The University Council is the principal decision-making body in the University. The composition of the University Council is as follows:
Professor Bob Cryan took up the post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield on the 1st January 2007, a University that now has over 22,000 students from over 120 countries. Bob holds two first class honours degrees (Engineering, Mathematics), an MBA and two doctorates (PhD, DSc) and he is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Technology and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Bob is a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire and in 2013 he was awarded The Guardian Inspiring Leader Award. In 2014 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours and made a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. In 2015 he received The Daily Telegraph Educate North Inspiring Leader Award and was included in the group of 50 World leading Engineers appointed as Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
He is the current president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield
Chair of Council
Vice Chair of Council
Mr Thornton currently advises businesses in Yorkshire and is Chairman of a small pharmaceutical development company. He is also a Trustee of several charities. Previously he has been Chairman of Thornton & Ross, a Healthcare Manufacturing Group, and was Vice-President of Euralliance Pharma. He was appointed to the University Council in July 2006 and was Chair of the Audit Committee from August 2012 to May 2018. Mr Thornton became Vice-Chair of Council in August 2018 and subsequently was appointed as Chair of Council with effect from August 2019.
Baroness Pinnock was elected as a Councillor for the Cleckheaton ward in 1987 and has served the Cleckheaton community as its Councillor ever since. She served as Leader of Kirklees Council from 2000 to 2006 and was also the leader of the Kirklees Liberal Democrat Councillors from 1991 to 2014. Baroness Pinnock was appointed to the University Council with effect from August 2016 and elected Vice-Chair of Council in August 2019.
A leading figure in the construction industry, Bernard Ainsworth is regarded as the 'ultimate' project manager and has been responsible for leading teams in the construction of many famous buildings, including the iconic London Shard and the Millennium Dome, and it was for this latter project that he was awarded his OBE. He now carries a number of Non-Executive Director roles on major construction project. Mr Ainsworth was appointed to the University’s Estates Development Committee in August 2017 and became a member of University Council with effect from August 2019.
Mr Cox is a retired Chartered Accountant and former Finance Director of AQA Education. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has held a number of Finance Director roles across a range of industries. Mr Cox is also a governor and
Mark Fisher is Chief Executive of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, responsible for the NHS in Greater Manchester
Mark joined the Civil Service as a fast stream trainee in 1983. He has worked as HR Director of the (then) Department for Social Security, and as a Board Director of Jobcentre Plus. . From 2014 to 2017 he was Director of the Office for Civil Society and Innovation at the Cabinet
In January 2010, he received a CBE. He was appointed to the University Council in March 2006 and became Chair of the Estates Development Committee (now the Estates and Finance Committee) in August 2018.
Professor Pollock-Hulf is currently working with WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) and the Bloodhound Project to promote STEM to the next generation of engineers. She has been an active volunteer member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers for over 30 years and was the 127th President of the Institute in 2012. In June 2014, Professor Pollock-Hulf was awarded an OBE for services to mechanical engineering. She was appointed to the University Council in March 2015.
Ajaz Ahmed is an entrepreneur who founded Freeserve, the UK's first Billion-Pound internet company. His eureka moment for Freeserve came when nobody in PC World could tell him how to get onto the internet.
Ajaz is included in the 'Yorkshire Business Power 100.' He writes a column for the trade publication 'Retail Week' and is the Chairman of the digital agency, Quba. The Queen awarded him a 'British Empire Medal'
Ajaz was appointed to the University Council on 1st August 2021.
Mrs Lloyd is a business woman and has a manufacturing and property business based in Elland. She stepped down as High Sheriff of West Yorkshire in April 2014 and was appointed President of the RNLI Leeds Business Branch in May 2014. Mrs Lloyd was appointed to the University Council in July 2014.
Clare Morrow is the Chair of the Board at the Bettys and Taylors Group in Harrogate, which makes Yorkshire Tea, Taylors of Harrogate tea and coffee, and has five iconic cafe tea rooms across Yorkshire.
She is the Chair of Hollybank Trust, a charity based in Mirfield, which provides residential care and education for children and adults with multiple and profound learning disabilities.
Clare is also Chair of the Yorkshire and North East Film Archive, a small charity which preserves and makes available to the public moving images captured by film makers across the two regions over the past century.
Clare had a 25 year career as a journalist, executive producer and senior manager, working in newspapers, radio and television for both the BBC and ITV.
Previous non-executive roles include the Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, a director of the Rugby Football League and a director of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. She was also a Trustee at both the Leeds Playhouse and Sheffield Theatres.
Clare was appointed to the University Council in August 2022.
Mr Davies is a portfolio non-executive director (NED) of several organisations, primarily in West Yorkshire. He has recently become a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen. His director roles are at Immersify Education (Chair);
Mr Davies has extensive experience of leading IT functions and change programmes having held the roles of Chief Information Officer, IT Director, and Chairman across a range of business sectors including higher education and research, retail, technology, leisure and health
Professor Thornton is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and is responsible for planning, resources and marketing across the University. Professor Thornton studied at New College, Oxford and specialises in the late medieval and early modern political and social history of the British Isles. He was appointed to the University Council in September 2015.
Hazel Bryan is Professor of Education and Dean of The School of Education and Professional Development. She was appointed to University Council on 24th November 2021.
Mr Pilicudale is Director of Digital Information and responsible for the University’s Computing and Library Services. Mr Pilicudale was appointed to the University’s Council Committee in November 2020.
Miss Avery is the current President of the University of Huddersfield's Students' Union and was appointed to University Council in July 2022. Prior to becoming President, Millie was the Students' Union's Education Officer for the 2021-22 academic year. Before taking her role in
During her time at University, Millie was involved with many societies including Women's Rugby Union, Summer Sports and was the Social Secretary for Gymnastics. Being involved with different societies enabled Millie to get a wider understanding of the different experiences
As president, Millie hopes to lead the rest of the executive officer team, sharing her experience as a second-year officer and support the team with their aims. Over the year, Millie aims to work closely with the university to further support students during their time at the
Mr Kelly is a Partner at Schofield Sweeny Solicitors in Huddersfield, having formerly worked for Armitage Sykes Solicitors and Eversheds LLP. He is also a qualified chartered accountant and previous roles include Finance Director and Deputy Group Managing Director for Kunick Leisure and European Finance Director for Caudwell Communications, based in Dusseldorf. Mr Kelly was appointed to the Audit Committee with effect from August 2016.
Alison joined the University in January 2020 and has worked in professional higher education administration, leadership and management for over 25 years. Alison leads the University’s governance, legal and health and safety service provision and, as well as managing those
Prior to joining the University, Alison worked at Oxford Brookes University, the University of Bradford and Leeds Beckett University, leading on governance, legal services, strategic and operational planning and organisational programme management and change.
Alison is the former Chair of the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) and has worked on a number of sector-wide projects and initiatives. She holds a BA (Hons) in Literature and Philosophy and a Masters in Strategic Decision Making, specialising in research
Revd Professor Malay is a Professor of English Literature within the School of Music, Humanities and Media and was appointed to the University’s Council Committee in November 2020.
Paul Leigh is a Chartered Accountant and Chief Financial Officer for a multi academy trust. He qualified in public practice and has held a number of senior roles in the education sector. He is passionate about how the role of finance can support leaders in delivering high quality
Mr Paul Leigh was appointed to Audit Committee in August 2022.