Údarás Elections 2015 | Toghcháin an Údaráis 2015

Please see the following link for your information: Notice re Election of five Professors/Associate Professors to Údarás na hOllscoile (The University Governing Authority) for a five-year period, beginning 1st February, 2016.

Féach thuas, mar eolas duit, Fógra faoi Thoghchán chúigear Ollúna/Comhollúna chuig Údarás na hOllscoile ar feadh cúig bliana, ag tosnú 1ú Feabhra, 2016.

Elected | Tofa


Grace McCormack


Tim O’Brien


Vincent O’Flaherty


Terry Smith



Breda Sweeney



‌List of Candidates | Liosta na nIarrthóirí

Philip Dine

I joined NUI Galway in 2002, having previously taught at universities in France, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. I was appointed as a College Lecturer in French, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and to Personal Professor in 2015. I have been Head of Discipline since 2011. My research focuses on colonial/post-colonial questions, and sport and leisure. I am a long-standing member of the Irish Federation of University Teachers, and would aim to represent all categories of academic staff. 

Tháinig mé go dtí OÉ Gaillimh i 2002, tar éis múineadh in ollscoileanna sa Fhrainc, sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus sa tSiombáib. Ceapadh mé mar Léachtóir Choláiste le Fraincis, agus fuair mé ardú céime go Léachtóir Sinsearach i 2006 agus go Ollamh Pearsanta i 2015. Táim i mo Cheann Disciplín ó 2011 ar aghaidh. Díríonn mo chuid taighde ar cheisteanna coilíneacha / iar-coilíneacha, agus spórt agus fóillíocht. Tá mé i mo bhall de Chónaidhm Éireannach na Múinteoirí Ollscoile, agus bheadh sé mar aidhm agam ionadaíocht a dhéanamh do gach catagóir den fhoireann.


John Hinde

I have been the Established Professor of Statistics since coming to Galway in 2002, having previously worked at the Universities of Exeter and Lancaster in the UK. As well as extensive administrative university experience, including a period as Head of the Mathematics Department, overlapping with the formation of the School, I am just completing a two-year term as President of the International Biometric Society that involved the management and strategic planning for a society of over 5000 members throughout the world. Freed from this major commitment, I am now keen to bring my experience and international perspective to the service of NUIG.

If elected to Governing Authority, I would work to ensure that NUIG provides an academic community in which all students and staff are supported to achieve their potential in an open and fair way. A Governing Authority with strong academic input is key to this, establishing an inclusive vision for the future and a culture of increased collaboration that can enhance engagement and raise the performance and profile of NUIG.


Grace McCormack

I took up post as a senior lecturer in Zoology in November 2004. During my time at NUI Galway I have served on many committees including disability, biosafety, senior lecturer promotions and University Women’s Network. I took on the role of Head of Zoology in 2010 (until 2015) and served on the executive committee of the School of Natural Sciences from its inception until 2015, also contributing to the Learning Teaching and Assessment, Research, Biodiversity and Bioresources, & Health and Safety committees of the School. These activities and others have given me a very good understanding of how the University operates.

I am interested in serving on Governing Authority because, despite major progress, the University has become a less happy place in which to work with greater disconnect between staff and management. My aims are to ask questions and make comments where needed and to bring forward the views of my colleagues where appropriate. I am interested in finding out how the committees of Governing Authority can be used to effect change in a more positive and integrated way.


Tim O’Brien

Professor O’Brien is Head of the Discipline of Medicine, Director of REMEDI, Dean of the CMNHS and Consultant Endocrinologist in GUH.  He has been applicant on grants worth over €73 million, published 258 articles, 21 book chapters, and is Inventor on 7 patents.  He coordinates 2 EU consortia and is a founder of University spin out, Orbsen Therapeutics.  He is editor of “Stem Cell Research and Therapy”.  He teaches first, third and final year medical students and received the Pat McHugh award for best consultant teacher in 2015.

Tá an tOllamh O’Brien mar cheann de Disciplín an Leigheas, Stiúrthóir go REMEDI, Déin don CMNHS agus Comhairleach Incríneolaí ag Ospidéal Ollscoille na Gaillimhe. Tá sé mar faighteoir de dheontais de luach os cionn €73 milliún, 258 ailt foilsithe aige, 21 caibidil leabhar scríofa agus é mar aireagóir de 7 paitinn. Comhordaíonn sé 2 ilchuideachta den AE agus é mar bhunaitheoir de mac-chuideachta den Ollscoil, Orbsen Therapeutics. Tá sé mar eagarthóir ar “Stem Cell Research and Therapy”. Bíonn sé ag múineadh mic léinn leigheas atá sa chéad, triú agus sa mblian deireanach.


Dáibhí Ó Cróinín

Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, MRIA, FSA, Department of History, I am asking for your support in the upcoming elections to the new Governing Authority of the University. As a member of the outgoing Authority for the last three years of its term, I believe that I have been able to represent the interests and concerns of the academic staff, in particular, as well as the other constituencies that make up the wider community in the University.

Since my initial appointment in 1980 I have seen enormous changes take place across the entire campus and have played my part in many of those changes. As a three-time Chairperson of the Teaching/Academic Section of SIPTU, e.g., I was involved in negotiating and concluding a variety of changes in the appointment and promotion procedures that have affected all our colleagues on the academic teaching staff, at every stage of their careers.


Vincent O’Flaherty

Rugadh agus tógadh ar an gCeathrú Rua, i nGaeltacht Chonamara mé.  Rinne mé staidéar san eolaíocht in OÉ Gallimh agus cháiligh mé le PhD i 1997. Chaith mé sealanna ag obair san Ísiltír agus sa mBeilg sular tháinig mé ar ais, mar léachtóir, sa bhliain 2000.

I was appointed Professor of Microbiology in 2008 and was elected to Údarás in 2013, in a mid-term election. I have been an active contributor during my time on the body and served on the Finance Resource and Academic Planning and Resource Committees. I have a substantial track record of University leadership at Discipline, School and College level, while I have also established an international reputation as a research leader in environmental biotechnology. I have been Head of the School of Natural Sciences since 2013. I teach in Science at all years and levels and have a strong interest in educational innovation. My aims, if elected to Údarás, will be to work effectively and positively to promote good governance, improved communication and wider staff engagement in all aspects of the development of our University.


David O’Sullivan

David is Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Quality. In addition to research and teaching, he plays a key role with the University’s strategic and operational planning, quality assurance and enhancement and development of key policies and procedures. David is a member of the Quality and Innovation Committee, President’s Award for Teaching and the committee for Risk Management. He is also a member of the HEA’s committees for Student Engagement and Academic Regulations.  He is chair of the IUA’s Quality Officers Group and a member of the Uversity Governing Body. David has led some unique initiatives beginning with a workshop series on University Restructuring in 1994 under Prof O’hEocha. He was co-facilitator of the University’s first strategic plan in 1995 under Prof Fottrell.

He is former Director of Research at CIMRU and co-founder of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (now Insight). He is also co-founder of the Atlantic University Alliance and currently teaches an online MOOC that attracts over 12.5k students. David is vocal in championing new ideas that can lead to a more effective, successful and engaging University.


Terry Smith

I joined NUI Galway (2002) as Professor of Biomedical Engineering Science, and Director of the NCBES.  While Vice-President for Research (July 2008-December 2012), I led the HEA PRTLI-5 submission, securing over €65 million for NUI Galway. I also led strategic reviews of the Moore Institute and the Whitaker Institute.  A member of Údarás since 2013, I hope to continue to be an active member, contributing to key Governance issues, including in particular: Gender Equality; University resources (human and financial); and Research Support.



Charles Spillane

Prof. Charles Spillane is Established Professor of Plant Science, SFI Investigator and Head of the multi-disciplinary Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) at NUI Galway. His research team conducts plant and agribiosciences research relating to sustainability challenges nationally and globally (including in developing countries). Prof. Spillane has recently established the Masters degree program in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (MScCCAFS). Prior to returning to Ireland in 2003 (to UCC initially), he worked in the UK (John Innes Centre), Switzerland (FMI, Uni Zurich), Italy (FAO, IPGRI) and USA (Cold Spring Harbor Labs).

Prof. Spillane has extensive experience in research, education and innovation both at the scientific/technical and policy levels. During the 1990s Prof Spillane worked as a policy advisor to UN member states during the inter-governmental negotiations leading to the 2001 international Treaty on Genetic Resources. Prof Spillane is highly active in European innovation policy, including in the European Research Council (ERC). Prof. Spillane is committed to advancing inter-disciplinary research, innovation and education within NUI Galway so that students and staff can more effectively contribute to emerging sustainable development challenges.


Ulf Strohmayer

I am the Established Professor in Geography here at NUI Galway. A native of Germany, I studied and taught in Sweden, France, Pennsylvania and Wales before settling in the West of Ireland fifteen years ago. Academically, my interests lie especially in social and historical philosophies and urban planning in Western Europe. I served as Head of Geography (2001-09) and of the School of Geography and Archaeology (2008-13). I strongly believe in collective decision-making processes through empowering colleagues within Department, School and College.

For me, leadership is defined by the privilege of thinking about and arguing for change where necessary and desirable; crucially, this includes teaching and research equally. It is an inclusive culture of encouragement and progressive innovation that I would like to see flourish at NUI Galway. If elected, I would support Údarás in playing a major role in achieving this by critically engaging with initiatives and proposals, and by consulting with all relevant stakeholders. Creativity is central to this endeavour, as is daring to be innovative in the pursuit of knowledge and of excellence in teaching and learning.



Breda Sweeney

Professor Breda Sweeney

I joined NUI Galway in 2000 as lecturer in Accountancy & Finance and was appointed Personal Professor in 2012. Previously I worked in UCD (1995-2000) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (Dublin and Sydney). I am a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and head of the Discipline of Accountancy & Finance (2010-2014; 2015-present). I chair the University Fitness to Practice Panel and am a member of the University Women’s Network Committee. I have held visiting appointments at Esade Business School, Barcelona and University of Canterbury, New Zealand.


Antony Wheatley

Antony (Tony) Wheatley BSc[Hons] (UCD), PhD (TCD) and Habilitation (Berne). I am an active teacher/researcher and Head of the Discipline of Physiology. I have worked at 5 universities on 3 continents, so know how universities work. At a previous institution in New Zealand, I served on its governing body. In 2012 was elected to our Údarás and to the NUI Senate as an NUIG representative. I have been an active and outspoken member on Údarás, serving on the Finance and Strategic Planning sub-committees. I have been a strong advocate of the smoke-free campus initiative that is soon to be implemented.

During the course of the next Údarás, the University needs to address several critical issues including gender equality, academic and general staff morale, the staff:student ratio and our budget.  Despite previous experience, I feel only now fully equipped to fulfill my role on Údarás. I therefore seek you vote for a second term. If elected I will endeavour to ensure that our University grows both in performance and reputation.