As well as our ongoing interviews with a wide range of staff at RGU, we’ve also persuaded a few members of the Senior Management Team to tell us a little bit more about themselves and what they think of life and work in Aberdeen. Here, Veronica Strachan explains how she began a three year, fixed-term lecturing contract at RGU in 1994 and is still here some 25 years later (and still enjoying it!).
Name: Veronica Strachan
Job Title: Assistant Chief Academic Officer and Secretary to the Board
Can you give us a brief summary of your career to date, explaining what attracted you to your current position at RGU?
Having a law degree and PG Diploma in Legal practice, I completed my training contract to qualify as a solicitor at Macleod and MacCallum, solicitors in Inverness. After three years there, I moved to RGU on a three year fixed term lecturing contract in law in the school of Public Administration and Law (that was in 1994 – so in August 2019 I have my silver jubilee!).
Since then I have changed role several times senior lecturer in law, Associate Head of departments of Law and of Economics & Public Policy; Business Manager in former faculty of Aberdeen Business school and then Assistant Chief Academic Officer before in November 2018 moving to my current role Assistant Chief Academic Officer and Secretary to the Board.
I have had an interesting career journey within RGU and think that I have been able to use and develop my legal and other skills throughout. If there is a perfect job, I think my current role must be about it, not least because I as well as having great teams working with me, I am able to work across the university with a variety of different people, and have the opportunity to make a real impact.
Please describe what your role involves?
As Assistant Chief Academic Officer I have a range of responsibilities relating to academic quality and regulations and I work within the team of Governance and Academic Quality. Amongst the many Committees that I am a member of, I convene Academic Regulations Sub Committee and the Academic Advisory Committee (with ICRGU) The Department of Employability and Professional Enrichment reports through to me, and I am pleased to be able to contribute to our ongoing success in that area.
As Secretary to the Board, I report to the Chair of the Board and have the responsibility to ensure compliance with all procedures and to ensure that the Board is adequately supported to enable the discharge of its duties.
What are the three best things about RGU as an employer?
RGU is a community – I am truly grateful for the many friends that I have made here.
Opportunity – opportunities exist to get involved with a wide range of issues/ topics/ projects and indeed opportunities to have and develop ideas.
Tell us something about your work that might surprise us?
The campus is beautiful and from my office I can often hear and sometimes spot a woodpecker!
Describe living in NE Scotland in three words?
Happy and Healthy
What are your favourite leisure/non-work activities and how well are they catered for in and around Aberdeen?
My children ice skate, freestyle ski, dance and life-save – all very much supported in Aberdeen – I watch and taxi them!
What is your favourite place to go out for a meal in the NE and why?
Rustico – a small, friendly, family-run Italian that caters for the whole family- grandfather included.
What would you say to anyone who is contemplating a move to RGU and the NE of Scotland but who might be concerned that “it’s a long way from civilisation”?
Aberdeen has lots to offer – it is a city on a small scale which means that everything is much more accessible so there is more time for living rather than commuting.