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Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive Team

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

About the Vice-Chancellor

Professor Nic Beech

Professor Nic BeechNic joined Middlesex University as Vice-Chancellor in February 2020 having previously been a Vice-Principal of the University of St Andrews and Provost of the University of Dundee. He is President of the British Academy of Management, a member of the Council of the Academy of Social Sciences and a board member of London Higher and the Chartered Management Institute Race Network.

His academic background is in business and management and his research focused on identity, diversity, change leadership and learning. His work has been funded by AHRC, ESRC, EU, Nesta and industry partners and he was Lead Fellow of the ESRC Advanced Institute of Management. Nic has worked extensively with industry and over the last decade has focused on change and innovation in creative industries and the health service. He also led the national academic input to the current Scottish cultural policy and is currently working on methods of impactful engagement between practice, policy and academia.

Nic has extensive experience of leading international and blended learning. As well as many journal articles, Nic has published seven books and his next book on Impactful Research is due out in 2021. Nic has held visiting chairs in the UK, Europe and Australia and holds fellowships or companionships of the British Academy of Management, the Academy of Social Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts, the Chartered Management Institute, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management.

About the Executive

Our Executive is made up of eight leading individuals who report to and support our Vice-Chancellor to carry out our mission to transform potential into success.

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.

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

Articles of Governance

More detail about the responsibilities of the Board of Governors

Read the document

Professor Andrea DlaskaProfessor Andrea Dlaska

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Innovation

Andrea provides executive leadership to student success and the student experience and has within her portfolio the Academic Quality Service, the Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement, Employability, and Library and Student Support. She also has responsibility for the University’s three international campuses in Dubai, Mauritius and Malta.

Andrea came to Middlesex University from the University of Surrey where she held the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching. Previous positions include Associate Dean and Head of Department at Surrey, Director of the Joint Language Centre of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which she established in 2002, and lecturer at Warwick University.

Katie Bell

Chief Commercial Officer

Katie Bell

Katie is responsible for the strategic leadership, management and development of the University in relation to home and international student recruitment, marketing and communications, alumni and external relations, international development, and academic and corporate partnerships.

Katie came to Middlesex University following a career in brand marketing, innovation and strategic planning for Nestlé UK and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. Her role before joining Middlesex was Vice-President of Global Digital Marketing. She has also worked for several years in Portugal and Spain, and was the Dean of the European University Business School in Barcelona and Madrid. She is also a Non-Executive Director for UCAS Media.

Sophie BowenSophie Bowen

Chief Operating Officer

Sophie is responsible for the management and leadership of the Planning Unit, Academic Registry, Computing and Communications Systems Services (CCSS), Student and Legal Affairs and Governance.

Prior to this, Sophie worked at St George’s University of London as University Secretary and Director of Academic Administration and Quality. She also held a variety of roles at the University of Birmingham including Director of Student Services. Sophie graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA and MPhil (Research) in Sociology and holds an MBA from the Open University.

Sophie is Honorary Treasurer and Chair of the Development Committee of the Association of Heads of University Administration and a Director of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Mark Holton

Chief People Officer

Mark Holton Mark joined Middlesex University as Chief People Officer in August 2019. Mark’s role is to lead the organisational and workforce development. He is leading on the People and Culture strand of the 2030 Strategy and he is responsible for enhancing staff wellbeing and engagement across the University. Mark’s responsibilities also include executive leadership of the University’s HR and Business Enhancement functions.

Previously, Mark worked at Coventry University where, as a member of the Group Leadership Team, he held the role of Director, Group Organisation Development. Within this role, his portfolio included Leadership, Professional, Academic and Organisation Development across the University Group. Mark was also Executive Director of the University Research Centre for Global Learning, Education and Attainment, a Centre with global reach focussing on international, intercultural and equity arenas in education.

Prior to joining Coventry University, Mark held positions in Consulting, Retail and the Financial Services sector. This included key roles at organisations including Waterstones, Kingfisher Group and Nationwide Building Society. Mark has an MA in Human Resource Management. He has extensive international experience including, within Higher Education, delivery of programmes in China, South East Asia, The Middle East, West and South Africa.

James Kennedy

Chief Financial OfficerJames Kennedy

James is responsible for the overall financial sustainability, strategy and financial control of the University. He also has Executive responsibility for Procurement, Insurance, Estates, Facilities, Health and Safety, and Resilience.

James brings experience from senior financial and operational roles in the NHS and the private sector. James is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford in Engineering Science.

Professor Carole-Anne Upton

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean

Carole Anne-Upton

Carole-Anne is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange alongside her duties as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries. This includes responsibility for the Research and Knowledge Transfer Office, chairing the University Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee, and strategic oversight of Research Excellence Framework (REF) and Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) preparations.

Prior to joining the University, she was Chair in Drama at the University of Ulster. Carole-Anne has 20 years’ teaching experience spanning directing, space and performance, liveness and documentation, modern Irish theatre, French classical theatre, Beckett, avant-garde performance and African and Caribbean theatre.

Anna Kyprianou

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive DeanAnna Kyprianou

Anna is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences, which comprises the Business School, the School of Health and Education and the School of Law. Anna also has University-wide responsibility for promoting diversity.

Anna’s areas of specialism are organisational behaviour and leading and managing people with a particular emphasis on the virtual organisation. She has worked with the strategic development of organisations and their leadership and management teams for more than 35 years.

Anna was elected the Vice-President for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s Membership and Professional Development Committee and also sat on the CIPD Board from 2011 to 2018. She continues to work closely with the CIPD as a Chartered Companion.

Professor Sean Wellington

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean

Professor Sean Wellington Sean joined Middlesex University in April 2019 as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Sean, in addition to his Executive Dean duties, is Pro Vice-Chancellor for the wider campus experience, also a new cross-cutting coordination role. It includes Executive responsibility for Sport & Recreation and chairing the University’s Environmental Steering Group.

Since beginning his career in the engineering industry, initially as an Apprentice, Sean has held teaching, research and leadership positions in three universities. He joined Middlesex from Oxford Brookes University where he held various senior leadership roles.

Sean has taught a range of subjects in engineering and computing over more than thirty years. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Research interests include higher education policy and practice, digital signal processing and information fusion.

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