This week we meet Paul Clark, Vice-President (Strategy), who chats to us about what he’s been working on since joining UCL - including securing approval for the UCL Strategic Plan - and his favourite scenic spot in north London.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I’m Vice-President for Strategy. My role is to support the development, definition, and delivery of UCL’s shortand long-term strategic priorities, using data, evidence, and insight.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I’ve been at UCL for just over a year. Before that, I was the Chief Executive of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Most recently, it’s been securing approval of the UCL Strategic Plan 2022-27 , and the supporting strategies - particularly the depth of engagement, consultation, and discussion we were able to facilitate across the university. The levels of innovation, creativity, and passion at UCL are amazing.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
Putting in place the structures to support the delivery of our strategic priorities and track our performance as we go. Getting the strategy agreed was 5% of the task - delivering it over the next five years is the remaining 95%. I’m also particularly excited about the data strategy for UCL that we are developing to change the way we use and work with administrative data.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
My tastes fluctuate a bit, but the most consistent favourites over time are:
Album - The Velvet Underground and Nico (aka ’The Banana Album’);
Film - Blade Runner (The Final Cut);
Novel - Life A User’s Manual by Georges Perec.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
What’s red and invisible? No tomatoes.
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
There are so many people I would want to bring together, but what I would want in a group of dinner party guests is broad, lively conversation, and spark. I would therefore go for Gertrude Bell, Amia Srinivasan, Derek Jarman, David Bowie, Sylvia Plath, and Chuck D.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Everything changes all the time.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I used to have a fork-lift truck drivers’ licence.
What is your favourite place?
Parliament Hill Lido.
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