Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m an Associate Professor in the Law School, on a teaching and scholarship contract, specialising in legal education. This year, I am also a project leader in LITE (Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence), working on study abroad. I live in Leeds, walk everywhere (this summer I finished off the Offa’s Dyke Path Walk, along the English/Welsh border), and use all my annual leave to travel!
Why did you decide to take an officer role in the union?
2018-19 was my 20th year in post in the University. I’m incredibly proud of working at Leeds and very committed to seeing the university, and the higher education sector, thrive. The amazing solidarity and connections we made during the 2018 USS strike made me realise that UCU has a huge role to play in this, by bringing us together and making our voices and our experience and expertise heard, so I decided to join the committee, and realised that I had skills which might be of use as Vice-President.
What does it involve?
I’ve only just started, so we’ll see! At the moment, there are a lot of meetings: with each other, with other unions and with university management, so I’m enjoying getting to know new people and visiting other parts of campus. Basically, my role is to support Ben, our President, in discussion and negotiation with the University, and in planning, organising and leading the different campaigns and working groups of the union. And, of course, organising and leading strike action when and if it comes.
How can other people get involved?
Read your UCU emails! That way you’ll find out what we are doing and how you can help. In particular, our working groups are open to all members, not just committee members or officers. Come to General Meetings, to meet others and hear from us – and introduce yourself if you’re new!