Leading academic elected Chair of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Governing Board

Leading academic elected Chair of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Governing Board

Published: 18/03/2022

A leading academic has been elected Chair of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Board of Governors. Professor Dorothy Miell OBE FRSE was elected to the prestigious post by students, staff and governors in the first election of its kind at the institution. She is also the first woman to hold the post of Chair in the institution’s 175-year history.

Professor Miell is a member of the Conservatoire’s Board of Governors, has been a member of the institution’s Academic Board and is currently Convenor of the Fair Access Committee. She takes up the role of Chair in December 2022 when the current Chair Nick Kuenssberg completes his term of office. Over the course of a week, governors, staff and students of the Conservatoire were all eligible to vote online for their preferred candidate with the result of the ballot announced today (Friday, 18 March).

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Dorothy Miell said: 

“It’s such an honour to be elected Chair of this world-class and wonderful institution. As a member of the Board of Governors, I’m already fortunate to know at first-hand the tremendous work of staff and students at RCS.

“The arts and artists have such an essential contribution to make to us as individuals, as well as to the economy and wider society, and I look forward very much to working with fellow governors, staff and students to ensure a positive future for this very special and important creative community.”

Agnes Robson, Senior Independent Governor and Chair of the Appointment Committee said:

“Following a rigorous selection process involving independent, staff and student Governors and an election process engaging the RCS community, we are really delighted to have Professor Dorothy Miell as our new Chair.

“Dorothy brings a wide range of skills and experience, as well as a deep appreciation of the performing arts and their role in society and we look forward to her contribution at such an important time for our conservatoire and the arts.”

Nick Kuenssberg, current Chair of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland said:

“Professor Dorothy Miell’s election as the next Chair of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is excellent news for the institution. In Dorothy, RCS has secured a formidable champion already, with excellent experience as an external member of our academic board, convenor of our fair access committee and deputy Chair. She is immersed in knowledge of higher education and has a genuine passion for the creative sector.

“I warmly congratulate her and am confident that she will add real value to an experienced and highly competent Board of Governors.”

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Principal, Professor Jeffrey Sharkey said:

“We’re so delighted and lucky to have Professor Dorothy Miell as our Chair elect. Her knowledge and insight is already valued greatly across the institution and beyond it and we look forward to the positive contribution she will undoubtedly make to RCS as our new Chair.

“RCS is also grateful to the other excellent candidates who put themselves forward in this appointment process and offered their expertise so enthusiastically in service to our community.”

Professor Miell is currently Vice Principal and Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. The first of her family to go to university, she studied Psychology at Lancaster University. Following a period conducting doctoral research on relationships and communication, she continued her academic career at The Open University where her research interests developed through connections with artists, musicians, and arts educators. She has collaborated with colleagues internationally on studies examining music making amongst professional musicians, as well as in the education of children with additional support needs and has worked with music therapists, community musicians and other music psychologists to examine the meaning and power of music in the lives of a wide range of people.

Professor Miell served as Dean of Social Sciences at The Open University for five years before being appointed to the role of Vice Principal at University of Edinburgh, a role from which she retires at the end of this academic year. She served as President of the British Psychological Society and as a Trustee of the Society for several years.

During her time in Edinburgh, she has become involved in supporting a wide range of cultural organisations and is, or has been, a member of the Board at the Edinburgh International Festival, Scottish Opera, and Impact Scotland – the charitable trust behind plans for Edinburgh’s new Dunard Centre concert hall.

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