New University of Central Lancashire boss to make student life enjoyable

Experience: UCLan's Prof Gai Murphy
Experience: UCLan's Prof Gai Murphy
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The University of Central Lancashire has created a new role of pro vice-chancellor with responsibility for student experience.

Professor Gai Murphy joined the Preston-based university this week from the University of Salford where she has had a long and distinguished career.

The new pro vice-chancellor – who has a PhD in zoology from the University of Manchester - joined Salford in 1989 as director of the short course Unit and was appointed as a lecturer in 1991 in the School of Environment and Life Sciences.

Inn 2003 she was made associate dean (academic) for Salford’s College of Science and Technology where she worked with the Dean of the college, the PVC academic, the Students’ Union and colleagues to focus on ensuring that students had a positive experience at the university.

Gai was then appointed interim pro vice-chancellor responsible for learning and teaching from June to December 2013.

UCLan vice-chancellor Professor Gerry Kelleher said: “I know she is looking forward to making a real impact in her new role.

“Gai will have responsibility for the effective resourcing, management, strategic direction and future success of all aspects of the UCLan student experience. I feel very confident that she can build on our success in this area.”

Professor Murphy added: “The decision to study at university is a big one and although higher education can unlock many doors it is not a cheap option.

“Students have every right to demand an excellent student experience so they reach their potential and go on to enjoy the career to which they aspire.

“By working together with UCLan’s academic and service community I know we can make a real difference.”

Her teaching and research interests lie in urban vector management. Research in urban environments is very challenging and Gai believes that tackling the risks posed by pest species is a vital part of public and environmental health.

She has worked with Public Health England, the Central Science Labs at York, the Health and Safety Executive and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Gai is a Quality Assurance Agency Institutional Reviewer and she has visited other HE institutions in the UK and abroad, reviewing how they deliver learning and teaching to their students

Professor Murphy is married with one son.