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School of Management 60th Anniversary

Welcome to the School of Management

Reflection Videos

Please see links to reflection videos filmed at 60th Anniversary celebration events including the Annual Management Lecture in November 2023 and Academic Research Conference in April 2024.

We were proud to welcome and speak to colleagues, alumni, students and our wider networks and communities to these events as we continued 60th Anniversary celebrations.

Annual Management Lecture

People as the Core of Responsible Management

On Wednesday 15 November 2023 the School of Management hosted the the Annual Management Lecture, the first signature event of our 60th Anniversary celebrations.

Alumna Merel Olgers, Director of People & Culture at University Music Group, delivered the inaugural Annual Management Lecture providing insight into the expertise that Merel has developed over a successful career.

We welcomed alumni and former colleagues from our esteemed history to the Lecture along with current staff, students and members of our wider communities to launch our anniversary celebrations.

Photo of Sankar Sivarajah and Merel Olgers at the 60th Anniversary Annual Management Lecture event in November 2023

Academic Research Conference

Responsible Management: Now and in the future

On Wednesday 17 April 2024 the School of Management continued celebrations by hosting the Academic Research Conference.

During the conference six decades of academic excellence, innovation, and impactful research in the field of management were celebrated as well as looking ahead to the future of responsible management research.

Over 15 speakers joined us, including alumni from the School of Management, exploring their current research in the field of responsible management including themes of wellbeing, leadership, AI and sustainability.

We also launched the new Research clusters as the school moves into a future of interdisciplinary research within global networks.

Photo of School of Management with 60th Anniversary banner and landscape in 2023

Our timeline

Over the course of 60 years the School of Management has developed a storied timeline of which we are very proud. Our history comprises many great people who have helped us to achieve a range of awards, recognitions and successes.

The below timeline provides just a brief timeline of our history, delving into key moments across each decade of the School of Management.


In 1963 the Bradford Management Centre was founded, making it one of the first established university-based business schools in the UK. Professor Tom Kempner was appointed the first director of the Management Centre.

Innovation was the key word for the Bradford Management Centre in the 1960s as a range of programmes were launched to continue the development and expansion of the school. 1964 saw the BSc in Business Studies & MSc in Management and Administration. This was followed in 1966 by the launch of the Post-experience programme and first Doctoral programme in 1969.

The Management Centre was to be based in the Emm Lane building which was originally built and partially financed by Sir Titus Salt as the Congregationalist Airedale College in 1874. In 1967 the Heaton Mount building was purchased for use as the Executive Development Centre.

In 1966 the Charter of Incorporation was granted to create the University of Bradford and then Prime Minister Harold Wilson was named as the University's first chancellor, a role which he held for 19 years.

Aerial photo of the University of Bradford in 1965 including Bradford College and foundations for new buildings

Aerial view of University of Bradford Campus, 1965


The 1970s saw the Bradford Management Centre continue to build its reputation. In 1970 the School was awarded the AMBA Accreditation for pioneering work in management education. In 1974 the MBA was launched to replace MSc in Management and Administration.

The School continued to grow as the Emm Lane campus was expanded with the construction of the Cartwright Lecture Theatre and Yvette Jacobson Library Building (pictured), providing students with access to new resources to support their learning.

In 1972 Professor Chris Higgins was appointed as the Director of the Management Centre, a role which he would hold for 17 years.

Aerial photo of the Bradford Management Centre in 1972 including Emm Lane and Heaton Mount buildings

Aerial view of the Bradford Management Centre, 1972


The 1980s saw a period of development for the University of Bradford and the Bradford Management Centre.

Academics were involved in the development of an Economics group which they took place in to develop discussions into the industry.

In 1986, Sir Harvey Jones became chancellor of the University and Honorary President of the MBA Alumni Board of Patrons.

Throughout the 1980s the MBA continued to develop and expand. The part-time MBA was launched in 1982 which was then followed by the launch of the first "Executive" Corporate MBA and first overseas MBA partnership with the NIMBAS collaboration in Netherlands in 1988.

1989 saw a year of change and development as Professor Christopher Higgins was replaced by Professor David Weir as the Director of the Management Centre whilst the School opened the new Airedale Building on the Emm Lane campus.

Photo of Emm Lane Campus Library showcasing architecture

Yvette Jacobson Library, Emm Lane Campus


The 1990s represented a decade of advancement for the Bradford Management Centre. New partnerships continued to form and old ones continued to develop as the School held competitions with KPMG, held celebration events with the English Cricket Board and launched the BBC MBA and Diploma in 1992.

1992 was a particularly busy year as the school not only commenced extensions on Heaton Mount for the new Executive Education facilities for MBA facilities but continued a path of internationalisation. Undergraduate programmes were launched in both Singapore and Malaysia showcasing the global reach of the Management Centre.

The internationalisation of the School continued into 1995 with the launch of the Emirates MBA in Dubai and the opening of the Dubai office. Following this in 1998 the Distance Learning MBA was launched.

In 1998 Professor Arthur Francis was appointed as Director, replacing Professor David Weir.

Group photo of Bachelor of Science Graduates in 1992 outside Emm Lane

Bachelor of Science Graduates at Emm Lane, 1992


The University of Bradford and Bradford Management Centre continued to expand in the early 2000s, continuing to hold its reputation.

In 2000 the Bradford Management Centre was incorporated as a Faculty within the University of Bradford. As the City Campus continued to develop with the build of the Richmond Atrium the Bradford Management Centre was rebranded to the School of Management in 2001. The new corporate branding was released with the update and the SME Knowledge Networks (now the Knowledge Transfer Network) was launched by David Williamson and Professor Francis.

2000 saw the school awarded the EQUIS Accreditation, something which the School of Management would be re-accredited in 2009.

Efforts into our global offer continued to be made throughout the 2000s. In 2002 the Distance Learning MBA was launched in both Hong Kong and Singapore and the European MA in Management and Administration launched in partnership with Deusto (Bilbao) and Audencia (Nantes). 

2005 saw the opening of the Law School, something which saw the formation of the Faculty of Management and Law (which would later become the Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences). The Ecoversity journey also began with the School looking to embed sustainable practices into operations.

The Accelerated MBA was launched in 2009 highlighting a continued commitment to MBA delivery for the School.


School of Management Logo


Professor Arthur Francis held his role as Dean from his appointment in 1998 through to his retirement in August 2010. The Debating Chamber on the Emm Lane Campus was renamed the Arthur Francis Lecture Theatre.

Dr Sarah Dixon succeeded Professor Arthur Francis until December 2012. Professor Jon Reast, who had been appointed Acting Dean upon Dr Sarah Dixon's departure was successfully appointed in June 2013.

In 2010 the School did the official opening of the Sir Titus Salt Building on the Emm Lane campus and redevelopment of the campus commenced, continuing to modernise and expand learning facilities for students.

2012 was a landmark year for the School of Management as it achieved the AACSB accreditation. This meant the School had achieved the Triple-Crown accreditation (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS) highlighting it's success and impact as a business school.

In 2013 the re:centre was opened on the city centre campus. The centre, also known as the Sustainable Enterprise Centre, was created to lead on interdisciplinary approaches that integrate technological, organisational and societal solutions to meet contemporary environmental challenges.

Professor Zahir Irani was appointed as Dean in 2016, replacing Professor Jon Reast, holding the role from 2016 to 2019. He would go on to become Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Reaccreditation for the triple crown would be achieved for AMBA (2015), AACSB (2017) and EQUIS (2018) with the School then receiving commendation at the North Educate awards in 2019 for Student Experience.

2019 also saw the restructure of the School of Management with the School relocating to Bright Building on the City Campus in 2019.

Image of stain glass windows and modern training suite in Sir Titus Salt Building

Sir Titus Salt Building


Professor Sankar Sivarajah led the School of Management into the 2020s, a period which to date has seen continued recognition for the impact of the School.

In 2020 the School of Management was awarded Business School of the Year at the Educate North Awards. This was followed up by the School becoming the first in England to receive joint accreditation from both AMBA and the Business Graduates Association (BGA) and a new partnership formed with Barclays who supported the Knowledge Transfer Network.

In 2021 the School was awarded the Small Business Charter and most notably the Time Higher Education Business School of the Year award.

2022 saw the School gain reaccreditation from EQUIS whilst being named as runner up in the European Triple Awards for Community Engagement Initiative of the Year. 

Individual programmes continued to receive recognition for their impact with the MSc in European International Business and Management being ranked in the Financial Times, the Executive MBA marking its 25th anniversary in Dubai and the Office for Students awarding scholarship funding for the School's MSc Applied AI and Data Analytics programme from 2022 to 2023.

2022 saw the formation of the Entrepreneurship Festival, supported by NatWest, providing students with insight into what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

Photo of School of Management with 60th Anniversary banner behind landscape in 2023

School of Management with 60th Anniversary Banner, 2023

Our Heritage

Explore the storied history of the School of Management and how we've grown through 60 years of success, ever-growing communities and innovation.


Chancellor, Lord Wilson of Rievaulx, Harold Wilson

Lord Harold Wilson of Rievaulx - University of Bradford Chancellor 1966-1985 and Prime Minister 1964-1970 and 1974 - 1976