On the pulse - Winter 2009

28 September 2009

Professor John Coyne

It's enormously rewarding to drive onto Derby Campus and see our iconic towers at Kedleston Road in the final stages of taking their place as the central feature of a new, sleek looking University.

The overall image they now project is even better than I had imagined when we first embarked upon this programme. As a professional and high quality institution it is wonderful to now physically look like one! The Enterprise centre, on the old Jackson's Mill site, is well on schedule and is beginning to look the part. It will give us a modern building near the city centre, housing a crucible for ideas and new business.

We seem to have settled into our academic year extremely well and very quickly. Everyone seems to be telling me this is the best intake we have ever had! Well qualified and thoroughly engaging people. It augurs well.


At the recent Derbyshire Sports Awards it was great to share a platform with the Student Union as recipients were presented with their University of Derby Sports Awards (we are headline Sponsors of Derbyshire Sport). I took particular pleasure that the winner was Nicola Minichiello, World Bobsleigh champion. Now I know Derbyshire is hilly but.... The runner up, World Championship Bronze Medallist Powerlifter Mark Gregory, trains with our power lifters at the University so we felt we were honouring one of our own.


The Government's long awaited Higher Education Framework document has finally been published and there is much in it that looks as if aspects of policy are moving even more firmly onto Derby's territory. However, there are also some potential challenges. We looked in some detail at the implications, as well as the current economic context, at our annual retreat with Governing Council and Academic Board. We are determined to ensure that we continue to build upon the success we are currently enjoying.

We celebrated the achievements of our students graduating in Buxton in early December and awarded honorary degrees to Derby business leader Gerry Beetles, and former England Cricketer and now national selector Geoff Miller. As usual we did it in some style!

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