University Innovator Wins National Award

16 December 2011

Tee Holden

Tee Holden collecting her award at the AUA Jubilee Lecture and Awards Ceremony with Geoff Green from the University of Leicester.

Tee and Geoff have made an outstanding personal contribution to the work of the AUA in the Midlands

Alison Robinson Canham, Executive Director at the AUA

A member of the University of Derby's International team has scooped a prestigious national award.

Tee Holden, International Operations Manager, won the award for Most Innovative Involvement at the 2011 Jubilee Lecture and Awards Ceremony of the Association for University Administrators, AUA.

Staff from the University of Derby were among the 200 guests at the awards ceremony which was held at the Grand Connaught Rooms. London.
Tee shares the award with Geoff Green from the University of Leicester. The pair work in partnership as East Midlands Co-ordinators for the AUA. Over the last 18 months they have built a support network for people working in administrative and management roles at universities in the region including Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent, Cranfield, Northampton, Loughborough, De Montfort and The Open University.

Tee and Geoff have organised a number of seminars at each of the Universities giving staff the opportunity to network with their peers and to add to their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) portfolios.

Tee said: "I volunteered for the East Midlands AUA co-ordinator role as I felt there was a great opportunity to be had by networking with staff at neighbouring universities in similar roles. I wanted to explore the possibilities of sharing skills and best practice and to offer opportunities to learn from the experts.

"It's not just about improving how we do our jobs though, it's about influencing the sector we work in. That's especially important at the moment. Higher education is in an interesting place right now, and we're better able to understand our strengths and our challenges by working in collaboration with one another."

One of the sessions Tee and Geoff organised, entitled Don't Mention the C-Word: the culture of customer service in higher education, took a surprise turn as the trainer announced that he was going to teach everyone to juggle. The trainer, Kenton Lewis, Head of Widening Participation & Student Recruitment at St George's University of London explained that the session wasn't about ′juggling multiple roles′ or ′keeping numerous projects in the air′, it was about learning how to actually juggle as an exercise in concentration, relaxation and enjoyment.

Commenting after the award was given on November 29, Alison Robinson Canham, Executive Director at the AUA, said: "Tee and Geoff have made an outstanding personal contribution to the work of the AUA in the Midlands.

"The seminar series has done much to raise the profile of the Association and improved access to high quality development opportunities right across the region. As an organisation we are indebted to the individuals who give so generously of their time and expertise, and to the employing institutions which support them in this."

Geoff Green, Director of Administration, College of Science & Engineering at the University of Leicester, said: "Over the last year AUA East Midlands professional development events have reached more than 200 managers working in universities across the region, and it was fantastic that the AUA recognised this contribution in its Jubilee year.

"It was a surprise and a delight to receive the national award for the most innovative involvement in AUA. Our role has simply been to coordinate and facilitate the efforts of those dedicated and professional university managers who are committed advocates for the AUA and the continuing development of our profession, both within and beyond their own individual institutions."

The AUA's next regional conference is being held at the University of Derby's Enterprise Centre on June 28, 2012.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the AUA can contact Tee Holden at or on 01332 591633.

Press release by Press Officer, Annabel Harvey, 01332 591942, email

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