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Job Title(s)Principal
Phone No.+44 (0) 28 9026 8300 
Internal Phone No.ext. 300 


Office of the Principal

Short Description

I was appointed Principal of St Mary’s University College on 24th April 2008.

I am honoured and privileged to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading an institution with a history and heritage woven for over a century. I have given a commitment to the Trustees and Board of Governors that I will serve St Mary’s with energy and conviction within the framework of Catholic Higher Education. In all our work at St Mary’s we seek to integrate Christian values with those in the academic, professional and civic world.

We are blessed here with a great body of staff and students – the people who make the place that it is, a place with a mission.

I am committed to St Mary’s continuing to provide: high quality teacher education, through English and Irish, in full partnership with schools and meeting the needs of our times; a Liberal Arts education focused on employability; high levels of student satisfaction; international outreach, as well as local community engagement, and all of this with a particular objective of facilitating social justice through high levels of participation and widening access.

The educational ethos of the College is shared with twelve hundred other Catholic Higher Education Institutions worldwide and some five hundred Catholic schools in Northern Ireland. St Mary’s interacts easily with the culture of other educational institutions in this jurisdiction, and with that of Queen’s University in particular, as we share with others a common concern for the well-being and betterment of our children, citizens, society and economy.

I believe that distinctiveness in education in a democratic and pluralistic society is about choices freely made within a shared framework of provision.

At St Mary’s we place great emphasis on a sense of community. The very nature of human beings is that we are communal creatures. We live and grow in community. We cannot survive and thrive without community. Therefore, to speak of the dignity of the person makes sense only if it is done in the context of the person’s relationships to others in the community. Human dignity can only be realised and protected in the context of relationships within the wider society. This is a difficult truth to be taught, particularly in our time, when individualism is a dominant and sometimes rampant cultural force. I believe that an education at St Mary’s calls our students to develop a broader vision for society and for social justice in particular.

I lead a small strategic management team which is committed to high performance in each of the following areas:

  • Institutional Sustainability

  • Academic Profile and Positioning

  • Student Experience

  • Relationships

  • Financial Health

  • Estates and Infrastructure

  • Human Resources

  • Corporate Governance and

  • College Developments

At St Mary’s we subscribe to a management paradigm which places emphasis on the importance of human relationships in enabling institutional progress.

Current Research

Managing a Catholic ethos in higher education.
The European and international dimension in education.

Please use the Staff Directory if you wish to contact another member of staff.