Marcia Reid Fotheringham

Marcia Reid Fotheringham, JP, DL, Former High Sheriff of Cumbria 2019-20

Fulfilling our mission: Supporting People, Place & Communities

I have lived in Cumbria for 27 years.  I am (now) a retired psychologist and a participant as one of Cumbria’s leaders interested in improving Cumbria.  I was trained in New York, USA, where my degrees took 7 years. (I also worked for the NHS.)  I know the importance and value of a superb university.

University of Cumbria is unique!  It is a fully-functioning university located in a very white area of the country.  A lot of years ago, I noticed a change in our demographics - there seemed to be an increase in the number of minority people in Cumbria.  As I researched, I learned about the university’s forward-thinking/acting role in fairly accepting students and staff.  These staff/students cover the full range of all of the protected characteristics ; some will take advantage of the supportive assistance from the university.  The UoC has created a welcoming atmosphere for all. This has been quite a change for Cumbria. It has resulted in successfully (though carefully) bringing more people of difference to our county.  In addition, the UoC has provided many non-academic features which are open to and accessed by our community.  The University has made a huge impact on our entire county.  

The university has demonstrated its on-going commitment to our communities.  From providing direct courses to students and the non-student community, to participating in Cumbrian-wide strategic planning, the university leadership has been superb.  I have been pleased to sit in the same strategic meetings with UoC representatives. 

I would have to note that because of the past work successfully achieved by the university’s leadership. UoC has complete (ie materials shown to the public), funded, future plans/strategies to invest in the university and Cumbria - again, improving our communities.  

As the UoC grows and expands, it is clear that they have the both the university and our community in mind. I have seen the increased involvement - encouraged by the university- with all who should be involved: the university community, leaders, decision-makers and the public.  I know that involving the public requires time and sometimes tests patience.  The University is doing just that - even though it may require more time. 

As a result, the university is a positive environment. While that has affected students and staff, it really affects and impacts on our entire community.