Popular Aberdeen scholar and leading city solicitor elected to University Court

Popular Aberdeen scholar and leading city solicitor elected to University Court

Popular Aberdeen scholar and leading city solicitor elected to University Court

University of Aberdeen graduates from around the world have voted to elect former Oldmachar Academy head-teacher Joseph Leiper, OBE, and lawyer Robert Ruddiman as their representatives on the University Court.

Over 4,000 General Council members, which included University graduates, voted in the July election from as far as New Zealand to Nepal, China to Tanzania, Singapore to Sri Lanka and throughout Europe and the USA.

Joseph Leiper, (MA 71), recently retired head-teacher of Oldmachar Academy, and Robert Ruddiman, (LLB 86), Head of Oil & Gas at Ledingham Chalmers, were duly elected to serve as General Council Assessors to the University Court for a period of four years, commencing 1 October 2004.

The General Council Assessors are the voice of the graduate body on the University Court, influencing the management of the University at the highest level. Members bring their expertise and perspective to the work of the court.

Mr Leiper has taught in a number of North-East secondary schools over the past 30 years and was head-teacher at Aberdeen's Oldmachar Academy for 21 years. He has worked with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools as an Assessor and has taken part in school inspections across the country. He was awarded an OBE for Services to Education in the January 2004 Honours List.

Mr Leiper has served as a member of the Business Committee of the General Council of the University since 1984 and was appointed chairman in 2000. He was also appointed as an Assessor to the Court in that year and he has served on numerous committees and groups since that time.

Mr Leiper said he was looking forward to taking part in the management of the University: "I am very grateful to everyone who re-elected me. I am looking forward to devoting more time to my position within the University Court, and to helping the University to progress and improve."

After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with an LLB in 1986, Robert Ruddiman completed his DipLP in 1987 and completed his legal traineeship in Edinburgh, with Shepherd & Wedderburn WS. He has been head of Oil & Gas at Ledingham Chalmers, Aberdeen, since 1997, where he has contributed to the establishment of one of the UK's leading oil and gas practices providing advice to a diverse range of clients from across the globe.

Mr Ruddiman said: "It's a great privilege to be elected to the University Court. I look forward to contributing to the University's progress as it continues to develop and face the challenges of the 21st Century."

The vote to elect General Council Assessors takes the form of a postal ballot every four years. This year there were three candidates for the two vacancies, which included Britain's oldest student and keen student rights campaigner Alfred Alexander, (MA 96, BSc 01). Alfred is currently a member of the University's Business Committee and the Students' Association.

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