Professor Dame Julia Higgins has been appointed as College Council's representative on the Imperial College Union Trustee Board, at a meeting that took place last week.
Dame Higgins, who first became a member of staff at Imperial in 1976, has held many important roles within the college, including Dean of The City & Guilds College, and temporarily held the post of Principal of the Faculty of Engineering. She has also been this year's President of the City & Guilds College Association, the alumni service connected to The Faculty of Engineering and the CGCU.
Outside of her work at Imperial College, Dame Higgins has spent five years as Vice President and Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, a year as President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and was involved in the government's Athena project, which aimed to improve recruitment, retention and advancement of women in academic posts in the areas of Science, Technology and Medicine.
The new appointment was made at the recommendation of the outgoing and incoming ICU Presidents, Jenny Morgan and Ashley Brown. The board used new rules to appoint Dame Higgins, which allow the Trustees themselves to appoint new members, without consulting the Union Council and Executive Committee first.
When the decision to appoint Dame Higgins was made the meeting was not quorate, as well as having only one Student Trustee present. This was not questioned, and the meeting later became quorate with the arrival of Hamish Common.
The new appointment followed the resignation of Ram Gidoomal, who has filled the role of Trustee Board Chair since it was created in 2007. This means that the board also needs to appoint a new Chair in the near future.
Meanwhile, outgoing CGCU President, Mark Mearing-Smith, has informed the board that he does not intend to take up the position of Student Trustee on August 1st. He was elected to the position earlier this year, following a fierce campaign. He had sat on the Trustee Board previously as Council Chair. A new Student Trustee is yet to be appointed.