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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

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell


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 Rod Coombs, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor


Professor Rod Coombs became Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester on 1 August 2010. In this role he supports the President and Vice-Chancellor across the full-range of functions and responsibilities involved in the management and direction of the University.

He was previously Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Economic Development, and has international experience of innovation, technological change and commercial development.

Rod was a member of the working group that recommended the merger of the two institutions, and has a long association with both. He holds a PhD and MSc from the Victoria University of Manchester, and after two years as a research associate, began his academic career in 1979 as Lecturer in Innovation in the Management School at UMIST.

He became Professor of Technology Management at UMIST in 1993.

Rod retires as Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in autumn this year. He will be succeeded by Professor Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8860

Chancellor, Tom Bloxham


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

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


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

Pro-Chancellor, Gillian Easson


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

Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, Will Spinks


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 Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences


In his role as Vice-President, Professor Colin Bailey 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 whilst maintaining its distinctiveness.

Colin joined The University of Manchester in 2002, as Professor of Structural Engineering. He previously worked for the design consultants Lovell Construction, Cameron Taylor Bedford, and Clarke Nicholls Marcel, where he designed and supervised the construction of a number of concrete, steel and masonry structures. He has also worked for the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), where his practical and research experience resulted in significant developments in structural engineering design.

Colin's main specialties are fire safety engineering of structures, membrane action, wind loading, and steel-concrete composite systems. He is author of over 100 research papers and practical design guides. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE), a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers (FIStructE), and a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE).

He has established a pre-eminent global position in the field of structural fire engineering and has been the lead expert in reviewing the structural fire design on a number of iconic buildings in London, including the Shard, the Pinnacle, Heron Tower and Leadenall. He has also been an expert involved in explaining the collapse of the World Trade Centre 7 Building in 2001 following the terrorist attack. 

Colin became Head of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering in September 2007, and in May 2009 he took up the position of Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

As Dean, Colin is responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of the Faculty, which has an income of over £207 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, whilst ensuring that operational processes are efficient and effective. He has been responsible for turning an operating deficit of £14.6 million into a £6.9 million surplus within his first two years, which has risen to a steady state operating surplus of over £10 million, while providing leadership to increase the quality of engineering and science across the board.

Colin graduated from the University of Sheffield with a First Class degree in Civil and Structural Engineering. He was also awarded a PhD in Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering from the University of Sheffield following his studies into the behaviour of buildings subjected to fire conditions. He has been awarded eight prizes for his research work.

Colin has been appointed Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, to succeed Professor Rod Coombs, who retires this autumn. He will take up the appointment when his successor is in post.

The University of Manchester, B1, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, Manchester M60 1QD
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 9111
Fax: +44 (0) 161 306 9109

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 Ian Jacobs, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences


The University of Manchester appointed Professor Ian Jacobs as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences in March 2011. He is also Head of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC).

Ian joined the University from University College London (UCL) where he was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Biomedicine and Research Director of the UCL Partners Academic Health Science Centre.

Before becoming Dean at UCL in 2009, Ian established and directed the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, was Director of the University College London Hospitals (UCLH)/UCL Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, and Director of Research and Development at UCLH/UCL.

He specialised clinically as a surgical gynaecological oncologist and now focuses his clinical role on cancer screening and risk prediction. He directs a laboratory and clinical research team with grant awards worth more than £25 million from the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health. This work is focused on genetics, epidemiology, proteomics and biomarkers in risk assessment, detection and screening for gynaecological cancer and has recently been awarded a new five-year CRUK programme.

He is principal investigator on several large multicentre clinical trials, including the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening, a randomised trial of ovarian cancer screening involving 202,000 women in the UK, and the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study.

Ian founded the Gynaecological Cancer Research Fund in 1985, which has developed into the Eve Appeal and has generated millions of pounds of charitable research funding. He is currently Medical Advisor to the Eve Appeal, a consultant to Becton Dickinson, a non-executive director of Abcodia Ltd and Chair of the Uganda Women's Health Initiative, which has led a series of projects in neonates, obstetrics and cancer in Uganda.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 0112