A MORAY man has been recognised for his contribution to the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Iain McColl, 61, originally from Lerwick, Shetland, now living in Forres, Moray, was awarded the vice-chancellor’s medal at Moray College UHI’s graduation ceremony on Friday 12 October. The award was introduced by University of the Highlands and Islands’ principal James Fraser last year to recognise “exceptional and outstanding contributions to the mission of the university”.
Iain, a graduate of Edinburgh University, was nominated for the medal by Mike Devenney, principal of Moray College UHI, for his long-standing support for the university and his involvement its social science provision.
Starting at the college as a social sciences lecturer in 1981, Iain was promoted to department head over the course of his career. With the prospective university gathering pace in the late 90s, he was delighted to lead the development of its social science degree and remained an important member of the university’s subject team for over 20 years. Both college and university staff and students have praised his diligent and effective leadership style.
Iain retired in July 2011 following a severe heart attack and a major heart operation. His dedication to the university was clear when he attended its inauguration event just two months later.
Explaining why Iain was selected for the medal, James Fraser, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “This medal is awarded to staff who have given exceptional service. Ian has, over many years, provided transformative opportunities for students and is a very worthy recipient.”
Mike Devenney added: “Iain played a very important part in shaping the University’s social sciences courses over many years, courses which proved to be very popular within Moray. Many local people have Iain to thank for having been provided with the higher education opportunities that we offered that they would not have been able to access otherwise.”
Speaking about his award, Iain said: “In these difficult economic and financial times it is important to recognise the vital role the new University of the Highlands and Islands and its graduates will play in the regeneration of our local communities and the wider society.
“It has been an honour and privilege to have worked with colleagues, both at Moray College and across the UHI network, to create and expand the range of social science degrees.
“I would like to thank Mike Devenney, principal of Moray College for the nomination and James Fraser, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands for the award. Lastly, I wish all students and staff from Moray College and the University of the Highlands and Islands, every success in the future.”
Notes to editors
The University of the Highlands and Islands comprises thirteen further and higher education colleges, specialist colleges and research institutions, distributed throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They are bound together through constitutional, management and academic structures, and co-ordinated through an executive office. Collectively, this is referred to as the UHI partnership.
There are currently over 7,500 students studying on undergraduate and postgraduate courses or undertaking postgraduate research with the University.
The University of the Highlands and Islands is the only university with campuses and headquarters based in the Highlands and Islands. Its mission is to strengthen and develop the social, economic and cultural prospects of the region. It uses a blend of learning methods, including traditional classroom face-to-face teaching, video-conferencing tutorials and lectures and virtual learning environments and other IT media.
The University of the Highlands and Islands is a limited company registered in Scotland No. 148203. Scottish charity No. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5SQ.