CUBO chairman steps down

After three years of tenure, Geoff Pringle felt it timely to step down from his role as CUBO Chairman at the CUBO winter conference in November.

Geoff has been a member of CUBO since 1997 when he first joined the HE sector. He has been a member of the Executive for just over three years; Geoff has hosted no less than one winter and two summer conferences in his roles at Birmingham and then Exeter.

Geoff explained more about his time at the helm.

What has been the best part of your work as Chair?

I have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the CUBO Executive committee. They are a friendly and very enthusiast group of like-minded individuals. It has been great to be involved in cross-sector issues, to be a voice for the sector and to be able to collaborate ideas at a senior level.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I am delighted with all of the new things that CUBO has been doing over the last three years. Externally facing – we have launched the CUBO Awards, which has been a great success, the new website and have increased our voice on the international stage.
Internally, we have grown the number of members and have introduced the associate member position, allowing more people to get involved and enjoy the benefits of CUBO alongside primary members. We have also developed a number of professional interest groups, including the finance group, training & quality group and the new marketing group. This has been a successful initiative increasing collaboration and the sharing of best practice across the sector.

Have there been surprises?

I have been surprised by just how much pressure some of my colleagues are under to deliver and by the fact that some institutions still don’t take their roles seriously enough. It concerns me when I see too much last minute decision making, as diaries and workloads are pushed to the limit.

What has been the most difficult part of the role?

Finding the time to do it well! Balancing the demands of a busy ‘day job’ and finding the time to devote to growing CUBO as an organisation is tough for all members of the Executive. Also, ensuring that CUBO activities are always relevant and helpful to the wider membership can sometimes be a challenge.

What is your next big project?

One of my reasons for stepping down as Chair of CUBO is my enhanced role at Exeter, as Deputy Chief Operating Officer. At Exeter, we have numerous big projects on the go including: large capital projects, the development of the University of Exeter Medical School, a new living systems building (which is a science and engineering project) and I am part of the professional services review and the workspaces project.

Where do you see CUBO in 10 years time?

I hope to see CUBO become more recognized internationally, with greater
international networking opportunities. I see CUBO working more closely with other organisations such as AUDE. There will definitely be much closer collaboration with suppliers to the sector as more services and facilities, particular in the accommodation sector, are likely to be outsourced.

What keeps you awake at night?

My dog, Lulu, snoring.

One piece of advice to your successor?

Use your time wisely and enjoy the job!