Stranmillis University College - governing body members

Pen pictures

Professor Emeritus Sir Desmond Rea OBE

Professor’s Rea’s experience as a non-executive director (NED) covers the private, public and voluntary sectors. Of direct reference to his reappointment as chair of Stranmillis University College in the public sector, he is a former chair of four education bodies.

In the voluntary sector he is currently a NED in Harmoni (formerly the NI Institute for the Disabled).

His other experiences include editor, First Trust Bank's Quarterly Economic Outlook and Business Review for some 25 years. He is also a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) accredited mediator. He has been Stranmillis University College chair since May 2013.

He does not hold any other public appointments.

Dr Esmond Birnie

Dr Esmond Birnie is currently senior economist in the Ulster University Business School. Previously he was chief economist in Northern Ireland for PwC (2010-16) and during 2007-10 Ministerial special advisor in the Department for Employment and Learning. He was an MLA during 1998-2007. Prior to that he was a lecturer and senior lecturer in economics in Queen's University Belfast. He was appointed to the Stranmillis University College Governing Body on 1 August 2014.

He does not hold any other public appointments.

Edgar Jardine CB

Mr Jardine is a former chief executive of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and has served at senior level in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and in the former Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and as interim chief executive of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. He was awarded the CB in 2012 for public service.

Since retirement from the Northern Ireland Civil Service Mr Jardine has served in a number of non-executive roles. He was a member of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland from 2012 to 2018 and of the Education Authority from 2015 - 2020. He joined the NI Policing Board as an independent member on 1 April 2020 (remuneration of £15,000 per annum) and has recently been appointed chair of the Department of Finance’s Statistics Advisory Committee.  Mr Jardine also serves as an Education Authority representative on the board of governors of Dundonald High School.

Claire Moore

Mrs Moore is currently bursar and secretary to the board at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI).

Mrs Moore has worked in the education and training sectors for 20 years. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She was appointed to the Stranmillis University College governing body on 1 August 2014.

She does not hold any other public appointments.

Ken Nelson MBE

Ken has extensive involvement in economic development and entrepreneurship as the chief executive officer of Local Economic Development Company (LEDCOM) Ltd.

Ken has over 28 years’ experience working as a business advisor, mentor and trainer with entrepreneurs, start-up companies, small businesses and social enterprises. In 2010 he was the sole Northern Ireland recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. Ken is a voluntary member of the board of directors of two social enterprises. He has a BA in Business Studies, MBA and MSc in Human Resource Management as well as being a Chartered Manager (CMgr) and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI).

In 2018 Ken was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to local economic development and the voluntary sector.

Ken was appointed to the Stranmillis University College Governing Body on 29 March 20I3 and currently chairs the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

In December 2016, he was appointed as chairman of InterTradeIreland by the North South Ministerial Council.

He does not hold any other public appointments.

William Patterson

Mr Patterson has held various posts in the area of employment relations. From 1978-1980 he held the post of industrial relations officer with British Aluminium. From 1980-1990 he worked in personnel for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. From 1990-1993 he was Director (administration and personnel) with the Northern Health & Social Services Board (Loughside). He was employed by the Belfast City Council from 1993 to 1996 as head of human resources. Mr Patterson joined the Labour Relations Agency in 1996 as chief executive and retired from his position on 13 March 2015. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He was appointed to the Stranmillis University College Governing Body on 1 August 2014.

He does not hold any other public appointments.

Robert Thompson

Mr Thompson, a former student of Stranmillis, served the last 32 years of his professional career as principal of Doagh Primary School. He is chair of a local nursery school and governor of two large post-primary schools, in one of which he is vice chair and chair of the finance committee. He has been a member of the North Eastern Education & Library Board (travel expenses only). Mr Thompson is a council member of the Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) (travel expenses only) where he is a member of the Education Committee and chair of the Finance Committee. In 2015 Mr Thompson was appointed by the Education Authority as an external adviser for headteachers' PRSD (Performance Review and Staff Development). He was appointed to the Stranmillis University College governing body on 29 March 2013. Mr Thompson is also involved with Riding for the Disabled, and is chair of a local group.

Richard Hanna

Mr Hanna is director of education and language in the Ulster Scots Agency. Prior to that he was director of education strategy in the Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) where he had responsibility for developing policy advice related to curriculum, assessment and reporting and for providing support and guidance to schools. He was responsible for implementing statutory assessment and reporting arrangements in Northern Ireland schools. Richard held a number of management positions in CCEA which included development and support for qualifications, e-learning and the use of ICT to support teaching and learning. He led a number of critical programmes including the development of on-screen marking of examinations, system wide adaptive computer-based assessment in literacy and numeracy. His postgraduate study was focused in the use of technology to support teaching and learning.  Before joining CCEA, Richard was a post-primary teacher with 18 years' experience where he held a number of management roles. Mr Hanna is a board member of Northern Ireland Screen (unremunerated). He was appointed to the Stranmillis University College Governing Body on 1 August 2014.

Maureen Bennett

Maureen Bennett has almost 13 years' teaching experience in the post-primary sector, seven of which were as head of English and Drama. She has also 25 years’ experience within the Education and Training Inspectorate, working across all sections of education from pre-school to tertiary level education and holding the position of assistant chief inspector (ACI) for six of those years. As ACI she sat on the board of the then Department for Employment and Learning and subsequently, the board of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Following retirement, she held a short term consultancy post on improvement in pre-school education in Serbia as a senior self-evaluation expert and was also a part-time support officer for research, evaluation and curriculum on the Special Needs Literacy Project at Stranmillis College. Maureen holds a BA in English, an MA in Education and a PhD also in Education.

Her current responsibilities include vice-chairperson of the board of Belfast Bible College, membership of the board of the C.S.Lewis Institute (Belfast) and deputy Clerk of Session in West Church, Bangor - all of which are voluntary and unremunerated positions with charitable organisations.

She does not hold any other public appointments.

Dr Lavinia Boyce BEM

Lavinia Boyce is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the Open University (OU). Her degrees are: BA, BSc (2.1 Hons), MSSC, PhD and Diploma in Personnel Management. She was a Civil Servant for 20 years before transferring to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). She served 17 years in Human Resources Management and did contract work as an Associate Assessor for the National Police College, Harrogate. After retiring, she was employed as a Teaching Assistant in the QUB School of Management.

Lavinia is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CMCIPD) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management (MCMI). She was a Member of the British Academy of Management (MBAM) and served on the BAM Council as the UK part-time Doctoral Representative. She chaired tracks at the BAM International Conferences and was a Special Interest Group, Treasurer.

She was appointed as a Governor at Andrews Memorial Primary School in 2009 and continues to serve in this role. In 2014 she was appointed by the Department of Education as a Governor at Bloomfield Collegiate School where she served as vice-Chair and Chair of the Board. She resigned in October 2019.

Lavinia has been involved in voluntary work for several years, comprising the QUB Graduates’ Associations and Convocation. She served on the Committees and was President of the Queen’s Women Graduates in 2007. Other voluntary work she has done includes The Royal British Legion, casework; the RUC GC Foundation, Guide; Treasurer of the Police Historical Society and fund raising for the Belfast City Hospital.

Lavinia was awarded the BEM in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List for services to the community in Northern Ireland. She set up a postgraduate research scholarship in the QUB School of Medicine, in memory of her late parents. The scholarship is open to postgraduate students in the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine.

She does not hold any other public appointment.

Back to top