Dr Deirdre Lillis appointed to Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA)

Dr Deirdre Lillis, Head of the DIT School of Computing, has been appointed as an academic representative to the Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).  Dr Lillis's appointment comes following the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D, announced the appointment of two new academic members including Dr Lillis as well as Dr Ronan Lyons of TCD. The appointments are the culmination of a rigourous public recruitment process run by the Public Appointments Service in consultation with HEA Chair Dr Graham Love.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory funding authority for the universities, institutes of technology and a number of other designated institutions and is the advisory body to the Minister for Education and Skills in relation to the higher education sector.   The HEA also has a statutory responsibility for the effective governance and regulation of higher education institutions and the higher education system.

Minster Bruton said “I have made these appointments following a public recruitment process facilitated by the Public Appointments Service. Dr. Lyons and Dr. Lillis have valuable expertise and experience that will be of benefit to the Board in ensuring that it can provide the necessary strategic direction to the HEA in the years ahead.”.

The Board is collectively responsible for promoting the success of the HEA by leading and directing the Authority’s activities. It provides strategic guidance to the HEA executive team and monitors the activities and effectiveness of management.

Mary Mitchell O Connor, T.D., Minister for Higher Education, welcomed the appointments. “This is an important time for the HEA. As the main funding and regulatory body for higher education, the HEA is involved in a number of important significant activities. These include ensuring compliance with governance requirements across the higher education sector, the provision of funding for all publicly funded institutions, and it will shortly be implementing a new reformed funding model for higher education. I would like to congratulate Dr. Lyons and Dr. Lillis on their appointment at this very important time for the HEA.”

The HEA Board is collectively responsible for promoting the success of the HEA by leading and directing the Authority’s activities. It provides strategic guidance to the HEA executive team and monitors the activities and effectiveness of management. The HEA has a schedule of matters reserved for the Board. Specifically the Board is responsible for the following:

  • - Set strategic direction in approving statements of strategy and its implementation through annual work plans

  • - Approve allocation of exchequer funding

  • - Approve policy advice

  • - Approve HEA governance arrangements

  • - Approve functions assigned to the HEA under legislation

The appointment of Dr Lillis and Dr Lyons means that the Board of the HEA now has a gender balance of 47% female to 53% male, comprising of a chairperson and 14 members (7 academic and 7 non-academic).



DIT Computing November 2017.

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