University Secretary's Group

USG Business Unit

The University Secretary's Group (USG) Business Unit provides a wide range of services to the Support Group.

  • Planning and budget support for the Head of USG
  • Support and guidance for Heads of Sections and their staff on HR and finance issues
  • Administration of human resources, finance and office management tasks for GaSP and Records Management
  • Support for the University Secretary, in particular from the Projects Officer and Policy Advisor and the Secretary’s PA.
  • Old College reception staffing
  • Overseeing room bookings for Old College meeting and function rooms

USG Business Unit staff

USG Business Manager

The unit is headed up by the USG Business Manager who supports the Head of Support Group in planning and budgeting and other strategic activities, while providing support and guidance to Heads of Sections and their staff, particularly on HR and finance issues.

The Business Manager reports directly to the Head of Support Group.

Support staff

Support is provided to the University Secretary through the Projects Officer and Policy Adviser, and the PA to the University Secretary.

The PA to the University Secretary is the first point of contact for enquiries to the University Secretary and the Management Support Officer provides daily support to the Business Manager.

They also provide advice and best practice guidance for all the support group departments on a wide range of HR and finance topics, as well as assisting in ad hoc queries for the group departments, collation of group information for yearly returns and liaising with external bodies.

Old College reception staff

The Old College reception staff provide assistance to visitors to (and staff working in) Old College, as well as overseeing room bookings for the Old College meeting and function rooms.

Sustainability Award


USG Business Unit is committed to contributing to social responsibility and sustainability at the University of Edinburgh. This includes supporting the University’s Climate Strategy through our working practices.

Within USGBU, we are taking the following steps: 

  • Participating in the University’s Sustainability Awards programme. We are currently working towards a Bronze Office Award.
  • Discussing sustainability issues at department and Old College MOBUG meetings. 
  • Following University procedures on using Fairtrade suppliers for catering, using procurement preferred suppliers, and encouraging recycling and energy saving as much as possible. 
  • Including a section on Sustainability in all H&S inductions to new staff and encouraging them to do the Sustainability LEARN course.



USG Business Unit Contacts

Name Role Email Phone
Sarah Smith University Secretary 0131 650 2143
Anda Nicolson PA to the University Secretary 0131 650 2144
Jim McGeorge Head of USG Planning and Programmes 0131 650 2161
Carol Powers Management Support Officer 0131 650 2098
Liz Reid Receptionist (Monday - Wednesday) 0131 650 8003
Tricia O'Donnell Receptionist (Thursday-Friday) Patricia.O' 0131 650 8003
Old College conference rooms booking Old College Reception 0131 650 8003
University Secretary's Office address Room 214, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL    

USG Business Unit Organisation Chart