issue 04 september 2013 The Newsletter of Ayrshire College Ayrshire College Has Arrived! The official launch day, attended by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Mike Russell and more than 800 staff and student representatives, took place on 16 August, 2013. Here, Willie Mackie, Chair of the Board of Management, explains why he is proud to be part of the new College and shares his vision for the way ahead. “16 August, 2013 was a truly historic day.  It is a rare event to be part of the creation of a new College but for those who attended the launch at Ayr Racecourse, I am sure it will live long in the memory. The aims of Ayrshire College - inspiring achievement, raising aspirations,  increasing opportunities for all communities in Ayrshire - were proudly recorded on various images around the room. They succinctly capture what will be required to deliver a seven-star college and a true ‘best-in-class’ student experience. At the first meeting of the Ayrshire College we talked about our key priorities and agreed to refresh the constitution and financial regulations and appointed Pictured left to right: Willie Mackie – Chair of the Board of Management, Heather Dunk – Principal, Mike Russell – Cabinet Secretary for Lifelong Learning, Waiyin Hatton – Vice Chair of the Board of Management Chairs and board members to the sub-committees. My role, along with my fellow board members, is to support Heather and her senior management team as they provide the best possible learning experience for our students in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. Another key priority is good governance. Get it right and you will free up your management teams to go out and deliver. Get it wrong and you will spend all your time fire-fighting and focusing on internal matters. I have been hugely impressed by the Vision, Values and Voice workshops which set out a standard of staff engagement I have rarely seen anywhere else in my career. As a regional college, our profile will be high and we can provide a single point of contact for employers across the region. Talking to employers, and ensuring the curriculum is delivering the right people with the right skills to meet the needs of local businesses across a variety of sectors is a key part of Ayrshire College’s strategy. Ayrshire College will also play an a ctive role as part of the wider Ayrshire economic agenda. Both Heather and I are members of the Ayrshire Economic Partnership, which comprises public and private sector leaders. This means local stakeholders are up to speed with college developments and, crucially it puts the College at the centre of strategic decision-making for the region. This is an exciting time for all of us. We have a fantastic opportunity to shape the college we all want to be part of. I wish everyone good luck and I look forward to catching up with you individually over the months ahead.”