05 Dec 2016

OU appoints Executive Deans for STEM and Arts & Social Sciences

Dr Josie Fraser

Dr Josie Fraser

The Open University (OU) has confirmed the appointment of two Executive Deans today. Dr Josie Fraser has been appointed for the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Mr Ian Fribbance for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS).

Dr Fraser comes to the OU from the University of Bradford, where she is Interim Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences and a member of the Executive Board and Senate. Josie will bring with her a strong teaching and research record, a passion for technology enhanced learning and a commitment to making a difference for our students.

Since 2006, following an 11 year research-led career, Josie has developed her interest in learning, teaching and academic leadership. She has championed team-based learning as a teaching style on the national and international stage and has helped develop the apprenticeships and internationalisation agendas at her university. Josie has also promoted initiatives to broaden access to and participation in STEM subjects for under-represented groups, as well as working on gender representation in the Faculty of Life Sciences. Josie will take up the post with the OU in the New Year.

Ian Fribbance has been Interim Executive Dean since 1 August 2016 and will take up the permanent role immediately. As well as achieving distinction in his teaching – Ian is a National Teaching Fellow and Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy – he has been a staff tutor, central academic, module chair, Associate Dean and Deputy Dean. Ian is currently researching and publishing on some of the technology-enhanced teaching and learning innovation work he has developed.

Both Executive Deans have directly supported students: Ian continues to be an Associate Lecturer (on DB123 You and Your Money: Personal Finance in Context), and Josie has also served as an Associate Lecturer at the OU.

In congratulating both on their appointments, Vice-Chancellor Peter Horrocks also gave his thanks to Professor Simon Kelley for his important leadership as Interim Executive Dean of the STEM Faculty since August.


Notes to Editors

About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has worked with over 2,400 organisations, taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 180,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the latest assessment exercise for university research (Research Excellence Framework, 2014), nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent. The Open University is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.

The OU has a 42 year partnership with the BBC and has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to co-producing prime-time series such as The Hunt, Life Story, The Bottom Line, Britain’s Great War, I Bought a Rainforest and Business Boomers. In 2013/14 OU co-productions were viewed by 220m people in the UK which prompted more than 600k visits the OU’s free learning website, OpenLearn:

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 received 5.2million unique visitors in 2012/13, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 66 million downloads.

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