A UNIVERSITY college has appointed a new principal.

St Chad’s College, part of Durham University, has selected Dr Margaret Masson, who was previously vice-principal and senior tutor at the college and has been acting principal since the death of Rev Canon Dr Joe Cassidy last March.

Born in Scotland and raised in Zambia, Dr Masson studied at Aberdeen before completing a PhD at Durham in 1988.

Having spent some time teaching in the United States, she returned to Durham in 1992, becoming a lecturer in the English Studies department.

She said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this role.

“I look forward to building on the brilliant legacy of the late Joe Cassidy and leading the college into what promises to be an exciting new period of opportunity.”

Jonathan Blackie, chair of governors at the college, said: “Margaret brings exceptional skills to the position, she understands the collegiate nature of the university and her appointment has been widely welcomed by both staff and students.”

Dr Masson co-organises the annual Neville’s Cross EcoFest at St John’s Church, Neville’s Cross.

Dr Cassidy was a popular figure around the college and Durham, widely known as “Papa Joe”.