CUA presidents resume onsite meetings as preparations to become a a technological university (TU) step up

for the first time since the Covid-19 enforced shutdown, as the three institutes prepare to re-open all campuses for new and continuing students across the West and North West region later this month (September ).

The Presidents of LYIT and IT Sligo and GMIT, Paul Hannigan, Dr Brendan McCormack and Dr Orla Flynn have been meeting weekly, online, for the past six months, in addition to regular online meetings of the CUA Steering Group chaired by Martin Cronin and also attended by CUA Executive Project Lead, Dr Seán Duffy, of LYIT.

The three presidents met face to face on LYIT’s Letterkenny campus on Friday, 28 August, to discuss a range of issues in preparation for the start of the 2020/2021 academic year. On the agenda was a Review of the TU Vision and Mission, a CUA Work Plan (Sept – Dec 2020 ) and a plan for engagement with external stakeholders (business, industry, local authority and civic leaders in the region ) and with internal stakeholders (students, staff, researchers and service providers across all campuses ). The three CUA institutes plan to make a formal submission to become a Technological University in December (2020 ).

Separately, the first online meeting of the new CUA Governing Body Sub-Committee took place on 1 September. The group was established by the Chairs and Presidents of the CUA institutes with the approval of their Governing Bodies. The subgroup will meet on a monthly basis and will oversee the development of a submission to become a Technological University, reporting to their respective Governing Bodies on a regular basis.

Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT, says there is significant momentum behind the CUA project at the moment, including ongoing negotiations with the representative trade unions to agree a way forward. ‘I would like to thank everyone who is contributing to this work and look forward to a positive outcome,” he said.

Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, says this was her first face-to-face meeting with her fellow CUA Presidents since taking up the role in GMIT in the middle of March.

“We have been working very well together throughout that period, with effective remote meetings proving that distance is no longer a barrier to strong collaboration,” she said.

Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo, said they are at a very exciting stage in seeking a university for the West/North-West to accelerate economic, social and cultural development of the region.

“I want to acknowledge the commitment of the many staff and students of our Institutes who are deeply engaged in the planning and ground work to make this the best TU in Ireland,” he said.

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