Archive for Professor Eeva Leinonen

Fears for STEM at Maynooth

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , , on March 11, 2021 by telescoper

On Monday I reported that Maynooth has selected a new President in the form of Professor Eeva Leinonen who is currently Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University in Australia. I was initially pleased to see the announcement, but news is coming out now that is filling me and my colleagues in STEM subjects with a sense of alarm.

According to this article Professor Eeva Leinonen effectively shut down all STEM subjects as separate disciplines at Murdoch University, removing the status of researchers from staff in these areas (i.e. putting them all on teaching-only positions) and turning all their teaching into support activities for other disciplines. As a consequence of this Murdoch University no longer awards degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For further information see here.

Since this news has come out I have been filled with dread that the new President will do the same here in Maynooth where the Faculty of Science & Engineering is already smaller than those of Arts and Social Sciences.

The incoming President does not take up her role until October 1st but in the meantime I hope she will clarify what her intentions are so that the perception of her being anti-science does not cast a shadow over recruitment of students and staff here.

I therefore call upon Professor Eeva Leinonen to make a public statement on her plans for STEM subjects at Maynooth.

The Next President of Maynooth University

Posted in Maynooth with tags , on March 8, 2021 by telescoper


After a process that has taken several months to complete, Maynooth University has at last appointed its next President!

Here is the official press release (I added the link to Professor Leinonen’s current affiliation):

Maynooth University appoints an international researcher and current Vice-Chancellor as its next President

The Governing Authority of Maynooth University today appointed Professor Eeva Leinonen to be its next President effective from 1 October 2021.  Professor Leinonen will succeed Professor Philip Nolan who has led the University for the past 10 years.

Professor Leinonen has held the role of Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia since 2016, having previously been Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.  Prior to moving to Australia in 2012, she was Vice Principal (Education) at King’s College London.

Originally from Finland, Professor Leinonen has a background in linguistics and psychology.  She engages with researchers in Finland and Italy in ongoing research into pragmatic language development in children and contextual processing deficits of children and young adults with autistic spectrum disorders.

The Chairperson of the Governing Authority, Dr Mary Canning, said she was delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Leinonen as the next President of Maynooth University. Dr Canning believes that Professor Leinonen’s track record in the leadership and management of higher education institutions internationally will be of great benefit to Maynooth University, the Irish Universities Association and the higher education system in general at this critical time.  She wished Professor Leinonen well as she takes up her new role.

In accepting her appointment, Professor Leinonen said that she was honoured to have the opportunity to lead this fine university in the next stage of its development.

“High quality innovative education, world class research that has positive societal impact and transformational educational opportunities for all who can benefit irrespective of background are hallmarks of Maynooth University and resonate closely with my approach to university education.”

“I am very much looking forward to working collaboratively with colleagues across the University, with students, the Governing Authority, Academic Council, the Irish education sector and the many partners and supporters of Maynooth University to build on the University’s impressive achievements gained under the leadership of Professor Nolan and previous Presidents.”

I’d like to take the opportunity to wish Professor Leinonen all the very best for her time in the role!