New Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience Appointed


February 19th, 2020

Following a national recruitment exercise, Professor Sarah Speight has been appointed as the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, succeeding Professor Sarah O’Hara when she becomes Chief Executive Officer of Nottingham Global Online in August 2020.

In her new role, Sarah will lead the University’s strategy to deliver an outstanding educational experience for every student in our community. Reporting directly to the Vice-Chancellor, and working across the University’s executive team, the role will offer strategic leadership and oversight for policies and activities to enhance teaching, curriculum, and the broader student experience, delivering recommendations, reports and advice to relevant University committees.

Confirming the appointment, Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said: “I am very pleased that Sarah will take on this role in representing our students’ interests at the highest levels within the University. Her extensive experience in supporting students at Nottingham, combined with her expertise in higher education pedagogy, make her ideally placed to ensure that all of our students receive an excellent education and are able to develop the skills and attributes they need for lifelong learning and fulfilling employment.”

Sarah said: “In my current position as Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, I am privileged to work with fantastic colleagues from across our University. I will be trusting in them to support me as I transition to the PVC role. Together, I hope that we can nurture the development of our students, but also the development of ourselves so that we can create a curriculum journey that empowers us all.”

Sarah’s disciplinary background is in European medieval history and archaeology. She completed her postgraduate studies here at Nottingham as a part-time student while working in the toy soldier industry. She then worked in adult education before becoming a degree programme administrator and then an academic. She is a Professor of Higher Education, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and both a National Teaching Fellow (2013) and Principal Fellow (2014) of Advance HE.

She is the recipient of a University of Nottingham Lord Dearing Award for excellence in learning and teaching (2006) and a Lord Dearing Fellowship (2011). She has held a number of senior roles at the University of Nottingham including Academic Director for the Nottingham Advantage Award and Deputy Head of the School of Education.

Following routine review and consultation, the Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West has also confirmed a second term of office on the University Executive Board (UEB) for Professor Jessica Corner as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange.

Professor Sarah Sharples will also have her role extended for a full five-year term with an expanded portfolio as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and People, chairing the UEB sub-committee on People and Human Resources.

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