Working with a regius professor

This is a press release released by The Open University at the end of January, concerning my colleague and line manager, Professor Eileen Scanlon.

Her Majesty the Queen has bestowed upon the OU a Regius Professorship in Open Education to mark the Diamond Jubilee.   

A Regius Professorship is a rare privilege, with only two created in the past century. It is a reflection of the exceptionally high quality of teaching and research at an institution.

The OU Regius Chair in Open Education is located in the Institute of Educational Technology and recognises the work of Professor Eileen Scanlon, who will be its first incumbent.

Eileen is an internationally recognised luminary in the field of educational technology and public understanding of science. With over 37 years of service to the OU, Professor Scanlon has driven up standards of open education across the world through intelligent use of technology, combined with impeccable pedagogic insight, and has exerted a major impact on the direction of OU research in these areas.

The Institute of Educational Technology is at the hub of the OU’s continuing research into, and development of, the latest open educational technologies for learning and teaching, enabling the University to do what it does best and deliver quality at scale. This is also a particularly fitting way of recognising Harold Wilson’s 50th anniversary of the announcement of a ‘University of the Air’.

IET is one of twelve University departments to have been awarded this prestigious award. All entries were assessed by an expert panel which included eminent academics led by Sir Graeme Davies, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of London.

This award is particularly significant for both the OU and Professor Scanlon, as only two others have been awarded a Regius Professorship in the last century, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Before then, the most recent Regius Professorship was created by Queen Victoria.

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