Barbara Belfield-Dean has just retired as Bursar of Concord College where she was also Company Secretary & Clerk to the Trustees. Having been at the College since 1979, the majority of Concordians will be aware of her role, if not the enormous influence she has had on the development, growth and success of the College over the last 43 years. Before leaving, Barbara managed to find time (while busy handing over the reigns to her successor) to reflect on her career with a fascinating insight into what made Concord the outstanding College it is today. "You will read much below not only about Barbara’s extraordinary service to Concord over nearly half a century, but also her attention to detail and appreciation of the importance of excellence in everything that we do as a school. These are crucial qualities to be successful as a bursar and have cemented her legacy at Concord forever. However, Barbara’s most important quality is that she never, ever forgot that the most important thing in a school is its students. She put them at the centre of all decisions with compassion and great care. That alone lifted her from an excellent bursar to a great one". - Dr Michael Truss, Principal. Before you read our in depth interview with Barbara, here are some 'Barbara facts':
- Barbara joined Concord in 1979 as PA to Gill Hood who was Principal of the girls' branch of Concord at Attingham Park, a role which also involved supporting the students and even performing in concerts and at events!
- It was very unusual to have a female bursar in the UK when she was appointed to the role by Tony Morris in 1987.
- She introduced computerised accounting and has continued to develop our systems, processes and procedures ever since.
- Responsible for project managing new buildings, she has commissioned projects worth over £44m, including property and land acquisitions of over £5m and commenced plans for developments in future years of over £37m. This was all with the aim of developing the campus to provide facilities of the highest quality and improve students’ overall experience.
- Barbara loves being creative, working with architects, M&E consultants, structural engineers, surveyors and more. She has studied interior design with the aim of creating a positive, enjoyable and supportive environment in a beautiful setting, combining contemporary and historic elements.
- The law – I would have loved to have been a barrister. I love working on legal matters and the attention to detail which is required, case law, legal arguments, etc
- Commercial or investment banking – I have always had a love of this area of work
- Teaching – inspiring others and helping them to achieve