Neil Blain joined the University as professor and head of the former department of Film & Media early in 2007, having held various posts at Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of the West of Scotland (where he was a professor and associate dean until 2006). He was head of Communications, Media & Culture at Stirling until 2011. Other roles have included directorship of the Stirling Media Research Institute, and director of learning and teaching for the School of Arts & Humanities, of which he was deputy head when he retired at the end of 2014. He has been professor emeritus of communications at Stirling since the beginning of 2015.
He is a frequent public platform speaker on a range of media and cultural issues, and has made numerous radio, television, press and online contributions since the 1980s, which later has included media commentary on several continents on royal and monarchic matters, and on the Scottish independence question; and (in the UK media, especially 2015-2020) on broadcasting policy. He has given evidence to various media inquiries and commissions, including appearing as a witness in press industry inquiries at Westminster and Holyrood during 2009 and 2010; and in commissions/inquiries on the broadcasting industry (eg 2008, 2016). He was a member of the Scottish Digital Network Panel in 2010/11, which reported to the Scottish Government on digital network funding. He has acted in an advisory capacity for a number of funded research projects and has undertaken very extensive refereeing and rapporteur work for several research councils, as well as refereeing for many journals.
Professional positions have included membership of AHRC’s Peer Review College (2007-15), and periodic AHRC panel membership; Carnegie Research Assessor (2014 -); editor (with Prof Katharine Sarikakis, University of Vienna) of The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics (2005-2014); membership of the Scottish Industry Skills Panel from 2002-2008, and of its successor, Creative Skillset’s Scotland National Board, from 2008-2013. He was a member of the 2008 RAE subject panel in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, and has been active in subject associations in various roles.
Prof Blain has had a long involvement in quality assurance and curricular matters in higher education, which has included work for Open University Validation Services, the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (as a former member of HKCAAVQ’s Specialists Register), Creative Skillset, and QAA Scotland. He has undertaken numerous validation, review and examining commitments in UK universities and overseas and is a past member of the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee.