Voting in the election for an academic staff member of Court and in the election for a Professional Services staff member of Court closed on Thursday 6th July. The results of the elections are:
Academic Staff Member of Court: Dr Martin Barker is elected.
Professional Services Staff Member of Court: Iain Grant is elected.
Turnout was 27.4% in the Academic staff member election and 32.6% in the Professional Services staff election. You can read the full voting report from Civica Election with further information on the results of both elections here.
Both candidates will commence their appointment on Court with effect from 1 November for a period to 31 July 2026.
Congratulations to the winning candidates and thank you to all the candidates who stood in the elections and to colleagues who voted.
The candidates standing for election were:
Academic Staff Member of Court Election
- Dr Martin Barker
- Mrs Toni Gibson
- Mr Scott Styles
- Dr Kim Walker
Professional Services Staff Member of Court Election
- Dr Abeer Eladany
- Iain Grant
- Rose Lyne
- Ms Megan McFarlane
- Mr Martin Puentes
- Mrs Karen Scaife
- Mr William Tocher
Watch the videos below for some insights from current staff member Owen Cox on why he became a member of Court and Senior Governor Julie Ashworth on what it entails.
Both positions are tenable from 1 November 2023 for a period to 31 July 2026.
- What is the role of Court?
Court is the University’s governing body. It guides the University’s strategic direction and is responsible for ensuring its finances are healthy and that Senate is effectively managing academic issues. Its business regularly includes key issues such as budgets, staffing policy, estates and capital projects, academic plans, monitoring performance against strategic targets, the student experience, and ensuring the University fulfils its obligations to all its stakeholders – students, staff, alumni, the local and national community, and funding bodies.
You can read more about the role of Court here.
- What is the role of a member of Court?
Each member of Court is a governor of the University who is responsible collectively with all members for ensuring the Court meets its responsibilities as mentioned above.
The role of a member of Court is:
- To play an appropriate part in furthering the values of higher education and the mission of the University of Aberdeen in particular;
- To ensure that the Court exercises efficient and effective use of the resources of the University, maintains its long-term financial viability, and safeguards its assets, and that proper mechanisms exist to ensure financial control and for the prevention of fraud;
- To exercise oversight in respect of the academic, corporate, financial, estate and human resource functions delegated to the authority of the Principal as chief executive;
- To ensure that Court conducts itself in accordance with accepted standards of behaviour in public life, embracing duty, selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability and stewardship, openness, honesty, leadership and respect. Members must at all times regulate their personal conduct as members of the Court in accordance with these standards;
- To establish constructive and supportive working relationships with the University employees with whom they come into contact, whilst recognising the proper separation between governance and executive management;
- To act fairly and impartially in the interests of the University as a whole using independent judgement and maintaining confidentiality as appropriate.
As the University is a charity, members of Court are also charity trustees which includes certain duties and responsibilities in law. You can read more about those duties here.
- When are the elections?
Voting opens on Thursday 29 June and closes on Thursday 6 July at 12 noon. There will be two separate elections: one for each of the two positions and these will be carried out through electronic voting through the “alternative vote system”. The e-mail ballot and online voting website will be administered by Civica Election Services for the University.
- Who are the Candidates in the Academic Staff Member of Court Election?
Dr Martin Baker
Mrs Toni Gibson
Mr Scott Styles
Dr Kim Walker
They will also be available on the voting website hosted by Civica.
- Who are the Candidates in the Professional Services Staff Member of Court Election?
Dr Abeer Eladany
Ms Megan McFarlane
Mr Martin Puentes
Mrs Karen Scaife
Mr William Tocher
They will also be available on the voting website hosted by Civica.
- Who can vote?
Staff eligible to vote must have been in post as at Tuesday 13th June 2023. Guaranteed minimum hours, temporary services and honorary staff are not eligible to vote in the elections.
- Can I vote in both elections?
No – you can only vote in one of the elections according to your role within the University. The academic staff member will be elected be a ballot of academic colleagues and the Professional Services staff member by a ballot of their Professional Services colleagues.
- What is the voting system and how many candidates can I vote for?
The voting system is the alternative vote system. This means that while only one candidate will be elected in each of the elections, you can if you wish rank candidates in order of preference. Voting papers are completed by placing the candidates into a preferred order using the figure ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, etc. The figure ‘1’ represents the vote and is mandatory. The rest are optional – you can rank all, some or none of the other candidates - but is important as it could influence the final result.
At the end of the first counting of votes, if a candidate has received 50 per cent plus one of the total votes cast they will be declared elected. If no candidate has an overall majority then the candidate with the least votes is eliminated. Their votes are then checked for 2nd preferences and these are then transferred to whichever of the remaining candidates has been listed second in order of preference. This process is then repeated until either one candidate has obtained 50 per cent plus one of the total votes cast or there are only two candidates left who have not been eliminated, in which case the candidate of those two with the most votes is declared as elected.
- How do I vote?
This will be an ‘online’ election through a voting website provided by Civica Election Services. If you are eligible to vote, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to vote from Civica Election Services on Thursday 29 June from 9am onwards. This will provide you with a link that is unique to you and will take you directly to the voting website, where you then follow the instructions on how to cast your vote.
- What if I don’t receive my voting instructions?
If you haven’t received your instructions by the end of Thursday 29 June, first check that you are eligible to vote – see “who can vote” above. Then check your Clutter, Junk and deleted folders in case the e-mail from Civica Election Services has been received there or filed there accidentally.
If you still cannot find the e-mail you can request it be reissued to you by selecting the “Don’t know your security code” button at this voting site or by contacting Civica Election Customer Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) and including the reference T1722_1.
Note: the voting site link will not be live until Thursday 29 June. Please do not use these options before then and having first undertaken the checks above.
You can also contact email@example.com for help or support.
We recommend you get in touch as soon as possible so that we can resolve your query in time for you to cast your vote before the close of voting.
- I will be away from the University during the election. Can I still vote?
Yes – you can vote online from anywhere by logging in to your e-mail and clicking the link within the voting instructions that have been sent to you.
- Who is overseeing the Election?
The Returning Officer for the election process is the University Secretary, Tracey Slaven.
The process is governed by the rules agreed by the Court.
The counting of votes and administration of the voting website and software is being undertaken independently by Civica Election Services.
- Further information
For any further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.