HEA seeks new CEO following resignation

Paul O’Toole has held the role on a interim basis since last October

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to “lead and guide the organisation” following the resignation of former CEO Graham Love last year amid concerns of lack of autonomy for the organisation.

The new CEO is expected to receive an annual salary of €165,428.

Former HEA CEO Dr Graham Love resigned last August amid claims that the HEA was being “micromanaged” by the Department of Education. His resignation came after less than two years in the role, following his appointment early in 2017.

Dr Love said that during his time in the HEA, he “endeavoured to make strategic development a core element of HEA activities”.

The HEA has responsibility for the funding and oversight of the Irish higher education and research system. It is responsible for governance and regulation of higher education institutions and the higher education system. The organisation has responsibility for the management of a state spend of over €1.35bn per annum in Higher Education Institutions.

Since Love’s resignation the organisation appointed Paul O’Toole as an interim CEO. O’Toole, a former CEO of further education and training agency SOLAS, oversaw the implementation of the HEA’s 2018-2022 strategy. He is also led the HEA’s involvement in introducing new technological universities across Ireland.

The CEO reports to the board of the Authority, and at the time of O’Toole’s appointment, board member Orla Feely, a vice-president at University College Dublin, was uneasy about his “lack of any experience in higher education”.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.