Argyll College UHI Welcomes New Chair of the Board
Argyll College UHI is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Rosemary Allford as the College’s new Chair of the Board. This change comes as Andrew Campbell retires from his 9-year tenure in the post, having served on the Board since 2010.
Dr Allford, a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Edinburgh Napier University, is a specialist in employability and collaboration, and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is a highly experienced professional within the university and college sectors, combining excellent collaborative practice, academic leadership and project management. Rosemary has led several SFC strategic projects with a focus on student employability and building leadership capacity within Scotland’s colleges. She has a portfolio career with previous roles as a consultant in academic practice with the Higher Education Academy, the University of Wolverhampton and as a Head of School, Carnegie College.
Rosemary first joined the Argyll College UHI board in June 2020. She served as a member of the Learning, Teaching & Engagement Committee and was elected as Chair on 10th December 2021.
Rosemary said: "It is an exciting time to be part of Argyll College UHI. We are in a favourable situation as both part of the national Scottish college network and integral to the UHI partnership. This presents us with wonderful opportunities for partnership working and collaborative development."
Argyll College already has very strong and healthy relationships with partners across Scotland enabling it to create a sustainable curriculum. The college works with Dundee and Angus and Borders colleges in the delivery of HE horticulture qualifications and have recently joined forces with UHI partners West Highland and North Highland colleges to develop FE provision, the delivery of which is now shared by the three teaching teams.
Rosemary admits to being more of a city dweller at heart, so what attracted her to Argyll College UHI? "Argyll is a small college which allows it to be relatively fleet-of-foot. In common with other smaller institutions, being an active member of the board here allows me to be much nearer to the ‘chalk face’, closer to the learner and the student experience.’’ Rosemary explains, "For me, that connection with staff, and with the student body, is the real driver.’’
"I envisage a more joined-up, collaborative, and participative approach to service delivery being at the core of our strategy as we grow and develop.’’
In the new year, Covid restrictions allowing, Rosemary plans to tour the 10 Learning Centres which constitute the college estate, and which are located across Argyll. "I’d like to get out to meet staff and students and understand the obstacles and opportunities that come with delivering tertiary education in one of the most geographically challenging areas of Scotland.’’
Argyll and Bute is the second largest local authority area in Scotland and has the fourth sparsest population of all 32 Scottish local authorities. 43% of the region’s population live in areas classified as ‘remote rural’ and over 15,000 of them live on islands.
"I am very much looking forward to seeing the diverse nature of the different learning centres, and how staff there meet their community needs.’’
Alongside the election of a new Chair, five new non-executive board members have been appointed to lead on the strategic development of the college. These new members have extensive experience in finance, public policy and public affairs, human resources, travel and tourism, and hospitality industries.
Summing up, Rosemary says, "It is a great honour to take over as chair, and it is a tremendous pleasure to work with a strong board, who have such a wealth of professional experience, many of whom bring first-hand knowledge of Argyll. We are fortunate to have many complimentary skills on the board and together we are committed to providing quality learning opportunities for the people of Argyll.’’