FORMER SNP Education Secretary Michael Russell is to join Glasgow University as a professor of culture and governance.

The part-time post, which will straddle the College of Social Sciences and the College of Arts, will see Mr Russell engage in a range of activities including teaching and research. He will also also deliver an annual public lecture on aspects of Scottish culture and society.

A graduate of Edinburgh University, Mr Russell was chief executive of the SNP before serving as an MSP from 1999-2003 and again from 2007. He was Minister for the Environment from 2007-09 and Education Secretary from 2009/14.

Mr Russell, who is currently MSP for Argyll and Bute, has also been a television director, cultural and media commentator and is the author of several books, many of which focus on Scottish culture and politics.

Professor Anton Muscatelli, principal of Glasgow University, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Michael is joining. As well as being a former Cabinet Secretary for Education, he has a long background and interest in Scottish culture and society. His knowledge and insights will be of tremendous benefit to our students and staff and we are all very much looking forward to working with him."

Mr Russell added: "I am delighted to be joining the university and I am grateful for this new and exciting opportunity. Glasgow is one of the top 100 universities in the world and under Anton's leadership it is contributing greatly to the excellence of Scottish Higher Education and Research.

"I am looking forward to working on issues that are close to my heart, to sharing some of my experience of Government and Scottish culture with students and to collaborating with the many very fine scholars who are part of the community of the university."

In 2011, Glasgow University put on hold a series of cuts after an intervention from Mr Russell in his role as Education Secretary.

He said at the time: "Given these proposals are based on a funding model that has now changed because they were published in February it would probably be wise just to stop. I just see no point in having a process that is based on false figures."