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The University of Southampton
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The University Executive

The role of The University Executive is to advise the Vice-Chancellor on day-to-day management and decision making at the University.

Members of The University Executive

Vice-President, Education – Professor Alex Neill

Vice-President (Education)
Professor Alex Neill

Executive Assistant: Lucy Holder


Main responsibilities

The Vice-President (Education) has University-wide oversight of all activities relating to education.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

Professor Alex Neill is a Professor of Philosophy at the University, specialising in aesthetics, 18th century philosophy (especially Hume), and 19th century philosophy (especially Schopenhauer).

Register of interests 2020

Vice-President, Research and Enterprise – Professor Mark Spearing

Vice-President, Research and Enterprise
Professor Mark Spearing

Executive Assistant: Fiona Wright


Main responsibilities

The Vice-President (Research and Enterprise) has University-wide oversight of all research and enterprise activities. This includes overall responsibility for: the research and enterprise strategy, funding, research governance, research quality, the Concordat for Early Career Researchers, engagement with external parties, intellectual property and 'spin-out' companies. The Vice-President (Research and Enterprise) works closely with the Vice-President (Education) on overseeing doctoral student development.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

Professor Mark Spearing is a Professor of Engineering Materials, whose research and educational interests focus on materials, solid mechanics, composite materials and micro-electromechanical systems. He leads the Aerospace University Industry Sector Team, is Chair of the Committee on Student Discipline and Chair of the Boards of the University of Southampton Malaysian Campus and Southampton International Singapore Ltd.

Professor Spearing is a member of the Technology Advisory Group of the UK Aerospace Technology Institute, is a Trustee of the Faraday Institution and chair of the Fellowship Evaluation Panel for the Singapore National Research Foundation. He is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and EPSRC’s Capital Equipment Strategic Advisory Team.

He was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award for 2004-2009. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Chief Operating Officer - Richard Middleton

Richard Middleton
Richard Middleton

Executive Assistant: Christine Lee Wing


Main Responsibilities 

The Chief Operating Officer provides leadership to the University’s professional service departments.

This role ensures that our professional services support the University in realising its educational, research and enterprise ambitions.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

As Chief Operating Officer Richard Middleton provides leadership and strategic accountability for the University’s professional services, for UoS’s 23,000 students and 6,000 staff on its 6 campuses in the UK and 1 in Malaysia.  Professional Services teams take pride in ensuring that UoS is one of the UK’s and world’s leading research-intensive universities.

Richard has worked in similar roles in several UK universities since 2007 – learning from many great management teams and contributing to their developments and programmes of change.  Previously he worked for the NHS in Leicester, managing A&E services and medical specialties.  Richard also worked in the Northern Ireland HSS, managing professional support services.

For 14 years after leaving university Richard worked for charities supporting single homeless people in central London, including political campaigning, advocacy and practical support.

Richard gained a first in Mathematics with Language BSc (Hons), a distinction in Archaeology (MA) and an MBA.   He has always enjoyed cycling, and walking in the hills and mountains.

Recruitment of senior roles

The University is currently recruiting for the following posts:

- Senior Vice-President (Academic)

- Vice-President (International)

- Vice-President (Operations)

- Chief of Staff and Associate Vice-President (Strategy)

Executive Director of Human Resources - Anne-Marie Sitton

Executive Assistant: Clare Hutton


Main responsibilities

Anne-Marie is the Executive Director of Human Resources as well as Secretary to the Remuneration Committee.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

Alongside her role as Executive Director of Human Resources, Anne-Marie is a director of the Universities’ Advertising Group.

Executive Director of Finance and Planning - Sarah Pook

Personal Assistant: Julie Shaw


Main responsibilities

Sarah is responsible for the department of Finance, Planning and Analytics at the University, as well as the stewardship of finances, budgeting and preparation of financial statements. She maintains the internal system of control and is responsible for the vision within the Finance department.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

Sarah is a CIPFA qualified accountant and also a chartered member of CIPD.

Kieron Broadhead

Kieron Broadbend

Kieron Broadhead is Executive Director of Student Experience at the University of Southampton. In this role he has responsibility for all of the non-academic student provision in the university, including international recruitment, relations, global mobility and student support. The role is also responsible for delivering the institutional strategy to drive forward the student experience at the university. Prior to joining the University of Southampton Kieron was the Director of Student Experience & Academic Registrar at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Our Vision for the future

Read about our strategy for the future

University Executive Board expenses

The expenses of all 13 members of our University Executive Board (UEB) are routinely published. The format is changing from quarterly to annual reporting during the 2019-2020 financial year.

Read the Quarter 1 expenses report

Read the Quarter 2-4 expenses report

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