Tamsin James – Current Bursar of Churchill College

A version of this article was published in the Churchill Review, Vol 58. 

Introducing Tamsin James, Bursar

Working at Churchill as only the fifth Bursar in its history is both an honour and a privilege, but I am not the first female Bursar, by nearly two decades and I think that says a great deal about the College.

Churchill was actually my first view of the University of Cambridge. Growing up in St Neots, it seemed a million miles away. I little thought, as an eager student (and I was, and still am, rather a swot), commuting daily on the bus down Madingley Road to attend Hills Road Sixth Form, that I might one day work here, let alone take on such a significant mantle.

I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to build on the College’s strong history and make a significant contribution to an even stronger future. Starting in the middle of Lent Term back in 2017 reminded me very quickly how intense Cambridge terms are. I was previously somewhat removed from that experience, with roles at the Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley Hall and before that in the NHS, where one regularly bemoaned the relentless fifty-two week cycle and thought rather longingly of terms. I think the reality is that only with constantly seeking improved approaches to tackling growing pressures can we carve out the necessary time for strategic thinking and planning, regardless of the cycles within which we work.

I have a wonderful team to work with and enjoy this challenging and rewarding role. I hope people will continue to share with me their ideas and concerns so that I can do my very best to support and guide the College over the coming years.