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New Executive Board appointments


Four new appointments have been made to the University's Executive Board.

Steve Gilley is to join the University of Bradford as Director of Infrastructure, Marian Hilditch has been appointed to the role of Academic Registrar and Director of Registry and Student Administration, Andrew Lang will join the University as our new Chief Financial Officer, and Professor Chris Gaffney has been appointed to the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research.

These appointments follow news that Eileen Milner will be the University's new Chair of Council.

Steve Gilley: Director of Infrastructure

In this important new role, Steve will lead the development and delivery of the University’s coordinated estates and information technology strategies. He will also oversee effective delivery of facilities and campus services, as well as line-manage the estates and facilities managers and the Director of IT.

A Chartered Surveyor, Steve has over thirty years’ experience in property, gained in the public and private sectors. He is joining us from the University of Leeds, where he has worked for the past fifteen years, most recently as Director of Estates and Facilities. In this role he oversaw a major campus transformation programme, with capital investment resulting in the construction of over twenty new buildings and extensive refurbishment of the existing Estate. 

Committed to sustainability, Steve most recently led the Estates response to the University of Leeds’s ambition to becoming a Net Zero organisation by 2030 and was responsible for £150m investment to de-carbonise the estate.

Steve is passionate about placemaking and the impact of landscape and public realm to support a positive sense of wellbeing at work. Also at Leeds, Steve directed strategic change within Estates, developing a programme office to support project delivery, undertaking process reviews to improve and develop the services, and introducing significant structural change to modernise the service.

Steve said: “What attracted me to this new role at the University of Bradford was the opportunity to make real progress at pace on the estates, facilities and infrastructure projects already underway or in the planning stages. Being able to influence and support how the University strategy can be brought to life physically and digitally is a tremendous opportunity. I'm looking forward to working with the teams and using my experience of delivering transformational change to make the campus more welcoming, sustainable and accessible for everyone.”

When he is not working, Steve enjoys landscape photography and is often to be found happily snapping away somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales.

Marian Hilditch: Academic Registrar and Director of Registry and Student Administration

Marian Hilditch began her career in Higher Education in May 2008 as a temp at the University of York, importing marks into SITS and cleansing data for HESA returns. Since then, she has worked across roles in student systems, records and data, serving as Head of Data Quality at Teesside University before joining Bradford in 2019 as Deputy Academic Registrar.

Marian is the 2020-2023 chair of SROC (Student Records Officers' Conference) and sits on the Academic Registrars' Council (ARC) executive committee. She’s been active nationally, advocating collaboration and knowledge-sharing across registry areas and talking extensively about best practice on all things data.

Marian will lead the new directorate of Registry & Student Administration, ensuring that the University of Bradford has a sector leading student administration through student centred development and innovation of service from enrolment to graduation. She will also be the senior responsible officer for the integrity and quality of student data.

Marian said: "I have never looked back on my decision to join Bradford, a place that celebrates diversity and prides itself on inclusion. I am beyond honoured to take on the role of Academic Registrar and to lead Bradford's new Registry & Student Administration directorate, a team that I am immensely proud of, and to continue to work with incredible colleagues to provide the absolute best for students and staff."

When not behind a keyboard, Marian can be found holding a gamepad, reading fanfics and collecting toys. On occasion, she takes her DSLR out for a walk.

Andrew Lang: Chief Financial Officer

This is an important role within the University’s senior structure that has responsibility for our financial strategy, including planning and investment.

Andrew joins the University of Bradford from the Co-op, where he worked for 23 years, most recently as Chief Risk Officer and previously as Corporate Finance Director.

With extensive experience in financial leadership, Andrew led the financial due diligence of numerous mergers and acquisitions in Co-op Food and was a key leader enabling the wider group to rebuild following the capital issues faced by the Co-operative Bank in 2013-16. Over the last few years, he was responsible for the risk transformation of the Co-op and led the group’s response to the Covid pandemic. Andrew is very much a team player, whose approach is to bring clarity to complex situations, mitigate risks, and drive forward strategy delivery to meet objectives.

Higher Education’s ‘real purpose’ and the difference it makes to people’s lives is what attracted Andrew to the sector and to the University of Bradford in particular. He champions all aspects of diversity and inclusion, always looking to ensure the quietest voice in the room is heard.

Andrew said: “The opportunity to help people to make the best of their lives and set them up for future success feels right and is a huge motivation for me in my new, exciting role. I was the first person in my family to attend university, so I understand how transformational widening access to higher education is. The University of Bradford’s clear commitment to, and success in, driving social mobility really attracted me to this important role. I’m looking forward to bringing my skills and experience to continue the excellent work of Stuart and his team. My focus will be on maintaining the University’s strong financial position and working with colleagues to enable our ambitious investment plans to be realised.”

As well as his experience at Co-op, Andrew is non-executive director at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, a Governor at St Helen’s College, and, as a former basketball player who represented Great Britain at two World Student Games, he also finds time to help coach the Under-16s ‘Manchester Magic’ basketball team. Andrew lives in St Helens with his wife Jude and three children aged 22, 18 and 15.

Professor Chris Gaffney: Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research

In his new role, Professor Gaffney will lead the University’s research and innovation strategy to deliver internationally leading, interdisciplinary research and innovation that will shape and benefit future societies.

Professor of Archaeological Science and an archaeological geophysicist, Professor Gaffney has established a strong track record in research and led the internationally renowned archaeological prospection group at the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences. His work includes the development of technologies and techniques to obtain and use geophysical data to better understand the life and culture of ancient peoples.

With his significant research achievements, he is an ambassador for research at the University of Bradford and a key contributor to our global reputation for research impact. Chris will work to enhance the reputation of our research and further develop our research environment.

Professor Gaffney said: "I am delighted to be able to help shape the post-REF research agenda at Bradford. I know from experience that the University of Bradford has a wealth of talent that contributes to a vibrant research environment, and I look forward to working with the team to enhance the opportunities for research across the institution and to promote the work to a widest possible audience."

New Director of Infrastructure Steve Gilley

Steve Gilley

New Academic Registrar Marian Hilditch

Marian Hilditch

New Director of Finance Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang

New PVC Research and Innovation Chris Gaffney

Chris Gaffney