Led by the Academic Secretary, the Academic Secretariat supports the Vice-President for Academic Affairs/Registrar in discharging her remit specifically in relation to matters of academic quality assurance and governance.
Members of the team provide high-level secretariat support to Academic Council and its sub-committees, support the development of academic policies, regulations and procedures, enable and implement academic quality assurance initiatives across DCU, manage DCU’s curriculum approval process, and oversee the University’s examination appeals process. The unit also coordinates multiple academic-related functions across the University including the university schedule of meetings, the Student Recognition Framework, and external examiner appointments for taught programmes.
The Academic Secretariat also discharges a strategic project brief and members of the team provide leadership, expert input into, and project management support for key strategic initiatives and projects that lie within the remit of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs/Registrar.
Ms Margaret Irwin-Bannon
Margaret joined the Academic Secretariat team in 2015. Margaret provides coordinated, high-level support to University Standards Committee. She has shared responsibility for the coordination of the University approval process with respect to new and existing programmes of study. She is responsible for the line management of the Academic Secretariat office and the administration related to the work of the Examination Appeals Board and the nomination and approval of External Examiners. She also provides high-level support to the Chair of the Examination Appeals Board. Working closely with the Academic Secretary, Margaret is also involved in the ongoing development and review of academic policy and governance and in system development to support new processes.
Margaret started her working life as a secondary teacher and has a range of experience in third-level administration having worked in University College Dublin, before joining Dublin City University.
Dr Rachel Keegan
Rachel joined the Academic Secretariat team in 2019. In this capacity, Rachel provides coordinated, high-level secretariat support to Education Committee. Rachel has shared responsibility for the coordination of the University approval process for new programmes of study. Working closely with the Academic Secretary, Rachel also supports the development and review of academic policy and governance and provides support to project-related activities. Prior to this appointment, Rachel worked in the area of graduate research education for several years, both in her capacity as Graduate Studies Manager in the Graduate Studies Office and as a Research Administrator at DCU Business School.
Dr David McCarthy
David has worked in the higher education sector for the last ten years and has held roles as a researcher, associate lecturer, programme administrator and quality assurance officer in the UK and Ireland. David joined the Academic Secretariat in 2021 and is currently responsible for coordinating the business of and providing secretariat support to Academic Council and the Graduate Research Studies Board. David is also involved in supporting the approval process for new programmes of study and in the development and ongoing review of policies and procedures related directly to academic affairs.
Prior to joining DCU, David worked in National College of Ireland, where he was the quality assurance and enhancement specialist and was responsible for the lifecycle management of academic programmes. David has also worked extensively with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) on a wide range of programme and provider quality reviews and has worked as an external advisor for a number of private higher education providers seeking to improve their academic governance structures and programme development processes in line with statutory quality assurance guidelines.
Ms Valerie Cooke
Valerie Cooke is an administrator in the OVPAA. Her responsibilities include providing high-level administrative support to Academic Council, Education Committee, Education Committee Standing Committee and University Standards Committee. She also coordinates the external examiner appointment process and supports the Student Recognition Framework. Valerie also supports the work of the Examination Appeals Board, Disciplinary Appeals Committee and Accreditation Boards.
Ms Gráinne Curran
Gráinne is a secretarial administrator in the OVPAA. Her responsibilities include financial administration for the Academic Secretariat, Academic Systems Unit and, in support of senior OVPAA team members, assisting with the examination appeals process. Gráinne also supports the publication of papers for the Graduate Research Studies Board, oversees meeting logistics and provides PA support as required.
Ms Megan Howell
Megan is an administrative assistant for the OVPAA. She joined the Academic Secretariat Unit in 2023 and is providing administrative and secretarial support to the Quality Review Committee and Academic Council. She also assists with the Examination Appeals Board. Before working with DCU, Megan held roles in journalism and publishing, specialising in marine science, agriculture and sustainable food systems.