Professor Katherine Linehan appointed as new Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and People


September 28th, 2021

Professor Katherine Linehan will become the university’s new Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and People, joining us from the University of Sheffield to take up the role from 1 January 2022.

As PVC EDI&P, Professor Linehan will hold a University Executive Board position with responsibility for driving equality, diversity and inclusion policy and initiatives across the university. Her role will champion support for staff and students with protected characteristics and continue to tackle the challenges we face, for example, in the gender pay gap for staff and closing the attainment gap for black and minority ethnic students.

Katherine is currently Professor of Anatomical Education at the University of Sheffield, leading the Anatomy team in the School of Biosciences and as Director for EDI for its Faculty of Science. In addition, she is the deputy EDI lead for the institution as a whole, supporting the work of the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gill Valentine.

She chairs the institution’s Gender Equality Committee, securing the Silver Athena SWAN award for it in 2018, and is now working on its bid for Gold status. Katherine also led Sheffield’s response to the UKRI and EPSRC Race Equality Initiative and the diversification of the curriculum across her Faculty.

Katherine’s appointment was announced as the university also confirmed that Dr Nagamani Bora, Programme Director in the School of Biosciences, has been appointed as academic lead on action to tackle the degree awarding gap, as well as convener for a new anti-racism module to be offered to new students as they join the university. Professor Robert Mokaya, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement will lead EDI responsibilities for the University Executive Board until Katherine takes up role in January.

Confirming the appointment, Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said:

“Equality, diversity and inclusion is of crucial importance to our people, our culture and our success as a university. I am delighted that we have secured Professor Linehan in this role as part of our executive leadership team. Katherine brings extensive academic, people and leadership experience in both her academic field and in her work spearheading equality, diversity and inclusion at Sheffield.

I know she will build on the excellent work of her predecessor, Professor Sarah Sharples, and bring a renewed focus in demonstrating just how powerful and creative diverse groups can be in solving our institutional challenges.”

Professor Katherine Linehan said:

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take on this vital role in supporting students and staff across the university. My ambition is to create a diverse and inclusive staff and student community in which all are given equal opportunity to thrive and showcase their talents. I want to foster an environment in which everyone feels comfortable and valued bringing their authentic self to the university to work or to study. I am committed to making sure the actions set out in the university’s EDI Strategic Delivery Plan and Race Equality Charter Action Plan are implemented at pace to drive real cultural change across the institution.

Professor Katherine Linehan, new PVC for EDI&P

“I am very passionate about taking my own lived experience as a disabled woman with caring responsibilities in academia and using it to drive effective, positive change for those that come after me in their careers. Having achieved this effectively across large parts of the University of Sheffield by influencing institutional policy, practices and culture I now very much welcome the opportunity to lead a similar transformational change at Nottingham.”

A graduate of the University of Sheffield, Professor Katherine Linehan attained her PhD at the University of Hull and started her career in academia with teaching and research roles at the University of Liverpool. She joined the University of Sheffield in 2003, undertaking senior teaching roles before becoming Professor of Anatomical Education in 2019.

As an educator, Katherine has designed her classes to appeal to all learners, irrespective of their ethnic, social or academic background, and created a new Anatomy curriculum at the University of Sheffield to promote a positive learning environment where the contribution of the individual is valued irrespective of the size of the cohort.

She is also passionate about the potential for digital teaching and learning, acting as consultant to leading digital learning provider Primal Pictures and developing award-winning MOOCs. Katherine has been recognised for this work with a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy.

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