New Open University Director in Scotland, Dr James Miller

Dr James Miller has been named as the next Director of The Open University in Scotland. He succeeds Peter Syme and joins the University on 1st August from his post as Chief Executive of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Dr Miller began his career in 1986 as a Clinical Nurse in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh after graduating from North Lothian College of Nursing and Midwifery. He became Quality Facilitator and Deputy Director of Nursing for West Lothian Healthcare NHS Trust in 1992 and remained there until 2001, by which time he had become Divisional General Manager. He was Divisional General Manager of South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust from 2001 to 2005, when he became Chief Executive of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University said: “I am delighted by the appointment of Dr Miller as the Director of The Open University in Scotland. James is a strategic leader with a strong background of integrating learning into the workplace. Now, more than ever, Scotland needs The Open University to develop the skills of both the current and future workforce to drive the economy forward, provide high quality and innovative education, and make flexible part-time learning open to all. Under his leadership, I believe that The Open University in Scotland will continue to develop its pivotal role in Scottish higher education.”

Dr Miller gained an MBA from Napier University in 1998 and a PhD from Edinburgh University in 2004. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and is a Lay Governor of Glasgow Caledonian University where he chairs the Staff Policy Committee. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at four Scottish Universities, teaching on undergraduate and Masters programmes in nursing, healthcare management and clinical leadership. He has published in peer reviewed national and international journals on a range of clinical and management issues in healthcare. He is a regular reviewer for a number of national and international healthcare journals.

Dr Miller is married to Winnie and has two children, Hamish and Elise. His main interests are golf, gardening, music and reading.

About The Open University
The Open University teaches four in every ten part-time undergraduates in Scotland and has approximately 15,000 students in Scotland living in virtually every community. It is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.5 million students and has more than 250,000 current students, including 20,000 overseas, learning in their own time using course materials, online activities and content, web-based forums and tutorials and through tutor groups and residential schools.

The OU has been highly rated for teaching quality, and has been at the top of student satisfaction rankings in the National Student Survey since it was introduced in 2005. 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and three out of four FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

The OU supports a vibrant research portfolio and in the UK's latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), the University climbed 23 places to 43rd, securing a place in the UK's top 50 higher education institutions.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 10 million unique visitors, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded 13 million downloads.

The OU has a 40 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Life, Coast, James May’s Big Ideas and A History of Scotland.

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