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BSc (Newcastle), PhD (Southampton), DMS (Open)

Chris studied Physical Geography at Newcastle University and completed a Government Natural Environment Research Council funded doctorate in climate modeling at the University of Southampton. He started his academic career as a lecturer in Biological Sciences and Physical Geography at the University of Southampton.

Following a period working in industry with the UK British Coal Corporation where he held various appointments including Deputy Director of Environmental Management, Deputy Head of Corporate Relations, and then successively the Deputy Chairman’s and Chairman's Personal Private Secretary, Chris worked at the University of Wolverhampton in the University’s Senior Executive as the strategic and academic development adviser to the Vice-Chancellor.

Chris then moved to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and, as an Assistant Director, was involved with managing over 100 UK and international higher education institutional audits. During this period he was also responsible for the QAA’s work in relation to postgraduate education and wrote the QAA’s Guidelines on the Quality Assurance of Research Degrees and various sections of Learning from Audit publications.

In 2003, Chris was appointed a Deputy Director at the QAA. In addition to his role as Deputy Director, between 1998 and 2006 Chris had responsibility for managing the Agency’s extensive work for the UK Government relating to the grant of degree-awarding powers, university title and higher education institution designation. In this capacity, Chris drafted both the 1998 and 2004 UK Government criteria governing the grant of degree-awarding powers and university title and oversaw the provision of advice to Government Ministers. In this capacity, he was appointed as a specialist advisor to the New Zealand Government in relation to the development of the country’s higher education sector.

As Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic, Recruitment, Quality and the Student Experience) at the University of Chester, Chris has a range of responsibilities including:

  • Business planning and performance management;
  • Oversight of the undergraduate and postgraduate student experience;
  • The University’s seven academic faculties;
  • Home and EU Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions (undergraduate and postgraduate);
  • International student recruitment, admissions and partnerships;
  • Student Futures, including student support, Careers and Employability and work-based learning;
  • Academic Quality and Standards Service;
  • The University’s Learning and Teaching Institute;
  • The University’s Centre for Foundation Studies; and,
  • Risk Management.

Since 2014, Chris has also been the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences with oversight of the Departments of Sports and Exercise Sciences, Biological Sciences, Clinical Sciences and Nutrition, and the School of Medicine. There are currently some 3,000 students in the Faculty.

Chris chairs the University’s Academic Quality and Enhancement Committee, Student Experience Committee and Development Advisory Group. He has previously had senior management team responsibility for the University’s second campus in Warrington, Corporate Communications, and Business and Innovation activities.

Outside of the University Chris is the Chairman of the UK North West Universities European Unit, into his second term as an external member of the Royal Northern College of Music’s Academic Board, a member of the Governing Council at University College Isle of Man and the external adviser on the Maltese Government’s Quality and Standards Assurance Committee. He has previously had an eight year term of office as a Governor at West Cheshire Further Education College, and has also been a member of a working group set up by HEFCE’s Financial Sustainability Strategy Group looking at the sustainability of English higher education institutions. Chris was also appointed by HEFCE as a Teaching Excellence Framework Institutional Assessor.

Outside of work, Chris enjoys watching and playing a number of sports and is, in particular, a keen golfer (though, he says, not very good!).