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Financial Statements 2011-12 3

Chair’s Introduction

I am delighted to present the Financial Statements for 2011-12 which record that the University concluded the last full year of the old funding regime in good health.

2011-12 was also Professor Colin Riordan’s last year as Vice-Chancellor. A walk around the campuses of the University provides visible testimony to the dynamism, vision and confidence that Colin brought to the University. We are extremely grateful to Colin and wish him well in his new role as Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University. Tragically, Dr Tony Rich, our former Registrar and Secretary who moved to the University of Bristol earlier in the year, died in June. Tony’s energy, expertise and professionalism are remembered with great fondness. Before he died, he received an honorary degree at a ceremony attended by his family, many friends and colleagues. The naming of our new Teaching Centre honours Tony’s lasting contribution to the University.

The rapidly changing higher education scene offers unique opportunities for innovation and fresh thinking. We have been building on our success over the last five years while making the transition to the new funding regime; responding effectively to ever greater competition for Home/EU undergraduate students; and developing a new Strategic Plan. The University is redoubling its focus on delivering excellence in research and excellence in education, and we are already thinking about different modes of delivery of our degree programmes. We are confident that the time is right to make significant investments in the ‘Essex Experience’ so that we can provide a world-class campus-based experience to our students centred on research-led teaching, and excellent opportunities for personal development through volunteering, sport, music and the arts.

We remain committed to investing to attract the very best staff and students who can benefit from the type of education we offer. Such investments include our new Student Centre and extension to the Albert Sloman Library, a new building to house the Essex Business School and a world-class Experimental Laboratory in the Social Sciences which promises to be the best in Europe and amongst the best in the world.

These new developments follow the recent opening of the Edge Hotel School in the newly restored Grade II listed Wivenhoe House, our partnership with Uliving in building 648 new student rooms on the Colchester Campus, and the rapid progress on building The Forum Southend-on-Sea, a joint enterprise with Southend Borough Council and South Essex College. This infrastructure programme demonstrates a sustained commitment to the development of the University’s facilities and campuses on a scale that matches the initial investment in the estate when the University was founded.

I was very pleased to welcome Bryn Morris as our new Secretary and Registrar in November 2011 and Professor Anthony Forster as our new Vice-Chancellor, Andrew Keeble as our Director of Finance and Simon Neale as our Director of Estates Management who took up their posts in the summer of 2012.

Their appointments mean that we have successfully renewed the senior management team of the University at an exciting moment in our history as we approach our 50th anniversary with optimism and confidence about the future. The University Council and I look forward to working closely with them in the coming years.

David Currie – Chair of Council David Currie

The University is redoubling its focus on delivering excellence

in research and excellence in education, and we are already thinking about different modes of delivery of our degree programmes

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