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Sociologist Fiona Devine has been appointed Head of Manchester Business School. Prof Devine, who has been acting head of the school since September when Michael Luger stepped down from the job, will take up the position officially in January 2014.

Though formerly head of the School of Social Sciences, Prof Devine says there has always been a lot of academic interchange between the social sciences, the department of economics and the business school, and so she already has strong contacts with many business school professors. However, she adds, the business school is larger and more complex that the school of social sciences, with a higher proportion of postgraduate students, operations overseas and executive education teaching.

Prof Devine will take over Manchester Business School at a time of expansion. Not only is the university about to begin the construction of a hotel and executive suite for executive education clients, but the school is advertising for 20 academic appointments.

Prof Devine is a specialist in the fields of social stratification and mobility, work and employment, and is co-director of the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change at the University of Manchester. She is also a fellow of the Centre for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University, in California, and an honorary professor in the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Prof Devine will join Sue Cox at Lancaster University Management School and Susan Hart at Strathclyde Business School as one of only a handful of female deans at the UK’s top-ranked business schools. Manchester’s MBA programme was ranked 29 in the world in the FT’s 2013 MBA rankings.

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