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

Bio Coming Soon.

Kathy Armour

Biography Coming Soon.

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.

Image for Myrtle Dawes

Myrtle Dawes is a chemical engineer and business leader who has been in the energy sector for over 25 years.  She has worked extensively in the Oil and Gas Sector covering engineering, process safety, capital projects, and operations.  Myrtle was appointed as an Independent Member of the University’s Board of Governors in August 2018. She brings an external perspective to the Board with the aim of cross-pollinating ideas from other sectors. 

Myrtle is a recipient of many industry awards/nominations from the Institute of Chemical Engineers, Oil and Gas Authority and the BBB Awards for her work in collaboration, innovation, and infrastructure.  She has also featured in various publications such as the Evening Standard promoting STEM careers for young girls and women.  She is featured in the 100 Women to Watch Supplement of the Female FTSE Board Report. 

She has served previously as Board Member for the Institute of Chemical Engineers and is currently also serving on the Advisory Board for the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers. 


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.

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 Chair of the Audit Committee.

Neil Herbert is Global Chief Finance & People Officer for Salary Finance; a fast-growing, award-winnning financial technology (fintech) company with a social purpose. Partnering with employers, Salary Finance provides financial well-being benefits to improve the lives of working people and was named BITC's 'Responsible Business of the Year' in 2018.

Prior to joining Salary Finance Neil spent 17 years at Capital One, one of the largest banks in the US, in a number of leadership roles. He led the Finance function for Capital One’s UK and Canadian businesses and was a Board Director of a number of Capital One’s UK companies. Previously 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, he is Chair of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

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.

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. 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.

Zoe is a member of the Audit Committee.

Simon Morris

Simon was appointed as an Independent member of the Board of Governors on 1 January 2020. He spent 27 years in the Administrative Branch of the Royal Air Force before joining Keele University as Secretary and Registrar in 1997. During 14 years at Keele he was involved in the development of a new Medical School, a Science Park and a range of major estates projects including new build and renovation of Halls of Residence. Whilst at Keele he represented the University on a range of regeneration bodies in Staffordshire. He was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire in 2009.

On leaving Keele, he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services Limited in January 2012. Ombudsman Services is a private sector, not-for-profit, company providing independent dispute resolution for the Energy and Communications sectors. In his role, Simon was heavily involved in business development, marketing and liaison with government on consumer affairs. He retired from the role in December 2017.

Simon has carried out a range of non-executive roles, which have included Chair of the Staffordshire Community Foundation and Commissioner and Chair of the Audit Committee for the Marshall Commission, a non-departmental public body of the Foreign Office which runs a scholarship scheme awarding Masters and PhD places in the UK for American students. He currently sits as a member on two audit committees and is the non-executive director of an Internal Audit Company that specialises in universities.

Biography Coming Soon.

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 and Chair of the University Honours 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.

John Raine

John graduated from Cambridge University in 1984 and joined HM Diplomatic Service where he studied Arabic. During his 33-year career John served in Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Baghdad, and Islamabad and served at home in senior administrative and and operational roles as Director and Director General.  He worked extensively with foreign governments and with members of the UK’s National Security Community including the Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. ‌

John retired from Government service in 2017. He is a Senior Adviser for Geopolitical Due Diligence at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London and an adviser to HSBC. He is a director of risk advisory service, Palmer and Paling Ltd. He is a also Trustee of the HALO Trust and the Gerry Holdsworth Trust and a member of the Lincoln and Lincolnshire Committee of the English Speaking Union (ESU). John is a member of the Remuneration Committee and the University Honours Committee.

For information concerning the Board of Governors please contact:

Aaron Smith
Acting Deputy University Secretary
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool

Telephone: +44 (0)1522 886184