Board of Governors

View of Steep Hill, Lincoln

The Board of Governors plays a central role in the strategic development and overall performance of the University. It has ultimate responsibility for defining the institution’s mission, educational character, and future direction, and for overseeing progress against the University’s strategic plan.

The Board of Governors is established under legislation and the University’s Instrument and Articles of Government. As the governing body of the University, the Board is accountable for institutional activities, taking all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern within its remit. The primary responsibilities of the Board can be found here - Primary Responsibilities.

As Chief Executive of the University, the Vice Chancellor is a member of the Board of Governors and is responsible for the executive management of the institution and for advising the Board on its strategic direction. The other 15 members of the Board include individuals with backgrounds in business, the professions, commerce, education, and the public and voluntary sectors. They are appointed on the basis of their understanding of and commitment to the vision and values of the University, enthusiasm about its development, the quality of their contributions to institutional governance and the independent and constructive advice that they can offer.

Board of Governors

Diane Lees was appointed Chair of the University’s Board of Governors with effect from 1 August 2018, having been an Independent Member of the Board since August 2014.

Diane is the Director-General of Imperial War Museums, the cultural lead for the Centenary of the First World War. She is a Trustee of 14-18NOW, the Centenary’s Cultural Programme, and a Trustee of the IWM Development Trust, the Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Trust, and the Army Museums Ogilby Trust. She serves as Vice President of the American Air Museum in Britain, is a member of the Women Leaders in Museums Network (WLMN), and sits on the Arts Council’s external advice panel. Diane also sits on the judging panels of the Museums + Heritage Awards, and the CMI Book of the Year. She is a member of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Experts’ Reference Group. In April 2013, Diane was appointed Chair of the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) and continues to serve in this role. In January 2015 she was appointed to the University of Oxford Humanities External Advisory Board. In December 2014, Diane was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to museums, and in July 2015, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by the University of Reading. Since May 2016, Diane has been chairing a review of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)’s Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund.

Diane also chairs the University’s Nominations Committee and Financial Sustainability Working Group; and is a member of its Remuneration Committee.

Professor of Public Law at the University of Nottingham, Stephen Bailey was previously Head of the School of Law between 1992 and 1994, and Dean of the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences from 1994 to 1998. Between 1998 and 2004, he held a post as Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Nottingham.

He is the co-author of books on the English Legal System and Local Government Law, and casebooks on Civil Liberties and Administrative Law. He is Editor of the Encyclopedia of Local Government Law.

Stephen served on the Board of Governors from November 2004 to December 2010, and re-joined the board as a co-opted member in August 2011.

Bio Coming Soon.

Neil is currently the Managing Director of the Service Business for Siemens in Lincoln. He was appointed to this role in July 2010 having previously been Marketing and Sales Director within the business since 2004. 

Neil was educated in Lincolnshire and then took his degree at Kingston Polytechnic, where he studied Aeronautical Engineering under a Royal Air Force Cadetship Scheme.  Following University, Neil decided to embark on a career in industry and held various engineering positions, firstly with Smiths Industries Aerospace Division in Putney and Basingstoke and then with European Gas Turbines in Lincoln. He then moved in to various sales roles, which have taken him all over the world and included positions with General Electric and BP prior to joining Siemens.

Neil is also board member of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership which was established in 2010 to improve infrastructure and conditions for business growth in the region.

Neil Corner joined the University’s Board of Governors as an Independent Member in August 2012. He is Chair of the University Honours Committee.

Sir Graeme Davies served between October 2003 and September 2010 as the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of London, a federal University of nineteen Colleges and the ten Institutes of the School of Advanced Study, and with a student population of more than 120,000. He had previously been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow from 1995 to 2003; having been Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England from 1991. Prior to that, Sir Graeme had been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 1986; and Professor of Metallurgy in the University of Sheffield from 1977, having taken up that post after 16 years in the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science in the University of Cambridge. As such he has played a key role in the development of policies concerned with the contribution which higher education institutions make to economic development through teaching and research and related activities, with particular emphasis on international developments in higher education including the utilisation of online resources.

Currently he is Chairman of the Foundation for Liver Research and of the NZ-UK Link Foundation, and Chairman and President of the British University Vietnam; a member of the Boards of Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur and the University of the Seychelles.

Graeme’s Fellowships and Honorary Fellowships include the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Royal Veterinary College, the School of Pharmacy London, Trinity College of Music, St George’s Hospital Medical School, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by thirteen universities.

Sir Graeme became a Governor of the University of Lincoln in September 2013.

Bio Coming Soon.

Zoe is a University of Lincoln alumna and a business owner in the city. Since 2010 Zoe has co-directed the multi award winning digital media agency Epix Media and in this time has passionately supported the business community by being involved in events and initiatives on both a local and national level, from running networking events to being integral in the development of a UK-wide youth engagement scheme for the Federation of Small Businesses.

 As well as being a company director, Zoe is a skilled web programmer and is currently Chair of the Lincoln Business Club. Zoe was appointed as an Independent Member of the Board of Governors in August 2016. She brings local connections and technical expertise to the Board with the aim of drawing the business community and the University closer together.

Professor Duncan French is Head of the Lincoln Law School, Professor of International Law and University PGT Dean. Duncan joined the University in 2012, having previously worked at the Universities of Reading and Sheffield. He studied at the Universities of East Anglia, Nottingham and Cardiff. His principal research interests are international environmental law and the role of international law in the promotion of global development. Duncan is often invited as a keynote speaker to international conferences, and has recently been working with the UN on a project improving State responses to tackling environmental crime.

In addition to his personal research, Duncan has seen Lincoln Law School grow since 2012 doubling the number of academic staff, strengthening its focus on research excellence and student satisfaction, introducing Masters programmes, and providing further opportunities to the students, including the addition of a study abroad option into the undergraduate degrees. He is passionate about bringing his own research into his teaching.

He was appointed as a Staff Governor in July 2017.

Diana Gilhespy joined the Board in July 2011 when she was Executive Director of Regeneration and Development at the East Midlands Development Agency. Prior to that she worked in the fields of economic analysis and regeneration in a number of sectors including local government, higher education, private consultancy and a national trade union.

She Chairs the Board of New Perspectives Theatre Company, is Deputy Chair of Nottingham Regeneration Limited and is a Governor of West Nottinghamshire College.

Diana is a member of the University’s Audit Committee.

Neil Gray is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience at partner level in national and regional firms of Chartered Accountants, and is currently Corporate Finance partner in Streets, Chartered Accountants based in Lincoln. He also holds the ICAEW Corporate Finance qualification. He specialises in Advisory and Corporate Finance services to owner managed and private equity backed businesses, advising clients in all aspects of merger, disposal and acquisition activities, profit improvement and succession planning to help clients in achieving their personal and business objectives. He has previously been Chairman of the East Midlands Urban Development Fund and holds a number of non-executive directorships including not for profit organisations.

Neil joined the Board of Governors on 1 August 2014. He is Chair of its Further Education Oversight Group; and Deputy Chair of the Audit Committee.

Neil Herbert is International Chief Financial Officer for Capital One, based in Nottingham. Capital One is one of the largest banks in the US and has been voted the UK’s best large employer for both 2013 and 2014 in the ‘Great Places to Work’ survey. In his current role, Neil leads the Finance function for Capital One’s UK and Canadian businesses and is a Board Director of a number of Capital One’s UK companies.

Neil has been with Capital One since 2001 in a number of leadership roles including UK Financial Controller and CFO for Diversified Businesses. Prior to joining Capital One, he held a variety of financial and internal audit roles in the retail and FMCG sectors.

Neil is a qualified chartered management accountant and has an honours degree in Economics & Accounting from the University of Durham. He has lived in Lincoln since 1997.

Neil joined the Board of Governors on 1 August 2014, also becoming a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Molly Jackson joined the University of Lincoln’s Board of Governors in 2011 and has been served as its Deputy Chair since 2013. She is also a member of the Remuneration Committee and Nominations Committee.

Ms Jackson recently retired from her job as Commercial and Finance Director at Southbank Centre, the largest single-run art centre in the World. Previously she was Trading Director at the National Museums of Science and Industry. In her earlier career, Ms Jackson worked for Pearson plc, with a number of roles in Pearson’s education businesses and as Strategy Director for the Financial Times Group.

Ms Jackson is a non Executive Director of Wellcome Trust Enterprises; and advises the London Transport Museum on its commercial strategy.

Jean Ker is Emeritus Professor of Medical Education of the University of Dundee, currently holds the post of Scottish lead for Clinical Skills and Simulation, and works as an external consultant in medical education. Jean founded the Scottish Clinical Skills Network in 2000. As part of the Scottish Clinical Skills Strategy she was appointed in 2007 as National Clinical Lead in the development of the Scottish Clinical Skills and Simulation Managed Educational Network which has developed national evidence-based online skills resources, a mobile skills facility which has trained over 6000 healthcare practitioners in remote and rural Scotland and provided seed-corn funding for many Research and Development projects.

At Dundee, Jean developed a medical education PhD programme and introduced a Masters in Simulation-Based Education for Safe Clinical Practice as part of faculty development in 2014; and was awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Contribution to Teaching. She has over 100 peer reviewed publications and is on the national and international editorial boards for peer reviewed journals on simulation and medical education. Jean has been an invited speaker at over 35 national and international conferences.

Jean has had the opportunity to work in medical education and primary care development in many parts of the world, on behalf of the World Health Organisation, British Council and the University of Dundee.

She was appointed to the GMC Advisory Board for Assessment in 2015 and was the Dundee lead for the successful ScotGEM proposal for the first postgraduate medical degree in Scotland in 2016.

Jean Ker joined the Board as an Independent Member in October 2016; and has been appointed as a member of the Audit Committee.

Kudzai Muzangaza graduated in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Kudzai was elected Student’s Union President in February 2017 and now leads the elected Student Leader Team, acting as the public figurehead of the Students’ Union and ensuring the full-time elected officers deliver their objectives and are committed to empowering the student voice at the University of Lincoln.

As Student Leader President; Kudzai has prioritised listening to students, and improving the current democratic structures to better represent student views to the University and the local community to make positive changes to the student experience here in Lincoln. Kudzai, hopes to empower Students’ through awareness of what the Students’ Union does for them and how they can have an impact.

In addition to his role as a Student Leader for the Students’ Union; Kudzai also leads the strategy for the charity as Chair of the Board of Trustees, and serves as a Student Governor on the University’s governing body.

Kudzai is a member of the Board’s Nominations Committee and FE Oversight Group, and of the University Honours Committee.

Jane Reeves is a Senior Counsel with the law firm Taylor Wessing. Previously, Ms Reeves was a Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel within the Compliance and Government Affairs functions of Thomson Reuters. In her earlier career, Ms Reeves took on a number of legal roles within The Thomson Corporation and Primark Corp. and was a solicitor with the global law firm, Linklaters.

Ms Reeves is a trustee of the Legal Education Foundation and an independent member of the Finance Committee of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

Ms Reeves joined the University of Lincoln’s Board of Governors in 2014, and is also a member of its Nominations Committee.

Karen Savage joined the Board as staff Governor in July 2017. She is Head of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at the University, and a researcher of collaborative and interdisciplinary performance practices. She has previously worked at the University of Portsmouth, and is currently an external examiner at De Montfort University and Buckinghamshire New University. She is committed to education alongside collaborative performative, media, and arts-based practices, and is currently on the Board of Trustees for Lincoln Drill Hall. She is also passionate about developing and supporting young people and women achieve through social transformation. She has worked with the third-sector to support youth and community groups in the U.K and also in Africa, to create sustainable opportunities within a variety of communities. Karen is also a convener for the Intermediality in Performance working group as part of the International Federation for Theatre Research.

Vice ChancellorMary Stuart Thumbnail

Tel (+44) (0) 1522 886100

Senior Executive Assistant

Linda Marshall
Tel (+44) (0) 1522 886100


Professor Mary Stuart is Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and the Open University where she obtained her Doctorate in Social Policy in 1998. Her research interests are focussed on life histories, social mobility, higher education students and community development.

Mary has a strong track record in all aspects of University management, having worked in senior roles in three different universities. Since joining Lincoln she has established and grown the first new Engineering School to be created in the UK for more than 20 years (in collaboration with Siemens plc) and successfully led the development of Science provision at Lincoln (including the Schools of Chemistry, Pharmacy and Physics and Mathematics).

Passionate about the student experience, Mary seeks to continually drive change and improvements in the partnership with students and the academic community, working closely with the Students’ Union at Lincoln.

Mary is currently a Board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Chair of HEFCE’s Teaching Excellence and Student Opportunity Committee, member of Universities UKs task force on Social Mobility, and Vice Chair of the Equality Challenge Unit. Mary is also the Founding Director of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) and a member of the Greater Lincolnshire Leaders Board. She is also a Trustee of Lincolnshire Bomber Command, a Director of Lincoln Science & Innovation Park, a Director of Lincoln Cultural Arts Partnership, Director of Brayford Trust, a Director of the Lincolnshire Foundation, the Lincolnshire Economic Action Partnership and Chair of the Members of the Lincolnshire Educational Trust Ltd.

Bob Whetton joined the Board of Governors on 1 February 2011, having served since 2009 as the non-Governor co-opted member of the University’s Audit Committee, which he now Chairs.

A professional accountant, Bob’s career has been in local authority finance and housing services, and he is former Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive of East Lindsey District Council. Since retiring, Bob has undertaken consultancy work for a range of clients, most recently as Project Manager to Bedford Borough Council on the implementation of new financial systems.

Bob has been a Board member of Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association since 2004 and has served as vice-chair since 2005.

For information concerning the Board of Governors please contact:

Lisa Baker
Officer to the Board of Governors
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool

Telephone: +44 (0)1522 886665
Fax: +44 (0)1522 886146

Marina Fox
Officer to the Board of Governors
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool

Telephone: +44 (0)1522 886690
Fax: +44 (0)1522 886146

Schedule of Meetings

Board of Governors 

All Board meetings start at 09:30

  • Thursday 1st February
  • Thursday 15th March
  • Wednesday 25th April
  • Thursday 28th and Friday 29th June: Annual Strategy Day (from 10.30 on 28 June, finishing with lunch on 29 June - with dinner and overnight on 28 June).
  • Thursday 26th July
  • Thursday 25th October
  • Friday 30th November

Audit Committee

  • Thursday 25th January
  • Thursday 10th April
  • Tuesday 19th June
  • Thursday 18th October (10am)
  • Thursday 15th November

Board of Governors

All Board meetings start at 09:30am

(All Committee meetings start at 2pm, but may be preceded by preparatory meetings)

  • Thursday 17th January
  • Thursday 7th February
  • Thursday 14th March
  • Tuesday 9th April
  • Wednesday 30th May
  • Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June: Annual Strategy Day (from 10.30 on 27th June, finishing with lunch on 28th June - with dinner and overnight on 27th June).
  • Thursday 18th July
  • Thursday 25th July
  • Thursday 26th September
  • Thursday 17th October
  • Thursday 31st October
  • Thursday 14th November
  • Thursday 28th November