Coming through the main entrance at Riccarton is a new experience now. The new welcome sign (pictured above) celebrates the creativity of our designers and captures the spirit of our values. The blue ‘guillotine’ symbolism of the 1970s has been replaced by what is rather a special practical work of art! This home-grown design reflects our history using the leaf filigree of our heraldry and armorial past, the green shades of our future intent for sustainable futures and the metal foreground reflecting our science and engineering technology roots. The use of the green filigree is consistent with our logos and has also been used at our campuses in Dubai and Malaysia. It’s a fresh start at this time when so many of us (especially in Malaysia and Scotland) are starting afresh in working from our campus locations. Thanks to the teams involved in creating this fresh and welcoming structure! It looks great at night too when illuminated.
It has been marvellous to see familiar faces this week with such a good number of colleagues back on campus, enjoying meeting and finding time for catchups and coffee. On my way to make a video in the film studios, I was pleased to see a number of classrooms in action and quite a buzz about the place again.
This last week has seen Senate and Court meetings review strategy progress and discussions about our future activities. Future ways of working, future finances, reframing the academic architecture to enable us to be flexible in opening access to enable students to study with us in new ways and celebratory moments as we review the achievement of activities at each campus. Yesterday at Court we celebrated the achievements of two campus Provosts, Professor Al-Atabi and Professor Kaka. Following the future change in the role of Professor Kaka after an amazing 12 years or more of service as Dubai Provost and Vice-Principal, Court was pleased to approve the appointment of Professor Heather McGregor as the new Principal and Dubai Provost from 1 September. Court also affirmed the renewal of Professor Al-Atabi for a further five years in his role as Vice-Principal, Provost and CEO of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. My congratulations to both on these new appointments. I am sure we shall look forward to working with both colleagues in their leadership roles and also, as announced previously, to have the continued benefit of working with Prof Kaka as Emeritus Provost later in 2022 as he leads out in other engagement and recruitment work across the Middle East.
Professor Richard A. Williams
Principal and Vice-Chancellor