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Education / Seven recruited to merged college board

UHI Shetland's Lerwick campus.

SEVEN people have now been recruited as non-executive members of the shadow board which will oversee the merging of Shetland’s tertiary education sector.

Ruth Campbell, who is the project manager for plans to bring together Shetland College, NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland, updated members of the Shetland College Board on Monday morning on the merger’s progress.

The non-executive board members are Lauren Doughton, Karen Hall, Irene Hambleton, John Goodlad, Steven Kerr, Jean Urquhart and Graeme Howell.

The role of a board member is said to be “pivotal in developing the strategic aims and in ensuring sound stewardship and best practice for the new merged college”.

The voluntary role of non-executive board member is expected to need around two days per month of work, although this is likely to increase in the lead up to the merger.

Interviews for the post of principal designate of the new merged college, meanwhile, are set to take place in Lerwick this week.

There is currently a shortlist of five candidates vying for the role.

The principal will also become a member of the board once they take up their post.

Also on the board will be George Smith and Peter Campbell from Shetland Islands Council and Davie Sandison and George Sutherland from NAFC Marine Centre, as well as staff representatives from both colleges.

There will also be representatives from the Highlands & Islands Student Association.

The establishment of the shadow board is a transitional step towards the creation of a board of management which will govern the new merged college.

Ruth Campbell said the college merger has a target date of early 2020, with a business case due to go before the Scottish Government before then.

“On the ground, I have been doing a lot of work to engage with staff,” she added.

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Campbell said one issue which will require a lot of effort is merging areas of work which are currently carried out differently by the college organisations.

These include departments like finance, human resources, engagement with the SQA and marketing.

The new merged college, which had been discussed for years before getting the go-ahead in 2018, will form part of the University of Highlands and Islands network.

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