A large modern building on Lancaster University campus

Council Members

Rt Hon Alistair Burt (Pro-Chancellor)

Rt Hon Alistair Burt was appointed Pro-Chancellor of the University in October 2020. A law graduate, he qualified as a solicitor, before entering Parliament as MP for Bury North (1983-97). He served as MP for NE Bedfordshire (2001-19) and retired from the Commons in December 2019.

(Current appointment to 30 September 2025)

He served in six ministerial posts from 1992-2019, including Minister for People with Disabilities, Minister of State for Health and Social Care, and Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa. He is now the UK Commissioner on the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP), a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), and a Council member of the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR). He remains associated with a number of charities and local organisations in Bedfordshire and social enterprises engaged in the Middle East.

Rt Hon Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones DCMG (Deputy Pro-Chancellor)

Pauline Neville-Jones is a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. As a back bench member of the House of Lords, she is currently a member of the Science and Technology Committee. In the Coalition government led by David Cameron she was Security and Counter Terrorism Minister. She is a Privy Councillor.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2023)

She holds various Advisory positions concerning cyber security and has a background in defence and foreign affairs having been a career member of the Diplomatic service during which time she led the UK delegation to the Dayton Peace talks on Bosnia.

Professor Ella Ritchie (Deputy Pro-Chancellor)

Ella Ritchie is an academic and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University. She is a Lancaster alumna who studied Politics with French from 1967-70. She then went on to gain a PhD in Political science from LSE.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2025)

She had a long career in academia where she taught EU Politics and Policy and was active nationally in developing new models of doctoral training. In addition to her senior management roles at Newcastle she has worked extensively with the Higher Education Funding Council and Universities UK. Her areas of expertise are internationalisation, university governance and the widening of access to university. She has also worked on many EU projects and she co-chairs European Higher Education Area Internationalisation group. She has a wide experience of East Asian universities and was, until Summer 2019, the Chief External Examiner of Xian Jiao Tong Liverpool University. She was awarded the OBE for services to higher education in 2012.

She has three grown up children and three grandchildren. She is an expert on mid-20th century British, Scandinavian and North American costume jewellery.

Ella has been a Council Member of Lancaster University since 2014 and in 2019 became Deputy Pro-Chancellor. She chairs the Strategic Health and Safety Committee, and is also a member of the University’s Estates Committee and Nominations Committee.

Professor Andy Schofield (Vice-Chancellor)

Professor Andy Schofield is Vice-Chancellor, Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of Lancaster University. He is theoretical physicist researching into the quantum properties of interacting electrons and their manifestations in novel materials.

Andy studied at the University of Cambridge for his undergraduate degree and PhD and subsequently worked at Rutgers University (USA), the University of Cambridge and then, for more than twenty years, at the University of Birmingham. He assumed his present position in May 2020. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Professor Steve Bradley (Deputy Vice-Chancellor)

Steve Bradley is a Professor of Economics. He was educated at Leeds Metropolitan University and Lancaster University from which he holds masters 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, and the effect of employment protection on work effort.

Recently, he has, in conjunction with colleagues in the Department, completed a Nuffield Foundation-funded project evaluating the impact of the specialist schools policy on educational and labour market outcomes.

Professor Bradley's current research interests focus on the determinants of youth unemployment and economic inactivity for Britain, Italy and Spain, the effect of teaching quality on the educational attainment of secondary school pupils, and the analysis of transition behaviour in the adult labour market.

Oliver Robinson

Oliver Robinson, President of Lancaster University Students' Union

Oliver Robinson has been a member of the Council since his election as President of the Union in June 2019. Oliver is a Lancaster alumnus, who graduated with a First-Class degree in History, Politics and Philosophy.

(Current appointment to 25 June 2021)

He also serves as a City Councillor, following his re-election in May 2019, where he chairs the Personnel Committee. His role is to represent the student body on the Council and to ensure that Council members are made aware of issues pertaining to students.

David Barron

David Barron was born in York and attended Lancaster University between 1977 and 1980 where he read Accounting and Finance. After graduation he joined Thomson McLintock (now KPMG) qualifying as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Subsequently he attended business school at INSEAD in Fontainebleau obtaining an MBA.

David’s career has been in financial services, principally in the fund management sector.

(Current appointment to 31 May 2023)

Until 2013 David managed part of the UK business of JP Morgan Asset Management, sat on the Executive Committee and was involved particularly in managing senior client relationships, product development, governance and responses to re-regulation of the UK savings market.

David was until November 2019 Chief Executive of Miton Group plc., a listed fund management business, and became a non-executive director of Premier Miton Group plc. on completion of the merger between Miton and Premier Asset Management. He has also been a director of an industry trade association, the Association of Investment Companies. He is also a director of two listed investment funds.

He has sat on the External Development Board of Lancaster University and taken an active interest in the affairs of the University and is a member of the University Finance and General Purposes Committee.

He is married to Heather who was a physiotherapist, and has three children who have graduated in the UK.

Rt. Hon. Hazel Blears

Hazel Blears is Chair of the Social Investment Business and a member of the Advisory Council of the Impact Investing Institute. She is also Chair of Well Whitehaven, a regeneration project on the West Coast of Cumbria designed to help the community improve their health, education, and economic opportunities and outcomes.

(current appointment to 30 September 2024)

Hazel was the MP for Salford for almost 20 years and was Health Minister, Police and Counter Terrorism Minister and Secretary of State for communities.

She helped take the Social Value Act through Parliament and remains deeply involved in Social Value Policy and Practice.

Hazel lives in Grange over Sands and is a champion for the campaign to Save Grange Lido. She is a Trustee of the Carlisle Youth Zone and committed to supporting Arts and Culture to drive regeneration across Cumbria.

Hanah Burgess

Hanah Burgess became a lay member of the Council in 2020.

After reading Geography at Oxford University Hanah joined PwC in 1997 where she qualified as a chartered accountant. She then went on to work in the financial services sector before taking on a senior finance and business development role at ITV.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2023)

Hanah has spent the last ten years working for large UK charities leading on finance, governance and strategy. Hanah sits on the boards of two charities: the international children’s development charity, Plan International UK, where she also chairs the audit, finance and risk committee; and Affinity Trust, which provides support to people with learning disabilities to live as independently as possible.

Anthony Carey

Anthony Carey is a Partner and UK Head of Board Practice at Mazars, the international accountancy firm.

Anthony is a chartered accountant and chartered director and has been actively involved in the higher education sector for a number of years.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2023)

Prior to joining the Council of Lancaster University, Anthony was chair of the audit committee at Cranfield University and was also previously chair of the Finance Committee at the Higher Education Academy. Other past appointments include membership of the FRC’s Financial Reporting Lab Steering group and of its Financial Reporting Review Panel and of the Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Sir Ian Diamond has been a member of Council since May 2019. He is the National Statistician and Head of the Office for National Statistics. He is a statistician and was, for a long time, at the University of Southampton where he became Deputy Vice-Chancellor. He was subsequently, from 2003-2010, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council; from 2004-2009, Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group; and from 2010 -2018, Principal of the University of Aberdeen.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2025)

Ian has had a number of non-executive roles having been Chair of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, Deputy Chair of UCAS, and a trustee of WWF-UK and of Iona Cathedral Trust. He is currently Chair of Plan UK. He is a Board member of UKRI and of the First Minister of Wales’ Science Advisory Council.

Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson joined Lancaster University Council as a lay member in 2016. After a career in Law and International Business, he returned to Lancaster in 2012 and was Chair of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust until March 2018.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2022)

He was then appointed Chair of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay in April 2018 and is also involved in the development of Bay Health and Care Partners (retired 30 November 2019).

He was appointed Chair of Cumbria Health on Call Limited (CHoC), the provider of out of hours and primary care services for Cumbria, with effect from 9 March 2020.

His roles in the NHS and Council have come together in his chairing of the University’s Health Innovation Campus Development Board.

Marcia Reid Fotheringham, JP DL

Marcia was born in London and moved to New York, USA as a child; she was raised and educated there. Marcia attended Hofstra University, Long Island, NY, and graduated: BS Sociology 1976; MS Psychology 1978; and PD Family Therapy 1979.

Following university, Marcia moved to Massachusetts and worked at Emerson College, AtlantiCare Medical Center, Efficacy Research Institute and The State of Massachusetts. She held a variety of positions including: a clinical psychologist and family therapist, a clinical supervisor, a mental health director, a senior administrator, a facilitator responsible for providing therapeutic learning services, administrative management, focus groups, the distribution of state funds for residential mental health facilities, and became a quality management expert. Marcia also had a successful clinical private practice in Salem, Massachusetts.

(Current appointment to 30 September 2023)

In 1997 Marcia moved to Cumbria, UK. Marcia, along with her husband, was the owner/Director of two dental practices managing all administrative aspects including customer services, CQC, human resources and quality management. She became a psychologist/family therapist for NHS, Cumbria at Portland Square. She provided outpatient family therapy, within CAMHS and Psychology, working with referred children, family and adults with a variety of complex life and community issues. Marcia initially agreed to work for a year for the NHS; she retired 10 years later.

In 2001, Marcia became a JP. As a Magistrate, Marcia sits in the Adult Courts (crime) and Family Court Panels. She was an appraiser and Training & Development Committee Member. She became Carlisle Bench Deputy Chair; and was Chair of North & West Cumbria Bench. Marcia became the North West Regional Representative to the National Bench Chair Forum and National Representative to the Probation Sentencing Board. She took a year’s leave of absence while being Cumbria’s High Sheriff and had a most successful year promoting Cumbria and Cumbrians. Marcia retired as a Magistrate, after 20 years, in August 2021.

For 5 years, Marcia was a Board member of Safety Net (an agency providing mental health services and support to complex families with a history of sexual/physical abuse).

1997 to 2015, Marcia and her husband maintained two dental practices, as Directors. After 2015 to present, she and her husband continue being owner/director of one of the dental practices, in Alston, Cumbria.

In 2017, Marcia became a Board member of Tullie House Museum, Carlisle. In 2020, Marcia joined the Cumbria Victims Charity Trust Board, the Cumbria Community Foundation Board, the Multicultural Cumbria Board, the Cumbria Opera Company and the Grasmere Sports Board. She is the founder and co-chair of Cumbria Race Equality Network. And became the Patron for the British Energy Coast Business Cluster and AWAZ.

In 2020, Marcia became a Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria.

His Hon Phillip Sycamore CBE

His Honour Phillip Sycamore CBE is a former Circuit Judge, Tribunal Chamber President and Deputy Vice-President of Tribunals. He retired from full-time judicial office in March 2020.

One of the first Solicitor Higher Courts Advocates, he was in private practice from 1975 to 2001, specialising in professional negligence and regulatory/disciplinary work.

He was President of the Law Society of England and Wales from 1997-1998, becoming a Circuit Judge in 2001 and a Chamber President in 2008. In retirement, he continues to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge and as a Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2024)

He was a Senior Judicial Appointments Commissioner from 2014-2020.

His current appointments include:

  • Member of the Queens Counsel Selection Panel
  • Member of the Judicial Appointments Commission Targeted Outreach Programme (as a former Senior Commissioner)
  • Member of the General Dental Council’s Statutory Panellists Assurance Committee
  • Member of the Council of Lancaster University.

He is a Sports Arbitrator (Sport Resolutions (UK) Panel of Arbitrators and a Specialist Panel Member, Judicial Panel of the Football Association).

Maureen Whilby

Maureen Whilby joined Lancaster University Council as a lay member in 2022.

Maureen is an organisational, culture and people change expert having led significant transformation programmes for many Public Sector, leading UK and Global organisations. Currently Head of People Change at DWP Digital supporting major people transformation, enabling DWP to deliver critical systems and services through its people.

(Current appointment to 28 February 2024)

She is also a Non-Executive Director at a Multi Academy Trust in Manchester and a Trustee at Groundwork Greater Manchester.

Maureen is a Lancaster alumna with a PgDl in Business Law from the University of Law in Chester.

Valerie Young

Valerie Young has been a lay member of Council since 2014. She is a Chartered Accountant, a Chartered Tax Adviser and a Psychology graduate. Valerie was a Tax Partner at Dodd & Co Chartered Accountants until her recent retirement.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2023)

As the Staff Partner at Dodd & Co she was also ultimately responsible for HR matters. Valerie is a Trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation, and also assists a number of small local charities with financial matters. Valerie is chair of the Lancaster University Redundancy Committee, chair of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Strategic Reward Committee, the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Nominations Committee.

Professor Claire Leitch

Professor Claire Leitch was appointed as a lay member of Council in 2021.

She is currently Deputy Dean of Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), responsible for staffing, and prior to this was Head of Department, Department of Leadership and Management for three years. She led LUMS’s successful Athena SWAN Bronze submission, to embed a diverse and equitable culture in the Faculty.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2024)

She is an internationally recognised scholar in entrepreneurial leadership, with an interest in gender. Currently, she is leading a major EU project addressing gender inequality in management schools, placing the University at the heart of the European EDI agenda.

Alison Mullan

Alison has over 20 years’ experience working in higher education across a range of universities and in a variety of roles. She has worked at Lancaster University since 2013 and, since 2019, has been the Academic Registrar.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2024)

Alison holds 3 degrees, the most recent of which is an MBA in Higher Education Management from UCL, completed in 2013. Alison is a member of the Board of Governors at Winstanley College. She is passionate about the transformational nature of education and is committed to supporting people from all backgrounds to reach their full potential.

Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone

Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone is a Senate elected member, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine.

Prior to her appointment at Lancaster University Jo worked in a variety of university roles, including as a contract researcher, programme lead, Head of School, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact). Her research is directly concerned with improving patient and public outcomes and experiences.

(Current appointment to 31 July 2024)

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 also 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.

Gayatri Shewani

Gayatri is the student representative on Council.

(Current appointment to 24 June 2022)


Nicola C. Owen

Nicola Owen is the Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) at Lancaster University. Together with the Director of Finance, she leads the Professional Services at Lancaster. 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.

Nicola has been elected to the position of Chair of the Association of Heads of University Administration.

Prior to moving to Lancaster University, Nicola was Deputy Registrar at the University of Warwick.