Dr Graham Love has been appointed the new Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), following the retirement of Tom Boland last August. Dr Love will take up the position this March and will be in charge of leading the “strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system with the objective of creating a coherent system of diverse institutions with distinct missions.”
Before accepting his new role, Dr. Love was the Chief Executive of the Health Research Board, a statutory agency controlled by the Department of Health. He has also worked in senior roles in Science Foundation Ireland, a national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research. He is a UCD graduate, with a PhD in cell biology.
The HEA advises the Minister for Education and Skills and the government on planning and policy for higher education and research. Among other responsibilities, the HEA maintains a continuous review on the demand and need of higher education, ensures an alignment of institutional strategies with national priorities, and is involved with several EU Programs, the most significant of which is Erasmus+.
In addition, the HEA is also the statutory funding body for all Irish universities, institutes of technology and other designated higher education institutions. Its duties include implementing a strategy for funding the Higher Education System that addresses both a range of issues regarding quality of education and the sustainability of higher education in Ireland as a whole, allocating grants provided by the Oireachtas to higher education institutions, overseeing the budgeting, accounting and financial reporting of universities and developing evaluation tools to ensure the state is getting value for money out of the resources it puts into the higher education system.
Commenting of the appointment of Dr Love, HEA chairman Michael Horgan said the role of Chief Executive of the HEA was a ‘’strategically significant one’’, and commented on Dr Love’s extensive experience in leading organisations and supporting change.
Regarding his new position, Dr Love said that is was ‘’an honor to be tasked with a leading role in shaping the future of (the higher education system),” adding that “these are challenging times for higher education, but there are also exciting opportunities. A quality higher education system plays a critical role in Ireland’s development, social and economic”.