Trinity College Dublin to name new Vice-Provost

Posted on: 02 April 2019

Prof Chris Morash said today he will step down from his role as vice-provost and chief academic officer after more than three years in the role to resume his fulltime role as inaugural Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing. Professor Morash plans to resume his research, with projects planned on the theatre of W.B. Yeats and Dublin as a city of literature.

In his role as vice-provost, Prof Morash was Trinity’s senior academic officer with responsibility for the academic affairs of the university.  As well as chairing or taking part in many of the university’s key committees, he has coordinated strategic planning, undergraduate and postgraduate education, quality and the student experience.

During his term in office, Prof Morash was heavily involved in the Trinity Education Project, a university-wide initiative to renew the undergraduate curriculum to ensure that students are prepared appropriately for global changes in the workplace and society. Its key accomplishments include more diverse styles of assessment; a more flexible programme structure; Trinity Electives (modules students can take outside of their core discipline); and an independent ‘capstone’ research project in students’ final years. He was also instrumental in reforming the subject combinations on offer to in-coming students and making changes to the university’s budgeting model.

Commenting on his decision, Prof Morash said:

“The past three years have been enormously rewarding for me. This has been an exciting and transformative period in the long history of the university, and I’m proud to have been a part of that. I’m now looking forward to being part of that in a different way, as a scholar and a teacher.”

Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast now plans to put forward Professor Jürgen Barkhoff’s name to the Board for consideration. Prof Barkhoff is Professor of German (1776) and teaches German literature and German and European Cultural History from 1750 to the present. His main research areas are literature and medicine, science and psychology around 1800, questions of identity in the German speaking world and contemporary Swiss literature.

He was registrar of the university from 2007-2011, director of the Trinity Long Room Hub arts and humanities research institute from 2012-2015 and head of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies from 2015-2018. From 2013 to 2018 he led the university-wide, interdisciplinary research theme ‘Identities in Transformation’. He is currently vice-chair of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group of European Universities.

Prof Barkhoff, who is currently on sabbatical, said:

‘It is a great honour to be nominated to Board for the position of vice-provost and chief academic officer. I look forward, should the Board approve my nomination, to working with the Board and Council, the Provost and his team, the Heads of Schools and the whole college community during this exciting time when we are implementing the new curriculum structure developed in the Trinity Education Project.’


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