University appoints new professors of practice

University appoints new professors of practice name

A face well known within Cumbria’s tourism industry and an expert in child protection issues are to join the University of Cumbria as professors of practice.


Ian Stephens, a former managing director of Cumbria Tourism, will be supporting the development of the university’s visitor economy portfolio. Meanwhile Dr Andrew Turnell, a co-creator of the Signs of Safety approach to child protection casework, will work with the university‘s respected social work staff.


The professor of practice role at the University of Cumbria recognises individuals eminent in their field of practice and seeks to draw on this talent and standing to enhance the curriculum, experience and environment provided to students.


As an experienced managing director with a history of working in the leisure, travel and tourism industry, Ian Stephens brings skills including marketing management, destination development and organisation change management. Ian will play a lead role, working with external stakeholders, the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and staff across the university to ensure we develop an offer highly relevant to Cumbria’s needs, with national and international reach.


 “I have enjoyed a long association with the university and welcome the chance to play an active role in the development of tourism as a subject which will bring wide ranging benefits to Cumbria and beyond,” Ian said.


Dr Andrew Turnell has a strong affinity to the north of England since he became widely known internationally for his work with children’s services. Over two decades he has developed close ties to the region and will be among the main speakers at next year’s Social Work Conference to be held on May 17 2019, an event which will generate significant interest among alumni and current students.


The professorship of practice is particularly important and meaningful for me because the social work profession has always struggled with its professional identity often allowing our profession to be defined by the knowledge bases of psychology and psychiatry,” Dr Andrew Turnell said. “Social work has trouble believing that what practitioners actually do in practice is important. I believe that our direct work is actually the central location of our professional identity.”


The pair join Marc Seale, chief executive of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Toby Rowland, one of the army’s most senior healthcare leaders, announced as professors in practice earlier this year. Graeme Danby, Valerie Reid and Keith Partridge are working within the university’s Institute of the Arts bringing expertise of the cultural world to Carlisle.


“Appointing professors of practice brings an added dimension to the range and quality of teaching we can offer at Cumbria,” Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said. “Not only will they will make a significant contribution to the delivery of our university strategy, which places a strong emphasis on meeting current and future skills needs in the region, they will also be involved in activities such as curriculum design and delivery and student mentoring. By bringing industry experts to work in collaboration with the university, means our students gain even more real world experience from those who are actively involved at the highest level.”