From the Chalkface


INVERNESS College has appointed John Spencer as its new principal. Spencer will take over from Donald Leitch, the college's acting principal, on 1 May. Spencer joins from Sutton Coldfield College, Birmingham, where he is a vice-principal.

The interview panel at Inverness College was unanimous in its decision to appoint Spencer. The post attracted 27 applicants, with five candidates proceeding to the final stage of interviews.


DUNDEE University celebrated its 40th birthday on Friday with a party at the city's Caird Hall. The university was originally part of St Andrews University, and gained its independence in 1967.

• DUNDEE University is also launching its new school of accounting and finance with a special event next week. The creation of the school is part of restructuring which is taking place at the university.

• MATHEMATICIANS at St Andrews University have won a share of 3.4 million to launch a new study of the Sun's magnetic fields. Researchers at the university's school of mathematics and statistics have signed a contract with the European Commission to establish a continent-wide network called SOLAIRE. The network links 12 groups in universities across Europe. Professor Eric Priest, from St Andrews, says: "This will be a boost to researchers investigating the Sun."

• TSUKO, an Edinburgh-based brand and design consultancy, has restructured and redesigned Heriot Watt University's school of life sciences website. Susanna Freedman, Tsuko's managing director, says: "For an academic body, the website is unique for taking a high-level marketing approach, therefore making life sciences more accessible to visitors. It was important to create a website to exceed expectations for users with disabilities." The new website is at

• LAUDER College opened a 4.5 million sustainable development centre on Friday. The centre will train workers in the construction industry.

• BBC Radio Scotland is broadcasting a new six-part series called Teachers' Tales. Teachers from across Scotland - working in very different locations and situations - will talk about their experiences in the classroom and how it affects their lives in their local communities. Teachers' Tales starts at 11:05am on Sunday.