Professor Peter McKiernan, who resides in St Andrews, is to play a key role in an ambitious educational reform project in Scotland, which has just been unveiled. The prestigious appointment has come at the same time as he was honoured by the influential European Academy of Management.
The recent regionalisation of the further education sector and the post 16 reforms represent one of the most significant packages of educational change that Scotland has ever seen. The innovative approach brings efficiency gains and provides a key skill framework necessary to promote economic growth.
The sector will be reorganised from over 40 colleges to 13 regions and Mike Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Life Long Learning, has named Professor McKiernan as the chair of the new West Lothian region. He has joined other notable appointments, including former First Minister Henry McLeish, who will chair the new Glasgow region.
Professor McKiernan, who sits on the main board of Scotland’s Colleges, said: “The changes are essential if Scotland’s wealth of talent is to be harnessed effectively. The new structure will enhance economic growth and social progress. It will prevent the overlapping of activities and help establish a clear focus for each region.
“The Cabinet Minister has listened carefully to each view over the last year and I am delighted to have this exciting opportunity to help him achieve his objective for Scotland.”
Meanwhile, Professor McKiernan has brought an additional honour to Scotland following the conferral on him by the European Academy of Management of one of its inaugural Fellowships. The awards are granted to professors of international distinction for their contributions to the Academy and to academia generally.
The first UK-based management professor to hold Fellowships from both the British and European Academies of Management, he added: ”Clearly, an honour bestowed by your peers is special indeed. It is a privilege to have acted for the Academy over several years and to have worked alongside an impressive team of pioneers, who created a world leading organisation through their application of gift and genius.”
Professor McKiernan, who previously held the chair of management at St Andrews University for 19 years and chaired the Madras College School board for a decade, is at present head of Strathclyde Business School’s Department of Management and Dean of the Business School of Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.