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Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive Team

The University Executive Team are individually responsible for developing different aspects of the University's work

  • About the Interim Vice-Chancellor

Professor Sean Wellington

Professor Sean Wellington is Interim Vice-Chancellor. Prior to this role, he was Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, having joined in 2019 as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Sci­ence and Technology.

Previously, Sean worked at Oxford Brookes University where he held senior leadership roles including Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience). He has led on the development of innovative new partnership activity and worked closely with the further education sector. Sean has served as an External Governor of two general Further Education (FE) colleges and is currently a Trustee and Chair of Colindale Communities Trust (CCT) and a Trustee of WorldSkills UK.

Since beginning his career in the engineering industry, initially as an Apprentice, Sean has held teaching, research and leadership positions in three universities and roles with sector bodies including Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Office for Students (OfS). Sean was appointed to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Panel, with responsibility for carrying out the 2023 TEF assessments.

Sean has taught a range of subjects in engineering and computing over more than thirty years. He is a thought leader on engineering education and led a review of the Engineering Council standard used for the accreditation of engineering degree programmes. The standard, AHEP Edition 4, better reflects the crucial role that engineers play in tackling societal concerns such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and there is a new expectation that graduates will adopt an inclusive approach to engineering practice and recognise the importance of supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.

Read more about Sean and the role

  • About the Executive

Our Executive is made up of leading individuals who report to and support our Interim Vice-Chancellor, Designate, to carry out our mission to transform potential into success.

Professor Julia Clarke

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Julia Clarke is Prov­ost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, having joined in August 2023. Previously, she held a range of senior higher education leadership roles, most recently as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhamp­ton where she led the University’s transition to a blended model of education and student support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Julia qualified as a Chartered Accountant before moving into higher education, firstly as a re­searcher at the University of Central Lancashire. From there she moved to Manchester Met­ropolitan University and then to the University of Leeds where she held a number of roles in­cluding Pro-Dean for Student Education for the Faculty of Business. In 2015, Julia returned to Manchester Metropolitan University to take up the post of Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law.

Throughout her career, Julia has taught a range of undergraduate, Master, MBA and corpo­rate programmes and modules on Business Ethics, Corporate Governance, Financial Analy­sis, Financial Accounting, Taxation and Auditing.

Julia has been an active participant in the business education community, through her work with the Chartered Association of Business Schools and the international accrediting bodies. She was Chair of Chartered ABS from 2018 to 2020 and Chair of the Business and Manage­ment Panel for the Subject Teaching Excellence Framework Pilot that ran in 2018 and 2019. Julia is a Professor of Business Education and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

In her role as Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Julia exercises strategic leadership and has responsibility for all academic areas. This includes line management of the Campus Directors and of the Academic Deans responsible for the four London-based Faculties and responsibility for the development and implementation of academic strategies and strategic resource allocation. Julia will lead the work to build academic leadership, standards and capacity. She is also leading on our size and shape work and the associated portfolio review.

Dr Paula Sanderson

Chief Operating Officer

Paula Sanderson is our Chief Operating Officer, having joined in January 2023. Paula has expertise in higher education policy, regulation and leadership, in transformation and change, and in financial and operational management in complex, multi partner environments.

A chartered accountant with Master’s Degrees in tertiary education management and busi­ness administration, Paula has held senior leadership roles in higher education in the UK and overseas, including Managing Director of Falmouth Exeter Plus and Chief Operating Officer at Queen Mary University of London and SOAS, University of London. Prior to these, she was Chief Operating Officer and Registrar at University of Reading Malaysia and Director of Cen­tral Services at University of Sydney Libraries. Paula is a Teaching Fellow at University of Bath, where she also undertook a DBA in Business Administration (Higher Education Management), focusing on inclusive development/decoloniality in the internationalisation of the higher education sector. Early in her career, Paula held Principal Accountant and Senior Audit roles in Local Government, such as at Plymouth City Council.

As Chief Operating Officer, Paula has responsibility for the following Professional Services areas: Student and Legal Affairs; Academic Registry; Student Recruitment and Marketing; Facilities; Strategy and Insight; the Clerk to the Board; Project Portfolio Management and Estates; and our Computing and Communications Systems Service.

John McGuinness

Chief Officer for People and Culture

John McGuinness is our Chief Officer for People and Culture, having joined as Deputy HR Director in March 2007. John was promoted to Director of HR in 2010.

Previously, John worked as Head of Employment Strategy at Camden Council where he held a range of operational and strategic HR roles. Key achievements during his time at Camden were leadership of the single status pay and grading review and the modernisation of the Council’s senior pay and reward structures. Prior to this John worked in senior HR posts at Islington Council and the Department of Transport where he commenced his career in HR in the 1992. During this time, he held responsibility for areas as diverse as staff communications, equality and diversity, staff development, employee relations and best value reviews. John has an MA in Human Resource Management, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and a BSc in Psychology.

As Chief Officer for People and Culture, John is responsible for leading the organisational and workforce development needed to achieve our Strategy 2031. Working with University Executive Team colleagues and our senior managers, he leads this work with the objective of also enhancing staff wellbeing and engagement across the University. John provides strategic leadership for our people management and development through the implementation of our People and Culture strategy. The Human Resource Service covers HR management, HR partnering, staff development, equality, diversity and inclusion, and wellbeing.

Professor Christine Broughan

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience

Professor Christine Broughan is our Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience, having joined in July 2023.

Christine is regarded by peers as a social justice leader and became Professor of Higher Education in 2017. She has a proven track record in higher education leadership, teaching and research. With a key role in equity, diversity and inclusion, Christine’s focus has been to deliver an excellent student experience that supports students to achieve their full potential regardless of background and/or personal characteristics. Enabling an excellent student experience is at the heart of everything Christine does and, in this regard, she has led several externally funded national and international research projects, supervised PhD students, published edited books, chapters and numerous articles.

Prior to joining , Christine was interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) at Northumbria University. Previously, Christine was instrumental in the transformation of Coventry University's teaching and learning provision over a period of 24 years. Work to promote an excellent higher education experience for students has taken Christine as far as Iraq and Libya.

In her role as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience, Christine has responsibility and accountability for the development, implementation and monitoring of the University’s high-level strategy for Education and Student Experience.

Professor Anne Boddington

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Exchange

Professor Anne Boddington is our Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, having joined in January 2023. Anne has a distinguished track rec­ord in research and impact, education, and engagement, with a particular interest in stimulat­ing sustainable and social innovation and interdisciplinary research with, between and across life, health, physical and social sciences.

Educated as an architect, urbanist and later as a cultural geographer, Anne has held senior leadership roles in higher education including at the University of Brighton. Previous roles include Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Business and Innovation at Kingston University, and Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 Sub-Panel Chair for Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory. Prior to this, Anne served on REF 2014 and Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, and as a member of the AHRC Advisory Board.

Anne is particularly interested in organisational design, career development, and quality assurance and enhancement in teaching, research, and impact. She has a breadth of international and governance experience and is currently Deputy Chair, and a Trustee, of the Design Council, Chair of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) National Interdisciplinary Circu­lar Economy Research (NICER) Advisory Board, and a member of the Scientific Committee for the Innovation and Technology Commission for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

In her role as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Anne provides strategic leadership, and has responsibility and accountability, for the development, implementation and monitoring of the University’s strategy for Re­search and Knowledge Exchange. Anne will be leading the institutional preparations for REF 2028, and work to enhance our business-to-business engagement across the organisation.

Andrew Corti

Executive Director of Finance

Andrew Corti is our Executive Director of Finance, having joined as Director of Finance in 2021 following senior finance roles at Queen Mary University of London and the University of East London.

After graduating with a BSc in Economics, Andrew joined global accountancy firm Arthur Andersen, which included a stint working in their Melbourne, Australia, office. He then moved into industry with roles at Marks & Spencer plc, GlaxoSmithKline plc and BMI Healthcare, before taking a role in social housing with Family Mosaic. Most of his roles have been in commercial finance, working with non-finance professionals in areas such as logistics, sales, marketing and housing management. Andrew is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Outside work he is a non-executive director of small-scale social housing developer Naked House, as well as having had several roles connected with promoting diversity in sport.

As Executive Director of Finance, Andrew is responsible for the overall strategic financial position and direction of the University, as well as our relationships with banks and pension schemes, the financial element of our relationship with the OfS and finance processes including payroll processing, tax compliance, financial regulation, treasury management, debt collection and research grant accounting to name a few.

Summary of University Executive Team responsibilities

The Vice-Chancellor

  • Leads the organisation
  • Answers to the Chair and the Governors
  • Acts under explicit delegations
  • With the Executive Team, develops the strategic approach.

The University Executive Team

  • Ensures delivery of the University's mission
  • With the Vice-Chancellor, develops the strategic approach
  • Individually carries out specific responsibilities determined by the Vice-Chancellor.

Contact us

For enquiries please contact us via email vc@mdx.ac.uk.

  • Academic board

The Academic Board, which is chaired by our Vice-Chancellor, is made up of 30 individuals that advise on the recruitment and retention of our students, the content of our curriculum, and the assessment and examination process.

The Academic Board provides advice on:

  • General issues relating to the research, scholarship, teaching and courses at the University
  • Criteria for the admission of students
  • The appointment and removal of internal and external examiners
  • Assessment and examination of the academic performance of students
  • Content of the curriculum
  • Academic standards, and the validation and review of courses
  • Award of qualifications and honorary academic titles
  • Expulsion of students for academic reasons
  • Development of academic activities and relevant resources

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