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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 and Student Experience – Professor Deborah Gill

Vice-President (Education)
Professor Deborah Gill

Executive Assistant: Lucy Holder

Main responsibilities

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

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

Qualifying in Medicine in 1990 Deborah began her academic career in 1996 as a Fellow at Barts & the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry. She joined the Royal Free Medical School as a Lecturer in the Department of Primary Care & Population Sciences in 1997 and moved to UCL to take up a Senior Lecturer post in the Academic Centre for Medical Education in 2002. Appointed Deputy Director of UCL Medical School in 2010, she was awarded a Chair of Medical Education in 2015 and became Director in the same year.

As a clinical academic Deborah has combined academic work with clinical practice as a GP for over 20 years, only recently stepping down to focus on her senior academic role.

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.

Vice-President (Operations) – Wendy Appleby

Wendy Applyby

Executive Assistant: Christine Lee Wing

Main Responsibilities 

The Vice-President (Operations) leads the  University’s professional service departments.

This role ensures that our professional services facilitate the University’s realisation of its educational, research and enterprise ambitions.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

As Vice-President (Operations), Wendy Appleby 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. The Professional Services teams take pride in ensuring that UoS is one of the UK’s and world’s leading research-intensive universities.

Wendy has worked in higher education administration for over 30 years, primarily in functions related to education administration, student support, academic and institutional governance and most recently as Registrar and Head of Student and Registry Services & Secretary to Council at University College London. Before joining UCL in 2014, Wendy spent eight years as Secretary to Council and Academic Registrar at Queen Mary University of London, and has worked in a further five higher education institutions in London.

Senior Vice-President (Academic) – Professor Phillip Wright

Executive Assistant: Nikki Reed

Main Responsibilities 

The Senior Vice-President (Academic) plays a vital role in promoting and maintaining the University’s academic mission. This role chairs the Deans’ Council and has oversight of all academic planning across faculties, ensuring the alignment of resources with the University’s strategic goals. Providing a key focus on ensuring a ‘One Southampton’ approach to a range of strategic activities including championing the development of a Digital Strategy for the University, the role also provides academic leadership on people-related issues, enables closer engagement on major academic initiatives and champions the University’s portfolio of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary activity.

The Senior Vice-President (Academic) acts as standing deputy for the Vice-Chancellor.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

Phillip joined Southampton from Newcastle University where he was Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering. He also had executive board responsibility for digital activities and chaired the Digital Campus Strategy Group.

Recruitment of senior roles

- Vice-President (Education)

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.

Shaun Williams

Shaun Williams

Shaun Williams is Executive Director of Engagement & Advancement, responsible for the University’s communications, reputation, brand, digital, and philanthropy. Previously, he was Director of Corporate Affairs for Leonard Cheshire Disability, Guardian News and Media, and Carlton Communications plc, and was a Non-Executive Director of NHS Blood and Transplant. He is a former newspaper journalist, BBC Television Director, and ITV Producer.

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

Read the Travel, Expenses and Purchasing Card Expenditure - Financial Year 2020/21 


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