Continuing our series of chats with the RGU Senior Management Team, today we bring you an interview with James Dunphy. James has held a variety of posts at the university since he first came here in 2005. In his view, it’s RGU’s “can-do” spirit that makes a real difference to the experience of the staff here – that and the great outdoor spaces of North-East Scotland, not to mention a rather nice restaurant called Rustico…
Can you give us a brief summary of your career to date, explaining what attracted you to your current position at RGU?
My career began working with national agencies in education, following a period as a student officer. I was fortunate to find RGU – a can do, modern university – which provided an opportunity early on to develop my skills and understanding and have been, again fortunate, to hold a variety of roles since I joined the team in 2005.
Please describe what your role involves?
My current role blends external responsibilities – working with our partners and national agencies in education and skills policy to advance mutual interests – with internal leadership of our strategic approach to quality enhancement and widening access.
What are the three best things about RGU as an employer?
RGU is a can-do organisation and that makes a real difference to the staff experience. Secondly, we know we work best when we work together; I work as frequently with colleagues across the organisation as I do in my own; that’s rare and makes for a rich work environment. Finally, in a sense RGU is an organisation which is always changing – we welcome over 3000 new students each year to our physical and digital campuses; meeting their needs is at the heart of our work and is incredibly motivational.
Tell us something about your work that might surprise us?
So many people across the region and beyond are strong advocates for RGU and I’ve found throughout my time here that no matter where I go I find people who are passionate about, and want to proactively support, our work.
Describe living in NE Scotland in three words?
Beaches, sunsets + hills
What are your favourite leisure/non-work activities and how well are they catered for in and around Aberdeen?
The North East benefits from the vibe which comes from a small city with three educational institutions, combined with great outdoor spaces whether these be beaches or hills. The Bennachie hill range and the beach at Balmedie are two amazing locations to enjoy and get lost in.
What is your favourite place to go out for a meal in the NE and why?
Rustico in Aberdeen city centre is one of those restaurants which feels just as good in a small group as it does as one of a party.
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”?
We benefit from a great quality of life here in the North East, with lots to see and do and some fantastic facilities for families. We’re also investing in the future of the region in ambitious ways with major projects such as the re-development of cultural venues, the opening of the Aberdeen western peripheral route and the construction of a new events campus in the form of P&J Live.