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Professional Support Services Leadership Team

Here are the members of the Professional Support Services (PSS) Leadership Team:

Will Spinks, Registrar

Will Spinks

Ext: 52066
Office:John Owens 1.003

Will Spinks took up his role as Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer in 2011. In this role he heads the administration of the University and leads the Professional Support Services. He is a member of the University Senior Leadership Team and is involved in University strategy and policy and provides advice to the President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior colleagues. As Secretary to the Senate and the Board of Governors he is responsible for University governance.

Before joining Manchester, Will worked both in higher education, as Chief Operating Officer at Loughborough University, and in the private sector in a number of senior appointments at ICI, Zeneca and AstraZeneca.

Will has a number of higher education roles nationally. These include roles within the Association of Heads of University Administration, as a Universities UUK nominee on the Joint Negotiating Committee of the USS Pension Fund and in evaluating students’ unions for the National Union of Students. Outside of higher education he chairs two charitable trusts.

Will is married with three children and is a life-long supporter of Newcastle United.

Joanne Clague, Director of Faculty Operations Biology, Medicine & Health

Ext: 60115
Office: CTF 1.014

The current priorities for Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health are to work with colleagues on the Faculty Leadership Team to deliver the Faculty’s strategic plans for Research and Innovation, Teaching and Learning, and Social Responsibility. Further responsibilities include leading and supporting Faculty PSS colleagues to develop, deliver and embed strategies for the delivery of:

  • Robust governance, compliance and planning processes across the Faculty 
  • Effective research and business services to support the Faculty’s strategic funding initiatives and REF 2021
  • Improved student experience, employability and overall satisfaction - as measured by the National Student Survey
  •  Effective internal communications and engagement processes to improve employee satisfaction - as measured by the bi-annual staff survey

Joanne Clague was appointed Director of Operations for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health on 01 November 2017.

Previously Jo was Chief Operating Officer for the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), a post she has held for two years; and prior to that she worked as Director of Operations for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool.

A qualified chartered accountant, Jo is also a member of the Health Innovation Manchester executive management team and Non-Executive Director of Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where she chairs the Finance and Performance Committee. She is also Chair of Governors at The King’s School, Chester.


Sally Sykes, Director of Communications and Marketing

Ext: 58250
Office: John Owens LG.020

Sally is a public relations, communications and marketing professional with significant experience across the public, private and not-for profit sectors. She was appointed to the Board of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2006 and elected its President in 2012.

Sally joined the University from West London Mental Health NHS Trust and her other public sector roles have included working as an Executive Director of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (in London and Manchester) and also the Health and Safety Executive.

Sally has worked in a number of North West based organisations, including Manchester Airport as their Head of Press and Public Relations. She has also served as a member of the North West Advisory Board of the Business in the Community charity from 2006-2012.

David Barker, Director of Compliance and Risk

Ext: 55798
Office: John Owens Building 2.006

The current priorities for the Directorate of Compliance and Risk include ensuring that the University is compliant in all aspects of its operations, rolling out a new electronic process for the Disclosure & Barring Service and further development of the University’s risk management processes.

David also leads on the University's Emergency Incident planning and management processes and the University's response to the Prevent (and broader safeguarding agenda.  

Following a PhD in marine biology, David joined North West Water’s four year graduate general management programme, during which he also completed a postgraduate general management degree. He was part of the team that worked on the merger of NWW and Norweb to create United Utilities, spent time seconded to Manila Water in the Philippines (setting up a joint venture and developing what become the national management information system) and finished his career in the water industry in a clean water asset management role.

David joined The University of Manchester in 1999 as Development Officer in the then School of Biological Sciences.  He helped deliver core skills training to postgraduate biologists and then went on to be the first School Manager, which was a precursor to the new role of Head of Faculty Administration. Following three years as Head of Faculty Administration, responsible for all support services in the Faculty of Life Sciences, David took up his current role. Early on in this new role, David led the University’s response to the so-called “Rutherford Review”, which subsequently ran for some five years (see

Kate White, Director of Development and Alumni Relations
Ext: 52213
Office: John Owens Building 1.024

As Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Kate is responsible for generating income and volunteers to support the University’s core goals. This is achieved by developing meaningful and genuine relationships with our alumni and supporters, underpinned by inspiring engagement programmes, communications and events. The Division will raise £150m of philanthropic income over five years to 2020/21 and build a community of 7,300 volunteers by 2020/21.

Kate has been Director of Development and Alumni Relations since March 2016, and has 18 years’ experience in fundraising and communications. She originally joined the University as our first Head of Philanthropy for health in 2012 from cancer charity Bloodwise where she had worked for over ten years – latterly as Director for Fundraising. Kate studied at the University of Nottingham and Cass Business School.

Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities

Ext: 52255
Office: Beyer 3.1.2

Diana Hampson is a chartered surveyor and has been Director of Estates and Facilities at The University of Manchester since 1997, responsible for all strategic and operational matters relating to the University’s property portfolio.

During this time Diana has steered the Directorate through the merger with UMIST in 2004 and has successfully delivered the most ambitious capital build programme in the history of UK Higher Education, creating new high quality facilities worth £750 million. She is now leading the delivery of the £1 billion Campus Masterplan which was announced by The University of Manchester in October 2012.

The estate for which Diana is responsible comprises over 900,000sq metres of academic, administrative, commercial, and residential accommodation on 711 acres of land, mainly in the City of Manchester but also some locations further afield. 

Diana is currently chair of the Corridor Cross City Bus Working Group and the Corridor Estate and Transport Group. 

Stephen Dauncey, Director of Finance

Ext: 52145
Office:John Owens G.019

The current priorities for the Directorate of Finance and Planning and Procurement include delivering on the strategy to ensure financial sustainability, ensuring cash flow generation achieved to support delivery of Campus master plan and enhancing management account reporting and budgeting cycle to reduce timescale.

The Directorate's other strategic focus is on increasing the use of local SMEs and ethically sourced goods, improving strategic supplier relationships, and preparing for operations under the new regulators, the Office for Students and UKR.

Stephen Dauncey joined the University as Director of Finance in March 2016. He had previously served on the Board of Governors for five years and had chaired the Audit Committee for four of these. He joined the University from Highways England where he was Chief Finance Officer and a member of the Board. Prior to that, he was the Finance Director of the Highways Agency and as such was part of the successful transition from government agency to a publicly owned company (Highways England).

Stephen is a certified accountant (FCCA) and has a Chemistry Degree from Liverpool University. He has a wide range of operational experience, including Board roles at Magnox Electric and AWE Management Ltd.  He is the Chairman of Manchester Camerata.



Sinéad Hesp, General Council

Director of Legal Affairs and Board Secretariat
Ext: 56022
Office: 1.001, John Owens Building

Biographical details

Sinéad has worked for the University since 2010, focussing on employment matters and also with a wider involvement including governance matters.  Prior to joining the University, Sinéad had over 10 years of experience working as a solicitor with Mills and Reeve, LLP. 

The Directorate provides legal advice on all aspects of the University’s activities, including: Employment/HR; Information Governance; Student matters; Estates; Procurement; IT; State Aid; Transactions; and also provides the secretariat and support to the University’s Board of Governors.

Sinéad is a member of the Planning and Resources Committee, the Gift Oversight Group and other wide-ranging working groups. She advises the Board on legal matters and supports a range of initiatives and projects.

Current priorities for the Directorate of Legal Affairs and Board Secretariat

To provide legal support on a range of University activities and initiatives including:

  • Compliance matters, including information security/data protection, cyber security, FOI, health and safety and freedom of speech;
  • Disputes and litigation;
  • Employment matters;
  • Estates and Procurement issues, including development of the North Campus and Fallowfield Campus;
  • Information governance;
  • Intellectual Property;
  • IT modernisation;
  • Major corporate projects;
  • Manchester 2020 Programme;
  • Student matters.

To provide secretariat support and governance advice to the Board of Governors, Board committees, and General Assembly. Current priorities include:

  • Review of Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations following the 2017 external review of governance effectiveness (this includes a review of the current role of General Assembly) and liaison as required with the Privy Council.
  • Ensuring effective and optimal Board processes , including presentation of information, to facilitate Board oversight and scrutiny
  • Review and update of the University Policy Framework to ensure consistency and comprehensiveness
  • Effective support and facilitation of electoral processes to University bodies

Vikky Goddard, Director of Faculty Operations Humanities

Ext: 61102
Office: 176 Waterloo Place

Vikki Goddard is the Director of Faculty Operations (Humanities). She is responsible for the contribution of Professional Support Services to achieving the Faculty’s strategy, and for advising and supporting the Dean and Executive.

Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer at the University of Salford. Before joining Salford, Vikki worked at the Universities of Liverpool and Bradford, in a range of Professional Services roles including international development, quality assurance, research strategy and RAE management, collaborative partnerships and examinations, culminating in her role as Director of Planning at the University of Liverpool.

Vikki holds Masters and Bachelors degrees and is a Fellow of the Association of University Administrators. She is a member of the Leadership Foundation for HE’s Membership Advisory Group and HESA’s Data Landscape Steering Group. She was inaugural Chair of the HE Strategic Planners Association and of the Russell Group Directors of Planning.

Karen Heaton, Director of Human Resources

Ext: 52442
Office: John Owens G.027

Karen Heaton is the Director of Human Resources and took up post in September 2006 with the challenge of developing and implementing People Strategies to help make the University of Manchester one of the leading Universities of the world by 2020.

Current priorities for the Directorate of Human Resources include developing and embedding a performance orientated culture; improving the quality of leadership and management; develop strategies to motivate, engage and inform our workforce; to continue to attract the highest calibre of staff and develop a flexible, capable and competent workforce.

Karen has held a number of senior human resource positions including board positions in the not for dividend and private sectors. She is a Non Executive Board Member of One Manchester where she is also Chair of the Remuneration and Governance Committee. Karen is also a Non Executive Member of the Calderdale and Huddersfield Health Trust and Chair of the Workforce and Well Led Committee. She is a former member of the Prison Service Pay Review Board which is an independent body advising the Government on pay and terms and conditions for staff in the Prison Service.

Malcolm Whitehouse, Director of IT

Ext: 63541
Office: Kilburn Building G100A

The current priorities for the IT Directorate include developing develop a new Business Change Governance and supporting IT Strategy to support delivery of Manchester’s 2020 vision and delivering a major transformation of the IT Services Directorate, leading to improvements to customer service and organisational efficiency and capability

Malcolm Whitehouse CBE joined The University of Manchester in May 2016 as the Director of IT. 

He has over 30 years experience in IT, business change and transformation gained in a range of different organisations. His background includes Digital Transformation, IT transformation, strategy and architecture coupled with leading major change programmes in the private sector, public sector and the third sector

Malcolm’s recent roles include CIO for Royal Sun Alliance UK, CIO at Help for Heroes, Deputy CIO for DWP, and CIO for JobCentre Plus. He was one of the first Digital Transformation Directors in the UK for RSA in 2001.

He is a fellow of the British Computer Society and was awarded a CBE for services to DWP in the 2012 New Year honours.

Russell Ashworth, M2020 Programme Director

Ext: 50917
Office: MLG12, John Owens

As Director of Faculty Operations for the Faculty of Humanities, Russell provides leadership for, and management of, all administrative and specialist support services within the Faculty. Russell contributes strategic and tactical advice to the Vice President and Dean and to the Faculty' Senior Management Team and other Faculty bodies.

He is also a member of the University Professional Support (PSS) Services Leadership Team and contributes to the overall development of services across the University. Russell is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Group and the Faculty’s Senior Management Team.

Russell has worked in a variety of roles in Higher Education since graduating in 1987, and prior to joining the University he worked at Liverpool John Moores University and King Alfred's College of Higher Education


Jacqueline Henshaw, Head of Vice President & Vice Chancellor's Office

Ext: 63252
Office: John Owens Building 1.006

Current priorities include ensuring the effective conduct of Senior Leadership Team, co-ordinating and working with secretaries of key committees to ensure that discharge of university business is appropriate and timely. She also oversees the various discretionary funds, the President’s Fund and the Strategic Investment Fund and advises on awards and honours, including national honours and some national prizes.

Further priorities include enhancing the profile of the University within the city, the region, nationally and internationally through the delivery of a programme of engagement including externally with key civic and business leaders and other key stakeholders.

Dr Jacqueline Henshaw's early career was as a life scientist – studying in the UK and abroad. She joined the Victoria University of Manchester over 20 years ago and has held a number of diverse positions both centrally and in faculties. These range from the careers service, graduate office, and recruitment and admissions. She has held her current position of Head of the Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor for over 10 years.

Andrew Walsh, Director of Research and Business Engagement Support Services

Ext: 52069
Office: Research Office, 2nd Floor, Christie Building

Andrew Walsh has worked at the University of Manchester since 2002. He initially held the post of Head of Research Policy in the University Research Office and was heavily involved in coordinating the University’s submission to RAE2008 (and part-seconded to HEFCE as a panel secretary). In 2011 he was appointed to head up the newly formed Directorate of Research and Business Engagement Support Services (RBESS) and led the process to integrate a range of cognate, but previously separate, activities into a single whole.

Rachel Brealey, Director of Faculty Operations - Science and Engineering

Ext: 63769
Office: Sackville Street Building B1

Current priorities for the Faculty of Science and Engineering include the development of the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) scheduled to be operational by late 2019. The £300m new building and refurbishment project will result in a world-leading engineering campus which will transform the learning and academic experience for staff, students and visitors. On completion, MECD will house the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Materials, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The Faculty Office and The Central Teaching Block project.

Rachel graduated with a BSc in Clothing Engineering and Management from UMIST in 1993 having spent a year in industry which combined working as a buyer for John Moores in Liverpool and as a Textile Technologist in a clothing factory.

Rachel has undertaken a range of administrative roles at UMIST and the University of Manchester, starting in Schools Liaison and Recruitment and Admissions followed by seven years as Head of Planning at UMIST. Rachel initially worked as Executive Assistant to the Vice President for External Relations before moving to Corporate Services and taking on the role of Project Manager of the university web project. Prior to her current role as Director of Faculty Operations in EPS, Rachel was Head of Faculty Administration in the Faculty of Life Sciences.


Julian Skyme, Director of Social Responsibility

Ext: 52050
Office: 186 Waterloo Place

Current priorities for the Directorate of Social Responsibility include playing a lead role in the origination and development of the University’s strategy on social responsibility (in collaboration with the Vice-President and President and Vice-Chancellor) and providing expert advice, research and support to key members of the Senior Leadership Team – chiefly the Vice-President for Social Responsibility, the President and Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. 

Julian also leads on the annual Planning Cycle for social responsibility, the development and implementation of internal and external communications and marketing strategies for social responsibility and managing high-profile internal and external events relating to social responsibility, including annual Making a Difference Awards and a Community Festival.

Dr Julian Skyme is a qualified secondary teacher and spent his early career in a large state Sixth Form College as Head of Social Sciences and later as Assistant Vice-Principal/Senior Tutor. He has worked in higher education since 2001, becoming the University’s first Head of Widening Participation in the newly merged institution in 2004, and the first full-time Director of Social Responsibility in 2013.

Julian is passionate about the social purpose and benefits of higher education and has advised on a number of national policy groups and committees, including for the DfE, HEFCE, OFFA, UCAS, SPA and BIS. Locally, Julian represents the University on Manchester City Council’s Strategic Education Partnership Board and Homeless Partnership Board. He also volunteers as a Governor on the Board of Loreto Sixth Form College in the Moss Side/Hulme area and as a Director and Trustee of MACC – the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector support organisation for the city of Manchester.

He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, occasional musician, frequent cyclist, lifetime Manchester United and Wales fan, husband and father to two young children.

Simon Merrywest, Director for Student Experience

Ext: 51573
Office: Rutherford Building

Simon is responsible for managing many of the student facing administrative services at The University of Manchester, including student recruitment and international development; student admissions and administration; campus life services; teaching and learning support; residential services; and student development and community engagement.

Dr Simon Merrywest received a Bachelor’s degree in Anatomical Sciences from the University of Dundee and went on to complete a Neuroscience PhD at the University of St Andrews. He remained in St Andrews for several years, undertaking a variety of research, administrative and teaching roles in the School of Biology.

Simon joined the newly formed University of Manchester in October 2004 as a Research Business Manager in the Faculty of Life Sciences, progressing to head up the Faculty’s research administration and planning activities. Simon became Deputy Head of Faculty Administration in April 2007 and Director of Faculty Operations in January 2011. He took up the post of Director of Faculty Operations for the newly formed Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health in August 2016, before moving to become the Director for the Student Experience in October 2017.