Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive Team

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

Our experienced and dedicated University Executive Team (UET) is led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shân Wareing.

As a team and a community, we are committed to providing flexible and accessible practice-led education, impactful research and strong engagement with practice to make a difference to key global challenges.


About the Vice-Chancellor

Professor Shân Wareing

VC Shân Wareing

Professor Shân Wareing is the Vice-Chancellor of . Prior to this role she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Northampton, and other executive roles she has held include Chief Operating Officer at London South Bank University and Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching at Buckinghamshire New University.

Shân’s first job was as a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Roehampton, before she moved into the field of Education Development, during which period she was Co-Chair of the Staff and Educational Development Association. She has a track record of leading institutional transformation programmes include assessment at University of the Arts London, leading to a 12% uplift in the assessment and feedback questions in the National Student Survey sustained over 10 years, digital transformation of the student journey at London South Bank University, which won a PwC award, and recruitment improvements at the University of Northampton, leading to an uplift in recruitment of 18-year-old students, ahead of comparable HEIs.

She is Chair of the charity, Unite Foundation, Chair of Advance-HE’s Leadership and Management Strategic Advisory Group, and has published in the fields of linguistics, equality, diversity and inclusion, leadership and team development, and learning and teaching in higher education. Her current scholarly interests are leadership and governance from the perspective of diversity and inclusion, and higher education policy.

Shân studied English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford, and Sociolinguistics at the University of Strathclyde. She was a competitive rower for many years and has a rowing half-blue from Oxford. Shân holds a postgraduate diploma in Higher Education studies from the Institute of Education, University College London, she is a Professor of Teaching in Higher Education, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a National Teaching Fellow.

In her role as the Vice-Chancellor, Shân leads the University's diverse and innovative community, including staff, students and partners in an outstandingly collaborative and inclusive culture. 

As the Accountable Officer to the Office for Students, Shân has responsibility for: 

  • Overall leadership and management of the University 
  • Overall financial health of the University 
  • Ensuring the delivery of the University's mission, aims and objectives set out in our Strategy 
  • Promoting and advocating the University globally, nationally and locally

Shân is the University's principal representative in articulating the University’s interests and needs to the wider world. She also plays an important role in representing to government, businesses, funders and to national, global and local stakeholders. 

An important part of Shân's role is to deliver our University Mission and Strategic Plan to be a global university, operating at new levels of accessibility, working in new forms of partnership and developing new understandings of the world through which our growing community can influence it for the good. 

Shân shapes the strategic direction of the University in partnership with the Board of Governors and is accountable to the Chair of the Board of Governors. She is also a full member of the Board of Governors. 

All members of the University Executive Team report to Shân as the Vice-Chancellor.


About the Executive

Interim Chief Operating Officer

Dr Tim Westlake

Dr Tim Westlake is our Interim Chief Operating Officer, having joined in July 2024. Tim has over 30 years of experience working in Higher Education. Prior to joining , Tim was Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary at the University of Sussex. Previously, he held leadership and academic roles in institutions including The University of Manchester, Cardiff University and Birmingham City University.

Tim gained a Bachelor's, Master’s and PhD in Town Planning at Cardiff University. He was a Board Member of the British Council's Education Counselling Services, Chair of Wales Higher Education International Liaison Association and Chair of the Board of the Wales International Consortium. In addition, Tim was a Member of the British Council Global Alumni Strategy Advisory Group; the British Council Technical Advisory Group Predicting the Global Demand for International Education; the UCAS Board of Directors; and a Member of the National Qualifications Information Review Steering Group.

As Interim Chief Operating Officer, Tim has overall responsibility for Professional Services across the University.

Chief Officer for People and Culture

John McGuinness

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.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience

Professor Christine Broughan

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.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Exchange

Professor Anne Boddington

Professor Anne Boddington

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.

Executive Director of Finance

Andrew Corti

Brunette man by the name of Andrew Corti wearing a smart jacket

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

Academic board

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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