New Executive Dean to lead Durham University Business School – FE News


Professor Catherine (Cathy) Cassell has been appointed as Executive Dean of Durham University Business School. She joins the University on September 1, 2022, succeeding Professor Kieran Fernandes, Acting Executive Dean.

Cathy joins Durham from Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham. Since 2017, she has led the school to a successful strategic positioning around responsible business, obtaining the maximum triple accreditation for the first time in the school’s history and an excellent result in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), a UK-wide assessment of academic research.

She brings a depth and breadth of leadership and academic credentials as well as her vision and passion to build on the substantial successes of Durham University Business School. Thanks to the school’s triple accreditation with AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS, it is in the top 1% of business schools in the world.

An esteemed leader and scholar

Cathy is an experienced, enthusiastic and academically credible higher education leader with a strong track record. She is a professor of organizational psychology and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the British Academy of Management and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

She has a long history of generating research income and excellent publications alongside her academic leadership roles. She has also been recognized by her students in the past for excellence in teaching and learning and is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE.

Catherine has a significant external profile as a business school leader. She is a board member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and has served on several accreditation committees for various accrediting bodies, such as AMBA, AACSB, and EQUIS.

She previously served as Deputy Head of Alliance Manchester Business School and Executive Vice-Dean of Leeds University Business School.

Building on success

Under Cathy’s leadership, there will be significant opportunities to enhance the Business School’s program offerings and research interests, build on our core online and digital platforms, enhance physical and to foster partnerships across the world and with other sectors.

She will also be a champion and advocate for the positive contribution the school and university make to Durham City, County Durham, the North East of England and the rest of the world.

Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said:

“Cathy brings a depth and breadth of leadership and academic qualifications to this position, with significant experience in senior management roles in business schools.

“She has impressive vision and a passion to build on the substantial successes of Durham University Business School, and we look forward to welcoming her.”

Professor Cathy Cassell said: “I am excited about the University’s global ambition, the excellence of the staff and students and the opportunity to lead a top business school located in one of the world’s most attractive cities. Britain’s finest and most historic.

“The collegial nature of the Business School community is particularly inspiring, as well as its world-class research, educational provision and the important role it plays in Durham City and the wider North East region. .”

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