Reflections from Geoff Donnelly on his time as Chair of the Board of Governors

Thursday, 07 July 2016

Geoff Donnelly

After thirteen years as a Governor at Oxford Brookes and acting as Chair since 2012, Geoff Donnelly will formally hand the role over to Leslie Morphy OBE from August.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt commented: “"It's hard to overstate Geoff's enormous role in the development and progress of Oxford Brookes. His sustained contributions in a huge range of areas over many years have helped us enormously and everybody in the University has real cause to be thankful for his guidance.

“From a personal point of view, Geoff has not only been a very friendly and approachable colleague, but has also displayed huge amounts of the most important quality that is required in his role - wisdom.”    

Here, Geoff reflects on his time at Brookes and what the University has achieved over this period:

I have enjoyed my time immensely at Oxford Brookes and would wish you all every success for the future

Geoff Donnelly

“My thirteen year relationship with Oxford Brookes started as a happy accident.  I had put my name down on a list - this was before websites became ubiquitous - held at the Public Appointments Unit of the Cabinet Office for those who might be interested in public service.

“I received a letter from Brookes in February 2003 asking if I had any interest in becoming a governor.

“An interview followed and I was appointed to the board in April 2003.  Apart from my own undergraduate and postgraduate experience I had little understanding about how higher education worked.

“It was an interesting time to find out more as the increase in fees to £3000 per annum was in train.  After a period of time I became chair of the Audit Committee and then of Finance and Resources Committee and finally in 2012 chair of the Board.

“Oxford Brookes is a special place for me.  I have always been impressed by the enthusiasm, commitment and calibre of staff at Brookes in whatever role they perform.  Everyone seems to understand that the prime purpose is to educate students.   

“And the results are evidence of that understanding: upper quartile performance in the National Student Survey, impressive outcomes from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and what our alumni go on to achieve.

“During my time with Brookes I hope I have helped to achieve two things.  The first is to have a board that works well together and also works well with the Senior Management Team; we are fortunate to be involved with, and welcomed to, so many of the University's activities. 

“The second is to have established an infrastructure investment plan for the next ten years to follow on from the award winning development of the John Henry Brookes Building, This will ensure that our infrastructure, in terms of estates, systems and IT, matches the high standards we have already reached in learning and teaching and research.

“I have enjoyed my time immensely at Oxford Brookes and would wish you all every success for the future.”