Aug 18 2021

Arden appoints two new Deans

Victoria O'Donnell
Finola Farrant

Arden University has appointed Finola Farrant [right] as its new Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Victoria O’Donnell [left] as its new Dean of Learning and Teaching and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor.

The two new appointments, which represent the university’s second and third Dean appointments respectively, are a statement of growth for Arden following a significant uplift in student numbers over the last couple of years.

Finola arrives at Arden with two decades’ worth of experience in higher education, including 13 years in her most recent role at the University of Roehampton.

She has been tasked with building on the existing portfolio of social sciences courses and developing new programmes to meet the needs of those seeking careers in the sector. Her initial areas of responsibility will cover the School of Law, School of Psychology and School of Policing, Cyber Crime and Security.

“Students in social sciences typically want to make a difference in the world, and a high proportion go on to become managers, directors and senior officials in their fields” Finola said. “This represents an exciting opportunity to deliver innovative new programmes which will help to equip these individuals with all the skills they need to enjoy a long and fulfilling career.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to join Arden right now. As an innovative education provider which is on an impressive growth curve there are lots of opportunities for us to develop courses which really tap into the skills that are required by employers in this space.”

Victoria has an extensive background in psychology, experience in higher education teaching, including Russell Group and post-92 universities, and has developed a successful and long career in HE management and leadership.

She will take responsibility for driving enhancements in teaching and learning, driving research and scholarly activity in the field of digital education and pedagogy and ensuring Arden students have access to leading educational resources.

She said: “Arden has a massive potential to lead the sector in providing high quality, contemporary, online learning and teaching. The university was delivering distance learning well before most other UK institutions and therefore has a wealth of experience to draw on. 

“I’m determined to help Arden become the university that others look to for examples of best practice in digital education and pedagogy and I am looking forward to working with colleagues and students across the institution to build Arden’s reputation as an excellent online provider.”

CEO and Vice-Chancellor at Arden University, Carl Lygo, said: “On behalf of everyone at Arden University I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Finola and Victoria. They each bring a wealth of experience which I’m sure will aid the continued growth of the schools they are tasked with developing.

“These appointments represent our continued commitment to bringing the very best people to Arden with the goal of developing a first-rate student experience which sets our graduates up for success in their future careers.”

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