Professor Leigh Sparks has been appointed as the first Head of the University’s new Stirling Graduate School from 1 October 2011.
The new Stirling Graduate School will encompass all postgraduate activity, both taught and research, and will provide a forum to take forward cross-institutional developments. It will work closely with the University’s seven academic Schools to ensure co-ordination of, and consistency in, development and delivery of graduate provision.
Professor Sparks says: “My vision for Stirling Graduate School is to achieve an international reputation for high quality graduate level activity.
“The School will lead and co-ordinate cross-institutional postgraduate development. It will ensure an integrated and consistent approach and develop a programme of support for the graduate population.”
Professor Sparks, Professor of Retail Studies at Stirling since 1992, is currently Deputy Head of Stirling Management School and well-known for his research into aspects of retailing, undertaken through the University’s Institute for Retail Studies.
He says: “I am pleased to be taking on this challenge. I look forward to working with colleagues across the University and am excited by the potential in developing new ways of thinking and working in support of graduate level activities at Stirling.”
Professor Sparks has carried out research into retailing, both nationally and internationally, for public and private sector clients, research councils and other funding bodies. He has authored and edited a number of books and published over 125 refereed journal articles, as well as many practitioner, trade and newspaper pieces.
He is currently Chair of the Towns Group of the Centre for Scottish Public Policy and a board member of IDS Scotland Ltd - the company set up by Scottish Government to oversee Scottish Business Improvement Districts.