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Head of the School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University

Professor Rhiannon Mason has been appointed Head of the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University.  She joined Newcastle in January 2001, having studied for a PhD at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University, and taught at the Universities of Cardiff and Glamorgan.  She has previously been the Director of the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Director of Research for the School of Arts and Cultures, Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Arts and Cultures, UoA 36co-ordinator, and the Head of Media, Culture and Heritage.

Rhiannon is primarily interested in identities and heritage, understanding 'heritage' in the broadest sense, to include museums, galleries, and heritage sites as well as the many different ways in which people and societies define and practise what they understand as 'heritage' outside the scope of formal cultural heritage institutions.  As part of this, she tries to understand how collective and personal memories and identities are interwoven within the physical and symbolic space of the museum.  In particular, she is interested in museum displays about the histories of a place (whether regional, national, international, or post-national) and in how museums are part of the process by which a given group comes to articulate a sense of collective past, present, and future.

Subject Group Head and Chair, Strategy, International Business and Entrepreneurship, University of Liverpool

Professor Tom Elfring has been appointed Subject Group Head and Chair, Strategy, International Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Liverpool Management School.  He will be joining the School on 1 May.

Tom is currently Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of VU University Amsterdam, and Head of the Department of Management and Organization.  He has a PhD in economics from Groningen University, studied for a year in the United States, and did part of his doctoral work at the European Institute in Florence.  Previously, he worked at Rotterdam School of Management and had a part-time chair in Innovative entrepreneurship at Wageningen University (1997-2002).  He has been visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School (1996), at Mays Business School, University of Texas A&M (2006), at the Aarhus School of Business (2008), at the University of Alabama (2010), and at the University of Bologna (2011 and 2012).  His book Rethinking Strategy (with Henk Volberda, Sage) won the ERIM best book award and two recent Academy of Management conference papers hsave been included in the Best Paper Proceedings.

Tom's research interests include corporate entrepreneurship and venturing, networking in emerging organizations, strategic entrepreneurship, and managing service innovation.  He has published over 40 international articles/book chapters in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Business and Psychology, Long Range Planning, Organization Studies, Scandinavian Management Journal, Journal of Business Research, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Scientometrics and Small Business Economics.  He has published seven books, the most recent being Corporate Entrepreneurship and Venturing (2005, Springer).

Duke of Northumberland Professor of Rural Economy, Newcastle University

Newcastle University has further strengthened its expertise in agriculture and the rural economy with the appointment of Professor Sally Shortall.

Professor Shortall has carries out a wealth of research on agriculture and food, rural development, governance and stakeholder engagement, both nationally and internationally, and takes up the key post of Duke of Northumberland Professor of Rural Economy.

She has previously carried out research for the United Nations, the European Parliament, and the OECD, and is currently leading a research project on women in agriculture for the Scottish Government.

Among other research commitments, Professor Shortall is also involved in a programme with the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute in Northern Ireland investigating 'rural proofing' and how it could be achieved.  This stems from the Rural Needs Act, which was introduced by the Northern Ireland Assembly earlier this year and requires all new policies to be assessed to identify any potential disadvantages to rural communities.  This research is expected to be complete by the end of the year and will be of considerable interest to the rest of the UK.

Professor Shortall said:"It's a great pleasure to join the team at Newcastle in the Centre for Rural Economy, which is held in high regard both in the UK and across the world.

"My aim will be to continue the good work being carried out - with its interdisciplinary philosophy and commitment to the participation of rural communities - but also, I hope, to bring some fresh perspectives.

"I grew up on a family farm in the Republic of Ireland, and still have family connections in farming.  One of my research interests is how individual contributions within these family businesses help to ensure the economic and social viability of the agricultural industry in this country and globally."

Professor Shortall comes to Newcastle University from Queen's University Belfast, where she was Head of the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.  She works with academics across Europe and beyond and is President of the European Society for Rural Sociology, the key professional Europe-wide body in rural studies, and also the First Vice President of the International Rural Sociology Association.

Professor Rob Edwards, Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, said: "At Newcastle, we are particularly fortunate to have the unique resource of the Centre for Rural Economy situated within our School, enabling us to bring both natural and social sciences to bear on research questions.

"Professor Shortall brings a further dimension to this resource with her experience and reputation and I look forward to working with her."

Professor Shortall's appointment comes during a significant year of celebration marking 125 years of agricultural research and teaching at Newcastle.