There have been a number of staffing issues in the academic programmes law department leading to the necessary employment of a few visiting lecturers to fill teaching gaps. Many of the new VLs have been asked to start teaching on short notice because of last minute unexpected staff illnesses. James has been tremendous in helping the new colleagues get settled and accustomed to using Moodle and online resources. He had without complaint or demur responded promptly to their emails about various administrative and organisational matters. In one case, he helped a VL upload materials onto moodle given how important it was for the students to have sight of the learning materials. He went beyond the call of duty in keeping the programme directors and me (as head of department) in the loop so that staff development needs of the new VLs could be flagged up early. I think his collegiality (with both academic and professional services colleagues) deserves to be recognised.

He had also been excellent in providing proper communications to students to help them understand the difficulties and challenges these teaching gaps had thrown up. Often he does this before the matter becomes unwieldy – his foresight, to me, is highly admirable. He is pro-active when many may simply be reactive. I was especially impressed at how he successfully calmed the students concerned about the examinations and their preparation. Again, that was not his job per se but realising that he could attend to the matter quickly could help matters, he did so after consultation with me, as head of department. His taking the initiative in such matters which could lead easily and rapidly to student dissatisfaction is commendable.

Last but not least, I am impelled to say that his disposition is always positive and of good humour.

Nominated by: Prof Jason Chuah, 28th Feb 2019
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