NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Cathal O’Donoghue as the new Dean of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies.
NUI Galway offers an extensive range of Arts programmes at undergraduate level. The flagship programme, Bachelor of Arts (GY101 ), is designed to build students’ capacity for creative and critical thinking, equipping graduates for the fast-changing work environment of the future. Other offerings such as the BA Connect and a range of denominated Arts degrees give students greater opportunity to specialise. New programmes being offered this year include the BA in Children’s Studies and a BSc in Applied Social Sciences, both of which are interdisciplinary in nature and include relevant work placements.
Previously, Cathal O’Donoghue was Head of Teagasc’s Rural Economy and Development Programme, one of the four research programmes of Teagasc. He was a member of the board of Teagasc’s research directorate. He was a member of the Fund Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR ), a $1 billion a year International Agri-Food Research organisation from 2014-2016.
From 2012-2014, he was CEO of the Irish Government’s Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas 2012-2014, Chairman of the Irish Sport Horse Strategy Committee 2013-2015, was President of the International Microsimulation Association 2011-2015 and is on the Executive of the UK Agricultural Economics Society.
In welcoming the appointment, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Professor Cathal O’Donoghue to NUI Galway as Dean of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Cathal is a distinguished scholar who has significant policy and leadership experience in the social sciences. He brings a great breadth of experience and I look forward to working with him to strengthen and build on the strong foundations in the College of Arts and to further developing new programmes of research and teaching initiatives.”
Cathal is a UCC graduate, a statistician and economist by training, with post graduate degrees from the universities of Oxford and Warwick, UCD and the London School of Economics, having worked previously at the ESRI, UK Government Economics Service, the University of Cambridge and NUI Galway. His personal research programme involves the development and use of policy simulation models, for which he holds a Chair at the University of Maastricht, as well as an adjunct position in UCD. He has published over 150 research papers, four books and supervised over 25 PhD students to completion. He has been an advisor to many international organisations and was a long-term advisor to the British Government’s Department of Work and Pensions on policy modelling earlier in his career.
Speaking on his appointment, Professor O’Donoghue said: “I am very energised by taking up this role. As the world has become more complicated and volatile, where big data, 24 hour news and social media bombards us with information, there has never been a greater need for Arts and Social Science graduates and research. We have seen in recent years, that if we don’t get the foundations of society and the economy right in terms of inequality, culture, identity, language, heritage, we get crisis, marginalisation and the large political and social upheavals we are experiencing now.”
Professor O’Donoghue added: “The world needs graduates who can distil and critically assess information; have independence of thought; apply creativity, communication and analytical skills; and are adaptive team players. While many traditional professions become obsolete due to advances in technology, there will always be a need for graduates, with these, the core Arts skills. I look forward to working at NUI Galway to enhance the offerings in Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies which will build this critical capacity.”