21 November, 2017 - Minister Bruton makes two new appointments to the Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA)

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, today announced the appointment of two new members to the Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

Following a public recruitment process run by the Public Appointments Service and consultation with the Chair of the HEA, the Minister is pleased to appoint two academic Members to the HEA Board: Dr Ronan Lyons and Dr Deirdre Lillis.

The Higher Education Authority (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.

Minster Bruton said “I have made these appointments following a public recruitment process facilitated by the Public Appointments Service. Dr. Lyons and Dr. Lillis have valuable expertise and experience that will be of benefit to the Board in ensuring that it can provide the necessary strategic direction to the HEA in the years ahead.”.

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.

Mary Mitchell O Connor, T.D., Minister for Higher Education, welcomed the appointments. “This is an important time for the HEA. As the main funding and regulatory body for higher education, the HEA is involved in a number of important significant activities. These include ensuring compliance with governance requirements across the higher education sector, the provision of funding for all publicly funded institutions, and it will shortly be implementing a new reformed funding model for higher education. I would like to congratulate Dr. Lyons and Dr. Lillis on their appointment at this very important time for the HEA.”

The appointment of Dr. Lyons and Dr. Lillis means that the Board of the HEA has a Chairperson and 14 members (7 academic and 7 non-academic). This meets the necessary requirements for the size of the Board under the relevant legislation.

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

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

New members

  1. Dr. Ronan Lyons is Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin
  2. Dr. Deirdre Lillis, Head of School of Computing, Dublin Institute of Technology

The fees payable to board members are as follows: €7,695 per annum for Ordinary Members. Fee not payable to serving public servants. As holders of teaching or research posts in higher education institutes, academic members of the Authority are not eligible to receive the annual allowance. 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 appointment of Dr. Lyons and Dr. Lillis, the gender balance of the Board will be 47% female representation and 53% male representation, aligning with the Government’s commitment to achieve a target of 40% representation of each gender on all State Boards.