Executive & Senior Management Group | AECC University College
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Phil Dewhurst giving a talk at a staff meeting

Executive & Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Group at AECC University College advises the Principal on matters relating to policy and together develop and monitor AECC University College strategic and operational plans and targets. They meet once a month to consider and make recommendations on membership, institutional projects and initiatives, risks and capital expenditure.

Professor Lesley Haig

D.PT, MSc, Grad Dip Phys, SFHEA - Principal

Professor Lesley Haig is Vice-Chancellor of AECC University College. As Chief Executive Officer, Lesley works in close consultation with the Board of Governors and Senior Members of University College staff, and with a wide range of internal and external constituencies to provide the personal and professional leadership to develop the institution in accordance with the strategy, directions and guidelines set by the Board.

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Professor Kevin McGhee

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Kevin McGhee is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of AECC University College. In his role Kevin is responsible for the academic delivery and quality of undergraduate and postgraduate courses delivered by the AECC University College. Working in close collaboration with the Vice-Chancellor and academic members of University College staff, Kevin also works with a breadth of internal and external colleagues and partners, contributing to the University College's strategic development and growth as a specialist institute in health sciences.

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Terry Noys

Chief Operating Officer

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Philip Dewhurst

BSc (Hons), MChiro, MSc, DC, PGCert, FRCC - Lecturer (Clinical Sciences)

Philip Dewhurst is the Head of the AECC School of Chiropractic and graduated from AECC University College as a chiropractor in 2005.

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Professor Stewart Cotterill

PhD Psychol AFBPS HCPC FBASES FHEA – Head of School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Professor of Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology

Stewart is Head of School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at AECC, and a Professor of Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology.

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Dr Neil Langridge

Director of Clinical & Rehabilitation Services

Neil is the Director of Clinical & Rehabilitation Services at AECC University College, and is responsible for the leadership, management and transformation of clinical services at the University College.

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Steven Thomas

Academic Registrar & University Secretary

Steven is the University College’s Academic Registrar and University Secretary. As Academic Registrar, he is responsible for leading the Registry team and the strategic development and operational delivery of student and academic administration. The covers the full student lifecycle from application to enrolment, graduation and beyond, and the services his team provides are fundamental to our educational and student experience. He is also responsible for overseeing academic governance and its committees, quality assurance, and student-facing regulations, policies and procedures.

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Claire Nadaf

Head of Academic Enterprise and Engagement

Claire is head of Academic Enterprise and Engagement at AECC University College. Her role involves driving the identification, development and management of innovative and profitable enterprise opportunities. Her focus is on developing and nurturing stakeholder engagement, alongside the development of new partnerships and enterprising activities.

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Gary Francis

Head of Practice Related Learning

Gary Francis is Head of Practice Related Learning at AECC University College. Gary will lead on identifying and optimising traditional clinical placements, simulated practice learning opportunities and simulation-based education. Gary also manages the technical staff that provide support to and manage the specialist clinical academic environment. Using his experience, Gary works with the senior management team, academics and estates, and facilities to create innovative and relevant specialist spaces.

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Karen Thurlow

Head of Marketing and Communications

Karen is the Head of Marketing at AECC University College and is responsible for leading and implementing the marketing and communications strategy and plans. Karen manages the communications team, and leads on digital, events, schools, design and print and press relations. Prior to joining the University College, Karen was Head of Marketing at Arts University Bournemouth.

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Steve Goode

Head of IT

Steve joined AECC University College in 2003 and has been involved in the many exciting developments and transformations the institution has been through during this time. Steve has led the IT team through numerous projects and infrastructure refreshes to ensure the IT team and facilities are able to support the institution as it continues to grow and develop.

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Rebecca Old

Head of People and Development

Rebecca is Head of People & Development at AECC University College with responsibilities that include providing effective and comprehensive HR and organisational development services, as well as managing the HR team and leading on the People Plan to ensure the right resources are in place both now, and in the future. Having worked in both private, not for profit and charity sectors in a wide range of industries, Rebecca brings an in-depth knowledge of working in fast-paced changing environments.

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Dr Julie Northam

Head of Research

Dr Julie Northam is Head of Research at AECC University College. In this role, Julie is responsible for providing strategic leadership and operational management for research across the University College. Julie joined AECC University College in September 2023, having worked in higher education since 2003. Initially, she worked at Southampton Solent University and moved to Bournemouth University in 2004. Most recently, Julie led the central research support office at Bournemouth University for 12 years. She is a member of the UK Panel for the HR Excellence in Research Award.

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Steve Cox

Head of Estates and Facilities

Steve is Head of Estates and Facilities at AECC University College and is responsible for the management and operation of the University’s property and facilities. This encompasses activities such as maintenance, buildings compliance, security, cleaning, project delivery, catering, and health and safety.

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Daniel Heritage

Data Protection Officer

Daniel is the University College's Data Protection Officer and supports the Senior Management Group in ensuring that it meets all Data Protection obligation. Daniel is also our lead Chiropractic Clinician responsible for the delivery of excellent patient care within our chiropractic service and ensures the safety of its patients, clinicians and students. He is committed to developing the chiropractic team, providing clinical leadership and operational management and ensuring students develop as practitioners, providing best care for their patients.

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Lisa Bates

Head of Student Services and Wellbeing

Lisa Bates is Head of Student Services and Wellbeing at AECC University College. Lisa is responsible for overseeing our Student Services which include wellbeing support, financial advice, study skills and disability support and will work closely with students to continue to develop our services. Lisa previously worked at the University College for four years as our Access and Participation Manager working to widen access for underrepresented groups, support all students to reach their potential and progress on to their chosen career. Lisa hopes to continue to work on initiatives to remove barriers for underrepresented groups of students in her new role.

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Our Team

We are a specialist health sciences university, delivering high quality education, research, clinical and consultancy services in chiropractic, physiotherapy, psychology, sports, exercise and health science, radiology and imaging sciences.

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