Board makes history

Published Tuesday, 21st May 2019 in About SRUC news

Elma Murray, Margaret Khnichich and Annette Bruton
Elma Murray, Margaret Khnichich and Annette Bruton

The appointment of three new “outstanding” non-executive directors means that, for the first time in its history, Scotland’s Rural College will have a 50:50 gender split on its board.

Former Edinburgh College principal Annette Bruton, who also spent four years as Scotland’s chief inspector of education, will take up her position in June alongside Margaret Khnichich, a former executive director and partner at Ernst & Young.

Elma Murray, meanwhile, who was chief executive of North Ayrshire Council from 2009-2018, will begin in October, when SRUC Vice-Chair Alistair Marshall steps down after seven years. At this point, the independent non-executive directors on the board will be comprised of six women and six men.

SRUC Chairman Sandy Cumming hailed the “highly significant moment in terms of gender balance”, and added: “We are very fortunate to have three such outstanding new board members. Annette, Margaret and Elma all bring a vast amount of expertise and experience to these positions.

“Their arrival comes at a crucial time, as the board works with Principal Wayne Powell and the rest of the Executive Leadership Team on SRUC’s journey to becoming a unique rural enterprise university for the 21st century.”

Annette Bruton said: “I am delighted to be joining the board at SRUC at what is surely a pivotal time for our rural environment and the importance of our land-based economy.  Passionate about education and skills, I am looking forward to doing what I can to support the student experience at SRUC and the skills needed for Scotland’s future in this unique and exciting institution.”  

Margaret Khnichich said: “SRUC is uniquely placed to make a real impact on the rural environment and economy in Scotland through research, education and consultancy, but also faces significant challenges, not the least of which are financial, and I am very much looking forward to working with the team and contributing to SRUC’s development and continued success.”

Elma Murray called her appointment an “immense privilege”, adding: “I have a big interest in making better use of Scotland’s natural assets and creating a greener and more sustainable economy. SRUC has a critical role in supporting that growth and ensuring its future viability. It’s an exciting time.”

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