Sarah Porter to step down as Head of innovation at Jisc

After much deliberation, Sarah Porter head of innovation has chosen to leave Jisc in order to pursue her research innovation interests in higher education and work with higher education institutions on developing their digital strategies.

Sarah has brought tremendous commitment and passion to Jisc over the last twelve years. She initially joined from the University of Oxford where she led a team of e-learning developers and directed Jisc’s work onmanaged learning environments.

It was 2004 when Sarah was appointed to lead the Jisc innovation group. The group’s agenda focused upon identifying opportunities for the UK to maximise the potential of technology to support better learning, teaching and research. Sarah has encouraged experimentation and new and innovative approaches to technological development, including most recently the Summer of Innovation project, which is inviting students to submit innovative ideas on how the student experience can be improved through technology.

Under Sarah’s leadership, and with support from Jisc’s funders, the UK and countries from overseas have benefited from programmes in:

• E-learning
• Leading work in digital libraries
• The creation of many millions of digital content assets
• The creation of new virtual research environments
• National services to support research management.

Some of her key successes have been the Sustaining Digital Resources series carried out jointly with Ithaka; work on supporting technical standards with CETIS and UKOLN; taking forward the UK’s engagement with open educations resources (OERs); promotion of the service oriented architecture and the e-framework with Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Canada.

Professor Martyn Harrow, chief executive of Jisc said: “We will all greatly miss Sarah’s leadership and vision. Jisc has made tremendous progress through its innovation programmes that has put the UK in a leading position with its use of technology in education and research. We will build on this precious legacy as we move to Jisc’s new future.”