The Estates Committee’s purpose is to oversee the University’s estate in order that it can support world-class academic, teaching and research activity in accordance with the University’s foundational purpose and strategic plan and, to make recommendations to the Policy and Resources Committee and Court.

The Terms of Reference for 2021/22 are currently under review.


Remit:  (To be reviewed annually at first meeting of committee cycle)

Strategy and Planning

  • To develop, monitor, review and oversee the implementation of the University Estates Strategy, ensuring that it fulfils our estate-related commitment as outlined in the Aberdeen 2040 strategic plan: to enhance our buildings to create virtual and physical spaces that enable interdisciplinary exchange and innovation;
  • To have strategic oversight of the functions within the Estates & Facilities Directorate, including receiving and considering all estate planning and strategy documentation;
  • To regularly review and consider the risks (and underpinning Risk Register(s)) associated with the University estate;
  • To inform and make recommendations to the Policy and Resources Committee and Court accordingly as part of a regular reporting process;
  • To consider and suggest further development of the Campus Development Framework and associated zone/mini master plans;
  • To receive and consider updates and reports from the Institutional Space Management Groups.

Development and Capital

  • To review and approve the capital programme, taking into account appropriate environmental and strategic changes, and planned expenditure on an annual basis, across all areas;  
  • To provide oversight and guidance on the selection and prioritisation of all capital projects (both led by and impacting upon the University);
  • To receive and approve specific project proposals and briefs, taking account of overall campus cohesion;
  • To ensure at portfolio level that all capital projects undertaken by the University are managed and delivered using the appropriate project management methodology and authorisations;
  • To receive and consider reports from all Capital Project Boards (including Project Boards relating to projects which are led by University partners/stakeholders), to monitor progress, spend and funding arrangements and provide oversight to and guidance on LTM expenditure.

Acquisitions and Disposals

  • To provide oversight and guidance on acquisitions and disposals for land and buildings.

Policy and Advice

  • To ensure due consideration is given across all projects to (i) Sustainability and Social Responsibility (including alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals), (ii) Risk Management, (iii) Health, Safety & Wellbeing and (iv) Inclusion, working closely with other University committees and/or working groups as required;
  • To act within authority delegated from the Policy and Resources Committee on an ongoing basis.



Composition and Membership 2021-22




Karl Leydecker

Two Elected Members of Senate


Neil Vargesson

Lesley Lancaster

Vice-Principal (Global Student Recruitment)

Alan Speight

Vice Principal (Research)

Marion Campbell

Vice-Principal (Education)

Ruth Taylor

University Secretary

Tracey Slaven

AUSA Representative

Adam Lambert

Interim Director of Finance

Phil McNaull

Director of Digital and Information Services

Brian Henderson

Interim Director of Estates and Facilities

Duncan White

Director of Planning

Hulda Sveinsdottir



Project Director, Science Teaching Hub

Graeme Paton

Project Director, Johnston Redevelopment

Graeme Nixon

Project Director, King’s Quarter

Siladitya Bhattacharya


Heather Crabb