Maynooth University’s new Governing Authority appointed Dr Mary Canning as its Chairperson when it met for the first time on 9 November 2023.
The Governing Authority also welcomed eight external members, six staff members and three student members.
Dr Mary Canning was appointed Chair of the Governing Authority of Maynooth University in 2019 and has served in the position during a time of significant expansion and growth for the University.
Speaking about today’s appointment, Professor Eeva Leinonen, President of Maynooth University said:
"We are privileged to have Dr Mary Canning as Chairperson of our Governing Authority. Mary's deep understanding of higher education governance and her global perspective enrich our institution, and her ceaseless commitment to advancing higher education serves as an inspiration to us all.
"We extend our congratulations to Mary on her reappointment and express our gratitude for her ongoing service to our University. Her expertise will be invaluable for the successful implementation of our new strategic plan and we look forward to continuing to benefit from her wisdom and contributions."
Dr Canning was President of the Royal Irish Academy from 2020 to 2023, and a board member of the Higher Education Authority from 2007 to 2017. In 2009, she was appointed to the National Strategic Review of Higher Education in Ireland and in 2014, she was awarded a D.Litt (honoris causa) by the NUI.
As a former World Bank Lead Education Specialist based in Washington DC, she worked on education policy in a wide range of countries in Europe and Central Asia from 1992-2007. She has served on numerous OECD Higher Education Examiner teams in Europe and Latin America and holds a PhD in Literature from University College, Dublin.
Dr Canning expressed her gratitude to her colleagues on the Governing Authority for appointing her as Chairperson:
"I wish to thank members of the Governing Authority for placing their trust in me as its Chair. The new Strategic Plan 2023-2028 presents significant opportunities for the University, and I am confident that the Governing Authority will work to support the President, staff and students of Maynooth in its implementation."
The Governing Authority was established in accordance with the provisions of the Universities Act of 1997, as amended by the Higher Education Authority Act of 2022.
It is the primary decision-making body of the University and comprises external members, the President as an ex officio member, academic and professional staff and members of the student body. The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Research and Science nominates three of the external members under the Universities Act, as amended.
The members of the Governing Authority are:
Ms Alex Balfe
Dr Elizabeth Boyle
Dr Mary Canning, Chairperson
Professor Linda Connolly
Ms Sian Cowman
Ms Rachel Fagan
Mr Gavin Fanning
Mr John Farrelly
Professor Eeva Leinonen, President
Dr Kevin Marshall
Ms Sheila McClelland
Ms Maura Moore
Mr Gearóid Ó Conluain
Mr Andrew Parish
Mr Austin Power
Mr John Redmond
Dr Jon-Ivar Skullerud
The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will make two further nominations.
Once these nominations are received, the Governing Authority will comprise 19 members, in line with the legislative framework.
For more information about the Governing Authority, click here.