GCU Principal awarded CBE in New Year Honours List

29 December 2012

Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU

Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU

Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), has been made a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in recognition of her services to education and public health.

Professor Gillies, who was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU in March 2006, said: “I feel extremely honoured to be recognised in this way, but of course this award reflects the combined efforts of the many colleagues I have worked with over the years. I am especially proud of the social impact and benefit of the work of the staff and students at Glasgow Caledonian University. It is a privilege to be Principal and Vice-Chancellor of such a fine University.”

The Chair of the University Court, Mr Tony Brian, said: “I am sure the entire University community will want to join me in sending the Principal our warmest congratulations.”

Throughout her academic career, Professor Gillies has held a long-term commitment to working towards improving public health through research and education. She has researched and written widely on HIV/AIDS, health development, and inequalities in health, focusing on the potential of social action for health improvement.

This work has taken her to Geneva where she contributed to the World Health Organisation’s Global Programme on AIDS; to Harvard in the US where she served as a Professor in Health and Human Rights; to India and Brazil where she worked with those affected by HIV/AIDS and back to London where she was seconded as the first Executive Director of Research at the Health Education Authority for England.

Since joining Glasgow Caledonian University, Professor Gillies has also championed social change through her support for ‘common good’ initiatives which lie at the heart of the University’s ‘for the common weal’ motto. This includes the work of the Caledonian Club which promotes widening access to university by working with children and families in communities around the GCU campuses in Glasgow and London.

Professor Gillies is a Founding Trustee of the Grameen Scotland Foundation, which in 2012 announced that Grameen-style lending will be introduced in Scotland during 2013.  The system, which has lifted millions out of poverty worldwide, uses small loans to boost entrepreneurship and social development in low-income areas.

The system was originally devised by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, who was installed as the Chancellor of GCU in October 2012.

She also oversaw the creation of The Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing/Midwifery (GCCN), which opened in Bangladesh in 2010. The GCCN trains nurses to be leaders in their field and to create change throughout Bangladeshi society where the nursing profession has not enjoyed the same status as in the rest of the world.

Professor Gillies is a member of the Board of Trustees of the British Council; a member of the Institute of Directors and the CBI; Convener of the Health Committee for Universities Scotland; a GlobalScot and an elected member of the Council of the All Party Parliamentary Group of UK Universities at Westminster. As Vice Chancellor of the first Scottish University to have a post-graduate campus in London, she is also a member of the London Higher Group of Universities.

She was elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 2002; as an Academician of the Academy for Social Sciences in 2005 and became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow in 2007.

A native of Dundee, Professor Gillies graduated from Aberdeen University with a BSc in Physiology before taking a Masters in Education and Philosophy and training as a teacher. She studied community health at the University of Nottingham, graduating with a MMedSci and a PhD in Epidemiology before taking up a lectureship in Public Health Medicine at the University.  She became a Pro Vice-Chancellor at Nottingham in 2001 and left five yea