New Principal & Vice Chancellor George Boyne tells us about his first couple of weeks at the University and his priorities at the moment. 

Tell us about your role at the University

I’ve been in my role as Principal for just 17 days now, and my job is to support academic and professional service achievements across the institution, and to provide the right environment for everyone to do their best.

How do you usually start your day?

Over a cup of coffee, reading the BBC news and sport online. I’m a big Dons fan so the morning after a match I usually start the day by reading the coverage of the game. On other days I’ll start by catching up on international, national then local news, and of course checking the weather – because that’s quite important in these parts!

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

I’ve come home.  I grew up in King Street then Rosemount, attended ‘the Grammar’ then studied here at Aberdeen. This tremendous opportunity to lead the University of Aberdeen has brought me back.  I’m very lucky because this is the ideal job that has come up at just the right time for me and my family.

I’m very much enjoying reconnecting with the city, with the University and with everything to do with the North East. And I now work just a mile away from where I went to primary school!

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

The people who work here and the people we’re connected to externally - both in the public and private sectors - have all been fantastic to meet and get to know. I’ve been really impressed by the ideas and ambitions in the University. Our external partners hold the University in high regard and want to work with us for the good of the city and the North East.

What are your work priorities at the moment?

In a word: listening. I’m spending my days learning about the university, and finding out as much as I can before we move into the next stage of our development and start consulting formally on priorities and actions for our new strategy.

How do you like to relax outside work?

I find walking therapeutic. Any leadership role can get stressful sometimes, so long walks in reasonably good weather is a great way to relax. I particularly enjoy walking by the sea, so any North East coastal walks that people can recommend would be appreciated.  At the moment my wife and I have been enjoying long walks along the beach. I went to the beach as a child so it evokes memories of when I lived in Aberdeen before, and helps me unwind.

I like to lose myself in activities outside work, football helps me do that – but so does the cinema and, most of all, live theatre.  I feel completely absorbed by live performances, particularly in small theatres when you’re close to the stage and the characters really come to life.  Listening to music and reading novels at the weekend are also great ways to ‘recharge’ for the week ahead.