Welcome to the new Council webpage. It is part of an initiative to make Council more transparent and relevant to the wider University community.
I have had the privilege to serve on Council for the past eleven years and this will be my sixth year as President. Having spent some time as a research scientist before spending most of my career in the healthcare sector, it is very satisfying to come back to the academic world as a lay member of Council.
Council is responsible and accountable for all institutional activities. Our role is to ensure that the University is properly governed and meets all of its legal and regulatory requirements. Together with the Executive, we set the mission, strategic direction, overall aims and the values of the University. I chair the meetings of Council and many of its Committees so I am concerned, both formally and informally, with the major financial and policy making decisions of the University. I also work closely with the Vice-Chancellor on broad issues of strategy and development. It is both pleasing and rewarding to be involved in the early discussion of an idea and then see it come to fruition. Good examples are the launch of the School of Architecture or the development of Thames Valley Science Park, and with it the development of the film studios and facilities for the British Museum that create partnership opportunities not only for academic colleagues and students in the School of Film, Theatre and Television and our department of Archaeology, but also bring opportunities for experience and employment across the wider community.
Council aims to support the Executive, offering additional independent skills that can be drawn upon if required and also provide critical challenge to ensure that decision making is robust and well thought through. In so doing we can provide the best possible experience for our current students, academic and professional staff and also provide a sustainable, agile institution that will be enjoyed by generations to come.