Christine Gibbons (BPharm 1978)
Convocation member of Council
Being the convocation member on Council, I wanted to update you on what’s been a very busy six months.
We have appointed a new Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ian H White FREng. Ian officially starts on 8 April but he has already attended Council meetings. He knows the University very well having been a Professor of Physics here from 1990-96, but of course the campus has changed a lot since then.
Students and staff had input and representation throughout the recruitment of the Vice-Chancellor, and we are looking forward to the future under his leadership.
I have also helped to recruit the new Chair of Council. The University appointed executive search firm Odgers Berndtson and I was involved in the recruitment process as alumni representative, together with other lay members, staff and student representatives.
I’m delighted to tell you that the new Chair of Council is Pamela Chesters CBE and she will take up position on 8 April 2019.
As you may be aware the Council commissioned an independent, specialist Higher Education consultancy, Halpin Partnership, to conduct a review of the effectiveness of the University’s governance.
The Halpin Report made a number of recommendations, which were accepted by Council. An effectiveness review group was set up to work through the recommendations and provide the Council with proposals for implementation.
I was delighted to be asked to be a member of the group, joining the Students’ Union President, professional services council member, acting chair and treasurer and academic rep. We have met frequently over the last six months and are making good progress, which you can track online.
Finally it would not be a report from Council if I did not talk about a new building. If you have visited campus recently you wouldn’t have failed to notice the large hole that has appeared opposite the Sports Training Village. Excitingly this will become the new School of Management.
The University’s Director of Estates, Martyn Whalley says: “It will enable staff and students to interact, learn, teach and conduct research in a variety of spaces.”
Key spaces and facilities include:
- Conference Lecture Theatre
- Five flat-floor and two tiered Lecture Theatres
- Eating and Group Study Commons
- Undergraduate and Postgraduate Study zones
- Employment Hub
- Computer Hub
- Entrepreneurship Lab
- Behavioural Lab
- Faculty offices and Executive Suite
- MBA/DBA Suite (including lounge and teaching spaces)
- Professional Support Staff space
The new building is due to open in early 2021.
If you’d like to get in touch, do feel free to drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.