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Imperial College at Wye gets new Provost


Tim Clark, pro rector (educational quality), has started 2000 with a new role - that of midwife.

Tim Clark
Tim Clark, Provost of Imperial College at Wye, looks forward to the merger between Wye and Imperial College in August
As the newly-appointed Provost to Imperial College at Wye, his time will be divided equally between Wye and Imperial College, making sure that the planned merger in August between the two sites runs as smoothly as possible and the local, high reputation of Wye in Kent is sustained.

"Playing midwife on our most distant campus yet is quite a challenge. The chance to maximise opportunities of bringing together Wye's activities of agricultural and horticultural science and economics linking with biology, while fitting them in with Imperial's priorities, including environment and bioscience, is very exciting indeed."

An office and accommodation for overnight stays are being set up at Wye. The new Provost will still be based at Imperial in Suite 5 of the Sherfield Building, but will spend a substantial amount of time at Wye.

Tim is well-placed for the job. With a background in bioscience and as a former dean of the National Heart and Lung Institute which merged with Imperial in 1995, he experienced the problems and benefits of mergers first hand.

Bringing in another site and a new field of endeavour is very stimulating, he says.

"My first job is to identify the way Wye can build on its excellent current activities and reputation. It's important early on for our staff at Wye to identify how it will grow and develop in the future and how best to use existing talents and opportunities.

"The team at Wye have been very positive, friendly and constructive. The principal, John Prescott, has been working his socks off and is very much on top of issues.

"I am a member of the Wye Implementation Group which deals with merger issues and am about to be involved in ensuring a smooth administrative integration. Widespread consultation keeps me abreast of issues as they arise.

"I'm not aware of any major problems. If they arise, I would hope to help colleagues resolve them as that is my role. I will hopefully be able to get things to happen if they are getting bogged down."

He is keen to protect the very good relationship Wye has with its local geographical, as well as agricultural and biological communities.

"Everyone at Wye should be aware that Imperial wishes to have good links with the town after the merger. The countryside must also feel IC is not going to ignore the roots of Wye but strengthen them significantly."

A self-confessed townie who lives in north London, his only exposure to agriculture has been through listening to Farming Today on Radio 4 while driving in to Imperial. He draws the line at the Archers and will experience the 'joys of train travel' to get him to Wye.

As a Middlesex county cricket supporter, Wye's cricket week is especially appealing - "I may be at Wye for the week then. It's all a steep learning curve for me, but one which I shall relish. I have strong feelings for Wye and its cultural community."

*** © Imperial College 2000. This article originally appeared in IC Reporter, the staff newspaper of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. Please contact the editor Tanya Reed(Email: icreporter@imperial.ac.uk, Telephone: +44 20 7594 6697) for permission to re-use any or all parts of this article. ***

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