Dr Bruce Nelson

College Registrar


Bruce was educated at the Universities of Glasgow (BSc in Mathematics and Chemistry, and PhD in Theoretical Chemistry) and Edinburgh (MBA).

Bruce started his career in University Administration after a brief stint as a Tax Inspector with the Inland Revenue in London. He joined the University of Edinburgh as Administrative Assistant in Registry & Planning in 1984, and Planning only in 1987. He was promoted to Faculty Officer in Veterinary Medicine in 1988, and then Faculty Officer in the Faculty of Science in 1990.

He took up the post of Director of Planning in 1998. His responsibilities were extended to cover Freedom of Information in 2001, and Deputy Secretary in 2003. He was appointed Academic Registrar and Deputy Secretary in January 2004.

Bruce was Warden of Kitchener House from 1985 to 1993. During part of that period he served on the Accommodation Committee as representative of the Student Houses Wardens.

He was a Member of the Board of Edinburgh University Press 2002-04, and is currently a Director of two University subsidiaries - FloWave TT Ltd and SSTRIC.

He has held various external appointments:

  • Member of AUT's Administrative Staff Committee 1991-94. Chair of the Administrative Staff Committee 1994-97 and non-voting member of the National Executive.
  • Member of the Association of University Administrators, and Executive Committee 2003-11. Vice-chair and Chair-elect 2005-06, Chair for 2006-08, and Treasurer 2010-11.
  • Non-executive Board Member for the Student Awards Agency Scotland since 2007.
  • Member of the Court of the University of the Highlands and Islands since 2011.

He has carried out consultancy work for universities in the UK and South Africa, and was the external member of reviews of central administrations at the University of Auckland and Stellenbosch University.

As well as managing the College’s administrative services, Bruce takes lead responsibility for strategic planning and estates planning within the College, and has overall responsibility for managing College budgets. He is a member of the University’s Senior Administrative Managers Group along with the three Heads of Support Group and the two other College Registrars.

Bruce is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Society for Research into Higher Education.