We know it takes more than a job title to make a leader. Meet the people appointed by our Board of Governors to lead the University, and learn more about the work they do.

Our Board Appointees, alongside the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Executive Deans from our 5 Faculties, are members of the University Executive Board (UEB) – the institution’s key decision-making body which makes the important decisions that ensure the effective management and operation of the University. The UEB meets every 2 weeks to discuss strategy, policy and resourcing matters.

We also have a Board of Governors who carry the ultimate responsibility to approve the mission and strategic vision of the University and assure the effective management of the University as well as planning its future direction. Read more about the work they do.

Professor Graham Galbraith

Vice-Chancellor

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth


Professor Graham Galbraith joined the University in 2013 as Vice-Chancellor and in this role is our Chief Executive and Chief Academic Officer. He is also the Chief Accountable Officer to the Office for Students that currently regulates UK Universities.

It's our Vice-Chancellor's job to deliver our University Mission and Strategic Plan by providing a world leading student experience alongside internationally-recognised research and innovation solutions that engage with business and respond to the needs of society.

Professor Galbraith shapes the strategic direction of the University in partnership with the Board of Governors, manages key senior staff including the Board Appointees, Chairs the University Executive Board and leads the development of the key delivery plans which underpin the achievement of the University Strategy. He is also a full member of the Board of Governors.

Passionate about the transformative power of higher education, Professor Galbraith's experience, entrepreneurial outlook and track record of academic achievement provide the leadership necessary for the future success of the University.

Email: vice-chancellor@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: shani.thirlwell@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843191

Bernie Topham

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Our Chief Operating Officer, Bernie Topham, has responsibilities for the strategic management and operation of key professional support services that underpin the effective and efficient operation of the University and provide the important services that students and staff need.

She oversees many departments including Estates and Campus Services, the Library, Sport and Recreation, Marketing, the Department of Student and Academic Administration, and Information Services.

Bernie has an MBA from the University of Plymouth, and was previously Chief Executive of Eastleigh Borough Council. She also has held director-level roles with Portsmouth City Council and the Borough of Poole Council.

Executive Assistant: shirley.boff@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843397

Bernie Topham, Chief Operating Officer, University of Portsmouth
Professor Paul Hayes

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Hayes has responsibility for all of the academic business of the university through oversight of the Faculties and by leading the achievement of our academic and educational ambitions. His work helps us give our students an excellent education and experience.

Paul, who previously served as Dean of the University's Faculty of Science, also has responsibility for the management of our Executive Deans and Dean of Learning and Teaching.

A marine biologist by training, his research in microbial ecology is recognised around the world.

Email: vice-chancellor@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: claire.coffin@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843395

Prof Paul Hayes, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, University of Portsmouth
Professor Bob Nichol

Pro Vice-Chancellor - Research and Innovation

Bob provides overall leadership for our research and innovation at the University. Working with colleagues, Bob helps develop and define our strategic priorities and provides support for research and innovation activity through his oversight of our Research and Innovation Service (RIS). He also responsible for the success and well-being of our postgraduate students through his leadership with our Graduate School.

Bob became Pro Vice-Chancellor in February 2019 after nearly ten years as Director of our Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG). Bob is a cosmologist with experience in large astronomical surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Dark Energy Survey. Over his career, he has promoted the societal and economic impact of his research through projects like GalaxyZoo.

Read more about Bob’s research

Executive Assistant: hannah.mellish@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843192

Professor Bob Nichol, Pro Vice-Chancellor - Research and Innovation
Chris Chang

Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement

Chris is responsible for providing strategic leadership in the development and implementation of an ambitious Global Engagement strategy for the University, for extending our global partnerships and reach to make our high-quality brand of education even more accessible worldwide.

Before joining the University in September 2016, Chris was Pro Vice-Chancellor Corporate Marketing, International and Development Services at Anglia Ruskin University. He has over 20 years’ experience in the higher education sector and a background as a lawyer. He qualified as a barrister in 1986 and began his career working as an advocate and solicitor at the High Court of Malaya, advising large corporate clients.

Email: chris.chang@port.ac.uk

Executive assistant email: karolina.szczepaniak@port.ac.uk

Telephone: 023 9284 3398

Chris Chang, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement , University of Portsmouth
Emma Woollard

Executive Director - Finance

Emma is a CIMA qualified accountant. She joined us as a management accountant in 1989 and became Director of Finance in 2004.

Emma provides strategic financial leadership for the University, supporting the Vice-Chancellor, Executive Board and Board of Governors in the development and implementation of the University’s strategy, including responsibility for the financial aspects of its implementation. She is also responsible for ensuring there are robust and effective systems for financial control to enable the management of financial risks.

Email: emma.woollard@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: sarah.cole@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843302

Emma Woollard, Director of Finance, University of Portsmouth
Adrian Parry

Executive Director - Corporate Governance

Adrian leads our work in corporate governance and oversees the governance processes of the University and its subsidiary companies. He is also responsible for student complaints, risk management, information governance and legal services. He holds Masters degrees in Strategic Studies, Business Administration and Education, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Chartered Management Institute.

Before joining Portsmouth he was the University Secretary of the University of Bedfordshire and also served as the Clerk to the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Further Education Funding Council.

Email: adrian.parry@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: julie.reynolds@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843199

Adrian Parry

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