Dr Sean Duffy to lead project seeking Technological University (TU) for the West & North-West

Big plans for Letterkenny IT and IT Sligo

Dr Sean Duffy to lead project seeking Technological University (TU) for the West & North-West

Dr Sean Duffy who has been appointed Executive Project Lead of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA), a project seeking Technological University (TU) for West & North-West of Ireland.

The Presidents of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) of GMIT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT have welcomed the appointment of Dr Seán Duffy to the position of CUA Executive Project Lead as the alliance proceeds towards becoming a Technological University (TU) for the West and North-west of Ireland.

Dr Duffy, originally from Sligo, will oversee the progress of the CUA project by bringing dedicated, strategic and executive day to day leadership to ensure the achievement of the CUA’s ambition.  

Dr Duffy has over 25 years’ education management experience in the third-level sector. He held the post of Head of School of Tourism at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) for eleven years and Head of Department for seven years.  

In 2018, he was appointed LYIT CUA Project Manager, leading the €2.85m HEA-funded iNOTE Project, a collaborative initiative to develop innovative digital opportunities which will transform higher education in the West and North-West of Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Duffy says: “Being involved in the development of the new Technological University for the West and North-West is an exciting opportunity as it will be a gamechanger in terms of higher education in the region, I look forward to working with colleagues across the three Institutes on this project”.

Dr Duffy holds a PhD from the University of Limerick, MSc (Distinction) from Ulster University and a BA (Hons) from GMIT, formerly RTC Galway.  

Prior to joining LYIT he worked as Director of the International Hotel and Tourism Management Institute, Lucerne, Switzerland for six years.  

He has been actively involved in promoting the tourism and hospitality sector and regional development in Ireland for 20 years, with memberships of Donegal’s Tourism Sectoral Forum, Chair of Donegal Food Coast Steering Committee, Local Enterprise Office (LEO), Donegal’s Sliabh Liag Development Project, and was a member of the West/North-West Cluster Group (GMIT, LYIT, IT Sligo and NUIG). 

Recently, on behalf of the CUA, he was a member of Technological University Research Network (TURN) Working Group 1 which focused on TU staffing, grading norms and capacity development. 

Dr Duffy is a Fellow of the Irish Hospitality Institute and a member of numerous professional bodies.  He was awarded the first Fáilte Ireland Senior Research Fellowship in 2005/2006 for research on technology adoption and SMEs.  

Dr Duffy has been an external examiner on programmes from Level 6 -9 in Ireland and Switzerland and has worked with national and international further and higher education bodies. 


Dr Duffy brings significant change management experience to the position which was gained from playing a key role in the management of the amalgamation process, which saw the successful integration of the Tourism College Killybegs (TCK) with Letterkenny Institute of Technology in 2007. 


The Presidents of GMIT, IT Sligo and LYIT, Dr Orla Flynn, Brendan McCormack and Paul Hannigan, said  “We are delighted to have appointed someone of Sean’s calibre to lead the TU ambition for the Connacht-Ulster Alliance. Sean has great experience of the IT sector together with a strong commitment to bring the three Institutions together as a technological university.”


For further information about the CUA, please see www.cualliance.ie


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