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University recognises contribution to higher education with two new professorships

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Two Highland academics have been made professors by the University of the Highlands and Islands. Crichton Lang and Neil Simco have both been awarded the title in recognition of their contribution to higher education management.

Based at the university’s offices at Ness Walk in Inverness, Professor Lang is deputy principal. He originally trained and practised as a veterinary surgeon in Tayside before completing a PhD in neuropharmacology and pursuing a university career. He joined the university in 2006.

Based in Dornoch, Professor Simco is dean of the faculty of arts, humanities and business and assistant principal for curriculum growth. Prior to joining the university in 2009, Professor Simco was dean of education and dean of research at the University of Cumbria. Professor Simco began his career as a primary school teacher before moving into university-based teacher education.

The university’s principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Clive Mulholland, said: “The title of professor is the highest level of academic achievement which can be awarded. It is reserved for individuals who are recognised as leaders in their field and have demonstrated excellence in their work.

“Professor Lang has developed a significant leadership role over his career and his detailed knowledge and experience relating to quality assurance has enabled us, as a young institution, to quickly mature and develop.

“Professor Simco has used his considerable experience to further our mission. In particular he has enhanced our reputation and standing through important partnerships and collaborations at national and international levels.”

Speaking about his new title, Professor Lang said: “While I am obviously proud of the award of this personal title in recognition of my achievements in supporting the university’s development and also in a number of other UK universities prior to that, I am even more proud of the University of the Highlands and Islands itself. I have been very fortunate to have been able to work with so many excellent and committed colleagues right across our regional partnership and I look forward to continuing to support our collective evolution and growing impact in the coming years.”

Professor Simco said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the title of professor of higher education by the University of the Highlands and Islands. It is a real privilege to have made a contribution to our university over recent years. I look forward to building on this – working closely with talented and experienced colleagues - in order to secure a further strong input to the development of our innovative, young university for the benefit of the Highlands and Islands region and beyond.”