Your current and future job prospects and satisfaction depend on the quality of teaching and research at Abertay and the reputation earned externally by its staff and graduates. The Court decides how the University can best earn its funds and how they should be spent. So the Court needs a chair that can make sure it reaches the best decisions possible to support the well-being of the University’s staff and students: and someone who can advocate strongly on its behalf.
I am an experienced chairperson, with a thorough knowledge of Higher Education and the public sector. I have extensive experience of effective governance and stewardship. I have guided a range of boards and committees, helping them reach decisions that enable organisations to prosper. I know how best to offer constructive challenge to management, and to help find creative solutions.
Key to achieving the best outcomes is listening carefully to the views of all those closely involved and making sure that the loudest voices don’t dominate at the expense of the quieter ones: ensuring that we’re on the same wavelength and all pulling in the same direction in pursuit of a clear mission and strategy.
I was the first in my family to enjoy a university education. My parents were hard up and I got a full maintenance grant when I studied both in Scotland and abroad. My time as a sabbatical student president helped set me up for an executive career as a Senior Civil Servant and Ministerial adviser.
I want this generation of young people to enjoy the advantages that I enjoyed as a younger man. I deeply regret the loss of opportunities for interchange and funding that Brexit has entailed and the threat to our regulatory standards. I want Abertay to provide the best opportunities for study and research that it can; and to follow fair working practices.
Speaking a number of different languages, I have represented Scotland at UK level and the UK internationally. I am keen to deploy my ambassadorial skills to enable Abertay to punch above its weight in Scotland and beyond; and to encourage its international relationships.
After serving as CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, I was recruited by the Scottish Government to deliver the then First Minister’s vision of culture as our society’s “next major enterprise”. I am passionate about the positive role that the creative industries and technology can play in enhancing our social, environmental and economic well-being.
I’m an older, white male. But I’ve been championing equality and diversity all my life, from campaigning against apartheid to advancing LGBTQ+ rights. I have lived in Edinburgh with my male partner since the 1980s, marrying after the passage of Scotland’s landmark same-sex marriage legislation.
I believe that my skills and experience can help make Abertay an even better place to work and study than it is already. I hope you will entrust me with your support.