htm