Jim, his wife Verena, and one of their daughters
Jim, his wife Verena, and one of their daughters


Jim Hearnshaw was appointed temporary Secretary and Registrar in Easter 1986 and made permanent in the post in August that year.

His letter of application includes a list of all the assignments he had undertaken, a list literally (I mean literally) as long as your arm, involving organisations such as Chelsea College, International Hall, Senate House, St Bart’s Hospital, Royal Holloway, Wye College, the Institute of Orthopaedics, and so on, and subjects ranging from catering and automation through filing systems and staffing procedures: in fact every aspect of University management and administration. One reference, if I may improperly quote it, says: "If he is appointed to this post you may rest assured that he will devote all his energies and abilities to the task in hand with a conscientiousness which cannot be faulted." I concur with that.

— Michael Kaufman (who should know), notes that Jim was appointed after a period during which the Courtauld did not have Registrar, leaving many pieces to pick up and backlogs to shift. He calls attention to one aspect in particular, namely Jim’s success at getting ex-students to pay outstanding fees. You may think it odd to call attention to someone’s abilities as a debt collector, but what Michael was referring to was that this revealed not only his tenacity but also his humanity. Given these comments it is no surprise to record that the move from Portman Square and Bloomsbury to Somerset House was, again in the words of someone who should know, calmly and effectively managed.

No-one could have wished for a more supportive and understanding colleague: if you had a problem you could always take it to Jim. I can vouch for that, as, from the time I arrived here, Jim was a guide to the complexities of the Courtauld for which I am very grateful. We also owe our thanks to Jim’s family, and especially Verena, for the support which they in turn have given him.

I am also grateful for his help with other kinds of problems: the Arabic father who had 17 horses and who had to divide them among his 3 sons as a half, a third and a ninth (I could remember the answer but not the question), the water and wine logic puzzle, magic squares and Achilles and the Tortoise, and why the lit face of the moon doesn’t appear to align with the sun.

We wish Jim everything of the best in his retirement.

PROF. ERIC FERNIE