Always time for a round of golf

July 29, 2005

Name : John Lord

Age : 57

Jobs : Senior lecturer at the Welsh School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management, University of Wales, working as a course director, handling event management programmes and supervising three knowledge-transfer schemes. I am also a director of JL Facilities Group, a stadium and arena consultancy working primarily in the private sector, and I am the principal consultant with RQA, a sports and leisure consultancy that works primarily in the public sector.

What is your background? BSc in civil engineering at Birmingham University and an MSc in recreation management at Loughborough University. I am a recent recruit to the academic world after having a successful career in commercial sport, venue and event management. Previous positions have included deputy director of the Sobell Sports Centre in London; general manager of Wembley Conference Centre; operations/technical director of the Wembley Stadium Complex.

What are your working hours? I normally work a long week - but I try to find time for an occasional round of golf.

Who are your students? Primarily degree and HND students, at all levels and in classes ranging from 20 to 200 in number. I also perform some masters-level supervision.

What has been your biggest challenge this year? Coming to terms with the somewhat slower decision-making pace of the academic world. Other challenges have been developing new academic and vocationally relevant degree programmes that will attract students, which appears to be working, time management and keeping on top of an ever-increasing administrative burden - which is an inefficient use of academic staff time that needs sorting.

Which university facilities do you use? These vary from adequate to excellent. Sport facilities at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, are some of the finest in the UK.

What is your office like? My office colleague (the untidiest man alive) allows me a quarter share of the available space. It's a far cry from the executive suites of previous jobs.

Who are your most difficult customers? None really.

What are the most frustrating aspects of your work? Committee meetings - so I now arrange my field study (golf) on those days.

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