The appointment of Professor Patrick Prendergast as Chair of the new South East Technological University (SETU) was announced by Minister Simon Harris during his historic visit to Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) on 21 February 2022.
Speaking at his visit to WIT, Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science, said:
“I have formally granted designation status to the fifth technological university in the State.
“This is the first university presence in the region and marks a truly historic moment in higher education for staff, students, regional stakeholders, and local communities in the South East.
“I am also thrilled to announce that Dr Patrick Prendergast will be the University’s first Chairperson and that he will be joined on the Governing Board by Jim Bergin and Ruth Beadle.
“I want to wish Dr Prendergast, Mr Bergin, and Ms Beadle the very best in their roles. Having an inaugural governing board with such vast and invaluable experience will be of huge benefit to the Technological University as it embarks on this new journey”.
President of WIT, Professor Willie Donnelly, said:
“We are delighted with the announcement that Prof Prendergast has been appointed as the first Chair of the new South East Technological University.
“Prof Prendergast served as President and Provost of Trinity College Dublin for ten years and his standing in the academic and research community is extraordinarily high. His appointment is a real declaration of ambition by SETU and a sign that the new university, building on the work of WIT and our partner institution Institute of Technology Carlow, will seek an enhanced impact on the South East region, nationally and internationally.
“On behalf of the WIT community, we congratulate Prof Prendergast and we very much look forward to working with him in the months ahead as we prepare for establishment day.”
The chair of WIT, Jim Moore, said:
“I join with the staff, students, and outgoing governing body members of WIT in congratulating Prof Prendergast on his appointment as the first Chair of the new technological university. I know Prof Prendergast shares the ambitions the WIT governing body has had over many years for the enhancement of higher education in the South East better to serve the people of the region. I look forward to working with Prof Prendergast in the transition to the new university and along with our congratulations we offer our full support for the work ahead.”
The appointment of Chair was made, following a competitive process, with a view to convening the first governing body once the university is established on 1 May 2022. Other SETU governing body appointees are Ruth Beadle, Head of Insulins Manufacturing Cluster at Sanofi, and Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia Ireland. The governing body will also include staff and student representatives and other members from industry and social, educational, and cultural partners from across the region.
Prof Patrick Prendergast served as President and Provost of Trinity College Dublin from 2011 to 2021. His experience includes the development of global partnerships, research, innovation, and university advancement where he led Trinity’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign ‘Inspiring Generations’ to exceed its €400m target. He served on the Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for eight years. He is currently chair of the Board of Science Gallery International, a network of nine galleries on four continents, and of the Douglas Hyde Gallery of Contemporary Art.