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Senior officer profiles

Unless otherwise stated, the contact address for senior officers is:

The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor


Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, FRS, President and Vice-Chancellor, leads by example.  Her own research in the field of neuroscience, which is ongoing, has contributed towards major advances in the understanding and treatment of brain damage in stroke and head injury.

She joined the Victoria University of Manchester in 1987, became Professor of Physiology in 1994 and held an MRC Research Chair from 1998 to 2010. Concurrent with her Faculty posts she has also held University roles as Vice-President for Research (2004-2007) and as Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2007-2010). 

She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in June 2004 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 2005 in recognition of her services to science.

Dame Nancy became President and Vice-Chancellor in July 2010, the first woman to lead The University of Manchester or either of its two predecessor institutions.  She was the founding President of the Society of Biology, a non-executive Director of AstraZeneca, co-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, a Royal Society Council Member, a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester and a member of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Board.

Dame Nancy takes a strong and active interest in public communication of science.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Professor Colin Bailey, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Colin Bailey

Colin Bailey is the University’s Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, supporting the President and Vice-Chancellor across the full-range of functions and responsibilities involved in the strategic leadership and operational management of the University.

Colin joined the University of Manchester in 2002 as a Professor of Structural Engineering. He previously worked for the design consultants Lovell Construction, Cameron Taylor Bedford, and Clarke Nicholls and Marcel, where he designed and supervised the construction of a number of building structures. He has also worked for the Steel Construction Institute and the Building Research Establishment, where his practical and research experience resulted in significant developments in structural engineering. His main specialties are fire safety engineering of structures, membrane action, wind loading, and steel-concrete composite systems. He is author of over 120 research papers and practical design guides, and has been awarded nine prizes for his research work. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers, and a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

From May 2009 until December 2014 Colin was Vice-President of the University and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.  As Vice-President, he contributed to the strategic leadership and operational management of the University as a whole to deliver its mission of becoming one of the leading universities in the world while maintaining its distinctiveness.  As Dean, Colin was responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, with an income of more than £270m, more than 10,000 students and more than 1,900 academic and support staff.  Between 2007 and 2009 Colin was Head of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 9111

Tom Bloxham, Chancellor


Tom Bloxham, MBE, is Chairman, major shareholder and co-founder of award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash, which has won more than 350 awards to date for architecture, regeneration, design and business success.

The University has played an important role in Tom's life: it was the reason he came to Manchester and why he stayed. Tom graduated in 1986 in Politics and Modern History, and in 2007 received an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Manchester. He is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University (2001), the University of Central Lancashire (2003) and the University of Cumbria (2010). Tom has also received Honorary Doctorates of Design from Oxford Brookes University (2004) and Bristol University (2007), and of Business from the University of Plymouth (2011). 

Tom is Chair of the Manchester International Arts Festival and is a trustee of the Manchester United Foundation Charity. In 2009 he was appointed by the prime minister as a trustee of Tate. Previously he was Founding Chair of the Centre for Cities Think Tank. He was also a director of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture Company, Chair of Arts Council England North West, a trustee of The Big Issue in the North and a member of the government’s property advisory group and Urban Sounding Board.

Tom was appointed MBE in 1998 for his services to architecture and urban regeneration.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Anil Ruia, Chair of the Governing Body and Pro-Chancellor


Anil was born in Mumbai and educated at Stockport Grammar. He gained a law degree from King’s College London and trained as a chartered accountant with Arthur Anderson before joining the family business. He is Chairman of Botraco Ltd. and a director at Warren Tea Ltd. India.

Anil chaired the Arts Council North West until July 2013 and is a board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. He was appointed High Sheriff of Greater Manchester in 2010 and has served as a magistrate at the Manchester City Magistrates Court for 20 years. In 2001 he was awarded an OBE for services to business.

Committed to the business, arts and educational sectors for many years, Anil is a former board member of the North West Development Agency, the Northwest Regional Skills Partnership, and the Manchester Asian Business Forum; past president of Manchester Chamber of Commerce; former chairman of the North West International Trade Forum and vice-chair of Manchester: Knowledge Capital.

Anil has supported the north-west region through his business experience as the former director of M2002 Ltd (Commonwealth Games) and chair of the Commonwealth Film Festival. He has served on the boards of the North West Cultural Consortium and Sport England North West. He has also been a trustee of National Museums Liverpool, a non-executive director at Granada Television Ltd and a governor of Manchester Grammar School.

Anil joined the Board of Governors in 2005 and was appointed as its Chair in 2010.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 3251

Gillian Easson, Pro-Chancellor


Gillian Easson started her career as a solicitor in Stockport 30 years ago and went on to become one of the first female prosecuting solicitors in the North West.

Gillian is Chairman of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which provides hospital services for children and adults across Stockport and the High Peak, as well as community health services for Stockport, Tameside and Glossop.

She was previously a non-executive director of the Christie Cancer Centre and is currently the first female pro-chancellor of The University of Manchester, a member of the University’s Global Leadership Board and Chairman of the Management Board of Manchester University Press. She regularly lectures, contributes to publications and has undertaken reviews on behalf of Monitor, the NHS foundation trust regulator.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Will Spinks, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer


Will Spinks took up his role as Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer in 2011. In this role he heads the administration of the University and leads the Professional Support Services. He is a member of the University Senior Leadership Team and is involved in University strategy and policy and provides advice to the President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior colleagues. As Secretary to the Senate and the Board of Governors he is responsible for University governance.

Before joining Manchester, Will worked both in higher education, as Chief Operating Officer at Loughborough University, and in the private sector in a number of senior appointments at ICI, Zeneca and AstraZeneca.

Will has a number of higher education roles nationally. These include roles within the Association of Heads of University Administration and in evaluating students’ unions for the National Union of Students. Outside of higher education he chairs two charitable trusts.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 2066

Professor Luke Georghiou, Vice-President for Research and Innovation


As Vice-President for Research and Innovation, Professor Luke Georghiou is responsible for developing and implementing the University’s research strategy, and for knowledge transfer activities and engagement with business. In this role he is seeking to raise the quality and ambition of the University’s research from its already high levels and to ensure that it makes an important contribution to the economy and society.

His own research on science and innovation policy, public procurement and foresight has been highly influential, particularly in the European arena. He has chaired and been a member of several high-level inquiries, including being rapporteur of the influential Aho Group report to European leaders, 'Creating an Innovative Europe'. His publications include articles in journals such as NatureScienceHarvard Business Review and Research Policy.

He holds a PhD (1982) and BSc from The Victoria University of Manchester and has been the Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research. Most recently he was Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Humanities. He also served two terms as a senate representative on the University’s Board of Governors.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 5933

Professor Clive Agnew, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students


As Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students, Professor Clive Agnew is responsible for strategy and policy development in this area. He aims to ensure that the University excels in all aspects of its educational mission.

Clive holds a Chair in Physical Geography. He researches and teaches in the fields of water resources development and applied hydrology. His first degree was in Physical Geography (BSc) from Newcastle University in 1976. His PhD was awarded in 1980 from the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia for work on water resources and drought in west Africa. He worked for his PhD at the CILSS/WMO AGRHYMET Centre at Niamey, Niger and has continued to work on problems of environmental degradation and water management.

He has worked extensively in both the drylands and the wetlands of Africa, Europe and the Middle East, developing strategies for the management of water shortages at local and regional levels. His most recent book, Water Resources and Development, written with Philip Woodhouse,examines stewardship of the water environment to give a balanced treatment of the role of environmental, social and political priorities in the allocation of water. Currently he is engaged in research projects investigating the management of water and ecosystems in the UK uplands, Bangladesh and Tanzania.

He was appointed to the Systems Department of the Open University in 1979 and, from 1981 to 1999, was a lecturer then senior lecturer in Geography at University College London.  In 2000 Clive was appointed as Head of Geography at Manchester and from 2004 to 2009 served as Head of the newly created School of Environment and Development (Including Architecture, IDPM, Geography and Planning). He was appointed Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students in 2011.

Clive continues to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students. In earlier appointments he has held various teaching management positions, including Director of Geography Programmes, Chair of Geography QAA, Director of MRes and numerous programme leads. He has written on interactive teaching for large groups and developing numeracy skills, and has held national positions as a curriculum and teaching reviewer and training facilitator. The three main goals of his current position are the enhancement of student experience, to support widening participation and to improve student employability. 

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 3654

Professor Stephen Flint, Acting Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Stephen Flint

Professor Stephen Flint took up the post of Acting Vice-President and Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences from 1 January 2015.

As Dean, he is responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of the Faculty with an income of over £270 million, over 10,000 students and over 1,900 academic and support staff. This involves developing strategic leadership in research, higher learning and social responsibility while ensuring that operational processes are efficient and effective.

As Vice-President, he contributes to the strategic direction and operation of the University as a whole to ensure that the University reaches its mission of becoming one of the leading universities in the world while maintaining its distinctiveness.

Stephen graduated from the University of Leeds with a PhD in geology in 1982. He then spent four years in the research laboratories of Royal Dutch-Shell in the Netherlands, working on sedimentary basins in active plate margins worldwide. In 1989 Stephen joined the University of Liverpool as a lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences, where he founded the Stratigraphy Group and worked worldwide in collaboration with many universities and national and international oil companies. He was appointed to a Personal Chair in 1997 and served as Dean of Graduate Studies between 2007 and 2010.

In 2012 Stephen moved his research group to The University of Manchester as Professor of Stratigraphy and Associate Dean for Internationalisation, where he led strategies on global research collaborations across the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Stephen has supervised 29 PhD students and 25 postdoctoral researchers to date and has published 120 papers and edited several books. He is particularly interested in unravelling palaeo-climatic, sea-level and tectonic records from the rock record. His funding base includes oil companies, the European Union and UK Research Councils but with emphasis on international industry funding, which currently includes the USA, Brazil, Australia, Norway, France, Denmark and Germany. He serves on the editorial board of Petroleum Geoscience.

Over the last two years Stephen has led Faculty research development team missions to Brazil, Colombia, India and Saudi Arabia, designed to grow the number of key strategic University and industry partners.

The University of Manchester, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, Manchester M13 9PL
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6971

Professor Keith Brown, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities


Professor Keith Brown graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1979 with an MA in Modern and Scottish History, and was also awarded a PhD there in 1983.

He was appointed Glenfiddich Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews in 1983 and went on to hold a number of fellowships there until becoming a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Stirling in 1991.

In 1995 he returned to the University of St Andrews as Professor of Scottish History and was appointed Head of the School of History in 1997. He became Vice-Principal (Teaching) for the University in 2001 and in 2003 was appointed Master of the United College, managing the overall academic operation of the University.  His remit was extended to include the role of Deputy Principal in 2006.

In 2010 he joined The University of Manchester as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.  The Faculty of Humanities is the largest of the University’s four faculties with 17,000 students, around 2,000 academic and professional support staff and a diverse portfolio of disciplines organised around the Schools of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Environment, Education and Development, Law, and Social Sciences, as well as Manchester Business School.

Keith is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His field of research is early modern Scottish and British History. He led the team that in 2007 launched the acclaimed online archive of the proceedings of the original Scottish Parliament, from its first surviving act of 1235 to its union with the English Parliament in 1707.

In recent years he has published a three-volume edited history of the Scottish Parliament and a monograph entitled Noble Power in Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution (Edinburgh University Press; 2011). His current work is on Scottish migration to England from the 16th to the 18th century, for which he holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Grant.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 1111

Professor Martin Humphries, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences


Professor Martin Humphries became Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences in September 2008, and is a Professor of Biochemistry.

Martin received his PhD in Biochemistry from the Victoria University of Manchester in 1983. From 1983 to 1988, he carried out postdoctoral research at the Howard University Cancer Center in Washington DC, and at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1988, he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship to return to Manchester. In 1995, he progressed to a Principal Research Fellowship and was a co-founder of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, which he directed from 2000 to 2009.

Martin's research aims to elucidate the mechanisms of cell adhesion. The interactions between adhesion receptors and their extracellular matrix ligands control the behaviour of cells and determine tissue architecture by regulating movement, orientation, growth and death. Adhesion also contributes to common human diseases, including inflammation, thrombosis and tumour spread. Martin's discoveries include pinpointing sites within extracellular matrix molecules that determine adhesion, developing these agents as anti-inflammatory therapeutics, determining the mechanisms of adhesion receptor function, and elucidating how adhesion receptors act as sensors of the cell microenvironment.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 5071

Professor Julian Davis, Acting Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences


Professor Julian Davis took up the post of Acting Vice-President and Dean for the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences from 5 January 2015.

Julian was appointed as Vice Dean with responsibility for research strategy development in 2013. He graduated in Medicine at Edinburgh University in 1978, and did his further clinical training in Edinburgh and Nottingham. He obtained his PhD and MD as an MRC Clinical Training Fellow and then Lecturer in Medicine, working with Professors Bill Hoffenberg and Michael Sheppard at Birmingham University, and moved to Manchester in 1988. 

He is Professor of Medicine at The University of Manchester and Consultant Endocrinologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary. He established the Endocrine Sciences Research Group, which gradually grew to become a Centre within the Institute of Human Development. His research is concerned with gene regulation in the pituitary gland and in the nature of cyclical gene expression in living cells, supported by Wellcome Trust programme grant funding since 2003, in collaboration with Professor Mike White. In clinical work in general endocrinology his special interest is in pituitary disease and pituitary tumours. 

He has been a member of Council for the Society for Endocrinology, and was Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Endocrinology during 2005–08. He was Chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Joint Specialty Committee for Endocrinology and Diabetes during 2004–06. He has been a member of the Wellcome Trust Physiology and Pharmacology Panel, and of the MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board, and has sat on the BBSRC Integrative and Systems Biology Panel.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 0533