Council Membership

Independent and co-opted council members

h hipkinsDr Michael Hipkins
Chair and Pro-Chancellor

Independent Member

Michael Hipkins holds a degree in physics and a PhD in biophysics from Imperial College, London. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique in France, he was for ten years a lecturer at the University of Glasgow before being seconded to the Advisory Board for the Research Councils.

Michael joined the Civil Service in 1988, working at the Department for Education and Science, where he held posts associated with universities, teachers' pay, schools organisation and early years education. He worked in the Department and its successor Departments on various aspects of higher education, being appointed Director in 2004 and retiring as Director of Financial Support for Students in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2011.

Michael Hipkins joined the Council of Buckinghamshire New University in 2011 and was Deputy Chair from 2014-16. He was a member of Council of the University of Bath 2011-17. He is currently a secondary school governor and an advisor at Citizens Advice.


Irene Kirkman

Irene Kirkman
Deputy Chair and Independent Member

Irene is a dynamic education leader who has enjoyed a circular career starting and ending in central government in the civil service. She has a strong recent track record as Head of Vocational Strategy in the Department for Education (DfE) of establishing and running inter-governmental boards to implement ministerial educational reforms as part of the DfE governance process.

Irene also has significant experience of driving transformation through policy development, risk assessment and management in a wide range of contexts through widening her experience of different business and service models.

Irene has been a Director of the Mid Counties Co-operative Society since October 2016 and in 2017-18 chaired the Audit and Risk Committee which reports to the Board. She is also a Local Authority Governor and Chair of the Student Impact Committee at the Cherwell School, Oxford, supporting and helping drive the curricular, learning and pastoral needs of students.

Irene was elected Deputy Chair from 1 September 2018.


Andy ColeAndy Cole
Independent Member

Andy Cole is Chief Executive of The Royal Star & Garter Homes, one of the country’s leading military charities which provides care to veterans living with disability or dementia. Andy led the development of the charity’s Home in High Wycombe which opened in 2019.

Andy was previously Chief Executive of the national premature baby charity, Bliss, and championed improvements in maternity and specialist neonatal services across the country. Andy received an OBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Andy’s earlier career was working for some of the country’s major arts organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and British Film Institute.

Andy read Natural Sciences at Magdalene College, Cambridge and has an MBA from Warwick Business School. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and board member of the National Care Forum. He lives in London with his wife and son, and enjoys running, outdoor pursuits and watching rugby.


Independent memberAnna Crabtree 
Independent Member

Anna holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

Anna qualified as an accountant at Grant Thornton, where she specialised in the audit of Not for profit organisations. This led to opportunities to work in Bristol, New York and London before moving to the Horserace Betting Levy Board, non-departmental public body. She worked there as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis until 2016.

Anna lives in Buckinghamshire with her family. She enjoys gardening, baking for her children and playing the piano.


Dr. Annet Gamell



Dr Annet Gamell
Independent Member

Annet has worked as a GP in Buckinghamshire for over 30 years. She was previously Chief Clinical Officer for Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group working with local health and care partners.

She is also involved as a Non-Executive Director with Ealing CCG and Luton and Dunstable Hospital.






Maggie JamesMaggie James
Independent Member

Maggie specialises in pharmaceutical development with a PhD in neuropharmacology from St George's Medical School, University of London. She has over 30 years of diverse experience working within blue chip pharma and healthcare sectors.

For 15 years she held a variety of roles within GlaxoSmithKline and its legacy companies. In 2001 she founded Compass Business Partners Ltd, a consultancy specialising in the development of business strategy and major change implementation.

Maggie's hobbies include, socialising, keep fit, wine appreciation, painting watercolours, photography, and travelling.


Head shot of Steve JordanStephen Jordan 
Specialist Co-option, Audit Committee

Steve is originally from Liverpool and holds a degree from Manchester University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His business career was primarily in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry where he had a variety of international and UK roles. He was a Vice President and Finance Director at GlaxoSmithKline and is a current trustee of the GSK Pension Scheme.

Steve has experience in Marketing, Sales, R&D, Manufacturing, Distribution and of course Finance. He is Chairman of the Wycombe High School Multi Academy Trust having been a member and Chairman of the Governing Board at Wycombe High School for more than twenty years.

Hobbies include watching Liverpool FC, England Rugby, travelling, trying to play golf and enjoying the excellent gym classes at the University’s Gateway Gym.


Tim MarshallTim Marshall 
Independent Member

Tim Marshall is Group Chairman of Getmapping Plc – a leading provider of digital mapping, aerial photography and web-based services across Europe and Africa.

Tim started his career in BBC Radio and TV, rising to become Head of BBC Events and Entertainments Group. On leaving the BBC he joined the Walt Disney Company as Senior Vice-President, responsible for global TV production.

Following a period in the "dotcoms", Tim became CEO at Janet(UK), the organisation responsible for developing and managing Janet, the UK's powerful advanced research and education network. More recently he set up Jisc’s commercial activity as Managing Director of Jiscom, before joining Getmapping in 2018.

Tim is a graduate of Southampton University in Sociology. Outside business, he produced the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall for 15 years and currently produces the RAF Autumn Concert Tour. In 2015 he was awarded the OBE for his services to service and ex-service personnel.

Tim lives just outside High Wycombe and, in what spare time he has, enjoys playing tennis, watching Saracens RFC, Southampton FC and tinkering with his tractors.


Ken S McCreaKen McCrea
Co-opted Member

Ken McCrea has had a varied career, initially graduating with a Psychology degree from Hull University, with a particular interest in both Clinical and Environmental Psychology.   In 1978, he joined a major London advertising agency, McCann Erickson where he spent 8 years working on a number of blue chip accounts, such as Kodak, COI/RAF, Nestle, Nabisco, Martini Rossi and Levi Jeans.  He then left to join a smaller agency as Client Services Director and then moved to be Managing Director at Golley Slater & Partners. In 1990, he started his own agency, Mayhew Harper McCrea, based in Covent Garden and which he ran successfully until 2002.

After 25 years in the London advertising business, Ken decided it was time for a change and moved himself and his family out to Oxfordshire to run a very traditional golf club based near Henley-on-Thames.  In 2009 Ken became self employed and devised a number of small entrepreneurial ventures and business consultancies, using his marketing, advertising, and internet experience to start the businesses.

Ken was a governor of Wallingford School for 9 years, including a period as the Chair of Governors and currently sits on his local Parish Council.

Ken is married with two children and plays golf, as well as enjoying DIY, old cars and playing the organ.


Anthony MurphyMr Anthony Murphy
Independent Member

Anthony joined the Civil Service in 1992 after a business career spanning 16 years, much of which he spent in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Government roles included posts in the Cabinet Office, the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, the Patent Office and the Government Olympic Executive. He was closely involved in planning and delivering the economic legacy of the London 2012 Games.

Since retiring from the Senior Civil Service in 2010 Anthony has devoted much of his time to improving the employment prospects of disabled people. He is Chairman of the Wycombe Environment Centre and has a close association with the Encephalitis Society. In 2017 he received a Trade Association Forum Outstanding Contribution Award.

He read Modern History at Trinity College, Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is also a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. Anthony has lived in Buckinghamshire for 20 years and is married with three adult children.


Sue RosserDr Susan Rosser 
Independent Member

Susan Rosser is a Partner in an international commercial law firm where she specialises in litigation, investigations and regulatory enforcement. She is also involved in pro bono legal work and has served as an Honorary Legal Adviser at the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau for more than ten years.

Before going back to college to qualify as a solicitor in her early thirties, Susan studied for a PhD in English Literature and worked for a number of years as a lecturer at the Universities of Lancaster and Manchester. She is a passionate advocate of continuing lifelong education. Outside work, she is a fan of classical theatre, ballet and contemporary dance.

Susan grew up in South Bucks and has a close connection with the area.


Bob ShennanMr Bob Shennan
Independent Member

Bob is Director of BBC Radio and Music, responsible for the day to day running of the BBC’s radio and digital-only stations, as well as the BBC Performing Groups, the BBC Proms, BBC Sounds, BBC Music and radio production. He also oversees BBC Music, which showcases the best emerging UK talent through more than 15 new talent schemes and brings audiences some of the finest and most popular national events across popular and classical music.

Bob was educated at the Royal Grammar School in Lancaster and at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating with a degree in English Literature. He started his career as a journalist in commercial radio, before joining the BBC in 1987, progressing to a variety of senior roles in BBC Sport including, from 1998 to 2000, the position of Head of BBC Sport. In 2000, he was appointed Controller of 5 Live and, that September, launched 5 Live Sports Extra as Controller.

After a short break from the BBC to lead Channel Four Radio, he was appointed Controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music in January 2009. He led the network through the transition of Terry Wogan’s departure from Wake Up to Wogan after 17 years, to the launch of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show in January 2010. In 2011, he was appointed controller of Asian Network and, in 2014, he was appointed Director of BBC Music overseeing the launch of the BBC Music Awards which featured One Direction, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran. In October 2016, he was appointed to his current role in the newly-created Radio & Education division.

A lifelong Liverpool FC fan, Bob is a Trustee of the Roundhouse venue in Camden. He is also Vice-Chairman of Children in Need as well as a Director of several other organisations, including the prestigious Country Music Association. He is a Fellow of the Radio Academy and received an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 2014.


John SmithJohn Smith
Independent Member

John Smith has 40 years’ experience in financial and change management in a variety of industries both in the UK and overseas.

After completing degrees in economics and business studies from Hull and Sheffield Universities, he qualified as an accountant with Imperial Metal Industries and worked as Finance Director/Controller in subsidiaries of Birmid Qualcast and GEC.

John then became a management consultant with OASiS plc in 1990 specialising in helping companies undergo major change, his clients included the NHS, BP and Ericsson. In 2002 he founded his own consulting practice whose clients include HBOS, Lloyds Banking Group and JP Morgan Chase.

John has worked as an Associate Lecturer and Subject Tutor in Finance and Strategy on MBA programmes with both the Open University and Henley Business Schools. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

John is married with one daughter and has lived in Buckinghamshire for more than 30 years. He has a keen interest in sport and politics and is a former Chairman of his local golf club Burnham Beeches.


Supriya SobtiSupriya Sobti
Independent Member

Supriya is a Chartered Accountant, currently working with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as the Head of Regulatory Assurance.

Although a citizen of the UK she was born and brought up in India.  After completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Delhi University, she proceeded to complete her training as a Chartered Accountant.

After working for four years in the statutory audit practice at Ernst & Young Delhi, she was seconded to Edinburgh where she joined RBS to advance her career.  She subsequently moved to London in 2011, where she now works.  During her 12 years in RBS, Supriya has held diverse roles in finance, risk and regulatory areas, where she has had both execution and governance responsibilities across policy and reporting.

Supriya has a keen interest in psychology and is a qualified counsellor. She lives with her husband in Buckinghamshire where she pursues her hobbies of reading and travelling.


University Council Members

Head shot of Nick Braisby

Professor Nick Braisby
Vice-Chancellor and Ex-Officio

Professor Nick Braisby is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Buckinghamshire New University. He was appointed as Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer in February 2019. He joined Bucks in September 2017 from the University of West London where he had held the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor since 2013.

A Chartered Psychologist, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, he was previously Head of Psychology at first the University of Winchester and then at London South Bank University. He has also worked at The Open University and London Guildhall University.

He studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, ultimately specialising in Psychology, and then read for a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh. He subsequently obtained a British Academy postdoctoral research fellowship held at the London School of Economics.

His research focuses on theoretical accounts of concepts and categorisation – the way in which people categorise and make sense of the world around them – as well as related questions concerning word learning, word meaning and other topics in the philosophy of mind and language.


Tao WarbutonTao Warbuton
President of Student Union and Ex-Officio Student Member

Tao graduates with a BSc(Hons) in Criminology from Buckinghamshire New University

Throughout her time as a student, she was involved in a lot of activities, from being captain of the hockey team and secretary of the women’s rugby team to volunteering to play with different sports teams. In her spare time, Tao would volunteer in Students’ Union projects, such as the smile campaign which deals with fair trade products among other projects which directly involved students. Additionally, she has helped to raise money for the local charities in order to better the local community.

This is Tao's first year in office as President of the Students’ Union and she looks forward to being able to to further help students with their university experience as her predecessors have done for her and her cohort. Additionally, she is excited to help solve any issues the students have and celebrate the great work the university and union are collaborating on.


Jo BoardmanJoanna Boardman
Professional Service Employee elected member

Joanna is currently the Transformation Programme Change Manager, having previously held a variety of posts within Bucks New University over the past 17 years. She has worked actively with academic and administrative staff across the University ranging from student enrolment and engagement to technological solutions to existing challenges such as Student Portals.

She has a background in project work, troubleshooting and corporate process assessment and redesign and is an active supporter of personal and professional development including as mentoring and coaching programme as well as talent management.

She holds an MBA from Bucks New University and an APM Project Management qualification and is listed on the International Project Management Association register.

Joanna is married, was born in Bucks and continues to live locally. She enjoys photography, baking and very long days in a Spa.


Cheryl PittCheryl Pitt
Academic Employee Member

Cheryl has worked as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology for the past 10 years, receiving her PhD in 2009. Prior to that she worked as a Research Officer for a number of institutions, including the University of London and the Thomas Coram Research Institute, carrying out research in the field of family and child psychosocial wellbeing and health.

Cheryl's research interests and higher education has particularly focused on adaptation to chronic illness in childhood, and she completed an MSc in Health Psychology in 1999. Since working at Bucks as a full time academic, Cheryl has been module leader for Health Psychology and Developmental Psychology, which comprised the theoretical focus of her PhD research.

Cheryl also teaches on other modules which draw on her research experience and areas of expertise, and she regularly teaches Health Psychology in the Nursing Faculty at Bucks. Further to these teaching roles, Cheryl is the Psychology ethics sub-committee Chair and a University Complaints Officer. Cheryl has also sat on the Mitigating Circumstances Board at Bucks. She lives in St Albans with her husband, child, and dog. They love to travel, experience different cultures and cuisines, and get outside. They also enjoy film and music.

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Professor Florin IorasProfessor Florin Ioras
Elected Senate Member

Professor Florin Ioras has established an extensive track record of international environmental research achieving recognition for visionary research leadership and innovation management. He has achieved key contributions to over 40 projects including more than 30 large-scale collaborative research programmes. He has also coordinated over 12 large scale international projects funded by a variety of sources including the United Nations Development Programme, World Bank and Horizon 2020. Florin is a high-ranking professor at Buckinghamshire New University where he is the Director of Research and Enterprise.

He holds the ‘Chair of Conservation and Sustainability’, the designation of ‘Distinguished Professor of Environmental Ecology (Unitbv)’ and is a ‘Doctor Honoris Causa at Transilvania University’. Florin is external subject reviewer at Technological University Dublin. He has served on a number of European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) frameworks, such as the 'Protected Forest Areas in Europe - Analysis and Harmonisation’. He is currently national representative for the ‘Indoor living space improvement: Smart Habitat for the Elderly’ programme. Florin has over 125 publications including more than 70 journal articles and 80 publications in proceedings of refereed international conferences, in addition to being co-editor of 5 books and contributor to 9 other books.


John Hathaway headshotJohn Hathaway
Elected Senate Member

A 20 year career in the automotive industry with a focus on people, operations and strategic activities throughout the value chain. His career included spells in sales, logistics and distribution and finally consulting within the fleet whole life cost sector.

A lecturer that blends the world of academic theory with real world experience to prepare business ready graduates for the challenges that lay ahead. Triple recipient of the University 'Most inspiring lecturer' award as voted for by students 2013, 2017 & 2019. Nominated for 'Innovation in Teaching' by Bucks Students Union 2017.

Research interests include: strategic capabilities in the age of agile; Performance improvement through psychological analysis and group affiliation; Barriers to successful leadership; The impact of game theory on tech-starts-ups; The application of rapid evidence meta-analysis in investment portfolio theory.

In his personal life John is a keen fly fisherman who can be found on trout ivers of Southern England and Wales. John is active in local school governance and using his experiences to inspire young people to reach their potential and enjoy a full and rewarding life. Other interests include theatre plays, Live music as well as art and cultural interests.


Megan Staples
Co-opted Student Member

E SmithEllie Smith
Academic Registrar & Secretary

Ellie Smith is Director of Academic Quality and Clerk to the Council.  This is a dual role which provides support and guidance to Council members and the University in respect of governance matters and also provides a lead across the University in relation to the operation of the University’s quality processes.

Ellie, graduated with a BSc (Hons) Social Science in 1990 and gained a MA in Educational Administration in 1995.  Her career with the University spans some 25 years where she has undertaken roles in both faculty and central administration progressing from a Placements Officer to her current role.

In addition to her role in the University, Ellie works as a Reviewer for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Ellie lives in Oxfordshire with her partner.