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AoC appeals for nominees for its next presidency

Nomination papers will be sent to colleges next month at the start of the Association of College's second presidential elections.

Organisers are hoping for three or four nominations, making this election less predictable than the inaugural election, which resulted in a race between David Collins, principal of South Cheshire College, and Robin Parkinson, principal of Great Yarmouth College.

The AoC is confident that initial concerns about the role of president, created in response to a review of the association's operations in 2007, have been overcome during Dr Collins's tenure.

John Bingham, the chairman, said: "There were doubts in the sector as to what use a president would be. But the decision to have a president has proved very successful. There is overlap between the triumvirate of president, chief executive and chairman, but it is well defined." He said the role of president was essentially ambassadorial, although Dr Collins has also played a significant role in high-level policy discussions and development.

Dr Collins has analysed his year in office to show how he has spent his time (see graph) and it is clear that the post demands a significant amount of public advocacy and presentation on behalf of the AoC.

He also managed a considerable amount of influential backroom work, including 18 meetings with ministers and 10 with senior civil servants and advisers. Dr Collins has also written a dozen articles.

"If you're thinking of standing, I can thoroughly recommend it. If you're not sure, please give me a ring. Hopefully, we will have a good contest," he said.

Nomination papers are to be sent out on March 16; the deadline for return is April 9. Ballot papers are due to be posted on April 15, for return by May 1. Results are expected to be declared on May 6. Dr Collins remains in post until his successor takes up office on August 1.

Editorial, page 6.

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