An international communications specialist has been appointed dean of the University of Chester Business School.

A chartered marketer, Professor Ruth Ashford is a fellow and senator and of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She has just been selected to work on the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education review panel, to benchmark UK standards in the teaching of business and management.

Professor Ashford’s work in championing the development of professional marketing and public relations education has been adopted in 90 countries.

Her external examining experience in higher education includes that with the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Exeter, Manchester, Salford and Edinburgh Napier.

Professor Tim Wheeler, the University of Chester’s vice-chancellor, said: “Professor Ashford joins us at a pivotal time in our history, as we celebrate our 175h anniversary and continue to diversify into more business-facing activities.

“Her well-honed skills, knowledge and experience in higher education, from the perspectives of a student, lecturer, senior manager and practitioner will be an invaluable addition to the faculty and the university.”

Professor Ruth Ashford brings more than 20 years’ involvement in higher education – latterly as pro vice-chancellor and dean of the faculty of business and law at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) – to the role.

Professor Ashford has co-authored a number of books on strategic marketing.

She has also written on subjects as diverse as: developing entrepreneurial skills in adolescents; marketing secondary schools and sixth form colleges; planning supply chain production in manufacturing small businesses; female career progression; users’ perspectives of online kiosks and the public relations aspects of eBay.

Outside of the workplace, Professor Ashford, who lives in Buglawton, Cheshire, is a non-executive director for the Maggie’s charity, which aspires to raise £3m for a new cancer support centre at The Christie in Manchester.

A Cestrian by birth, she is looking forward to renewing her acquaintance with the city and its surroundings when she takes up her post in September.

She said: “I am passionate about the Chester area, with which I have strong family connections, including a link in the last century to an ancestor of the university’s chancellor, His Grace the Duke of Westminster!

“Indeed, I began my working life with the then Cheshire Area Health Authority, so I welcome the opportunity to ‘come home,’ especially to such a successful institution as the University of Chester and to a business-minded region, which provides such rich potential for marketing and marketing education.”