University College Cork (UCC) President Professor Patrick O’Shea has announced today that he plans to retire from the college by the end of the year.
Professor O’Shea said that his retirement is due to personal reasons, and has been accepted by the governing body of UCC.
O’Shea commenced his role as the 15th president of UCC in February 2017.
In a statement today, O’Shea said he is honoured to have served as president of UCC.
“I am honoured to have served as its 15th president,” he stated. “It particularly gratifies me to note how well UCC responded to the Covid-19 epidemic.”
O’Shea continued: “The crisis has brought out the best in the UCC community. We moved our operation online in a matter of days, while also deploying our resources at the front line in support of the direct healthcare response.”
“The further steps we are taking will place UCC in a strong position to weather the storm and emerge as a more resilient and transformed university,” he added.
O’Shea explained how he is “committed” to working with the college governing body over the next few months to “ensure a smooth transition to new leadership”.
A new president for UCC is expected to be recruited by the governing body at a meeting in September.
O’Shea is the third Irish university president to step down in recent months, with the University of Limerick’s (UL) President Des Fitzgerald stepping down in May, and Dublin City University (DCU) President Brian MacCraith finishing his ten-year tenure earlier this week.
Chair of Governing Body Dr Catherine Day paid tribute today to Professor O’Shea, thanking him for the “outstanding contribution he has made to UCC”.
She continued: “His commitment to UCC stems from his time as a student here and as President, he brought huge experience of top-level university education in the United States to Cork.”
“This has helped UCC to think big and to expand its international activities both in research and in the diversity of its students,” Day added. “President O’Shea has been a strong advocate of the importance and value of Higher Education to individuals and to society.”
Day continued: “On behalf of the Governing Body, I want to thank him for what he has helped UCC to achieve in recent years and wish him, and his family, well for the future.”
Last week, UL announced that it is to appoint the first female as president of the university. Professor Kerstin Mey is to become the first woman to ever serve as head of an Irish university following her appointment by UL.