I am responsible for the strategic development of the whole of the University's estate, which includes the original Heslington West campus, the extension onto Heslington East, and the King's Manor in the city centre.
I have written the Estates Strategy to cover the next phase of development over ten years, with a rolling 5-year implementation plan. I co-ordinate the capital programme and am co-champion, with David Duncan the Registrar, for the University Plan theme of Sustainability.
I have degrees in French and Medieval Studies, and librarianship qualifications. My professional background has been in library and information work, mostly here at York. I became University Librarian in 1997 and from 2003 also directed the Borthwick Institute for Archives. I was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Estates and Strategic Projects in October 2007.
While University Librarian, I oversaw the design and building of the Raymond Burton Library for Humanities Research and the £3.5 million expansion of the research collections. A successful £4.5 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund led to the building of a state-of-the-art facility for the extensive and internationally important archives in the Borthwick Institute.
As Pro-Vice-Chancellor I am responsible for the £750 million Heslington East campus expansion, and overseeing the development of strategy for the University estate as a whole. Outside the University I am a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Higher Education Design Quality Forum and a member of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York.
I chair all the Strategic Projects steering groups on Heslington East and West, and attend relted working groups, so I spend quite a lot of time preparing for and chairing meetings. There is a steering group for each building project, as well as for the landscape and infrastructure activities.
Meetings can go smoothly if the projects are flying along, but sometimes there are issues that need negotiation and difficult decisions have to be taken – by me. I work very closely with academic colleagues involved in projects, as well as colleagues in Estates and Campus Services, project managers, architects, planners etc.
I help staff in academic and support departments plan for their space needs, as well as the Colleges and the Students Unions. The Estates Strategy and its implementation occupy much of my attention, as plans continue to develop.
Alongside this, I co-ordinate the rolling four-year capital programme which involves identifying and prioritising new ideas and projects. Other committees and groups require my presence, including Senior Management Group and Policy and Resources Committee.
In my role as co-champion for sustainability, I oversaw the development of the Sustainability Strategy, and, with colleagues across the University, am working on the implementation plan. I will be involved in developing policies and providing leadership and support for sustainability in the University.
I help promote the development and image of the University by giving presentations to members of the University and external groups, speaking at workshops and conferences and talking to the media through press and radio interviews.
I bring extensive experience as a leader of an academic service department and manager of staff, budgets and projects, and of course I champion the development and improvement of the whole estate as this is my portfolio.
I am a member of Court, Policy and Resources Committee and Senate, and chair of the Campus Development Steering Group. I also occasionally participate in appointment committees for chair and head of department posts across many disciplines.
Outside the University I was on the Steering Group for the HEFCE project called Learning Landscapes. This project looked at developing ways of ensuring that estates strategies and building projects are developed in conjunction with the academic and user community to better meet their needs.
I am a member of the RIBA Higher Education Design Quality Forum, which reviews building projects nationally, and chair or give papers at workshops or conferences on the development and management of estates projects.
I am also a member of the York Property Forum steering group, and I represent the University as required in a variety of forums. Having been a recipient on behalf of the University of several architectural and masterplanning awards, including Client of the Year, I have now been invited by RIBA to act as a lay assessor for architectural awards in Wales.
Commissioning master-planning, architectural and building design gives me the greatest buzz, and I also love developing and sharing plans with members of the University and the wider community.
There is great satisfaction in creating buildings that enhance the environment and benefit academic and student users. I have also enjoyed picking up a string of awards on behalf of the University for our successful projects.
Knowing I am contributing to the shape of the University for the next fifty years is awe-inspiring.
My long-term vision is that the design and condition of the buildings and the landscape will properly reflect the University's academic and entrepreneurial excellence and that our agenda for inclusivity, internationalisation and sustainability will be manifested in the high quality design and condition of the buildings and the landscape. Overall we aim to have an environment which delights and inspires.
In the shorter term, in five years’ time the second cluster of Heslington East will be substantially built out, with a new ninth college, further academic buildings for Economics, Mathematics and Electronics, and social, retail and study facilities.
Heslington West will be transformed, with Chemistry substantially rebuilt, new Biomedicine and Natural Sciences, Teaching and Environment buildings, improvements to departmental space including entrances and student study space, and phased redevelopments of Physics and the Colleges all under way.
I shall be watching with great interest from the sidelines as I am retiring in 2013.