Mr John D’Arcy has been named as the next Director of The Open University in Ireland. He succeeds Dr Rosemary Hamilton and joins the University on 4 October.
John is currently Chief Executive of the Association of Northern Ireland Colleges, a post he has held since 2003, in which he has led the organisation and the sector through a period of unprecedented change. John led the central change project to merge 16 colleges into the present six larger regional colleges.
Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University said: “I am delighted at the appointment of John D’Arcy as the next Director of The Open University in Ireland. John brings a wealth of experience across secondary, further and higher education and in the private sector. He is also a very active citizen, involved with a range of public bodies in the fields of sport, culture and social enterprise. The Open University has strong relationships across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with governments and with partner institutions. John is an ideal person to build on those relationships and to take us into an exciting future, in which The Open University contributes actively to the development of the economy, culture and civil society on both sides of the border.”
John graduated with a degree in psychology from Queen’s University Belfast in 1982. The first fifteen years of his career were devoted to research, as a Research Fellow at the Northern Ireland Council for Educational Research and later as Principal Officer at the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.
John has extensive public service experience as a Chair and Board member. He is a member of the current Northern Ireland Higher Education Review, chaired by Sir Graeme Davies, and of Matrix, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel. He was the founding Chairman of Audiences NI (2004-2008), set up by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to grow and diversify audiences for the arts and cultural sector. He is a Board member of Sport Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, the body responsible for promoting Irish-medium education and schools in Northern Ireland and sat on the Board of BBC Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland from 2004-2007.
In 2005, with the support of leading Northern Ireland musicians including Snow Patrol, he founded and now chairs the Oh Yeah Music Centre. This is a social enterprise based in a former bonded warehouse in Belfast which provides a physical location where various strands of the music industry can grow and interact, covering performance, rehearsals, recording, song writing, networking, PR, marketing, management, graphic design, and media skills.