Leadership and Governance
Welcome to the web pages that explain the leadership and governance of the University of Portsmouth. You will find here details of our Vice Chancellor’s Executive, Board of Governors, University Secretary and responsibilities of the Planning Team.
The Vice-Chancellor's Office, our senior management team, comprises the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of Finance.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith, is the Chief Executive of the University, the Chief Academic Officer, and the Funding Council's nominated accounting officer. Under the Articles of Government, the Vice-Chancellor carries a wide range of responsibilities, including the determination of the University's activities and management of its budgets and staff.
In respect of academic activities, the Vice-Chancellor is required to consult the Academic Council. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for making proposals to the Board of Governors on the educational character and mission of the University, for preparing and presenting financial estimates and for the maintenance of student discipline.
In addition, Sally Hartley, Clerk to the Board of Governors and University Secretary, has management responsibility for legal matters, including interaction with external legal advisers.
Chancellor - Sandi Toksvig
The University is delighted to have appointed the writer, broadcaster and comedian, Sandi Toksvig, as Chancellor. In 2010 the University awarded her an honorary degree in recognition of her work and she was installed as Chancellor in October 2012.
Ms Toksvig is well known to British audiences for her varied roles in television and radio. Her links with the University include the donation by her family of their father’s books to the School of Languages and Area Studies, which teaches American Studies.
Ms Toksvig is a graduate of Girton College, Cambridge, where she gained a first class honours degree in archaeology and anthropology and where she also won the Theresa Montefiore Memorial Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and the Raemaekers Prize for Archaeology.
She hopes to use her role to help bring the University and its excellence to the attention of a wider audience. She said: ‘I was surprised and delighted to be invited by the University to become Chancellor and am very honoured to accept. I am passionate about higher education and am hugely impressed by Portsmouth’s mission to encourage students from every walk of life to excel’. ‘At university I learnt to think and most importantly, to question what I thought I already knew. Historically great ideas have often sprung from the unexpected.’
Vice-Chancellor - Professor Graham Galbraith
Professor Galbraith joined the University of Portsmouth in September 2013. Previous to this he had held the sole Deputy Vice-Chancellor role at the University of Hertfordshire since 2008 and the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Glasgow Caledonian University which he joined in 1993. He gained a BSc (1st class) in Environmental Engineering, an MSc, Mechanical Engineering and a PhD from the University of Strathclyde.
He has a wealth of management experience and a strong entrepreneurial outlook which, combined with a substantial record of academic achievement and a thorough understanding of the international and HE sectors, puts him in an ideal position to lead the University through its next stage of development.
Professor Galbraith has responsibility for the strategic direction of the University working with the Board of Governors and the senior management team which comprises the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance, HR Director, University Secretary and Deans of Faculty who all report directly to him.
He is passionate about HE and its power to transform the life choices of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. He is committed to leading the University to provide the very best student experience underpinned by internationally excellent research and world class business engagement.
His primary research interests are within the area of Building Physics and Material Science with emphasis on moisture within building components and the development of appropriate prediction models and measurement techniques.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Rebecca Bunting
Rebecca Bunting is the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, appointed in 2007. She held positions as Dean and Pro-Rector before her appointment to the University of Portsmouth in 2004 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
Rebecca has strategic responsibility for learning, teaching and the student experience; academic and strategic planning; academic registry functions; recruitment, admissions and widening participation; employability; internationalisation and international recruitment.
Rebecca is Vice-Chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education and a member of the Leadership Foundation’s Research Advisory Panel. She is chair of HEFCE’s Widening Participation Review Group and a member of the Widening Participation and Student Opportunity Committee; a Board Director of the Higher Education Academy and of the Open College Network for the South East.
Rebecca read English at Girton College Cambridge, after which she took academic and professional post-graduate qualifications at the University of London.
Pro Vice-Chancellor - Dr David Arrell
David is a mathematician by training, having studied in the Universities of St Andrews and Oxford. He first joined the University of Portsmouth in 1993 as its first International Director. Subsequently he spent over seven years as Dean of the Faculty of Technology before joining the University's senior team as a Pro Vice-Chancellor in 2003.
David's role in the University is three-fold. The first is in managing the University's activity in research and knowledge exchange and in promoting growing the regional knowledge-based economy. The second is looking after all aspects of human resources, and thirdly is managing the University's use of IT for educational and corporate activity.
Director of Finance – Emma Woollard
Emma is a CIMA qualified accountant and has worked at the University of Portsmouth since 1989. She joined as Management Accountant shortly after the then Polytechnic gained independence from Hampshire County Council, becoming Director of Finance in August 2004.
Emma has responsibility for the financial strategy and financial management of the University. This includes ensuring the long term sustainability of the University is secured, development and investment can be appropriately and adequately financed, strategic opportunities are evaluated and prioritised and that financial risks identified and mitigated against.
Chief Operating Officer - Bernie Topham
Bernie is the Chief Operating Officer at the University of Portsmouth. This is a new role overseeing a range of services, including Estates, Campus Services, IS, Marketing, Library and Sports and Recreation and she is a member of the University’s Executive Board. Bernie is also involved in developing the University’s relationships with key partners, particularly in relation to enterprise and city based partnerships.
Before joining the University in December 2013, Bernie was Chief Executive of Eastleigh Borough Council. She was also a member of Hampshire Health and Wellbeing Board, the lead Chief Executive for Economic Development for PUSH (the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) and the Chair of the Hampshire Chief Executive’s Group. The majority of her career has been spent in local government, either in corporate management or economic development and regeneration, and she has held Director level roles in Portsmouth City Council and the Borough of Poole.
Bernie is a graduate in English from the University of Southampton and subsequently gained an MBA from the University of Plymouth.
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors is the governing body of the University and carries responsibility for ensuring the effective management of the institution and for planning its future development. It is the Board that has ultimate responsibility for all the affairs of the institution and holds management accountable.
Further information on the Board of Governors – what it is, what it does, and a range of related information can be found here.
If you need more detailed information, then please contact the Clerk to the Board of Governors, Sally Hartley on email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Governors conducts its work through a number of committees, which include:
- Audit and Quality
- Estates and IT
- Human Resources
- Students' Academic and General Affairs
The Vice-Chancellor’s Executive conducts its work through Academic Council, which includes:
- Academic Policy Committee
- IT Committee
- Quality Assurance Committee
- University Ethics Committee
- University Equality and Diversity Committee
- University Research Degrees Committee
- University Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee
The University Secretary’s office has management responsibility for a wide range of duties, which include:
- Contracts and licences
- Data protection
- Disclosure and barring
- Freedom of information
- Information governance
- Legal advice
- Management, Organisation and Committee Structures
- Policies and procedures
- Records management
- Register of Interests
The Planning Team’s work focuses on:
Supporting the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in leading effective University strategic planning including setting KPIs and monitoring performance against strategic objectives. More information on the role and responsibilities of the Planning department can be found here.
University Strategy 2012 – 2017 (pdf 1.3MB)
Celebrating Success (pdf 3.8MB)
Facts and Figures 2013 – 2014 (pdf 614KB)
The University's corporate documents including: strategies, policies, procedures and codes can be found in the Our Document Warehouse.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. Information about our publication schemes and requesting information from the University can be found here.
Quality and standards
Like all universities, we regard quality and standards as very important aspects of our work.
You can access the policies and processes we use to assure and improve the quality of the learning, teaching and student support in the University. You can also find details of the outcomes of internal and external reviews such as those conducted by Professional Bodies.
Our Quality Management team administers information relating to academic committees, assessment and regulations, collaborative programmes, and accreditation of our courses by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies. More information about quality management can be found here.
Environment and sustainable development
The University is committed to a low carbon future. We have a number of policies, plans and practices that support this commitment from the way we manage procurement, construction and travel to encouraging the adoption of recycling, waste reduction and ‘green’ meetings behaviours within our community of staff and students. Read more about Green Portsmouth.
In addition to the work of our Green Portsmouth team, the University has a wider role in creating positive environmental impacts that have regional, national and international benefits through our research, teaching and collaborations with business and industry. The University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN) seeks to coordinate and promote our activities in this area.
Equality and diversity
The University is dedicated to ensuring equality of opportunity and the promotion of diversity for the benefit of our staff, students and community. Our community includes students from over 30 countries and we are committed to widening access to higher education. Our Equality and Diversity Unit administers a number of policies, guidelines and equality schemes, which outline the way in which we behave as an employer that embraces equality of opportunity and diversity.
The Unit also hosts and number of forums liaising with students, staff, other HE institutions and the wider city and helps organise events which celebrate diversity, such as One World Week. Read more about our commitment to equality and diversity.