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University of the Highlands and Islands governors hailed for almost half a century's combined service as roles relinquished


By Val Sweeney

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Alastair McColl, Chairman of Governors
Alastair McColl, Chairman of Governors

A TRIO of University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) governors have been thanks for almost 50 years of combined service after relinquishing their roles.

Garry Coutts stepped down as chairman of the university court at the beginning of August after seven years in the post, following a six year stint as rector.

The same date also saw the departure of fellow former Highland councillor and retired Lochaber GP, Dr Michael Foxley, the university’s first regional lead for further education.

He leaves the university court after 25 years of service to both the court and as chairman of the board at university partner, West Highland College UHI and one of its predecessors Lochaber College.

Anton Edwards
Anton Edwards

Also stepping down is Anton Edwards, from Caputh in Perthshire, who was elected as the fifth rector of the university in 2014, taking over from Mr Coutts. He had also been a former court member and for four years before that had been a member of the university’s foundation, acting as a link between the university and its local communities.

Alastair MacColl, who has replaced Mr Coutts as chairman of the university court, said: “Each of these governors has made a major contribution to developing the strength and vitality of our university during a critically important period.

“They have helped us to lay the foundations we’ll require to turn the ambitions of our staff, students and partners into results and build an institution that transforms lives, communities and economies across our region, giving every one of our students the opportunities they deserve.”

Garry Coutts, Chair
Garry Coutts, Chair

Mr Coutts said: “It has been a real privilege and honour to have been involved with the University of the Highlands and Islands over the years.

“Having a university that provides a full range of educational opportunities from college courses through to undergraduate degrees and world-leading research in one institution is unique and something the Highlands and Islands should be proud of, cherish and support.”

Dr Foxley said: “It has been hard work being the further education regional lead for the past eight years but there is now an increasingly effective working partnership across our colleges for further education.”

Michael Foxley, chair of the further education regional board for the Highlands and Islands (Lochaber)
Michael Foxley, chair of the further education regional board for the Highlands and Islands (Lochaber)

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