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Michael (Mike) Smith

We are very sorry to have to report that Mr Michael (Mike) Smith, former Senior Assistant Registrar (Data Processing Services) died on 23 November 2006.

Mike graduated from the London School of Economics in 1958 and then completed National Service with the RAF. He spent the next three years assisting with the running of the familys old-established retail jewellery business in Scarborough before joining the City Treasury at Bradford, in 1963. Here, he gained an accountancy qualification and also spent several years in the division responsible for computer development a period that was to determine the shape of the rest of his career. In 1968, he took up a post as Technical Systems Analyst with Lancashire County Council. Two years later, he was appointed to his post at Leeds.

During his nineteen years with the University, Mike was closely associated with a series of important developments of the Universitys administrative computing systems. His section undertook pioneering work in terms of the introduction of computerised student records. Significant advances were made in a wide range of other areas, including registration, admissions, payments, examinations and the payroll. Mikes skills in systems analysis and design, his constructive approach, his flair for organisation and his support for his colleagues contributed in large measure to the successes that were achieved. For many years, Mike guided with a sure hand the processes that ensured the smooth operation of the student registration procedures.

Mike decided to take early retirement from the University in 1989, in order to pursue other interests. A generous, kind-hearted man, with a refreshingly dry wit, Mike and his wife, Moira, were for many years part of an organisation that supported foreign students, with many of whom they forged enduring friendships. In retirement, Mike travelled extensively and had the opportunity to visit a number of these friends in their home countries. He also re-entered the world of computing for a time, providing his considerable technical expertise to the Open University. When Moira retired as a district nurse, she and Mike opened a guest house in Keswick which rapidly became renowned for the warmth of its hospitality and which also afforded its owners the opportunity to continue to indulge their fondness for long distance walking. Later, Mike and Moira moved to Newby, a small village in the Lake District, where they were quickly absorbed into the life of the local community. Mike's other interests included a love of horseracing and football; having for many years followed the fortunes of Scarborough and Middlesbrough, he became a season-ticket holder at Carlisle United FC on moving to the Lakes.

As well as Moira, Mike leaves a daughter, Sally, and son, Richard, and four grandchildren.