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January 2013 will see the arrival of a new Chief Administrative Officer for Lancaster University. Andrew Neal, who resigned earlier this year, will be replaced by Nicola Owen (currently Deputy Registrar at the University of Warwick) in time for the beginning of Lent term.
Warwick University’s website details her past positions within the University, including becoming a Senior Officer member in 2006 and being the Academic Registrar before becoming Deputy Registrar in 2010. Her past experience in these roles included many planning and strategic responsibilities as well as performance management.
Despite the job title being changed to Chief Administrative Officer her role at Lancaster will reflect the responsibilities of the old Operating Officer position, overseeing various aspects of the Central Services. This includes aspects of college and student life (such as accommodation and the student registry), financial planning and accounting, human resources, ISS and Marketing.
Lancaster University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Mark E. Smith stated that, “she is a formidable and talented administrative colleague. She couples this with a genuine empathy with the mission of Lancaster University and a real eye for strategy. As higher education moves at ever more rapid pace and we refresh our strategy having such a person as the leader of our administration is really exciting.”
Owen has said that she is “really looking forward to the prospect of joining the community of distinguished staff [and] excellent students” at Lancaster, and believes that the “strong quality of Lancaster’s research and education means that the University is well placed to pursue and achieve its ambitions and [she is] delighted to have the opportunity to make a contribution to that process.”
Vice Chancellor Professor Mark Smith, reflecting on Andrew Neal’s time at Lancaster, said that he “has been a key part of the successful strategic development of this University over the past decade, especially with regard to ensuring financial stability and the modernisation of the estate.” Owen will take up the position in January of this academic year.
Lancaster University News have reported that Owen is very happy to be taking up her new position at Lancaster, she is quoted as saying, “I’m really looking forward to the prospect of joining the community of distinguished staff, excellent students, and engaging with Lancaster’s national and international alumni and partners as the University approaches its 50th anniversary.”