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Vice-principals take up roles at University of the Highlands and Islands


Lydia Rohmer, Stuart Gibb and Iain Macmillan

The University of the Highlands and Islands has appointed three new vice-principals to its senior management team to increase representation from the 13 colleges and research institutions which make up its partnership.

The vice-principals will dedicate two and a half days a week to supporting the aims of the university and will fulfil the duties of their existing roles at colleges and research institutes around the partnership on a part-time basis.

Professor Stuart Gibb, director of the Environmental Research Institute at North Highland College UHI, has been appointed as vice-principal (international and external engagement). He is leading on the development and implementation of the university’s international strategy, working to improve brand identity and increase the recruitment of international students.

West Highland College UHI principal, Lydia Rohmer, has taken up the role of vice-principal (tertiary). She is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the tertiary nature of the university’s education provision are optimised and that the tertiary nature is understood, recognised and valued. Her responsibilities include developing strategies to increase and align curriculum across all levels, enhancing learner pathways across further and higher education as well as work-based learning, widening access to educational opportunities and leading on branding and positioning of the university as a tertiary organisation.

Iain Macmillan, principal of Lews Castle College UHI, has been appointed as vice-principal (strategic harmonisation and organisational efficiency). He will work to identify areas where processes can be improved and where services and resources can be shared across the university partnership.

In addition to the part time vice-principals, the university recently welcomed Dr Diane Rawlinson, former principal of Inverness College UHI, to the full time position of vice-principal (further education) in June. The role sees Dr Rawlinson working with principals across the Highlands and Islands to ensure that all aspects of further education provision are delivered in line with Scottish Government policy and the Scottish Funding Council’s outcome agreement.

The university’s principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Clive Mulholland welcomed his new colleagues, saying: “We have strengthened our senior management team with these excellent appointments from across our region and I look forward to seeing the positive contributions each will make to the development of the university.”

Professor Stuart Gibb said: “Internationalisation is at the heart of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ strategy and I am therefore delighted to be taking up this new role. I look forward to helping grow the number and diversity of students across the partnership by bringing our distinctive curriculum to the rest of the UK, to Europe and to the rest of the world, and will be seeking to develop and establish new strategic partnerships, collaborations and models which will advance these international aspirations.”

Lydia Rohmer said: “The University of the Highlands and Islands is a unique institution in Scotland and the UK, providing seamless access to further and higher education as well as research degrees in a region covering half the landmass of Scotland and including some of the most remote locations in the UK. My role has been designed to ensure that the incredibly rich and diverse opportunities which the university partnership offers to learners, communities and employers in the Highlands and Islands region, Scotland and beyond, are fully understood, developed and valued. I look forward to working in partnership with our academic partners and our regional and national stakeholders to help realise these opportunities for the benefit of our students, as well as the region as a whole.”

Iain Macmillan said: “At the same time as offering opportunities nationally and internationally, the university and its partners deliver the full range of post-school education to local communities in an area which covers half the landmass of Scotland. We need to find new ways of doing this so that we can maintain and expand our high quality delivery while also developing new opportunities. I am looking forward to helping in the process of establishing the university as a truly transformational force within the Highlands and Islands.”

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