Frances succeeds Geoff Pringle, deputy chief operating officer at the University of Exeter, who stepped down from the role in late 2013. In the process, Frances becomes the first female Chair in CUBO’s history.
Frances said: “It is an honour to be elected as CUBO Chair. Having served on the Executive Committee for the past three years, I know how highly CUBO members value the organisation and I am looking forward to leading CUBO in the next stage of its development. I would like to thank the CUBO Executive Committee for supporting my application for this role.”
Geoff Pringle said: “I am delighted that Frances has been appointed as my successor; I think she will do a superb job and I am looking forward to working with her in her new capacity.”
As Chair of CUBO, Frances will be responsible for overseeing CUBO’s development for the benefit of its members. Her vision is to create an even stronger CUBO community, with more sharing of best practice models, networking opportunities, training courses via University Hospitality Seminars and better communication amongst CUBO members through social media and other means, particularly about issues in the sector.
Frances will also use her position as Chair to raise the profile of commercial services within the HE sector and beyond. She said: “CUBO members run various commercial services in universities and can sometimes feel as though what they do is neither understood nor valued. Actually, the services we provide are very important in enhancing the student experience while providing significant levels of income. I would like to use my role as Chair to spread the message that commercial services are important and should be seen as central to creating financially sustainable institutions.”
Frances has spent the bulk of her career in higher education, having worked at Goldsmiths, St Andrews and Aberdeen Universities before joining the University of Leicester. She was appointed director of residential and commercial services in 2008, having previously been acting director. Frances first became involved with CUBO in 2006 and has been a member of the Executive Committee, partnerships portfolio, for the last three years.