Candidate interview: Richard Clark

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“My experience will prove vital for this role”

Richard Clark – Pendle College

Richard Clark has been involved in the academic sector of the University throughout his time at Lancaster, and believes that his numerous experiences provide him with the knowledge that he will need if appointed as the new Vice President (Academic).

Concerning the role, he said: “I am hopefully someone who can lead the students at times, but I am also aware that sometimes it is them who should lead me, directing me on issues of importance and helping me to represent them.”

Last year, Clark was Vice President of Pendle, and was the only member of the JCR to have an academic remit.  He is currently the Cross Campus Academic Council Officer, and believes that both positions will “prove vital for the role as on-going issues from this year will be a part of [his] job as FTO if elected”, and it is this belief that he feels will give him a strong starting point to build on.

Clark has strong beliefs relating to the academics of the University. When asked about the possible collaboration between Lancaster and Liverpool, he believes there are “pros and cons for the merger.”  A pro being that “a lot of universities are thinking about a collaboration”, so it is something we need to do if we want to “keep the funding that we’re getting.”  In terms of negativity, Clark believes that one of the major concerns for students is that “we will no longer be just Lancaster.”  He added, “It’s a great thing that we’re getting degrees from Lancaster,” however if the merger goes ahead, “[students] will end up with a Liverpool-Lancaster degree, which is something I think people need to be aware of.”

Having attended the recent General Meeting, Clark feels that what the union are doing in terms of the Business Process Review is “brilliant.”  “They’re really addressing what the student needs and they’re really showing the University that they’re not willing to let this go by unnoticed” he said.

On the topic of £9,000 fees, Clark believes that students’ priorities will “change slightly.”  He feels the student experience will be “vital as always in making sure that they enjoy their time at university.”  However, there will be “much more focus on academic studies.”  He added that students will “expect a lot more in terms of what they have to pay for”  such as hidden course costs, and Clark hopes this is something he will be able to fix if elected.

Clark believes that officers must work to effect as much positive change as possible during their year in office, adding that this idea “encompasses all of the things that [FTO’s] do day to day, as well as offering scope for people moving above and beyond their remit.”

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