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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 Beech is Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University. He has held a range of senior higher education leadership roles including 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. Nic is also an Executive Team member, and since 2022 the Treasurer, of University Alliance.

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 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Economic and Social Research Council (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.

Read more about Nic and the role

  • About the Executive

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

Professor Sean Wellington

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Sean Wellington is Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Prior to joining Middlesex, Sean worked at Oxford Brookes University where he held senior leadership roles including Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience). He has led on the development of innovative new partnership activity and worked closely with the further education sector. Sean has served as an External Governor of two general FE colleges and is currently a Trustee and Chair of Colindale Communities Trust (CCT).

Since beginning his career in the engineering industry, initially as an Apprentice, Sean has held teaching, research and leadership positions in three universities and roles with sector bodies including Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Office for Students (OfS). Recently Sean was appointed to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Panel, with responsibility for carrying out the 2023 TEF assessments.

Sean has taught a range of subjects in engineering and computing over more than thirty years. He is a thought leader on engineering education and led a review of the Engineering Council standard used for the accreditation of engineering degree programmes. The standard, AHEP Edition 4, better reflects the crucial role that engineers play in tackling societal concerns such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and there is a new expectation that graduates will adopt an inclusive approach to engineering practice and recognise the importance of supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.

In his role as Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Sean exercises strategic leadership and has responsibility for all academic areas. This includes line management of the new roles of Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Knowledge Exchange. Sean also line manages the Academic Deans responsible for the four London-based Faculties and is responsible for the development and implementation of academic strategies and strategic resource allocation.

Professor Carole-Anne Upton

Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Innovation and Impact

Professor Carole-Anne Upton is Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Innovation and Impact. She previously held the Chair in Drama at the University of Ulster and has more than 25 years’ experience as an academic, researching and teaching in aspects of modern and contemporary theatre, drama and performance practice, and has a special interest in directing.

With a background in languages, she moved from theatre practice to begin an academic career as a lecturer at the University of Hull, later becoming Deputy Dean of Arts and Social Sciences. Carole-Anne was the founding editor of a journal of ethics in theatre and performance and has published on translation for performance, contemporary Irish and Northern Irish theatre, and francophone and anglophone African and Caribbean theatre. She has served on various panels with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), Higher Education Academy (HEA) and JISC, and has been invited to review for research councils internationally. She was elected as an Honorary Life Member of the UK subject association for theatre and drama (SCUDD), which she led for a number of years, and has previously held board positions at Hull Truck Theatre and with a small health charity. Carole-Anne has been a role model for the Aurora Programme, supporting women's career development in HE, and is a mentor as part of the REACH programme, supporting high performing civil servants with disabilities. She is an academic trustee of the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and a Fellow of the RSA.

In her position as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Innovation and Impact, Carole-Anne plays a central role in leading the institution’s strategic growth and innovation as a global University. She provides strategic oversight of the University’s global profile across the triple intensity of education, research, and knowledge exchange and engagement, and shapes how our themes operate across the triple intensity, to improve our impact and repu­tation. Her responsibili­ties include line management of our over­seas Campus Directors, Strategy Theme Directors, and oversight of UK and international partnerships and interna­tional collaborations.

Paula Sanderson

Interim Chief Operating Officer

Paula Sanderson is our Interim Chief Operating Officer, having joined Middlesex in January 2023. Paula has expertise in higher education policy, regulation and leadership, in transformation and change, and in financial and operational management in complex, multi partner environments.

A chartered accountant with Master’s Degrees in tertiary education management and busi­ness administration, Paula has held senior leadership roles in higher education in the UK and overseas, including Managing Director of Falmouth Exeter Plus and Chief Operating Officer at Queen Mary University of London and SOAS, University of London. Prior to these, she was Chief Operating Officer and Registrar at University of Reading Malaysia and Director of Cen­tral Services at University of Sydney Libraries. Paula is a Teaching Fellow at University of Bath, where she is also undertaking a DBA in Business Administration (Higher Education Management), focusing on inclusive development/decoloniality in the internationalisation of the higher education sector. Early in her career, Paula held Principal Accountant and Senior Audit roles in Local Government, such as at Plymouth City Council.

As Interim Chief Operating Officer, Paula has responsibility for Student and Legal Affairs; Academic Registry; Student Recruitment and Marketing; Facilities; Strategy and Insight; the Clerk to the Board; Project Portfolio Management and Estates; and, temporarily, our Computing and Communications Systems Service.

John McGuinness

Chief Officer for People and Culture

John McGuinness is our Chief Officer for People and Culture, having joined Middlesex University as Deputy HR Director in March 2007. John was promoted to Director of HR in 2010.

Previously, John worked as Head of Employment Strategy at Camden Council where he held a range of operational and strategic HR roles. Key achievements during his time at Camden were leadership of the single status pay and grading review and the modernisation of the Council’s senior pay and reward structures. Prior to this John worked in senior HR posts at Islington Council and the Department of Transport where he commenced his career in HR in the 1992. During this time, he held responsibility for areas as diverse as staff communications, equality and diversity, staff development, employee relations and best value reviews. John has an MA in Human Resource Management, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and a BSc in Psychology.

As Chief Officer for People and Culture, John is responsible for leading the organisational and workforce development needed to achieve our Strategy 2031. Working with University Executive Team colleagues and our senior managers, he leads this work with the objective of also enhancing staff wellbeing and engagement across the University. John provides strategic leadership for our people management and development through the implementation of our People and Culture strategy. The Human Resource Service covers HR management, HR partnering, staff development, equality, diversity and inclusion, and wellbeing.

Dr Mariana Dodourova

Joint Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience

Dr Mariana Dodourova is Joint Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience, and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Enterprise and Innovation at Middlesex University, having previously held the role of Academic Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law.

Mariana holds a PhD in Business, a MSc in International Business, and a BA in International Trade & Investment. She has occupied a variety of roles spanning most academic activities, and developed and taught a variety of courses at every level in the fields of Strategic Management, Innovation Management, International Business and Research Methods for Business. Her research interests are focused on Innovation Management, Organisational Networks and Collaboration, and her work has been published in journals and presented in conferences internationally. Mariana has conducted funded research in the ICT industries, the UK creative industries, and the European automotive industry, and has been an invited speaker to a number of innovation-focused events. She has successfully led to PhD completion several doctoral students and currently continues supervising doctoral students in the Faculty of Business & Law, Middlesex University. She is a member of the London Chambers of Commerce’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Committee, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

In her role as Joint Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience, Mariana line-manages MDXworks, the University’s Careers and Employability Service, to lead meaningful engagement with key stakeholders and maximise employability opportunities for our students. She is leading a review of existing and potential delivery models that ensure high educational quality, financial sustainability, and regulatory compliance, and works very closely with the University Faculties and professional services to support excellent student outcomes, education and student experience. Mariana reports to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Dr Tenia Kyriazi

Joint Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience

Dr Tenia Kyriazi is Joint Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience. Tenia is also the Deputy Director for Academic Operations at Middlesex University Dubai, having joined our Campus in Dubai in 2013, as a Senior Lecturer in Law and appointed as Campus Programme Coordinator for Law and Politics Programmes in 2014.

She is an Associate Professor of Law and holds a PhD in International Law (University of Athens), an LLM in International Law with International Relations (University of Kent), an LLB (University of Athens), and a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (Middlesex University). Tenia is a Principal Fellow of Advance HE. She qualified as an attorney-at-law in Greece (Athens Bar Association), is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (CIArb) and a member of the Steering Committee of the Network of Women Academics in the UAE. Tenia also sits in the Arbitration Working Group, advising the Chief Justice of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts. Tenia’s research interests include International Human Rights Law, International Organisations, International Judicial Organs, and Legal Education. Her work has been published in many peer reviewed journals.

In her role as Joint Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience, Tenia chairs the Learning and Teaching Committee, leads all NSS-related initiatives and the Learning Framework Review. She line-manages the Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement (CAPE) and works very closely with the Faculties’ Deputy Deans to foster excellence in teaching and learning and improve student experience. Tenia reports to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Anne Boddington

Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Exchange

Professor Anne Boddington is the Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, having joined Middlesex University in January 2023. Anne has a distinguished track rec­ord in research and impact, education, and engagement, with a particular interest in stimulat­ing sustainable and social innovation and interdisciplinary research with, between and across life, health, physical and social sciences.

Educated as an architect, urbanist and later as a cultural geographer, Anne has held senior leadership roles in higher education including at the University of Brighton. Previous roles include Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Business and Innovation at Kingston University, and Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 Sub-Panel Chair for Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory. Prior to this, Anne served on REF 2014 and Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, and as a member of the AHRC Advisory Board.

Anne is particularly interested in organisational design, career development, and quality assurance and enhancement in teaching, research, and impact. She has a breadth of international and governance experience and is currently Deputy Chair, and a Trustee, of the Design Council, Chair of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) National Interdisciplinary Circu­lar Economy Research (NICER) Advisory Board, and a member of the Scientific Committee for the Innovation and Technology Commission for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

In her role as Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Anne reports directly to the Provost. She provides strategic leadership, and has responsibility and accountability, for the development, implementation and monitoring of the University’s strategy for Re­search and Knowledge Exchange. Anne reports to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

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

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