Richard is a lawyer by profession and practice and also has the CIPD's Certificate in Training Practice. During his 35 year professional career, he engaged with all manner of people from cabinet ministers to managing teams of up to 50 people. Richard says:"I have an interest in the work of the Student Union. In today's harsh economic climate, students need all the support they can get. OUSU is rightly engaged at the heart of the University's network with a proactive mission to give students a voice. University alumni, such as myself, need to support and encourage OUSU's work." "I am a firm believer in the benefits of Higher Education, both vocational and 'learning for learning's sake'. And I am an active advocate of the unique and immensely positive Oxford way of learning."
James spent the majority of his career in university finance, including 12 years as Finance Director at Warwick University, and 7 as Financial Director at Leicester University. Prior to that he worked in local government in Coventry, and for the government of Botswana. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Edmund Hall from 1968-71 and never was much good at the second P. James says: "I have worked for over 20 years in universities and seen the beneficial effect that a good Student Union can have on student life, both academic, personal and social. I think there is much good work done now by OUSU, and scope for more, so I hope to be able to help that growth."