New Steering Group Inducted as Old One Stands Down

Gaz J Johnson

A time for change, as the new Chair and Steering Group members step forward to guide the Collaboration for the next two years.

Today saw the handover from the outgoing (2019-21) Steering Group, and more importantly the transition from past-Chair Diana Job (Birmingham) to her successor Christine ‘Chris’ Porter (Newman). This is the fourth iteration of the Steering Group, since the Collaboration formed in 2014/15, and the new members take office during a period of considerable evolution and challenge for the academic library sector.

The Steering Group, oversees and advances the Collaboration’s agenda and activities on behalf of the Directors Board, which represents the ultimate governing body of the organisation. Steering Group members additionally have responsibility for monitoring and supporting the activity of the Collaboration’s operational and special interest subgroups, alongside representing these groups interests to the Board. Nominated from among the Board’s membership, Steering Group members and officers normally serve a two-year period, with the Vice Chair progressing to a further two-year term as chair.

The new Steering Group (Mar 21-Mar 23) composition is as follows:

  • Chris Porter, Newman (Chair)
  • Chris Powis, Northampton (Member)
  • Jo-Anne Watts, Wolverhampton (Member)
  • Helen Curtis, Aston (Member)
  • Judith Keene, Worcester (Member)
  • Laura Pilsel, Harper Adams (Member)

Notably, past members are eligible for renomination, as wished, and a number of members have served longer terms of office. In particular, Emma Walton (Loughborough) is standing down after having been a Steering Group member since 2017, having played a vital role as past-chair and sponsor of the Conference Group.

The now vacant officer positions of Treasurer and Vice-Chair will be agreed by the Steering Group from among their new membership at their forthcoming meeting in April. Additionally, subgroup sponsor roles will also be allocated at this meeting, with the Vice Chair normally taking responsibility for the Mercian Staff Development Group (MSDG). The agenda for this meeting will be available in early April.

New Chair, Chris Porter, expressed her thanks to Diane and all the outgoing members of the Steering Group (Simon Bevan, Sue Ackermann and Emma Walton) for their efforts to support the work of the Collaboration. Chris added she was excited to be taking the helm of the organisation and was very much looking forward to working with her colleagues and the rest of the membership over the next two years.

For more information on the work and activity of the Steering Group, see their past minutes, or contact the Collaboration Development Officer, Dr Gareth J Johnson (