The President of the country's newest university, the Munster Technological University (MTU), has been announced today by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD.
Professor Maggie Cusack will become the second ever female President of an Irish university when MTU, a consortium of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee), is officially established on January 1.
She is currently Dean of Natural Sciences at the University of Stirling in Scotland.
The appointment of Professor Cusack as President of MTU follows the running of an open competition by the governing bodies of IT Tralee and CIT and their proposing Professor Cusack as the successful candidate from a field of 60 candidates, both national and international.
"The establishment of only the second technological university in the State, the first outside the capital, is another important milestone for higher education in Ireland and, in particular, for the South West," Minister Harris said, speaking today.
"I want to congratulate Professor Cusack on her appointment.
"It makes her the second ever female President of an Irish University.
"Professor Cusack will lead MU on this journey of transformation, and will help drive the agenda of higher education access excellence in teaching and learning, regional development and crucially, strengthen the links between community and the university," he continued.
Commenting, Professor Cusack said she was "thrilled" to be appointed inaugural president of the Munster Technological University.
"On January 1, 2021, the culmination of many years of planning, preparation and hard work will come together as Munster Technological University comes into existence.
"MTU’s mission is to lead change and, through education, empower people for a successful future in a globalised world.
"I look forward to working with my MTU colleagues at this exciting and profoundly important time for staff, students, and all stakeholders to maximise the opportunities of a Technological University to bring educational, economic and social benefit to the region for generations to come," she continued.
In addition, a public process has commenced seeking expressions of interest in the role of chairperson of MTU.
In advance of the conclusion of this process, Minister Harris will appoint Bob Savage as chairperson from January 1, 2021.