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Mr James (Jim) Waite

James (Jim) Waite

Sadly, Mr James (Jim) Waite, former Senior Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Bursar, died on 30 September 2006.

Jim Waite joined the University in 1964, by which time he had already acquired over twenty years experience of financial, personnel and general administration. Much of this was gained with the National Coal Board, including several years as the senior administrative officer at Bickershaw Colliery in Leigh, Lancashire. During this time, he also qualified as a Chartered Secretary. In 1960, Jim left the coal industry to become an Executive Officer and Accountant with the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Thurso in Scotland. Here, he had a substantial involvement in the operation of the Authoritys superannuation schemes, covering well over thirty thousand employees.

Jim arrived in Leeds eminently well qualified to assume responsibility for the large section of the Bursars Office which handled the salaries of several thousand employees. The scale, volume and complexity of the work grew steadily during his time in charge, in response to the expansion of the University, substantial technical developments (notably, the adoption of computers) and legislative changes. Jim proved more than equal to the demands and challenges these brought in their train, ensuring that his section offered a consistently high level of service. He had a comprehensive knowledge of the intricacies of national insurance and income tax matters and related topics, and, just as important, a talent for bringing the best out of his colleagues through his encouragement and support. Equable of temperament, patient and approachable, Jim enjoyed good working relations with all parts of the University, and was a fount of informed assistance for the many staff who needed advice about taxation, insurance and other financial matters. When Jim took early retirement at the end of 1982, after eighteen years at Leeds, the then Bursar, Dr Ray Head, wrote that his unfailing courtesy and untiring dedication to the tasks allotted to him will be hallmarks by which he will be long remembered. He might have added that Jims departure took away one of the leading members of the Bursars side in the keenly contested annual games of cricket against the Registrars XI.

Jim leaves a wife, Dorothy, daughters Barbara, Sheila and Margaret, and son, Philip, together with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.