The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University.
How is Lancaster University governed and managed?
The University is led by the Executive Team. Find out more about how we are governed and managed.
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The Chancellor and Chancellor's Ambassador
The Rt Hon Alan Milburn became Chancellor of Lancaster University on 1 January 2015. He succeeded the University's second Chancellor, mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington CVO CBE DL, who continues his involvement with the University in the new role of Chancellor’s Ambassador.
The Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Pro-Chancellors
The Rt Hon Alistair Burt has been Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council at Lancaster University since October 2020.
Professor Ella Ritchie and the Rt Hon Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones DCMG are the University's Deputy Pro-Chancellors.
Vice-Chancellor's Executive Team
The Vice-Chancellor's Office is responsible for the leadership and strategy of the University.
Professor Andy Schofield
Professor Andy Schofield is the Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University. As Vice-Chancellor he is the Chief Executive of the University and has overall responsibility for its operation and strategic direction. He took up the role on 1st May 2020.
Professor Schofield was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering at the University of Birmingham from 2015 until April 2020.
Andy is a theoretical physicist working in the area of condensed matter physics specialising in correlated electrons. He works closely with experimental groups who develop and study new materials using high precision techniques at low temperatures to understand how emergent properties like superconductivity, magnetism and novel metal behaviour arise.
Andy studied Natural Sciences followed by a PhD at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he was appointed to a Research Fellowship in 1992. He moved to the USA in 1994 working at Rutgers for two years before returning to Cambridge. In 1997 Andy was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to work on theories of non-Fermi liquids. In 1999 Andy moved to the University of Birmingham and was promoted to Professor of Theoretical Physics in 2002. In that year he won the Institute of Physics' Maxwell Medal and Prize for work on the emergent properties of correlated electrons. From 2008 Andy occupied a number of leadership positions within the University of Birmingham including Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
Interim Executive Officer: Michele Aldridge
Professor Steve Bradley
Professor Bradley was the former Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) prior to becoming Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor in January 2019, Interim Vice-Chancellor in October 2019 and reprising the role of Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor in May 2020. He was appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor in October 2020. Steve Bradley is a Professor of Economics. He was educated at Leeds Polytechnic and Lancaster University from which he holds Master's and doctorate degrees. Prior to his entry to academia, Steve spent ten years working in Local Government as a member of the Education Department of Lancashire County Council.
His research interests fall into two areas – Education Economics and Labour Economics. He has published widely on issues related to the operation and impact of introducing a quasi-market in the secondary education sector, and the econometric analysis of educational policy. Published work in the field of Labour Economics includes the employer selection and recruitment, tests of theories of labour market matching, the effect of employment protection on worker effort.
Professor Bradley's current research interests focus on the determinants of youth unemployment and economic inactivity for Britain, Italy and Spain, the effect of undergraduate tuition fees on the demand for postgraduate study in the UK, and the effect of corruption on the performance of small and medium sized firms in less developed economies.
Interim Executive Officer: Michele Aldridge
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Global (Digital, International, Sustainability)
Professor Simon Guy
Professor Simon Guy’s remit is to develop, connect and lead Lancaster University’s digital, global and development strategy. He is leading on the establishment of the University’s new campus in Leipzig and continuing to develop our China campus, while also strengthening connections between all our international partnerships including Ghana and Malaysia. He also leads on our digital agenda, ensuring our infrastructure and operational processes are digitally enabled to promote agility and efficiency and that digital innovation underpins our academic practices. Simon is the major lead across all of our development, alumni and fundraising work, oversees the library and he is the University lead on sustainability.
Simon’s previous role was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at Lancaster University (2014-19) and in 2017-18 he was seconded as Interim Principal/CEO for University Academy 92 to lead the establishment of the new campus and curriculum.
Previously in Simon’s career, he was Head of the School of Environment, Education and Development and founding Director of the Manchester Architecture Research Centre at the University of Manchester (2005-14). Prior to that, he was Dean of Research at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Newcastle.
Simon’s career began as an engineer before beginning his academic life pursuing studies in the humanities and social sciences, followed by a research career which has focused upon sustainable design and urbanism, where his interdisciplinary and international research connects architecture with urban planning, the property sector with utilities, academia with industry.
Personal Assistant: Heather Lowe
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
Professor Louise Heathwaite CBE FRSE
Professor Louise Heathwaite provides strategic leadership for the University in research and enterprise including developing the high-level strategy for research and ensuring the growth trajectory of research income in recent years is continued. She is the institutional lead for REF 2021.
Louise is a hydrochemist and Professor of Land and Water Science in the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University. She is recognised internationally as an authority on diffuse environmental pollution and in particular understanding the pathways of nitrogen and phosphorus loss from agricultural land to water, and the implications for freshwater quality.
She was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours 2018 for services to scientific research and scientific advice to the government. In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in recognition of the distinguished contribution she has made to hydrology and to science-policy engagement. Louise’s long-term contribution to the discipline of hydrology led to her election in 2004 as Vice-President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), which has over 7,000 members drawn from nearly 200 countries worldwide and, in 2017, she was elected President of the Freshwater Biological Association.
Louise has significant experience of both research council and government environments. She was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government on Rural Affairs, Food and Environment from 2012-17, and led NERC’s Sustainable Use of Natural Resources theme from 2008-12. She served on Defra’s Science Advisory Council from 2011-17 and is currently a member of NERC Council and the advisory board of the ISCF Transforming Food Production programme.
Personal Assistant: Anita Formby-Barker
Sarah Kemp is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement. She leads on the Knowledge Exchange Framework and the Civic University’s Agreement. Lancaster University places equal weight on the quality of its teaching, its research and its engagement, as all are critical to the civic responsibility of a university in the 21st Century. She leads on the Eden North project and broader external engagement with National Cyber Force and is the senior management link to the Chaplaincy.
Sarah has built a career which is fluid across many sectors within the private and public sector arena, building on an original foundation as a science and technology graduate of Kings College London. She subsequently became a successful international business development manager in life science and scientific instrumentation markets, at which time she also successfully completed a Master's in Business Administration.
Sarah is an expert practitioner of economic development, regeneration, inward investment and delivering large scale capital programmes at a North West regional level and on behalf of the City Regions of Greater Manchester and Liverpool. Sarah has delivered strong results when working at the interface between the public, private and education sectors, convening and facilitating durable partnerships, working to capitalise on new and emerging opportunities and to address some of the UK’s more intractable socio-economic challenges.
Most recently, as Chief Executive for Lancashire Local Economic Partnership, Sarah was responsible for developing and implementing Lancashire's Economic Strategy, delivery of Lancashire’s £374m Growth Deal Programme and she secured a further £34m of Getting Building Fund to invest in projects which created new jobs and stimulated the green economy. She was responsible for partnership delivery of BOOST Growth Hub, Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub and strategic delivery of Lancashire's four Enterprise Zones.
Working with partners, including Lancaster University, Sarah secured the Government decision to establish the new National Cybersecurity Centre at Samlesbury, as part of a £5bn Government investment, which recognised the outstanding cyber and security related credentials of the University as core to Lancashire's proposition.
Personal Assistant: Sadie Spence
Professor Wendy Robinson
Professor Wendy Robinson is the PVC Education and is responsible for leading the University’s strategy for continuing to deliver an excellent transformative and innovative educational experience for all students and to ensure that the quality of the student experience remains at the heart of University activity.
Wendy joins Lancaster from the University of Exeter where she was PVC and Executive Dean of the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. She joined Exeter in 2006 as a Professor of Education, and held positions including Head of the Graduate School of Education, Associate Dean (Education) for the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and University Academic Dean for Students. Whilst at Exeter, Wendy led on important developments within the University, including serving on University Council, leading Exeter’s strategic review of postgraduate taught programmes, leading the Exeter Effective Learning Analytics Project, chairing the University Race Equality Group and Widening Participation Operations Board and, in the region, as Chair of the South West Academic Trust. Wendy was recently co-opted onto the UCAS Audit Committee and is a Principal Fellow of Advance HE.
Wendy achieved First Class Honours from the University of Cambridge, a Master's with Distinction from the University of London and then a PhD in the History of Education, again from Cambridge, before building her academic career at the Universities of Cambridge and Warwick. Wendy’s academic specialism is in the history of the development of the teaching profession, where her work has been influential around the world.
Personal Assistant: Becky Kay
Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology
Professor Peter M. Atkinson
Professor Peter Atkinson is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster University. Since 2015, he has been responsible for the strategic leadership of the Faculty, which comprises seven departments. In 2018-19, he was also simultaneously Interim Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster. In 2018-19, Peter Chaired the University’s Athena SWAN Institutional Self-Assessment Team (ISAT) which led to a successful Institutional Bronze Award.
Peter is Distinguished Professor of Spatial Data Science at Lancaster. His research is highly interdisciplinary, covering a wide range of statistical and numerical modelling methods on the one hand, and several application domains on the other. He is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, was awarded the 2016 Peter Burrough Medal of the ISARA organisation, and held the 2015 Belle van Zuylen Chair at Utrecht University.
Peter studied Geography at Nottingham University, followed by a NERC CASE PhD at Sheffield University and Rothamsted Experimental Station. After a year in industry at Logica plc. he moved to the University of Bristol in 1990 and then to the University of Southampton as a Lecturer in 1994. He was promoted to Professor of Geography in 2002. Peter then held several leadership roles at Southampton including as Head of the School of Geography from 2007 to 2012.
Executive Assistant: Robyn Harrison
Interim Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Professor Willem Hollmann
Professor Willem Hollmann is the Executive Dean (Interim) of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. FASS is a large, vibrant faculty with a global outlook and reputation. It includes nine departments but also the Confucius Institute, Lancaster Arts and The Ruskin. Willem was previously Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies (2016-19) and Associate Dean for Recruitment (2019-22).
Willem is a Professor of Linguistics. His research focuses on the interdisciplinary field of cognitive linguistics, including cognitive sociolinguistics. He also has a long-standing interest in educational linguistics, and engages with language education in schools for example through his role as Chair of the Education Committee of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, and as a member (and former Secretary and Chair) of the Committee for Linguistics in Education.
Executive Assistant: Monika Zaczek
Tel: +44 (0)1524 593484
Executive Dean, Lancaster University Management School
Professor Claire Leitch
Professor Claire Leitch was appointed Executive Dean of Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) in May 2022, with responsibility for leading the Faculty to align with Lancaster University’s strategy. She joined LUMS in 2012 and served as Interim Executive Dean, Deputy Dean and Associate Dean in LUMS prior to her recent appointment. Before arriving in Lancaster, Professor Leitch held posts at Queen’s University Management School, Belfast and the University of Ulster. In 2021, she was elected as one of Senate’s representatives to University Council for a three-year period.
Claire has an international research reputation and recognition in gender, leadership and learning in entrepreneurial contexts and was responsible for leading the Faculty’s successful Athena Swan Bronze submission in April 2021. Currently, she is co-director of LUMS’s Academy for Gender, Work and Leadership and is leading a major EU project addressing gender inequality in management schools, which positions Lancaster at the heart of the European EDI agenda.
Faculty Admin Officer: Kay Bowen
Tel: +44 (0)1524 594202
Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Medicine
Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone
Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine with responsibility for leading the Faculty to align with Lancaster University’s strategy.
Jo is a Professor of Health Research undertaking research that is directly relevant to improving patient and public outcomes and experiences. Funding for her research has come from a variety of sources including FP7 Programme, NIHR, Economic & Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and Australian Health and Medical Research Council. Jo was named as a highly cited researcher being in the top 1% globally by citation for field (social sciences) in the Web of Science.
Jo has considerable experience in research and policy contexts including as Director of the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, member of the NIHR Strategy Board, Urgent Public Health oversight group member, and as Chair of the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) Implementation Strategy Group.
Jo is an emeritus Welsh Senior Research Leader and is also a REF2021 sub-panel member for Unit of Assessment 3 – Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy.
From September 2021 Jo will be a Senate elected member of the University’s Council.
Executive Assistant and Information Officer: Marie Crane
Tel: +44 (0)1524 593169
Deputy Chief Executive (Operations)
Nicola Owen is the Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) at Lancaster University. Together with the Director of Finance, she leads the Professional Services at Lancaster. As Deputy Chief Executive (Operations), she is the Head of Administration and has responsibility for the following administrative divisions:
- Alumni and Development
- External Relations
- Information Systems Services
- People and Organisational Effectiveness
- Research and Enterprise Services
- Strategic Planning and Governance
- Student and Education Services
She also has responsibility, working together with the Deans, via the Faculty Managers, for the effective operation of the administration across the faculties and academic departments.
As Secretary she has responsibility for the operation of governance and support to Council as well as a number of other legal, governance and licensing roles.
Along with the above, she also has oversight responsibility for the Capital Planning Programme at Lancaster University.
Nicola has been elected to the position of Chair of the Association of Heads of University Administration, a position she will take up as of 1 April 2020 for a period of three years.
Prior to moving to Lancaster University, Nicola was Deputy Registrar at the University of Warwick.
Executive Assistant: Barbara Pilkington
Director of Finance
Sarah Randall-Paley BA, FCA
Sarah Randall-Paley has been Lancaster University’s Director of Finance since 2009. Together with the Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary, she leads the Professional Services at Lancaster. As Director of Finance, she is responsible for Finance and Procurement activities including financial management and control, financial reporting, preparation of data returns, audit preparation, treasury management and promoting value for money. She also supports the Vice-Chancellor in his wider responsibilities as designated Accountable Officer under the OfS regulatory framework.
Prior to joining Lancaster, Sarah studied English at Nottingham University and then worked in London to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, working in audit and forensic accounting.
In 2010 Lancaster was successful in winning the ‘Outstanding Finance Team’ in the Times Higher Education Awards (THELMAs) and in the 2014 THELMAs Lancaster was shortlisted for ‘Outstanding Procurement Team’.
In addition to Director of Finance at Lancaster University, Sarah is Chair of the national British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG), Chair of the BUFDG Fraud Working Group, a co-opted member of the Audit Committee of UCAS and Governor and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School.
Finance Divisional Assistant: Kathleen Parker
Tel: +44 (0)1524 592180
Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Projects
Dr Giles Carden
Giles joined Lancaster University’s Executive Team in October 2017 as Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Projects. Giles’ role is principally focused on leading and coordinating major, transformational strategic initiatives, a recent example would be Lancaster University Leipzig; he also has responsibilities for HE policy matters. Giles also helps support the Vice-Chancellor in the coordination of activities across the Executive Team.
Giles’s academic background is the earth sciences, he undertook a PhD in geochemistry at the University of Liverpool and then a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Liebniz Prize funded fellowship at the Rhur-Universitaet Bochum in Germany. Prior to joining Lancaster he undertook a range of different professional services roles at the University of Warwick, latterly occupying the role of Director of Strategic Planning and Analytics.
Giles has advised the THE on its world rankings design, was asked by Universities UK to serve on its Efficiency and Modernisation task groups, has chaired the HESA-Jisc Business Intelligence programme, served for five years on the Higher Education Strategic Planning Association Executive and was chair-elect of the Russell Group Directors of Strategic Planning until he left Warwick and the Russell Group for Lancaster.
Office Manager: Victoria McDonald