Professional Services executive

Read short biographies for each director in Professional Services, along with links to full profiles and their professional service area.

Professional Services leadership team


Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Shearer West

Shearer West

Professor Shearer West took up the role of Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University in 2015.

Working closely with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Professor West serves as a member of the University executive team and leads areas of strategic importance to the University in the region, nationally and internationally. She has responsibility for delivering a number of the University's key aims and priorities, working collaboratively with academic and professional colleagues and students to shape a strong future for the University and all those who benefit from its work.

Previously Head of the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford, Professor West is an art historian and the author and editor of nine books and many articles. She has also been Head of the School of Historical Studies at the University of Birmingham and was Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Director of Corporate Services and Chief Operating Officer

Andy Dodman

Andrew DodmanAndy leads the University's Corporate Services, which includes Human Resources; Corporate Communicates; Development, Alumni Relations and Events; Global Engagement; Regional Engagements and Partnerships

Prior to this role, Andy was the Director of Human Resources, leading the HR strategy and service delivery with a focus on the attraction, growth and engagement of world-class talent. Andy is particularly passionate about the importance of personal health, happiness and wellbeing in the workplace.

Andy frequently provides advice to a number of other UK and international universities on leadership development, change management, wellbeing and executive pay. He also mentors a number of other HR directors.

Andy is the former Chair of the Russell Group HR Directors Forum, a member of The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) Advisory Group and member of the UHR Executive Committee. He is a Trustee Director of the University Pension Scheme and the co-founder and Non-Executive Director of the University subsidiary company Everyday Juice Limited.

His team has received external recognition for the breadth and creativity of their contribution, including from the CIPD, Universities HR (UHR), The Times Higher Education (THE), Employee Engagement Awards, Stonewall, Personnel Today and the HR Excellence Awards. In 2015, Andy was nominated as national HR Director of the Year. He is listed in the UK Top 10 of HR Magazine’s most influential HR practitioners for 2015 and 2016.

Prior to joining the University, Andy held several HR positions in the voluntary sector, housing associations and the NHS. Andy was educated at the University of Bath (BSc) and the University of Leeds (MBA) and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Director of Academic Services

Rob Sykes

Rob Sykes

Rob was appointed as Director of Academic Services in May 2017, providing overall leadership and coordination of a number of key professional services. Immediately prior to this appointment, he had been the Director of Operations in the Faculty of Social Sciences since August 2008 He is a member of numerous University bodies and committees including Senate, Council, Estates Committee and the Strategic Group on Student Numbers and Fees.

His previous roles include working in postgraduate student admissions, progression and examination, scholarships, research support and research management, during which time he held external secondments to the HEFCE and to the UK research councils, in addition to being an elected non executive Director of the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA).

Rob has a BA in Social History from Sheffield and has undertaken several CPD and executive education programmes, most recently a strategic leadership programme at Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Director of Finance

Helen DingleHelen Dingle


Helen joined the University in 1997 and held a number of different roles within the Finance Department before being appointed Director of Finance in 2012. Prior to joining the University she held a number of roles in further education and the private sector.

Finance are responsible for developing and implementing dynamic and future focussed financial strategies to support the University's aims, whilst maintaining sound financial oversight and administration in managing the University's financial affairs.

Helen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and has an MBA from the University of Sheffield. She also has a non-executive role with Sheffield Money.

Professional Services directors


Director of Accommodation and Commercial Services and UNICUS

Caryn MastersCaryn Masters

Accommodation and Commercial Services

Caryn joined the University in 2011 bringing with her 20 years' experience gained in both the private and public sector, within the UK and South Africa.

As Director of Accommodation and Commercial Services, Caryn is responsible for the teams who provide a range of services and facilities to staff, students and visitors across the University, including student accommodation, catering and delivered hospitality, conferences and event management.

In addition, Caryn is a Director of UNICUS, a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University. UNICUS was set up in 2012 to develop a commercial proposition to enhance the offer to the University. UNICUS operates a boutique hotel, a village store for the community, a high end restaurant, a number of retail outlets and a staffing agency.

Director of HR and Corporate Communications

Tracy WrayTracy Wray

Human Resources and Corporate Communications

Tracy joined the University in 2011 and was appointed HR and Corporate Communications Director in 2016. She is responsible for the operational leadership of the HR function and leads the Corporate Communication department which covers all Media & PR, Digital/Social, Marketing and Internal Communications.

Tracy works closely with the senior leadership team to drive reputation and engagement in a global market.

Tracy is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).

Interim Director of Corporate Information and Computing Services

Geoff Kendall Smith

Corporate Information and Computing Services

Geoff joined the University in January 2017 for a six-month period. He provides leadership and direction to CiCS as we carry out the recruitment process for a new director.

Geoff has considerable experience in both the public and private sectors. His most recent position was with the University of Leeds where he has been part of the leadership team in the IT department for the past two years, and as interim IT Director from 2015 to 2016. Within the higher education sector Geoff has advised Bournemouth University and the Institute of Education on their IT strategies.

Prior to this recent higher education experience Geoff had accumulated over 15 years’ experience with leading consultancies in IT and systems advising a wide range of public and private Sector organisations.

Geoff is a member of a number of professional bodies, including the Institute of Consulting and a senior member of the Society of IT Managers.

Director of Advancement

Miles Stevenson

Miles StevensonDevelopment, Alumni Relations and Events

Miles established the Development and Alumni Relations Office at the University of Sheffield in 2002. The office is responsible for raising philanthropic funds for the University, for its alumni relations programme and includes the Events Team which organizes 23 UK graduation ceremonies, a programme of public lectures and special events (such as HM The Queen’s visit in 2010). Miles is one of the University’s Public Orators for honorary graduates.

Prior to Sheffield, Miles spent nine years at the University of Bristol working in their Development and Alumni Relations Offices. Miles was educated at the University of Durham where he took a bachelors degree in History and a masters degree in Mediaeval History, specialising on the crusades.

Miles is married with two children. He is a Governor of the Sheffield High School and is also a trustee of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Director of Estates and Facilities Management

Keith Lilley

Estates and Facilities Management

Keith LilleyKeith started work as Director of Estates and Facilities Management (EFM) at the University of Sheffield in 2010.

He started his career with the NHS as a management trainee. Keith has held a number of senior positions, including Director of Facilities at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and latterly at the University of York where he worked as Director of Facilities Management.

EFM is responsible for estates management and maintenance, facilities management, Sport Sheffield, Safety Services, Portering, Cleaning, Transport and Logistics, energy and environment. Keith is passionate about delivering services of the highest quality and best value. Central to this is the need to support our students and ensure that they become our ambassadors for the future.

Keith holds a first degree, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, has an MBA from Warwick University and is a Member of the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Interim Director of Global Engagement

Malcolm Butler

Global Engagement

Malcolm ButlerMalcolm became the interim Director of Global Engagement in April 2017. His role is to drive the University's Internationalisation Strategy and to closely support the President and Vice-Chancellor, and members of the University Executive Board in their international activities. The Global Engagement team delivers internationalisation through overseas student recruitment, student exchanges and summer schools, staff mobility schemes, identifying research opportunities, and developing international partnerships.

Prior to this Malcolm was Faculty Director of Operations for the Faculty of Engineering, during which time the faculty doubled student numbers and research income. Malcolm was part of the team that designed and delivered the Diamond building. Malcolm joined the University as an employee in 2003 as manager of the Polymer Centre, and as part of this was co-founder and Managing Director of FaraPack Polymers Ltd.

Malcolm is a University of Sheffield alumnus, with a PhD in engineering materials (1993) and also has a physics degree (Warwick, 1989). The first half of his career was spent in the steel industry working across the UK and Europe for British Steel/Corus (now Tata Steel) in a variety of technical posts culminating in being the Research and Development Programme Manager for a £9 million annual research and development programme. During this time he completed both an MSc(Eng) in Ferrous Metallurgy (Leeds, 1994) and an MBA (Warwick, 2003).

Director of Planning and Insight

Rhiannon Birch

Rhiannon BirchRhiannon joined the University in 2004 as a Departmental Manager and moved to the (then) Corporate Planning Office in 2008. Prior to this she worked in information management for a range of public and private sector organisations.

Planning and Insight is responsible for enabling strategic decision making and objective setting by providing analysis, insight and support for the integrated planning round. The team is responsible for reporting to HEFCE and HESA and provide a range of management information, including benchmarked competitor analysis.

Rhiannon is a member of the Organising Committee for the 2018 Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) conference. She is in the final stages of a PhD in higher education policy looking at the Dearing Inquiry (1996–1997).

Director of Regional Engagement and Partnerships

Sarah Want

Regional Engagement and Partnerships

Dr Sarah WantSarah joined the University in 2006 and was appointed Director of Regional Engagement and Partnerships in June 2017.

Sarah's team supports the academic delivery of partnerships, regional engagement and Vice-Chancellor-led collaborations where institutional coordination is required. The team also leads on activities to improve the vibrancy and cultural life of the city, the implementation of the University's Impact, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IIKE) strategy, provides support for academics to engage the public with research, and helps run the University’s business innovation centres.

Previously Sarah held various roles at the University within Research & Innovation Services and the Faculty of Science. Before that, her role involved building public and private relationships for Business in the Community.

Sarah is an alumnus of the University, with a PhD in civil and structural engineering.

Interim Director of Research & Innovation Services

Deborah McClean

Research and Innovation Services

Deborah McCleanDeborah joined the University in 2005, having enjoyed a varied career in the private sector, including periods in travel, legal services and manufacturing.

She is providing interim leadership in Research and Innovation Services during a time of significant change. She is responsible for teams offering research support services to postgraduate research students, researchers and other members of the Professional Services. R&IS supports researchers to develop their careers, to win grant funding and publish high quality outputs, to supervise research degrees, to translate their research into impact beyond the academy and to commercialise intellectual property.

Deborah works closely with the Vice-President for Research & Innovation and with his deputies, contributing to the development and of research strategy and implementation of its operational delivery. She also works closely with academic leaders in the faculties on a range of postgraduate researcher and research developments.

Director of Strategic Projects and Communications

Ruth ArnoldRuth Arnold

Corporate Communications and Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor

Ruth is Director of Strategic Projects and Communications, based in the President and Vice-Chancellor's Office. Ruth directly supports the President and Vice-Chancellor on strategic priorities, communications and public affairs with a particular focus on work with external partners in the UK and overseas, including commercial partners and government.

Ruth also provides strategic and creative direction to the University's Corporate Communications department, of which she is co-Director. Prior to her current role, Ruth was the University's Head of External Affairs and she established the University's Marketing and Communications department.

Ruth is a member of the Russell Group Forum on Political Affairs, a communications advisor to UCEA and has led the development of the UK-wide #WeAreInternational campaign since its inception. A member of the Board of the Sheffield Confucius Institute, Ruth is a supporter of developing Sheffield's links with China and she is currently learning Mandarin Chinese.

University Secretary and Director of Strategy and Governance

Tony Strike

Tony StrikeUniversity Secretary and Strategy and Governance

As University Secretary, Tony works to ensure the highest standards of governance in liaison with the Chair of Council, President and Vice-Chancellor, University Executive Board members and Professional Services Directors.

He provides strategic, independent advice and support to Council and Senate including on their powers and procedures. He also provides advice to the Council and the Senate on their schemes of delegation and related governance structures including their respective committees.

In addition, Tony attends and works closely with the University Executive Board as Secretary to the Council and to the Senate and is responsible for the administration of the corporate governance of Council, Senate and their respective committees.

He is accountable to the Council through the Chair of Council and reports to the President and Vice-Chancellor.

Tony is also Director of Strategy and Governance with a remit covering strategic planning, policy, institutional change projects and external liaison with and representation to external bodies including leading on liaison with HEFCE and successor bodies.

Prior to this Tony was Director of HR at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and then with the University of Southampton. He has a PhD from Southampton in higher education management and policy.

Chief Executive, Student's Union

Jaki Booth

Sheffield Students' Union

Jaki BoothJaki joined Sheffield Students' Union in 2014 having worked in Chief Executive roles for over 25 years, mostly in Higher Education Students’ Unions in various midlands Universities and most recently for 5 years at Southampton Students’ Union. She was also General Manager at mac; one of the Midlands’ leading arts centres.

As Chief Executive of the Students’ Union Jaki reports to the Trustee Board and works with colleagues to support the aspirations of our student members for their organisation. She loves the possibilities and variety of working in Students’ Unions and is especially proud to now work at the UK’s top Students’ Unions regularly placed first for student satisfaction by our students.

Jaki is something of a volunteer and networking junky, having been a trustee and chair of a number of arts organisations, active within her own professional network and now an external trustee on the Girlguiding UK Board.

Director of Library Services and University Librarian

Anne Horn

Anne HornThe University Library

Anne joined the University of Sheffield as the Director of Library Services and University Librarian in 2015. She moved from Australia to take up the role, where she held the post of University Librarian and Executive Director Academic Support at Deakin University. In both posts she has set the strategic vision for the library, most recently leading the development of the University of Sheffield library's new Strategic Plan, Our Library. Our Information Future.

Anne provides high-level advice to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the University's Executive Board in relation to library and information services and wider information policy and scholarly communication matters. The University Librarian is a member of Senate and Anne also sits on the Senate Budget Committee.

Internationally, Anne is a board member of the International Association of University Libraries; and an invited member to the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Standing Committee for Library Buildings and Equipment. Nationally, Anne chairs the UUK Open Access Repositories Working Group (2017), and makes a professional contribution to higher education policy and initiatives through Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and SCONUL. Anne also sits on high-level project boards for JISC and international library and information management service providers.

Interim Faculty Director of Operations for Arts and Humanities

Nicola TalbotNicola Talbot

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Nicola joined the University in 2016, with over 25 years' management experience across a range of public and private sector organisations, including over seven years in higher education.

As Interim Director of Operations for Arts and Humanities, Nicola leads the professional staff in supporting the delivery of the faculty's academic strategy. She is an active member of a number of faculty and University committees, including the Faculty Executive Board, Faculty Learning and Teaching, Faculty Research and Innovation, the Senate, the Professional Services Executive, the Business Continuity Operations Group and the Public Realm PEG.

Nicola is a member of the Chartered Management Institute and is currently finishing her MBA. She is also a governor of All Saints Catholic High School.

Nicola takes on the interim role of Faculty Director of Operations for Arts and Humanities, having been Deputy Faculty Director of Operations for Science.

Interim Faculty Director of Operations for Engineering

Jo Marriott

Faculty of Engineering

Jo MarriottJo was appointed as Interim Director of Operations in March 2017. She is responsible for leading activities and initiatives to ensure the strategic development and operational delivery of the Faculty's aims and objectives. This role involves working in partnership with colleagues across the University's professional services departments, working alongside Heads of Departments and other academic leaders from the Faculty's departments, and providing overall leadership for the Faculty's 400 professional administrative and technical staff.

After graduating, Jo started her career as a management trainee in an energy company and since then, has worked in a variety of roles in Higher Education at King's College London and The University of Sheffield, with a focus on policy and strategy development and delivery. She is a member of numerous University bodies and committees including Senate, Business Continuity Operations Group, Registration Strategy Group and the Sheffield Professional Steering Group.

Faculty Director of Operations for Medicine, Dentistry, and Health

Susan Bridgeford

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

Susan BridgefordSusan joined the University in 2008 from the University of Strathclyde following a 15-year career in higher education, including senior management roles in the Faculties of Engineering and Arts and Social Sciences and a stint supporting the University Executive Board.

Susan’s role involves responsibility for Estates and Facilities, strategy and budget management, leadership of projects at Faculty and University level and providing leadership for professional services across the Faculty. Susan chairs the Faculty Excellence Through Inclusion Committee and is a Trustee with the Sheffield Womens Counselling and Therapy Service.

Susan studied French and German to Masters level at the University of Aberdeen and later obtained an MBA from the University of Strathclyde.

Faculty Director of Operations for Science

Michelle Nolan

Faculty of Science

Michelle NolanMichelle joined the University of Sheffield as Faculty Director of Operations in 2014, prior to which she spent five years as Head of Professional Services at Sheffield Hallam University. Michelle has extensive experience of working in the higher education sector having held a variety of roles covering the areas of academic administration, examinations, registry services, student services, planning and knowledge transfer.

Michelle’s role is to support the Faculty Vice-President with both the strategic and operational development of the Faculty and to ensure the effective running of one of the largest science faculties in the UK. The Faculty of Science provides a home for seven of the University’s departments spanning the life sciences and physical sciences.

Michelle holds a BSc in Chemistry and Chemical Technology and an MBA, both from Bradford University.

Interim Faculty Director of Operations for Social Science

Jo Mallows

Faculty of Social Science

Jo MallowsJo takes on the interim role of Faculty Director of Operations in Social Sciences, having been Deputy Faculty Director of Operations with responsibility for HR, Change Management and Learning and Teaching since 2012. She has also been Departmental Manager in three of the Faculty's 13 diverse departments, having worked at the University of Sheffield for a decade.

Her role is to support the Faculty Vice-President in the leadership and management of Social Sciences, helping ensure its ongoing success through effective business coordination and working in partnership with colleagues across the institution.

Prior to working at The University of Sheffield, Jo was a manager at the University of Leeds for eight years, where she is also an alumnus with an MEd in Higher Education, and a first degree in Geography from Loughborough University.

A summary of our Professional Services departments/faculties and directors:

Accommodation and Commercial Services
Caryn Masters

Corporate Communications and Human Resources
Tracy Wray

Corporate Information and Computing Services
Geoff Kendall-Smith (Interim Director)

Development, Alumni Relations and Events Office
Miles Stevenson

Estates and Facilities Management
Keith Lilley

Global Engagement
Malcolm Butler (Interim Director)

Human Resources
Tracy Wray

Planning and Insight
Rhiannon Birch

Regional Engagement and Partnerships
Sarah Want

Research and Innovation Services
Deborah McClean (Interim Director)

Strategic Projects and Communications
Ruth Arnold

Strategy and Governance
Tony Strike

Student Services
position currently vacant

Student's Union
Jaki Booth

The University Library
Anne Horn

University Secretary
Tony Strike

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Nicola Talbot (Interim Faculty Director of Operations)

Faculty of Engineering
Jo Marriott (Interim Faculty Director of Operations)

Medicine, Dentistry and Health
Susan Bridgeford (Interim Faculty Director of Operations)

Faculty of Science
Michelle Nolan (Faculty Director of Operations)

Faculty of Social Science
Jo Mallows (Interim Faculty Director of Operations)