Staff Governor Election Academic.
I have worked at Canterbury Christ Church University since 2002, although my association with our university goes back to 1978 when my elder siblings came here to study. During that time the campus and the institution have changed immeasurably, as indeed it needed to. One thing that I believe has always defined and shaped CCCU is its friendly, collegiate and supportive nature. I would like to see that robustly supported and maintained for us, and for future generations of staff and students.
My role at CCCU is in the Business School where I am a senior lecturer, and Programme Director on an MBA for Senior Leaders and MA in Human Resources. The teaching I undertake with both postgraduates, undergraduates and students on the apprenticeship scheme, is based principally around areas of Management Studies, although I am also a fully qualified Marketer with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. These are areas of skill and expertise that I believe I can bring to the role of Staff Governor.
The question ‘you’ve been here for a long time; don’t you feel in a rut?’ has been asked of me by some colleagues and students over the years. My response is a simple no. I feel Christ Church offers a niche in which people can thrive and can be given the opportunity to excel, and do so for their own good, and for the greater good of the institution and our stakeholders. We also have a major role to play in the local and regional area, the economy and all of our constituent communities.
Richard Branson is quoted as saying:
Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.
We don’t have clients, or customers. What we have is more important than that, we have our students; without whom CCCU would not exist. When our students achieve and progress it is often because of the support that they have received while in our care. Colleagues cannot be expected to provide that care without the time, space, and support of the organisation. Staff wellbeing should therefore always be our most pressing priority. This is something we can be excellent at, but I feel ‘excellent’ is the standard we need to have as our operating norm.
If CCCU is to move forward as an engaged and engaging place of work and study I believe we need to have and maintain a focus on staff welfare, inclusivity, and achievement for all of our staff and students. We also need to be mindful of how we adapt and progress as an organisation, not least with an ever greater need to act on issues of sustainability.
It would be a privilege to act as Staff Governor and I would strive to keep the interests of colleagues as the main focus of what we do, and how we do it, and at the heart of the governors’ agenda.
Dr Jake Monk, May 2021.