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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 Officer:


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).

Vice-President, International - Winnie Eley

Winnie Eley

Executive Assistant: Nikki Reed


Main Responsibilities

The Vice President International provides university-wide leadership for the international strategy and its successful delivery, as an integral part of Simply Better: The University Strategy.

Research, achievements and external responsibilities

Winnie has over two decades of accumulated knowledge and skills in devising strategy and developing whole-institution approach and associated systems in alumni relations and philanthropy; global engagement and representation; international education; institutional partnerships and reputation; and student mobility. She has extensive experience in leading and developing leaders and high performing teams, and has oversight of a range of diverse portfolios from scholarships (Chevening, Ford Foundation, Scholarships for Excellence and Ma and Morley Scholarships Program gifted by Jack Ma Foundation), science, creative industries, customer and information services, transnational education, marketing and communications, to high level policy collaborations.

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 - Ian Dunn

Ian Dunn
Ian Dunn

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.

Achievements and external responsibilities

Prior to joining the University of Southampton, Ian was Chief Executive of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, ran the corporate activities of the British Antarctic Survey and previously spent 25 years in the petro-chemical industry holding a number of senior positions.

Ian holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Sciences, an MBA, and in 2014 became a Master in Studies of Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University, with distinction.

Ian is a trustee of Education for Life (Holland), a board member of Antarctic Science Journal and Chair of Life Education Foundation (Tanzania), a small orphanage/primary school he and his wife founded in 2007.

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.

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 on a quarterly basis.

Read the Quarter 1 expenses report

Read the Quarter 2 expenses report

Read the Quarter 3 expenses report

Read the Quarter 4 expenses report

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