The University Executive Board (UEB) was established in November 2013. Led by the Vice-Chancellor, it’s the senior decision-making group of the University, with corporate responsibility for managing the business of the institution. The UEB meets every 2 weeks to discuss strategy, policy and resourcing matters.

The UEB works in partnership with the Board of Governors to determine the character, identity and strategic direction of the University. It also advises the Vice-Chancellor on all decisions and actions necessary for the conduct of the University and for the achievement of its objectives.

Our Board Appointees, alongside the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Executive Deans from our 5 Faculties, are members of the UEB.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth

Professor Graham Galbraith


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.


Executive Assistant:

Tel: 023 9284 3191

Bernie Topham profile headshot

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 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:

Tel: 023 9284 3397

Paul Hayes profile headshot

Professor Paul Hayes

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

As Senior 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.

Executive Assistant:

Tel: 023 9284 3395

Chris Chang profile headshot

Chris Chang

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Student Life)

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. He has responsibility for UOP Global, the Department of Student Academic Administration, and Academic Partnerships. He is also the strategic lead for student support, health and wellbeing as well as for Equality Diversity and Inclusion.

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 30 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.


Executive assistant email:

Telephone: 023 9284 3398

Jeremy Howells profile headshot

Professor Jeremy Howells

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and External Relations)

Jeremy joined us in 2020 from the University of Kent where he was the interim Dean of Kent Business School. A leading international researcher on innovation, Jeremy is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a visiting Fellow and active member of Kellogg College at the University of Oxford.

Before joining the University of Kent, Jeremy was Dean of the Faculty of Business, Law and Art at the University of Southampton. He's also held senior positions at the University of Manchester, where he was the Executive Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre for Research in Innovation and Competition (CRIC) and Head of the Innovation Management and Policy Division at the Alliance Manchester Business School. While at the Alliance Manchester Business School, Jeremy held the Eddie Davies Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Executive assistant email:

Telephone: 023 9284 3192

Emma Woollard profile headshot

Emma Woollard

Executive Director of 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.


Executive Assistant:

Tel: 023 9284 3302

Claire Dunning photo

Claire Dunning

Executive Director – Corporate Governance

Claire leads our work in corporate governance and oversees the governance processes of the University and its subsidiary companies.  She is also responsible for student complaints, risk management, information governance and legal services.  Claire is a qualified solicitor and holds a masters in corporate governance.

Before joining the University of Portsmouth Claire worked as a commercial lawyer within a FTSE 250 company.


Executive Assistant:

Tel: 023 92 843199

Fiona Hnatow

Fiona Hnatow

Chief People Officer – The University of Portsmouth
As Chief People Officer at the University of Portsmouth Fiona is responsible for leading the delivery of our People Strategy 2030 which supports our underlying principle of educating and transforming lives, while driving a culture of excellence where all our people can achieve great things. As a member of the University Executive Board Fiona makes a significant contribution to the strategic direction of the University together with leading a large HR Function with a portfolio including Pay and Reward, EDI, People and Organisational Development, People Operations and Business Partnering.

Prior to joining the University of Portsmouth as Chief People Officer, Fiona was the Director of Human Resources at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.  Fiona has also worked in strategic and operational HR leadership roles both in the UK and overseas at Transport for London, the City of London Corporation, Surrey County Council, Pearson plc, WWF-UK and Unilever UK and Ireland.


Executive Assistant:

Trevor Keeble profile headshot

Professor Trevor Keeble

Executive Dean – Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

Trevor leads the teaching, research and innovation of the University’s broad portfolio of creative and performing arts, film and media, and creative technology disciplines.

A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Trevor was previously Executive Dean – Learning, Teaching & Research at the University for the Creative Arts, and Associate Dean (Academic) for Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University, London.

Read more about Trevor's career and research

Anne Murphy profile headshot

Professor Anne Murphy

Executive Dean – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Anne joined us in March 2020 from the University of Hertfordshire where she was the Dean of the School of Humanities. She held previous roles as a lecturer in History, Head of History and Associate Dean Research. Her first career was in the City trading interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives.

Her research focuses on early modern financial markets and investment behaviour, and the organisation and management of the 18th-century Bank of England. Anne has published extensively on financial, social and economic history. She won the Economic History Society’s first monograph prize in 2010 for her monograph ‘The Origins of English Financial Markets: investment and speculation before the South Sea Bubble’.

Professor Sherria Hoskins, Executive Dean - Faculty of Science and Health

Professor Sherria Hoskins

Executive Dean – Faculty of Science and Health

Sherria joined us in 1999 from the University of Plymouth, where she gained her PhD in Psychology and went on to become a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer.

A Principal Fellow of the Advance HE, Sherria was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2013 for her contribution to teaching and learning.

Sherria's research interests are in understanding learning behaviour and achievement. She led Growing Learners, a group of education research psychologists dedicated to helping children learn more effectively and two OfS funded projects exploring attainment gaps and learning gain in HE.

Read more about Sherria's career and research

Professor Djamel Ait-Boudaoud, Executive Dean - Faculty of Technology

Professor Djamel Ait-Boudaoud

Executive Dean – Faculty of Technology

Djamel joined the University in 2010 from the University of Central Lancashire, where he was head of the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Both a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), his research interests include the problems of optimisation with applications in 3D computer vision, and video standards.

Terms of reference

The University Executive Board takes a leading role in developing and implementing University Strategy and shaping the culture of the University to promote delivery. The Board ensures that decision making is informed by our external context and that risk is managed effectively.

To see a full copy of our Terms of Reference, please email