Influencer of the Month (March) – Alan Brideson

It has been a manic month for higher education, and any number of higher education thought leaders could have taken the gong. Special mention to Luke Sheehy for surviving his first Universities Australia conference as boss, the launch of the Accord and assuming the helm of the higher education peak body all in a matter of weeks. And of course to the grand patriarch of Australian higher education sector analysis, Professor Andrew Norton, without whom we would all be a little more in the dark.

However, the influencer of the month for March goes to the person behind the face of higher education, Alan Brideson. As university structures become increasingly presidential, with brand builders and advancement gurus pinning the fortunes of the institution on the image of the Vice-Chancellor, there has been a significant upswing in the importance and value of the Chief of Staff.

After a long and widely-recognised career in marketing and recruitment at UniSA, Alan is now in the hotseat, sitting at the right hand of the busiest man in HE, UA chair, merger co-chaperone, and UniSA VC Professor David Lloyd. Highly successful VCs surround themselves with great talent and while Mr Brideson enjoys far less of the spotlight than his boss, he is clearly playing a valuable role in advising on the best way forward for the sector and for the new SA uni-behemoth. Content to get on with the work rather than seek bouquet’s Alan is typical of a number of Chiefs who are now key influencers institutionally and across the sector.

Congratulations Alan. It is unlikely he will welcome the accolades, but we think recognition is overdue for someone who has made a significant contribution to cross-sector collaboration, marketing and HE positioning over multiple decades.



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