Executive Team

Executive Team

Meet the members of the UCLan Executive Team or view our corporate structure (.pdf 550KB) 

Vice Chancellor - Professor Mike Thomas 

Mike Thomas

Contact Details


Professor Mike Thomas
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892501

Executive Assistant

Anne Roberts
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892515

Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Lynch
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892500

Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor

Sarah Kernohan
01772 892509
Email –

Professor Thomas joined UCLan in the summer of 2014 from the University of Chester where he was Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) for four years. A graduate of the University of Manchester where he studied healthcare he holds a Masters in Law from John Moore’s University, gained a PhD in Psychotherapy from the University of Nottingham and is an alumni of the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

He carries out research into the area of compassion and kindness in leadership and supervises a number of PhD students who explore management and leadership with particular emphasis on stewardship, values and resilience. He is an advisor to external recruitment organisations.

He is Chair of several external Regional Boards and serves on a number of national committees, has led three social enterprise companies and continues to act as a consultant to third sector organisations and start-ups.

An ex-submariner Mike has worked on projects for many years which support military discharged service personnel to find new life and career opportunities. He works with a team of active ex-service academics and those with a special interest or specialism in the field of transition support and is the Director of the College for Veterans and Emergency Services.

Professor Thomas is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society for the Arts and a Member of the British Psychological Society.

Current Responsibilities

Committee Membership

  • University Board
  • Audit and Risk Committee
  • Remuneration Committee
  • (Chair) Executive Team
  • (Chair) Senior Leadership Team
  • (Chair) Academic Board
  • (Chair) Honorary Awards Committee


  • University of Central Lancashire Foundation

Representation on External Bodies

  • Age UK Mid-Mersey
  • Broughton House, Home for veterans
  • National Council for Enterprise in Education
  • Entrepreneurial University Leadership Programme
  • College for Veterans and Emergency Services
  • Army Professoriate
  • Education and Employment Board, 42nd Brigade

Michael Ahern

Chief Operating Officer

Michael Ahern Chief Operating Officer University of Central Lancashire

Contact details
+44 (0)1772 892502

Personal Assistant:

Michelle Fletcher
+44 (0)1772 892508

Michael has extensive experience of designing and delivering strategic and operational change programmes both within business information systems and in wider a business context. Michael has 10 years experience in technical and engineering roles and 15 years in strategic leadership roles. Since joining UCLan in 1998 Michael has been responsible for transforming the technical IT team into a valued university business partner. In 2008 Michael led the creation of Learning and Information Services (LIS), joining UCLan’s IT and Library services into one integrated service. Since then LIS has also taken on responsibility for all technical and digital services around the university.

Prior to joining UCLan Michael worked within Bolton Metro (Leisure) as IT & Support Services Manager where he was responsible for creating and establishing the organisation’s IT Services and delivered their first IT infrastructure based on distributed LANs.

Prior to this Michael worked for Bass Brewers as Head of Production Services where he was responsible for leading and managing the deployment of large production systems at some of Europe’s largest brewing, productions and distribution plants.

Before joining Bass Brewers Michael worked for British Gas North Western, originally in Customer Services before moving onto Productivity Services.

Directorate Lead for:

  • Marketing
  • Facilities Management
  • Learning & Information Services
  • Student & Academic Support Services

Committee membership:

  • Executive Team
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Centralan Holdings Ltd Board
  • Death in Service Trustee
  • Honorary Awards Committee
  • Masterplan Vision Board
  • Safety Health and Environment Committee

Lynne Livesey

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Lynne Livesey

Contact Details

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Lynne Livesey
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892504

Personal Assistant

Carolyn Williams
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892342

Lynne is Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire with responsibility for academic development, employability and partnerships. Previously Lynne was Dean of the Lancashire Law School at UCLan.

Lynne has many years’ experience of curriculum development, quality assurance and enhancement of student experience across educational disciplines and in legal professional and academic education. She has been involved on panels as a chair or member reviewing quality and student experience in more than 30 international institutions and at many UK universities and colleges, as well as undertaking roles on various Boards of Governors. She is an Assessor of legal education provision for the legal professional bodies in England and Wales. She has participated in national working parties and groups to review and enhance education and policy.

Lynne works closely with the University’s international office to enhance international student experience and has travelled widely to support international students. As chair of the University’s UK and Overseas Partnership review panel and as Dean she helped to develop UCLan’s work with partner Universities and Colleges from several countries. .

Alongside her academic background, Lynne is a practising lawyer with expertise in Trusts and Property laws and has several years’ experience in private practice. She has a strong professional and academic interest in education law, equality and diversity law and in social issues around improvement of social mobility and access to justice. She has contributed as a key note speaker at several UK and international conferences and advisory meetings on these issues, including conferences organised with senior members of the Chinese Government to discuss proposals for Constitutional reform relating to equality and diversity in Chinese education.

Lynne has led several externally funded high value research projects, frequently working in collaboration with international partners. She has been involved in developing employer networks, industry Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and social enterprises to help to improve students’ employability and enterprise skills, their resilience and to raise their aspirations.

Current Responsibilities

  • Academic Development
  • Employability
  • Partnerships

Lynne is a Member of the following UCLan Committees

  • Executive Team
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Student Experience Committee
  • Academic Board

Representation on External Bodies

  • Preston Inc. Law Society
  • Runshaw Corporation Board
  • Visions Learning Trust Board
  • Applied Policy Sciences Unit Board
  • Guild UTC Board

Pete Dunleavy

Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)

Personal Assistant

Lynn Bryne
01772 892513

Pete took up the role of Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at UCLan in May 2015. He has wide experience of other Universities having worked at Nottingham Trent, East London and Manchester Metropolitan Universities prior to working at UCLan as a PVC. He was also a local tutor for the Open University for many years. He is a trained QAA reviewer and has acted as External examiner for fifteen other Universities in the UK. In addition, he has acted in an advisory capacity to many others. 

Initially a chemist, Pete worked in the surface coatings industry for seven years before entering full time education as a mature student. He specialised in plant sciences and undertook his PhD into the physiological mode of action of pesticides. His subsequent research career focussed on the environmentally benign agrochemicals, biological control and conservation in agriculture. He was especially keen to involve his students in real projects involving farmers and agronomists in real projects and is proud to have been awarded the title of National Green Champion for Environmental Education for 15 years of commitment to this in 2006. 

Associated with this work, he has also published research into the use of peer assessment in Higher Education and novel methods for the assessment of group work. More recently, he has published statistical analysis and interpretations of the NSS demonstrating the relative importance of the different questions to overall student satisfaction.

Pete continues to provide advice to Agronomists and government on safe usage of pesticides and remains active in the wider academic community. 

Gai Murphy

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Gai Murphy

Contact Details

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Gai Murphy
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892511

Personal Assistant

Cath Kilmartin
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892507

Gai is Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire with responsibility for Student Experience, Retention and Widening Participation. Previously Gai’s most recent roles at Salford were interim Pro Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching and Associate Dean (Academic) within the College of Science and Technology at Salford University.

Gai had many years’ experience of teaching and learning at Salford and taught on the Environmental Health and Public Health Programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her teaching and research interests lie in urban vector management. Undertaking research in urban environments, particularly domestic dwellings is challenging, but ameliorating the risks posed by rodent and insect pests is a vital part of improving and protecting public and environmental health. At Salford she led on the development of a revised annual programme monitoring system which enabled more prompt consideration of student data. She also reviewed the operation of peer observation of teaching, encouraging interdisciplinary observations within and across schools.

She is Governor at Canon Slade School, Bolton and a Quality Assurance Agency Institutional Reviewer, which gives her the opportunity to visit other Higher Education Institutions in the UK and review and reflect on practice at other HEI’s in their delivery of learning and teaching.

Current Responsibilities:

  • Student Experience
  • Retention
  • Widening Participation

Gai is a Member of the following UCLan Committees:

  • Executive Team
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Student Experience Committee
  • Academic Board
  • Equality and Diversity Executive Group
  • Representation on External Bodies:
  • Governor at Canon Slade School, Bolton
  • Governor at Wigan and Leigh College
  • QAA Reviewer


    Deborah Reid

    Director of Finance

    Deborah Reid Director Finance University of Central Lancashire

    Contact Details

    Director of Finance

    Deborah Reid
    Tel: +44 (0)1772 892167

    Personal Assistant

    Denise Helm
    Tel: +44 (0)1772 892160

    Deborah trained as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Young in Manchester after completing her degree at Lancaster University. Following qualification, she moved into industry and spent several years working in the fast moving consumer goods’ sector of chilled food production in a variety of financial roles before becoming a director of a small quoted company which specialised in furniture manufacture. Eventually she returned to the North West and moved into the Education sector when she took up the post of Group Financial Controller with UCLan in 2002. She was promoted to Finance Director in 2012.


    Deborah has line-management responsibility for

    • Financial Services

    Professor Robin Pollard

    Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)


    Robin Pollard Profile Image

    Contact Details:


    Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)
    Professor Robin Pollard
    Tel: +44 (0)1772 896341

    Personal Assistant
    Carol Doloughan
    Tel: +44 (0)1772 894000



    Professor Robin Pollard commenced at UCLan in late 2014 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International). He currently also has responsibilities for research performance and strategy implementation.

    Robin is an accomplished leader of university developments. His experience extends to the building of overseas campuses, forging and managing international partnerships, large-scale organisational change including campus transfers, and the development of online education.

    Robin trained in New Zealand as a condensed matter physicist specialising in magnetism at low temperatures and with high magnetic fields, including in disordered alloys, fine particles, iron oxides and hydroxides, and in transition metal chalcogenides and di-halides. He held research positions at the University of Manitoba, Canada and at the University of California, San Diego as physicist and research chemist.

    Following a move to Australia, he became interested in transnational education, and contributed to the internationalisation of Monash University in Melbourne. His academic interests expanded to include marketing and information technology.

    He was the foundation Head, School of Business and Information Technology in 1998-2000, upon the opening of the first foreign branch campus in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    In 2004-2007 Robin was a Pro- and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of New England, with responsibilities for internationalisation, development and human resources.

    He subsequently returned to the Monash Malaysia campus in 2007-2012 as Chief Executive and President, and contributed to the development of the campus as the pre-eminent Malaysian private university.

    In 2013 Robin led a regional campus to exit the Monash family and join Federation University Australia. As Academic Vice-President (Campus Transition and Partnerships) in 2013-2014, he facilitated the transition of a campus in Johannesburg to a new partnership with Laureate Education, and provided academic leadership for a partnership with Pearson to develop and deliver postgraduate courses online.