John O’Connor is a director of the Dublin Institute of Technology and Dean of the College of Arts and Tourism.
His strategic focus is on four key issues: the development of a National Strategy for Higher Education by the HEA (Higher Education Authority in Ireland), the Technological University for Dublin, the continuing reoganisation of DIT and the development of the new DIT city centre campus at Grangegorman. These issues are, in large part, a response to the current imperative to provide a coherent response to the global crisis from the academic community and will shape the future of Irish Higher Education for the next generation. This provides an exciting opportunity to re-imagine the sector and, in particular, to embed the cultural and creative industries at its heart.
John joined DIT in 1994 and was appointed Senior Lecturer in Design and Head of the Dublin School of Creative Arts four years later. He led the development of the only full time honours degree programme to be delivered on an offshore island in Ireland, the BA in Visual Art. In 2008 the school launched a new Masters programme developed specifically for the Design Ireland Skillnets and aimed at senior personnel in the Irish design sector.
One of the modules he developed and continues to teach, Virtual Environments: Is one life enough?, won the national Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning in 2010 and went on to win the Learning Without Frontiers Award in London in 2012.
Before joining DIT John founded a graphic design firm and was Art Director of Film Ireland. He was also actively involved with the representative bodies and was a founding member of the Graphic Design Business Association, now Design Business Ireland.
John was elected to the board of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in 2014 and sits on the board of Irish Design 2015.