The University of the Highlands and Islands has appointed a BAFTA-nominated film and television producer as its first ever chairman of creative industries.
Professor Robin MacPherson, who has worked in Scotland’s creative industries sector since 1980, will be based at Shetland College when he takes up the post in August.
He entered the film and television industry in 1989 at the Edinburgh Film Workshop Trust and has since produced numerous documentaries, current affairs programmes and dramas, including the BAFTA-nominated drama The Butterfly Man and the Scottish BAFTA-nominated Tree Fellers.
He established Screen Academy Scotland in 2005 and joins the University of the Highlands and Islands from Edinburgh Napier University, where he is director of its Institute for Creative Industries.
On taking up his new role, Professor MacPherson will be tasked with enhancing the university’s creative industries.
The new post is being partly funded by Shetland Islands Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Creative Scotland.
A recent study by HIE estimated that the creative industries is worth £300 million a year to the economy in the Highlands and Islands and that around 16,000 people are employed in the sector.
The Professor said: “I’m delighted to be joining Scotland’s newest university, helping it to support the vibrant creative sector both in Shetland and across the Highlands and Islands.
“From new course development to partnering in research and knowledge exchange, there are fantastic opportunities for collaboration with the cultural and creative sector and I’m really looking forward to making new connections from Shetland right across the University of the Highlands and Islands network.”
Councillor Peter Campbell, chair of Shetland College UHI’s Board of Management, welcomed the news.
“I am delighted that Professor MacPherson has been appointed as the Chair of Creative Industries.
“He is highly respected in his field and will prove himself to be a valuable asset to the University of the Highlands and Islands and Shetland College.
“His personal experience will be of benefit to both teaching and research. We look forward to welcoming him to Shetland and working with him to build on existing strengths and to develop additional courses in the creative industries.”
Welcoming the new recruit, Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “We are excited to have appointed Professor MacPherson as our Chair of Creative Industries. His expertise is built on a wealth of practical experience and academic research and he is highly regarded in his field.
“The university already has a strong portfolio of creative subjects, including music, art, drama, craft and textile courses. Professor MacPherson will be a valuable asset in developing our scholarship in this area, in positioning the university as a centre of creative excellence and in supporting the Highlands and Islands’ creative industries.
“As a university which serves our region and its communities, we aim to help our students achieve as much as they can and encourage inward investment and business growth.”