Distinguished duo to lead city Academy

16 Apr 2008 14:51:00.000


Pupils, staff and the wider community in Bilborough - who will help to breathe life into the brand new Nottingham University Samworth Academy when it opens in 2009 - now have two high-profile champions to lead their Governing Body.

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Nottingham University Samworth Academy — which is to specialise in Health and Science — today announced that Mr Michael Rowen will be delighted to serve as the first Chair of the Governing Body, and Professor David James has accepted the role of Deputy Chair. The appointments will bring a dynamic combination of expertise in both enterprise and medicine to the new academy, mirroring the unique partnership between the businessman David Samworth and The University of Nottingham, who are co-sponsors.

A future High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Michael Rowen is County Chairman of the Prince's Trust, and has served as a Governor of Nottingham High School. He undertook an industrial apprenticeship in Yorkshire, and since 1966 has been a director of J N Rowen Limited, formerly specialists in structural steelwork, and today a holding company with property interests. Michael Rowen has a love of the arts, golf, sailing and a range of other sports. Born and brought up in Nottingham, he is an Honorary Life Member of Beeston Hockey Club. He is married with two grown-up children.

He said: “I have agreed to take on this role because I firmly believe that we can really make a difference, and I promise that I shall be doing everything in my power to make the Nottingham University Samworth Academy a great success. I am very excited about my appointment as Chairman, and I am delighted that we are already beginning to build a strong team led by representatives of David Samworth and the University, and by David Harris, the Principal Designate.”

The Deputy Chair, Professor David James, joined The University of Nottingham in 1993 as Professor of Fetomaternal Medicine, and was Clinical Director in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham until 2002. Thousands of families have benefited directly from his care, and countless more worldwide have been helped by his acclaimed research on the management of problems in pregnancy. He is acknowledged as an international authority in this field. Since 2002 he has been the Director of Medical Education for the University of Nottingham Medical School. He is also a keen musician, leading the Medical School jazz band 'Dr Jazz', a lay preacher in the Methodist church, and fond of narrow boating. His wife is a practice nurse and he has three sons.

Professor James said: “I became Director of Medical Education because it was a natural career step after treating patients and undertaking medical research.  It is important that medical students and doctors identify their abilities and to optimise the development of these.  This philosophy is relevant in the context of the Academy. Young people need to realise that they have enormous talents and by developing these they will surprise themselves by what can be achieved.” 

Academy co-sponsor David Samworth said: “We're delighted to have someone of the calibre of Michael Rowen chairing the Governing Body of our new academy. He'll be well placed to offer excellent advice to the management team and will be a wonderful advocate for the staff, pupils and their families. Given the academy's specialist status he could not have wished for a better colleague as Deputy Chair than Professor David James.”

Professor Diane Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor managing co-sponsorship of the academy at The University of Nottingham, added: “The academy will be fully supported by the University, and will develop strong links with local employers. Michael Rowen and David James together represent the best that the worlds of business and higher education can offer, and I am looking forward to working with them both. The academy's specialism of Health and Science means that we will also be looking to build a special relationship with providers of health facilities, including the new facilities planned for Bilborough. David's credentials in medical education will be an enormous asset in establishing those wider links.”

The Nottingham University Samworth Academy will be built on the site of William Sharp School in Bilborough, Nottingham. The co-sponsors, along with the local authority, Nottingham City Council, have already unveiled exciting plans for its construction. The existing school will share the site until the brand new academy buildings are complete. Local authority consultation will look at whether the academy should operate as an 'all through' school, which co-sponsors believe would best meet the needs of children from the age of three upwards.

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).

Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for three years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

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More information is available from Jonathan Ray , Director of Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 951 5765, jonathan.ray@nottingham.ac.uk
Jonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray

Email: communications@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5765 Location: King's Meadow Campus

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