New deputy convener
John Spencer, principal of Inverness College, is to be deputy convener of Scotland's Colleges Principals' Convention. His appointment, assisting convener Linda McTavish of Glasgow's Anniesland College, is a sign of the increasing burden facing the leadership of colleges in dealing with the pressures from the economic downturn. Mr Spencer, who came to Inverness two years ago from a college in the west Midlands, is credited with turning round its fortunes. "This is a challenging time to be taking on the role, as the economic downturn deepens and the role of colleges in helping to retrain those who find themselves out of work has never been more important," he commented.