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Professor Alison Donnell to join University of East Anglia

Professor Alison Donnell

Professor Alison Donnell is moving to become Head of School of Literature, Creative Writing and Drama at the University of East Anglia in the next academic session. An internal recruitment process is now under way to appoint a new Head of School for Literature and Languages.

Alison joined the University of Reading in 2007 and was Departmental and School Director of Research before becoming Head of School in 2013. As Head of School, Alison has overseen significant growth in student and staff numbers, and focused on improving collegiality and performance. In 2015, she gained the Henley Business School Certificate in Executive Coaching and, in 2016, she became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

As a leading Anglophone Caribbeanist, Alison’s career has flourished at Reading alongside being Head of School. She also enjoyed an AHRC research fellowship and was part of a University of Reading-led Leverhulme International Network on Diasporic Literary Archives. 

Working in partnership with Kate Arnold-Forster, Head of University Museums and Collections, Alison has helped develop a sector-leading doctoral programme on Collections-Based Research and helped found the Centre for Collections-Based Research.  She currently chairs the University’s Committee on Museums, Archives and Collections

Alison is moving to a new role as Head of School of Literature, Creative Writing and Drama at the University of East Anglia.  The School has a world-leading reputation for creative writing (alumni include Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan) and a long-established international reputation in literary studies. In REF 2014 it was ranked top 10 among UK English departments.

An internal recruitment process is now under way to appoint a new Head of School for Literature and Languages. Interested colleagues can find out more on the vacancy listing page

Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, said “I am hugely grateful for Alison’s decade of dedicated and outstanding service to the University of Reading. Whilst I am sad to see Alison leaving, I am delighted that she is taking up an exciting new opportunity at University of East Anglia. I am sure that Alison will want to continue to collaborate with colleagues at Reading given her many and varied research interests.”

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