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New Director for University’s School of Social Sciences

28 April 2000 @TeesUniNews


The new Director of the University of Teesside’s School of Social Sciences is Professor Tim Blackman, previously Deputy Head of Social Sciences and Law at Oxford Brookes University. Professor Blackman, 43, is originally from Gravesend, Kent, and comes to Teesside with a diverse background, ranging from academic research and lecturing, to work on a Belfast community newspaper and a senior management role in local government.

After graduating from the University of Durham in 1979 with a BA (Hons) degree in Geography, he moved to Belfast to work initially as a play leader and later a community worker.

Professor Blackman said: "My work was concerned with social and housing issues rather than the troubles. I wanted to be part of achieving some change, working with local people who were having a say in the development of their neighbourhood. This gave me an interest in housing problems and I decided to return to research."

His PhD at Durham University ‘Housing Policy and Community Action’, was funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), and compared housing issues in the North-East of England with those in Northern Ireland. During this time he spent six weeks in Indonesia, and upon returning took a post as a Social Policy Lecturer at the New University of Ulster.

While at Ulster he was involved in the formation of a new voluntary organisation, ‘Community Technical Aid’, which helped in the planning of new facilities, including shops, playgrounds and health care. The organisation still exists today. Professor Blackman’s book ‘Planning Belfast: A case study of public policy and community action’ (1991) is based on some of his work during this period.

In 1990 Professor Blackman moved to Newcastle, as Head of the City Council’s Corporate Research Unit, providing further experience in the field of urban regeneration and leading to a second book ‘Urban Policy in Practice’. He moved to Oxford Brookes University five years later, as Deputy Head of the School of Social Sciences and Law. The post combined management experience with academic interests, and his brief included developing the School’s research profile as well as two periods as Acting Head.

He said of his new post at Teesside: "I very much support Teesside’s mission as the Opportunity University and see the School’s first priority as providing high quality, open access courses. We need to ensure teaching quality is high and complemented by good research. The School needs to be able to respond to changing needs through expertise and innovation."