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University of Limerick appoints first female president of an Irish university

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris hailed Professor Kerstin Mey’s appointment as ‘historic’.

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Interim President of the University of Limerick Kerstin MeyPic Sean Curtin True Media. Free Reproduction

Interim President of the University of Limerick Kerstin MeyPic Sean Curtin True Media. Free Reproduction

Interim President of the University of Limerick Kerstin MeyPic Sean Curtin True Media. Free Reproduction

Professor Kerstin Mey has been named as the new president of the University of Limerick, the first woman to be appointed to the position in an Irish university.

Prof Mey, the current Vice President Academic Affairs and Student Engagement at the University of Limerick (UL) will replace outgoing president Dr Des Fitzgerald, who announced his intention to retire in May.

Prof Mey previously held roles as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design and as Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at the University of Westminster, London.

She said she was “proud and really humbled to lead the University of Limerick over the next period”.

“It is a significant opportunity and also a huge challenge and I will be aiming to work with all staff, students, Governing Authority, the communities UL serves, our stakeholders in the city and the region and of course the government to underpin the role that universities will play in the economic recovery as we manage the pandemic.”

Chancellor of University of Limerick’s Governing Authority, Mary Harney said Prof Mey would be a “great appointee and one in whom we have every faith in to lead the University at a challenging time.

“There has long been a significant gender imbalance at the senior leadership level in Irish universities and it is fitting that UL now has the first female president given our consistent leading position on gender equality in higher education in Ireland,” Ms Harney said.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris TD hailed Prof Mey’s appointment as “historic”.

Mr Harris said: “I am particularly pleased to welcome Dr Mey as the first female president of a university in Ireland.

“Dr Mey’s prolific academic record, renowned research and established leadership both in Ireland and internationally will be of immense benefit to the university and I wish all in the university well in this new and exciting phase.

“I look forward to visiting in due course to see the work for myself.”

PA