For those not familiar with the University Registrars Talking About Stuff podcast let me fill you in on some of the background. It started back in 2020 when, at a bit of a loose end between sessions at AHUA conference, I was chatting to Dave Hall (then Leicester University’s Registrar) and was reminded just how amusing he was and what great stories he had about his time in higher education. So, I suggested to him that it might be an idea for the two of us to talk about things and record it, just to see how it turned out. We did a few of those together but then lockdowns happened and Dave’s diary and mine kept failing to coincide so I started casting the net a bit wider to see if others might be interested in having a chat.
As will be rather obvious, I struggled to come up with an interesting title for the podcast – hence the Ronseal approach of trying to do what it says on the tin – but over the series I have strayed somewhat from the original, admittedly slightly restrictive, brief.
The first point of diversion was of course the issue of the Registrar title. As I’ve noted before, there are many variations on the title of head of university administration in the sector, and it would have been a bit tedious to try to list them all in the podcast name. I started with people I knew better in AHUA and then moved on to attempt to cover different parts of the UK and the sector, not wholly successfully as the back catalogue reveals.
I’ve also strayed beyond the UK and talked to colleagues in Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands about their Registrar-equivalent roles as well as speaking about slightly different stuff with other higher ed professionals in this country including PVCs and the chief executives of the QAA, UUK and the Russell Group. And, in a significant landmark development, I’ve just recorded my first podcast with a serving vice-chancellor.
The podcast then may have an increasingly inappropriate title but I fear I can’t change it now. Although I have tweaked the colours on the logo every now and then. Pretty radical stuff.
There are plenty more AHUA members I’ve never spoken to so if you are interested in some easy conversation on the record then please do get in touch – don’t be shy, I’d really like to talk and learn a bit about you and share your thoughts and experiences with others in the sector. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – as you will hear from any of the episodes I really am very easy going as an interviewer and there is nothing to be afraid of!
Similarly, if there are others you think I should talk about stuff with then please let me know. All reasonable offers considered. And Dave, whenever you want to talk again, the microphone is always on for you.
You can find all of the podcasts in the University Registrars Talking About Stuff series here.