Movers and Shakers February 2019

Professor Robert Van de Noort will be the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading. The appointment will take place with immediate effect. Professor Van de Noort joined the University in 2014 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning and Resources, and was appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor in September 2018 following the departure of Sir David Bell.

Professor David Whitaker has been appointed head of the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University. Professor Whitaker joined Cardiff University in July 2015 and in March last year he became acting head of the School of Healthcare Sciences.

Hereford’s new university has announced a new professor who has been appointed as provost and chief academic officer. Professor Martin Gillie, a former civil engineering professor at the University of Warwick, will be taking the lead on all academic matters at the New Model in Technology & Engineering.

Roderick Watkins has been announced as Anglia Ruskin University’s new Vice-Chancellor. Professor Watkins has been appointed after playing a significant role in shaping 10-year strategy in his role of Acting Vice Chancellor and will now fill the position on a permanent basis.  His first day in office was on Monday 11 February.

Professor Jon Timmis has been appointed as the University of Sunderland’s new Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Commercial). Professor Timmis will take up the role in May from his current role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange at the University of York.

The University of Southampton has announced its interim Vice-Chancellor when Professor Sir Christopher Snowden retires on 8 March. Professor Mark Spearing, who currently holds the position of Vice President for Research and Enterprises, will assume the position of President and Vice-Chancellor on 9 March, until a permanent successor to Professor Snowden is appointed.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) has announced the appointment of Caroline Harrison as Chief Finance Officer. Caroline will join the ACU in May 2019 from her current role as Director of Finance and Planning at Richmond, The American International University in London.

The Royal Academy of Arts has appointed the director of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum to succeed Sir Charles Saumarez Smith in its top job. Axel Rüger, a Cambridge University graduate who also worked at the National Gallery, will take up the role as chief executive of the revered cultural institution in June.

Sheffield Hallam University’s world-leading Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) has appointed Professor Rob Copeland, a chartered sport and exercise psychologist and professor of physical activity and health at Sheffield Hallam University as its new director to drive its mission to improve the health of the nation.

Professor Colin Bain has been appointed as Vice-Provost (Research) at Durham University. Colin is currently the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces (SOFI) and will take up his new role in August 2019, following the decision of current Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Claire Warwick to step down.

Professor Robert Mokaya has been appointed interim Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, taking up the role from 1 March 2019. Robert is Professor of Materials Chemistry in the School of Chemistry and has previously served as Associate PVC for Global Engagement (2016 – 2018). The role is an interim appointment while the substantive Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Professor Nick Miles, acts as Interim Provost of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC).

Imperial College Business School has appointed Joël McConnell as Executive Director for Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions. Joël McConnell, formerly the Director of Europe and Central Asia at IE Business School in Madrid, will join the London-based business school at the end of February 2019.

Professor Simeon Keates has been appointed Dean of Edinburgh Napier’s award-winning School of Engineering and the Built Environment. He moves to Napier after five years at the University of Greenwich which saw him manage a wide range of engineering disciplines and build links with major names in industry.

Professor Mark Searcey has been appointed as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science at University of East Anglia. Prof Searcey is currently Chair of Medicinal Chemistry and Head of the Schools of Pharmacy and Chemistry at UEA. He will take up the new role on the University’s Executive Team from April 1, 2019 when the current PVC for Science Phil Gilmartin moves to the University of Hull.

Loughborough University has appointed Nik Diaper as its new Head of Para Sport, the first role of its kind within higher education. Diaper is currently Head of Performance at the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and is due to take up his new role at Loughborough on June 1.

In HR-related news there has been a lot of movement recently in the sector including Alix Langley joining SOAS from House of Commons, Sally Marlow moving from Suffolk County Council to York St John University, and Margaret Bird who has been appointed as Interim Director of Human Resources at the University of Gloucestershire.


That’s all for now. We’ll see you next month for another round of Movers & Shakers. In the meantime, if you are looking for a new role, cast your eye over our current opportunities page.

Posted by Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Higher Education


With Spring well and truly sprung (can someone please tell the weather forecast!), we take stock of the current landscape of Senior Recruitment within HE and certainly it has not been without its challenges of late.

Join us as we take a snapshot of the big topics affecting HE Leadership and Talent Acquisition.

Higher Education


The winners of the AUDE Awards for 2024 were announced at the association’s annual conference at Northumbria University on 17 April 2024. As ever the standard of the nominations was so strong, and to find one winner amongst such high quality submissions was extremely tough for our judges. Nevertheless a winner there must be, and in eight categories! Every single participant should be very proud, for the work done as well as the initiative and energy and drive shown, and we hope they will feel boosted for the whole of the coming year by the acknowledgement from their peers of the great work involved. Gold, silver and bronzes prizes were awarded as shown below