There are three candidates for the role of SCUDD secretary, as Royona comes to the end of her term in the position. Statements from the three candidates can be found below. SCUDD member departments can submit one vote, consisting of a first and second choice from the candidates. Second choices will only be taken into consideration in the case of a tie.
(Please note that you cannot vote as an individual, but that only one vote can be registered from each SCUDD member department, so please do ensure that you conduct your own local poll or come to a consensus in any appropriate manner).
Glenn Odom’s statement:
The current secretary has done an amazing job with the duties enumerated in SCUDD’s constitution. I would strive to continue this standard, particularly with regard to the minutes of meetings which are both exhaustive and clearly organized.
In addition, as we enter an era of increasing regulation of our sector, I see the role of the secretary of SCUDD evolving. I am committed to creating additional platforms on which our members can carry out debates and make suggestions. The mailing list in its current form is designed to disseminate information quickly and easily. It is not designed as a forum for debate and discussion. A chat-board would serve this purpose well, allowing for a linear discussion that was accessible by interested parties (but did not encroach upon the email space of people uninterested in a particular issue). This would provide a repository of materials for the various SCUDD working groups to draw on as they draft responses to the changes in REF, TEF or any other issues that arise. Such a forum would also give the officers a chance to respond directly to member concerns.
In addition to the secretary-specific tasks, I look forward to being actively involved in SCUDD’s new initiatives. As a recent transplant from the U.S. Academy, I feel I bring an additional viewpoint to the table which could be useful.
University of Roehampton
Gareth White’s statement:
I have worked at Central School of Speech and Drama for 11 years, following some years as associate lecturer (or similar) at Goldsmiths, Wimbledon College of Art, South Bank University, and others; along with external examining and course reviews this gives me experience of a range of institutions. I am an active member of the research community, for example as a working group convener at TaPRA. The role of the secretary is to act as the organisational anchor of the executive, as well as to join in and stimulate discussion of the many pressing challenges facing our discipline. After a stint as Pro Dean at Central, and several years as a senior member of a course team, I have a wealth of experience of teamwork, and course and departmental organisation.
SCUDD’s role in our changing times is to be a forceful advocate for the coherence and relevance of regulation, structure and funding of the university sector as it impacts upon our discipline. The ecology of provision of drama, theatre and performance must remain varied and vigorous. The recent REF evidenced the energy and diversity of research in our area, demonstrating that practice and thought, the esoteric and the impactful, are mutually generative and necessary; but there is more to do in this regard. The threat of a metrics and NSS-based TEF is even greater: a flattening out of teaching provision and practice as institutions chase higher ratings and rankings. The narrowing of the curriculum proposed for the English Baccalaureate would undermine preparation for university, as well as schools’ ability to inspire the students we work with.
Resisting these pressures from within our institutions after the fact will not be enough, continued advocacy is required, coordinated not just between SCUDD member departments, but with other stakeholders in industry, in education at other levels, and in related disciplines.
Reader Theatre and Performance
Central School of Speech and Drama
University of London
Rob Dean’s statement:
As SCUDD Secretary my two central priorities would be to enhance efficiency and promote inclusivity. Reports, current initiatives and minutes will be promptly circulated and the time required for members to read, consider and respond to the material disseminated will be prioritised. Similarly, while ensuring that procedures are adhered to and debate is encouraged I aim to minimize bureaucracy and manage the level of e-mail traffic members have to process. Particular consideration will be given to the time of year when key events in the SCUDD calendar are scheduled and where they occur in relation to the academic year in order to avoid busy periods and term time clashes. As secretary I would contribute to the curation of the annual conference with the intention of ensuring that its programme reflects and addresses the shared interests and mutual concerns of all the organisation’s members. I would take a proactive role in canvassing opinion and inviting agenda items from SCUDD representatives and the membership as a whole, particularly with regards to sharing pedagogic practice and approaches to shared institutional and national issues. Thank you for your time.
University of Lincoln