GCU appoints new lay governors to its Court

03 July 2017

Dr Thomson with Mikaela Thompson and Brian Fitzpatrick

Dr Thomson with Mikaela Thompson and Brian Fitzpatrick

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has appointed four new lay governors to its governing body, the University Court.

Dr Lesley Thomson, former Solicitor General for Scotland; Asif Abdul Haseeb, Engagement Leader at Audit Scotland; Dr Bill Gunnyeon, senior medical and business leader; and Danny Gallacher, Chief Executive of SEEMiS Group LLP, will take up their new posts in August. Dr Lesley Thomson held the office of Solicitor General from 2011 to 2016 and was only the second woman to occupy this high-profile position. She said: “I believe that everyone has the right to education and, as my mother used to say – learning is for life; it’s education that opens doors and to play a role in driving this forward and protecting education will be an honour. To be the first foreign institution to achieve degree-granting charter status in New York City is brave and ambitious, and I look forward to bringing the skills and experience I have gained in my career to the direction of travel and internationalisation of the University.”

Asif A Haseeb OBE, JP, MBA, ACMA, an Engagement Leader at Audit Scotland, has extensive experience with more than 22 years in public audit and financial management. He has an in-depth understanding of higher and further education, having recently retired as a lay governor at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). As an alumnus of GCU, Asif has a strong connection with the University.  He said: “The University’s motto For the Common Good resonates with me as I have personally benefited greatly from a first-class education system. It was a route out of poverty for me and I would like to give something back for the common good. GCU is a top-class modern university with a significant physical presence in the heart of Glasgow and has a truly global reach. I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed to the Court and look forward to working with the board and other colleagues over the coming years. I hope to bring dispassionate judgement and constructive challenge to the University’s governing body.”

Dr Bill Gunnyeon CBE is a senior medical and business leader with a range of experience across the armed services, commercial sector, local and central government, and the charitable sector. He has a strong record of national strategy and policy development as well as business management, integration and transformation. During nine years as a Senior Civil Servant, Dr Gunnyeon worked with the UK and devolved governments and had extensive engagement with the Health Departments across Great Britain as well as NHS England, and Public Health England. He said: “I have always sought to make a difference in anything I do and to help develop people. The University’s focus on making a difference to the lives of people and communities struck a real chord with me. I look forward to being part of a dynamic and forwarding thinking University with such a compelling and challenging strategic vision.”

Danny Gallacher is Chief Executive of SEEMiS Group LLP, Scotland. Prior to this, he held senior roles at the City of Edinburgh Council, Fujitsu, Patrick Farfan Associates, and Virgin Media. A strategic leader and experienced in operating at Board Level, SEEMiS Group provides the Education Management Information Systems for schools and nurseries in Scotland. Danny studied for an MBA at GCU which he credits for transforming his early career, before embarking on more senior managerial positions within a variety of organisations. He said: “It is important to engage and grow globally; to make an impact. GCU is an ambitious university and to maintain its position, we must look beyond. It is important to continue to drive our research forward, encourage international students to join, and to build successful partnerships for the benefit of the University and its growth. I am a strong believer in education for all; it is the hallmark of a good society."