Montrose professor to receive fellowship

Professor Robert Cormack.
Professor Robert Cormack.

A MONTROSE academic will next month receive of the first ever honorary fellowships of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) from HRH The Princess Royal.

The accolade has been bestowed on Emeritus Professor Robert Cormack for his service as principal of the UHI Millennium Institute, the university’s predecessor, between 2001 and 2009.

Princess Anne, as the university’s new chancellor, will make the award in a ceremony at Inverness Cathedral on Thursday, June 7, at which Colin MacKay CBE, chairman of the board of governors, will also be made an honorary fellow.

Under Professor Cormack’s leadership, UHI achieved taught degree awarding powers in 2008 and reached the final stages in the process for university title.

Professor Cormack moved to UHI after 27 years at Queen’s University in Belfast, where he was latterly a pro-vice chancellor. His service at Queen’s spanned the troubles in Northern Ireland and he became a leading specialist and author on equal opportunities, discrimination and public policy, working with the United Nations in Kosovo following the conflict in that region.

He this week said he is delighted at the prospect of receiving a fellowship of the university.

He said: “My time with UHI was the high point of my career. I am particularly pleased to be receiving this honour alongside my friend and colleague, Colin Mackay. Working with Colin as chair of the UHI Board of Governors was a pleasure and a great support to me through often challenging times.”

James Fraser, UHI’s current principal and vice-chancellor, welcomed the awards as “entirely appropriate”.

He said: “We owe them so much and it is down to their persistence and determination that we now have the university our region justly deserves. I am delighted to pay tribute to them both.”