Dr Williams joined the University College on 16th May 2012. An energetic, committed and innovative professional who was awarded the CBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for ‘services to the tourism and creative industries’. She has had a distinguished career to date, having taken many companies and organisations forward from a situation of uncertainty, to growth and profit.
Dr Williams has a longstanding interest and engagement with Higher Education and is currently a non-executive Chair of the Steering Group set up to establish a new Institute of Media Innovation and Technology to serve Plymouth and the wider Devon and Cornwall region. She also works with a number of other Universities and organisations on behalf of the fashion industry to develop an innovative web platform designed for graduates to create a pathway into employment.
The University College is a small, Church of England foundation institution established in 1840 with a strong commitment to access and inclusion and life chances through education. The University College is committed to providing a distinctive and high quality education and student experience and has an ambitious vision for the future, supported by its Strategic Plan.
Professor Margaret Noble, Principal of the University College, comments:
"We are delighted to welcome Dr Williams to the University College. She takes up the post of Chair at a time of considerable change within the higher education sector and the University College will be taking every opportunity to draw on her extensive experience as both a director of many companies and as a non-executive Chair of a number of boards.
Previously, Dr Williams spent 7 years as Chair of the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWERDA). She has significant connections to the South West and Plymouth and has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the South West with Government, and to counter Government tendency to favour regions further North. She was responsible for the campaign that culminated in the birth of VisitEngland and for driving the Government's Creative Economy Programme.
Her experience will be invaluable to the University College as we work in partnership to deliver our strategic objectives.”
Dr Williams comments:
“This appointment gives me particular personal pleasure as I am able not only to further my interest in serving the needs of the region's business community but to indulge my passion for sport and to pursue an absolute commitment to improving the quality of primary education. I firmly believe that the most important years of a child's education are those prior to the age of eleven. I could have hoped for no appointment more appropriate to my personal interests. This is a University College of untold opportunity as it faces up to its future and I feel privileged to be a part of that realisation.”
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