President & Provost


Changes to the UCL senior team

Dr Michael Spence has reviewed the portfolios of the current senior team, to ensure we have the right capacity and balance of expertise for the next phase of UCL's strategic development.

A message from the Provost

Below, I set out a number of changes to the Vice-Provosts team that will take effect from 1 April 2021. I want to give you some context for those changes and to explain why I think they are important for the next phase of UCL’s development.

UCL is a remarkable and impressive university, with undisputed research strengths across the disciplinary spectrum. I want to encourage and support the community to leverage those strengths, so that we support you effectively to build external profile and contribute to enhanced national and international influence for the university and its members. Professor David Price’s expanded role of Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement) and the new role of Vice-President (External Engagement) will facilitate that work. 

I am also preparing for the institutional strategy with three senior leadership roles. Two are new roles: the Vice-Provost (Faculties) and the Vice-President (Strategy). The Vice-Provost (Faculties) role will have responsibility for the alignment of the eleven faculties – and UCL East – with institutional strategy, and I am delighted that Professor Anthony Smith has agreed to take on this position. Additionally, a university of our size and reputation needs the technical experts who can help us understand how we can make best use of our resources, and to identify the strategic opportunities that are right for us. The new Vice-President (Strategy) will build a team to work with departments and faculties to ensure that we can realise our ambitions effectively, and respond quickly to opportunities as they arise. 

Even after a few weeks, it is clear to me that UCL’s contribution to the health and biomedical sectors goes way beyond SLMS, with expertise in this area in all faculties. I’ve therefore asked Professor David Lomas, as Vice-Provost (Health), to assume responsibility for the developing the health strategy across the university, ensuring that we have coherent leadership across all faculties for the many ways in which we engage with, and shape research and practice in the NHS and with other partners.

These changes also give scope for thinking differently about how we drive other strategic priorities. As Anthony Smith moves into the Faculties role, I will take the opportunity to refocus the Education portfolio, recruiting to the position of Vice-Provost (Education & Student Experience). This new member of the team will have responsibility for education leadership, the quality of the student experience and planning for future possibilities in lifelong education. This is a crucial role for a university with such a strong and vibrant student body, and I look forward to working with the new Vice-Provost on new ways of thinking about student life on campus. There will also be changes in the Chief Operating Officer’s portfolio, as Fiona Ryland takes on responsibility for Student and Registry Services. In line with the introduction of Vice-President titles (to signal parity of esteem for senior professional services leads), her title will change to Vice-President (Operations). 

Finally, I want to ensure we have clear institutional leadership on issues of equity and inclusion. Professor Sasha Roseneil’s role as Pro-Vice-Provost (Equity and Diversity) will move to report directly to me, and as Pro-Provost (Equity and Diversity) she will formally manage the EDI Team. Professor Roseneil will undertake this role alongside her role as Dean of Social and Historical Sciences, with deputy support.

Further details of the changes are summarised below. I want to thank the existing team for their willingness to take on revised remits. I hope that you will join me in doing all you can to support them with their new portfolios. I know that you will make future members of the team as welcome as you have made me in my first weeks at UCL.

With best wishes,

Dr Michael Spence
UCL President & Provost

Further information

Starting in April, these changes will help UCL grow our capacity to engage more effectively with external audiences. They will also make sure our teams are structured in the best possible way to deliver on our forthcoming 5-year strategy. 

These changes are designed to: 

  • Ensure effective alignment of expertise and functions in support of UCL’s strategy;
  • Differentiate between academic and professional services leadership functions in the Provost’s senior team.

In particular, they will allow UCL to: 

  • Expand and develop our ability to communicate our strengths to external audiences;
  • Grow our capacity for working in strategic partnerships with external organisations;
  • Facilitate strategic change and ensure faculty alignment with institutional strategy;
  • Build additional capacity for key institutional priorities, including Education and Students and Health.

All changes will take effect from 1 April 2021. 

Summary of proposed changes to the senior team

Current and proposed roles
Current roleProposed roleNotes
Vice-Provost (Research)Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement)Professor David Price assumes responsibility for innovation and enterprise, and global engagement.
 Vice-Provost (Faculties)

Professor Anthony Smith assumes this new role, leading on the implementation of UCL strategy across faculties and line-managing the eleven Deans and the Director of UCL East.

Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs)Vice-Provost (Education & Student Experience)

We will begin recruitment to this role in the spring; Professor Deborah Gill, current Pro-Vice-Provost (Student Experience) will cover the portfolio until the substantive appointment is in post.

Vice-Provost (Health)Vice-Provost (Health)Professor David Lomas’s role is expanded to include UCL’s pan-institutional remit for health across medical and non-medical faculties, plus dotted line-management responsibility for all Deans in relation to their contribution to the health agenda.
Chief Operating OfficerVice-President (Operations)Fiona Ryland will increase her operational responsibilities to include Student and Registry Services.
Vice-Provost (Advancement)Vice-President (Advancement)Professor Dame Hazel Genn will continue to cover this portfolio until a substantive replacement is appointed.
 Vice-President (Strategy)This is a new role. 
 Vice-President (External Engagement)Professor Dame Hazel Genn will continue to cover this portfolio until 2022. As well as communications, marketing and media, this role will be extended to include public affairs.
Vice-Provost (Innovation & Enterprise) Responsibilities to be transferred to Research, Innovation & Global Engagement.
Vice-Provost (International) Responsibilities to be transferred to Research, Innovation & Global Engagement.

Professor Sasha Roseneil, as Pro-Vice-Provost (Equity and Inclusion), will move formally into the Provost’s Office, with the title of Pro-Provost (Equity and Inclusion), with responsibility for the EDI Team. She will undertake this role alongside her role as Dean of Social and Historical Sciences, with additional deputy support.