Board of Governors and Committees
Board of Governors
The University governing body is appointed under the provisions of the Education Reform Act 1988. It is collectively responsible for overseeing the University activities, determining its future direction, and fostering an environment in which its mission is achieved and the potential of all learners is maximised.
Independent Governor (Chair)
Currently the Chair of the Board of Governors Keith began his time with Coventry University as a co-opted member of the Audit Committee and became a full Board member in 2010 when he took over as Chair of the HR Committee. Keith also chairs the Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee.
Keith is Chairman of the Warwickshire based consultancy and training company Bourton Group. His clients include the MOD, Highways Agency, Sellafield Rail, Rolls-Royce and other blue chip companies.
He was previously a member of the Council for the Management Consultancies Association for 17 years and has served for 9 years as a member of the Warwickshire Advisory Committee which is responsible for the selection & appointment of magistrates.
Independent Governor (Deputy Chair)
Andy currently holds the role of Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors following his appointment to the Board in February 2017. Andy is a graduate of Oxford University, a chartered accountant and for 30 years enjoyed an executive career mainly in the retail sector, having had roles as finance director and chief executive of several companies including Selfridges, Mothercare and Co-operative Retail Services.
For the last 12 years, he has had a portfolio of chairmanships and non-executive directorships across commercial, public and charity sectors, including GHD Group, Fortnum and Mason and Myton Hospice.
He is currently Chairman of Ramsdens Holdings PLC and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and the hospitals’ charity. He is also Chairman of Mayday Trust, a charity working with people experiencing homelessness, treasurer of his local church and is the Chairman of the Council at Coventry Cathedral.
John Latham OBE
John leads the delivery of the University Group’s strategic objectives as agreed by the Board of Governors and was appointed Vice-Chancellor in 2014. John is a double graduate of the University and has a background in information technology and telecommunications. He has held high-profile roles at regional, national and European levels promoting innovation, technology and economic development.
He is the Extraordinary Professor in the area of enterprise and entrepreneurship at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
John is also a member of Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee.
Aderonke is the Vice-President for Education at Coventry University Students’ Union and a member of the Union’s Board of Trustees.
As the Vice-President for Education Aderonke wil serve as the voice and support for students across the Coventry University group and will ensure that students are at the heart of every decision taken.
Aderonke has served as the postgraduate taught officer in 2018/19, and as a volunteer at the Academic Development Centre and Sustainability Committee. She holds a Masters degree in sustainability and environment management from Coventry University.
Aderonke is also a member of Academic Affairs Committee.
Staff Governor (Academic)
Appointed as a Staff Governor in September 2018, Furrkh is a Senior Lecturer in Computing based within the Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computer.
Furrkh first joined the university in 1998 and has taught in the areas of E and M Commence, Business Continuity, Global Business development and System analysis. Furrkh is interested in overseas recruitment and collaboration and has travelled extensively to the Indian sub-continent.
Furrkh has held posts in secondary schools and Further Education where he was also an Ofsted inspector. He has managed his own printing and marketing company, IT consultancy and software development house.
He is a senior yoga instructor for Yoga Alliance UK and joint co-founder of his own martial arts school. He is a trustee on the board at the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and is an advisor to the Coventry Girls and Boys club.
Furrkh is also a trustee of the Coventry University Students’ Union.
Kevin is the former Deputy Chief Executive of Innovate UK where he focused on the development and delivery of Innovate UK’s investment portfolio regionally, nationally and globally. Progressing from roles as Innovate UK’s Director of Technology and Chief Development Officer, Kevin championed and pioneered many new important initiatives such as the proposals which led to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the forging of closer working partnerships with Venture Capital funds leading to the Investment Acceleration programmes.
Kevin has an extensive track record in delivering transformative growth through leading edge innovations, in particular for the telecommunications industry, where he held leadership positions with BT, Nortel Networks and Virgin Media. Whilst Director of Technical Strategy at Virgin Media: Kevin pioneered Virgin’s rollout of the UK’s first mass-market superfast broadband in 2008; championed Virgin’s migration to a new generation digital entertainment service in 2010 and then as Director of Wireless, was responsible for the roll out of high-speed WiFi access across the London Underground in time for the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Kevin holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Birmingham in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Aston University and an MBA with distinction from Imperial College.
In addition to his role as a Governor at Coventry University Group, Kevin is a Trustee on the Board of the City & Guilds Group and an industry advisor on innovation.
Kevin is also a member of Academic Affairs Committee.
David Frost CBE, DL
David is in his first term as a Governor, having been appointed in February 2017, and is currently Chair of the Education Advisory Committee. Between 2003 and 2011 David was appointed as the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, representing the interests of 100,000 businesses from Westminster. Prior to this David was the Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
Newly appointed to the Board of Governors in September 2018, Sue began her career as a school teacher and has been at the forefront of developments within the national curriculum in the UK in her capacity as Director of Curriculum for England, leading a team working on the national curriculum and regulating GCSE and A level examinations. Sue is a leader in education and the arts with a commitment to young people, their futures and what they need to succeed.
Sue has also worked at an international level in Rwanda and Oman assisting in the redevelopment of their education systems and is recognised as an international expert on reading and its assessments.
Sue is closely involved with arts charities particularly those working with children and young people and is focussed on creative writing and reading. In 2013 Sue was awarded an MBE for services to literature.
Sue is currently only a member of Board of Governors.
Ian is a Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years’ experience in the industry. Most recently he was chairman of the GSH Group Plc, an international facilities and energy management group with operations across the UK, Europe, North America and India. He has held board-level positions in several companies in a diverse range of sectors, including engineering, automotive, pharmaceuticals and retailing. He has a broad background of working internationally.
Ian has particular expertise in the financing and restructuring of businesses with a distinct emphasis on mergers, acquisitions and disposals.
Ian is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Graham is now into his second term as an Independent Governor and was appointed in November 2015. He is a career banker responsible for Santander’s UK Healthcare and Education team, providing funding and banking services to Higher Education and Further Education institutions, and healthcare businesses. Graham was formerly the Head of Real Estate for Lloyds Banking Group.
Graham is also a member of Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee.
Currently in her second term as Governor, Helen was appointed in September 2017. Prior to this Helen was an external co-opted member. Helen is a Chartered Accountant with expertise in risk management and internal controls. Her career has included being a risk assurance partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Helen has an MA in Natural Sciences and an MSc in Biochemical Engineering.
Nick is a newly appointed Co-opted Governor as of September 2018. He was awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses in 2012. Nick is passionate about generating culturally inspiring and socially engaging creative practice within an educational context both nationally and internationally. The heart of Nick’s career has been working in the cultural education sector, including early years settings, mainstream schools, further education and vocational training, higher education and life-long learning.
In 1994 Nick was appointed one of the first academic heads of department at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (Head of Community Arts), during which time he led the development of the BA in Community Arts, the UK's first Certificate in HE for Disabled People and a range of part-time and outreach provisions. Nick established the Aspire Trust in 2002, the Merseyside based international arts education business. During this time Nick completed a PhD at the University of Hull, supported by a unique scholarship from Creative Partnerships Hull.
In 2012 Nick was awarded an Honorary Fellowships in Education at the University of Hull and University of Tasmania, Australia. He has recently been appointed Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Education at the University of Nottingham. Nick is also CEO of The Mighty Creatives.
Marion Plant, OBE
Marion Plant is Principal and Chief Executive of a large FE College; North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in Leicestershire and Warwickshire. She is also Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust which sponsors four secondary schools.
Marion has just completed a 3 year term as a non-executive director at the Department for Education and in March 2018 she was awarded the ‘Business Woman of the Year Award’ by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.
She serves on several national/ regional bodies including the following: Board member for the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and skills lead, Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Programme Board, Trustee of the National Society Council (Church of England), Deputy-Chair and Trustee of WorldSkills UK and Member of the Education & Skills Funding Agency Advisory Group.
Blessed was elected as the Vice-President for Internationalisation and Culture, and is now the Acting President of the Students’ Union. As President, Blessed chairs the executive committee of the Union.
He also works to enhance the international experience of students on campus by collaborating with key departments at the University, ensuring the involvement of students with activities leading up to the City of Culture 2021.
Blessed was previously the Deputy Campus Officer and course representative for CU Coventry.
Blessed is also a member of Academic Affairs Committee.
Steve is currently in his second term as an Independent Governor, having joined the Board in September 2014. He is a Director of UX (user experience) for Google Inc., leading the design of advertising products in London. He has led their design of privacy products and products for emerging markets.
From 2001 until 2006 he was head of production and development at BBC New Media where he was responsible for building and running bbc.co.uk and BBC Interactive TV. From 2006 to 2008 he was with BT where he formed their digital product strategy. After studying transport design at Coventry, he worked at Philips Electronics as an Industrial Designer, ultimately helping run Philips' Incubator Centre in Silicon Valley California. From 2000 until 2001 he was Vice President of product development at Razorfish in San Francisco.
Steve is also a member of Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee.
Currently in her first term as Governor, Linda was appointed in February 2017. Prior to this Linda was an external co-opted member. Linda is a Chartered Accountant with a commercial and operational focus, experienced at operating at board level, with a strong emphasis on team working.
Lynda is also a member of Audit and Risk Committee.
Appointed as an Independent Governor in September 2018, Nick is an experienced business leader and company director who worked as a chief operating officer in the automotive industry until early in 2018. Nick has had a successful track record working throughout the world in the IT and engineering services industry, with particular expertise in outsourcing and offshoring. In addition to working as an independent consultant, Nick has also started a cyber-security consultancy with an old work colleague. Nick is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Co-opted (Staff) Governor (Professional Services)
Fiona was appointed as Staff Governor in September 2016. Fiona joined Coventry University in 1988 as a secretarial assistant working for the University Secretary and Assistant Director, Administration. In 1990 she joined the Committee Services operating in committee and governance positions. In 2005 she became interested in project management and joined the Business Development Support Office as a project officer, before being promoted to the post of senior project manager.
In November 2014 Fiona became the Head of the Research Delivery Support Unit within the newly formed Research Office. During her employment at the University Fiona has also been a company secretary for the University’s spin-out companies and a director and company secretary for an out of school club at her local primary school for which she secured lottery funding to aid its establishment. Fiona is a Coventry University Coach and Mentor and a Mentor for the Association of University Administrators.
Fiona is also a member of Academic Affairs Committee.
Robert joined the Board in 2014 and is currently in his second term as an Independent Governor. Robert has over 30 years of international human resource experience, gained primarily in manufacturing and is experienced in managing, re-structuring and supporting growth across both Europe and the Americas, as well as parts of Asia-pacific.
Robert is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and volunteers as an adviser for Warwick District Citizens Advice Bureau.
Appointed to the Board of Governors in September 2018, Edward is a Cambridge University graduate, a business graduate of the Scottish Business School and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He has spent a number of years in manufacturing and exporting as a technical and managing director before a period in merchant banking. For the past 10 years he has held a number of positions in Oleo International, a global leading technology business in the transport sector, most recently as a director, responsible for the Chinese factory and business operation and new product development.
He is also treasurer of a local registered charity responsible for the management of his local village hall.
Edward is also a member of International Advisory Committee and Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee.
Appointed as an Independent Governor in September 2018, Fred is the Commercial Director of the Warwickshire based business consultancy, Clearing House Ltd. As a managing consultant, Fred has worked with clients including the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK Home Office, Northern Ireland Civil Service and a selection of FTSE 100 companies.
With over 30 years’ experience in the private sector, he has worked at C-level for a range of multinationals: including Royal Dutch Shell, Michelin Tyre Plc, Calor Group Plc and on an international basis for the world's largest privately owned trading group SHV Energy NV.
He currently holds a portfolio of non-executive director roles in both the public and private sectors and consults commercially across all sectors. He is Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of a successful south-east based local authority trading company (LATC), engaged in construction, regeneration and place making.