By Shane McNamara
Internationally acclaimed academic Professor Desmond Fitzgerald was named as the new President of the University of Limerick and will take over from current President Don Barry in May next year.
The announcement was made yesterday by the Chancellor of the University of Limerick Mr. Justice following a specially convened meeting where the University’s Governing Authority accepted the recommendation of Prof Fitzgerald which put forward by the Presidential Selection Board.
Prof Fitzgerald served as Vice President for University College Dublin and is currently the Vice President for Health Affairs at the same institute.
He stated that he was delighted to be able to accept the role as president, going on to say that: “The University of Limerick has had remarkable success in its short history due to its staff, its students and the support it has from the community and the foundation. I am honored to lead UL during the next phase.”
The incoming President expressed his opinions on the University saying: “UL has unique strengths ; its staff, students, alumni and friends; its powerful local, national and international partnerships; its stunning campus and its excellent reputation. I want UL to establish and lead pioneering initiatives that will deliver real impact in a range of important areas that are critical to Ireland’s future and the future of the Mid West”.
Outside of his tenure at UCD, Prof Fitzgerald also held a senior position in the Royal College of Surgeons. He is a highly regarded clinical academic and he has established two biomedical companies as well as serving as the chairman of the Health Research Board of Ireland and having over 450 research papers published.
Mr. Justice John Murray said that Prof Fitzgerald’s “enviable international research reputation and unrivaled experience gained at strategic levels in a number of highly-ranked universities”, added to his delight upon confirming the new presidency.
Current President Prof Don Barry’s term will end in April of next year to make way for the new appointment. Prof Barry has been president since 2007 and is just the fourth person to have undertaken the role.
Notable additions to the Limerick campus during his tenure include the Living Bridge, the Academy of World Music & Dance, the School of medicine and the Analog Devices Building amongst many others.