Trevor Watkins, 54
East Midlands Universities Association
Policy Adviser - 0.4 fte
Salary £50,000 per annum pro rata
Job advertised in The THES , February 14 2003
The East Midlands Universities Association wanted to appoint a senior university figure who could network between members and with local and regional government departments and agencies, as well as with the Higher Education Funding Council for England, says Robert Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicester University and association chairman.
Trevor Watkins was pro vice-chancellor of South Bank University for ten years before taking early retirement. Before that, he headed Oxford Brookes University's Business School. He is a consultant, holds a number of posts on professional and examining bodies and he teaches part time at the University of the West Indies.
Burgess says: "Trevor demonstrated a clear understanding and knowledge and the skills and abilities required to develop the post. We could sketch out the ideas, but we needed someone who could use his imagination to stretch them further."
EMUA was founded in 1999. It comprises ten higher education institutions that together employ about 20,000 people and generate income of more than £750 million. Much of Watkins' work involves developing links between further and higher education and working with the regional development agency to exploit third-leg funding from incubation and innovation projects.
Watkins says: "I know how universities work, and it helps to deal with senior people face to face. We are trying to push an agenda where universities contribute to the region's economic development. I have put together a set of strategy options for the steering group, which will decide the priorities over the year."