Jock's Backroom Blog

Views from the Backroom, and the Classroom, at Oxford Brookes University

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Gubernatorial gubbins

Posted by Jock Coats on 10th February 2011

So, my term as governor is over, and today sees the first board meeting at which the two new staff governors, Pete Toomer of the student accommodation office in Estates and Facilities Management from the non-teaching staff and Megan Crawford of the Westminster Institute of Education from the teaching staff, will take their places.  Congratulations to them on their election and commiserations to all those (and there were a fair few) who stood in the elections and were not successful this time.

Pete Toomer, new non-teaching staff elected governor

Megan Crawford, new teaching staff elected governor

I have very much enjoyed my time as a governor, and have learned a lot.  But I am hoping that by this time next year I will be in my second semester as an undergraduate student, on the new Economics, Politics and International Relations course being introduced by the School of Business.  With my long interest in housing issues, I shall particularly regret not being on the board with Lesley Morphy, a newly appointed governor and Chief Executive of the Crisis housing charity.

There is lots going on in the university, with the fees debate moving ahead (of which more later no doubt), the building work now getting up to full speed, and, or so it seems, staff reorganisations everywhere, including my own department in what is now “Oxford Brookes Information Solutions”.

I hope also over the next few weeks then to start to bring together ideas for the Brookes Staff Association to try and create a social focus for staff especially now that many may begin to feel a little dislocated through such reorganisations.  This will not – repeat NOT – be an alternative to the trades unions, and I am fully committed to being a UNISON member in any case, but more like, say, the Oxford University Club but without a multi-million pound clubhouse, or any physical location at all in fact.

So, as far as governors are concerned it is, as someone used to say “goodbye from him” and I wish these two well in what will no doubt prove to be a difficult time for the university and UK Higher Education as a whole.

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