Episode 45 of University Registrars Talking About Stuff features Chris Ince who is University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer at the University of Hull. We discuss this distinctive title (not quite unique in the sector) and the particular role Chris plays which has real logic to it given the way that the external regulatory environment has grown and the extended responsibilities of governing bodies in England under the OfS.
Chris has had an interesting career journey from sabbatical officer at Imperial College to computer game tester before heading back to Imperial for his first administrative role and then moving on to Kingston and SOAS (where on one occasion he had to hold door shut while students tried to knock it down) before joining London Met and then Hull.
Hull is, we agree, a great place with a long and proud history but with something of a locational challenge in terms of student recruitment. However, those who do make it to the end of the train line, both students and staff, love the place. This passion is also expressed through the university's commitment to its vital position in the city and region where it plays an anchoring role including in relation to the green agenda locally and as it moves towards net zero. We also note the significant financial challenges ahead in terms of the cost of living and energy crises both of which will have a major impact on students and staff.
Finally we explore a couple of unusual aspects of higher education Chris has identified including his surprise at the reluctance of some students to accept rational arguments over principles and the occasional difficulties of some in our institutions to absorb relevant ideas and practices from other sectors.
In terms of institutions which no longer exist we did mention Hefce but failed to discuss the Housemartins.