Queen Margaret University appoints new Principal 11 Mar 2009

Dr Petra Wend, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Deputy Chief Executive at Oxford Brookes University has been appointed Principal of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Dr Wend was previously at London Metropolitan University and is currently on secondment there from Brookes, supporting the Vice-Chancellor on a number of strategic academic projects and developments. She will take up her new post with effect from 1 September 2009, succeeding Professor Anthony Cohen CBE, who is to retire at the end of this academic year. Professor Ian Percy, Chairman of the Court of Queen Margaret University, made the announcement today (Wednesday 11 March 2009) on the Court's behalf.

Dr Wend originally read Italian and French Language and Literature, and Education at the University of M√ľnster in Germany and gained a PhD in Italian Language and Literature at Leeds University. She went on to teach German and Italian at Middlesex University, rising to senior management roles before being appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of North London, now London Metropolitan University, where she subsequently became Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching). She joined Oxford Brookes University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Deputy Chief Executive in 2005.

Professor Ian Percy said; "We were delighted to attract a number of extremely strong candidates to this key post and we are extremely pleased that Dr Wend will be joining us in the autumn. Having recently gained full university title, moved into some of the best new academic facilities available in the country and opened a campus in Singapore, Queen Margaret University now has many opportunities to grow and develop further. Dr Wend brings with her experience in senior management of new universities where the concepts of relevance, collaboration and community are central to academic development. She brings with her particular strengths in change management, widening participation, and international initiatives and will be a great asset to the University in developing our academic portfolio, achieving our full potential in research and enhancing the student experience."

With a research background in institutional strategies underpinning successful leadership, improvements in student experience and university performance indicators, Dr Wend has a significant profile of academic publications and invited lectures. She holds a number of formal advisory roles on UK and international committees and boards. Last year she took part in Harvard Business School's Women's Leadership Forum and is a member of the Society of Renaissance Studies.

Commenting on her appointment Dr Wend said; "I am very excited about joining Queen Margaret University which has made so many distinctive contributions in the context of pressing social need whilst continually improving highly relevant and cutting edge research. Given the achievements in these areas, that have occurred under the leadership of Professor Cohen, the University has an excellent basis to grow and develop even further. I am very much looking forward to working with my new colleagues to realise this potential in the context of the challenges facing the university sector at this time."

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