I am both pleased and sad to be writing this. I am sad because Kathleen will no longer have a major part to play in our future, but pleased because it is an opportunity to say nice things about her.
So where to begin?
My first memory of Kathleen is when she was working as a lecturer in the education sector in the mid 1980s, supporting us and a range of other courses. This was shortly before she decided to leave the Further Education sector to set up her own consultancy business.
Moving into consultancy enabled Kathleen to fully use her Human Resources Management (HRM) expertise through her development of a very successful consultancy business with work in the UK and abroad. This covered a range of HRM services to small and large organisations. Kathleen’s work outside the UK included delivering management development programmes in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.
She managed to combine all this very effective work with a full and happy family life, helped by her very supportive husband Bob. It would be impossible to meet a nicer couple.
Kathleen’s new role as a consultant presented her with a lot of challenges and opportunities. One that I will always remember is the story of being taken to a local Dubai restaurant, and being asked which sheep’s head she wanted to eat! I’m not sure how she dealt with that situation, but I’m sure she used her usual diplomacy and charm.
Many of her choices, however, were about developing distance learning support capability, followed up by direct face-to-face contact with groups of students at widely dispersed locations. This proved to be very effective given Kathleen’s enthusiastic support for her students and her high level of administrative skills.
Her contribution to us really cannot be measured. She has contributed in so many ways it’s not possible to list them all. To give a flavour of Kathleen’s contribution, she has been heavily involved in planning and managing the delivery of our qualifications, and has been a member of our Education Committee.
She served as a Trustee of Council for a number of years during the 1990s and after 2000. She has been a stalwart of our examination and assessment systems for many years, including being Chief Examiner for subjects such as ‘The Individual and the Organisation’ and ‘Managing and Developing Human Resources in Organisations’. She has also been a tremendous supporter of our syllabus design, tutor training and ways of helping examiners, tutors and students.
However Kathleen brought much more than her subject knowledge. She has always been someone to turn to for advice and help. She is ever willing to offer good counsel and support.
We will miss Kathleen’s contributions. She really is someone we can never replace.