The University’s new Senior Vice-Principal, Karl Leydecker, tells us a little about his role in the Senior Management Team.

Tell us about your role at the University.

My role at the University is to provide line management and support to all the Heads of School and to ensure the delivery of ambitious School plans and budgets. I am also responsible for strategic oversight of the People, Digital and Estates Strategies. While that is the official job description, I think a key part of my role will be about strengthening connections across the university, working with people to help create the conditions for everyone to flourish in their own roles.

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

I first visited the University in 2005 when I was a member of a QAA review team and formed very positive impressions of the University then. The opportunity to join this great University in such a wide-ranging role at such an exciting time under a new Principal was irresistible.

What are you most looking forward to about your job?

I am really looking forward to getting to know my new colleagues, learning more about all the great things going on at the University, and then hopefully making a valuable contribution to our future success. What motivates me is a strong ethos of service to make a positive difference to people’s lives. 

What are your initial priorities?

While I have been able to visit the University and meet a number of colleagues over the last few months, my immediate priority in the first few days will naturally be to get to know as many people and absorb as much information as I can. I am also looking forward to getting to work quickly on the process of developing the new strategy.

How do you like to relax outside work?

Mainly spending time with family. My wife and I have two children aged 15 and 11. We love to travel, especially on the continent, where we all have family connections, though I was born and grew up in Yorkshire. I read a lot too (my disciplinary background is German and Comparative Literature), albeit I don’t read as many works of nineteenth century fiction as I used to and would like to. I also like listening to (and on the right occasion dancing to) pop music of the 80s and electronic dance music especially from the 90s, though my musical tastes have been broadening rapidly recently as both my children are very musical in their different ways (violin, piano, electric guitar…).