Motion Number: S4M-09537
Lodged By: Jean Urquhart
Date Lodged: 28/03/2014
Title: UHI Appointment of Gaelic Research Professor Dr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin
That the Parliament welcomes the appointment of Dr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin as Gaelic Research Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and director of Soillse, the national research network for the maintenance and revitalisation of Gaelic language and culture, which is effective from April 2014; understands that Dr Ó Giollagáin has an international reputation in language planning and minority language culture and sociology; further understands that, as director of Soillse, Dr Ó Giollagáin will lead a team of four research fellows, one lecturer and 10 PhD students in their research; notes that his research will cover the intergenerational transmission of Gaelic practice and policy in Gaelic medium education and the assessment of government policies on the revitalisation of the language; considers this appointment to demonstrate the commitment of UHI to Gaelic language and culture and the growing reputation of UHI as a centre of academic excellence; further considers the work of academics, the Scottish Government and other partners in supporting Gaelic language and culture to be of paramount importance to the Highlands and Islands and to Scotland, and looks forward to working with Dr Ó Giollagáin and others in support of the Gaelic language and culture.
Title: ♦ The Role of University Rectors and Gender Imbalance
That the Parliament notes the existence of the office of rector in Scotland’s five ancient universities; understands that elections to this office take place every three years, allowing all undergraduate students the opportunity to vote for their rector at least once during their studies; considers the ability to nominate figures of national and international renown as the figurehead of the university to be an opportunity for students to demonstrate solidarity with social and political causes; believes that the nomination and successful campaigns of the anti-apartheid campaigner, Winnie Mandela, the trade unionist, Jimmy Reid, and the Israeli whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu, by the University of Glasgow demonstrate a strong political tradition that continues to this day with the nomination of Edward Snowden for the same post; notes with disappointment the current and historic gender imbalance among university rectors; understands that all five university rectors in position are male and that each of the five ancient universities has only had one female rector in their respective histories; notes with concern that none of the four nominees for the position at the University of Glasgow is female; believes that there are innumerable inspirational female figures who would serve as role models to female students; would welcome an increase in the number of women who stand as candidates in future contests, and notes calls for universities to investigate what can be done to redress this gender imbalance.