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GDP: Leading the Board

GDP: Leading the Board

Supporting those who are new to leading, or aspire to lead, governance in higher education.


Leading the board is designed to support those who are new to leading, or aspire to lead, a governing body (or committee) of a higher education institution. This event is delivered with a focus on many of the current challenges of leading a board, including during a time of crisis, and will enable attendees to develop their confidence, skills and knowledge.

Delivered with the support of the CUC – the membership body for Chairs of higher education institutions - the event will provide an opportunity to discuss and examine the role of the Chair in leading the board and the importance of creating boardroom culture and practice that enables effective governance and oversight.  

This is a half-day standalone event. 



Who is the event for?

This online event is designed to support those who lead, or aspire to lead, a governing body. The Chair is responsible for the leadership of the governing body or sub-committee and ensuring it operates effectively and efficiently. Those who take on the responsibility play a central role in establishing the culture by which the governing body operates and the extent to which openness and debate at its meetings is encouraged.

Join us at GDP: Leading the Board

28 February 2024
Location: Virtual


Book your place

Evolving higher education governance brochure

Our new Evolving higher education governance 2023-24 brochure details our support for boards, governance professionals and individual governors. Find out more about our consultancy and enhancement services, the dates for our Governor Development Programme 2023-24 and upcoming exclusive content and projects for Advance HE members.

Discover more
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Experienced governor/chair

Plan your professional development for 2023-24 using our NEW Development Planner

Whether you are looking to enhance your practice, share insights or identify the next step in your professional development, by answering only a few short questions our new Development Planner will guide you to a range of development opportunities that meet your requirements. Try it today.

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09:30am   Welcome & Introductions - Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

09:50am   Higher Education Policy Overview - Stephanie Harris, Chief of Staff & Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive, UUK

10:30am   What are the Key Risks Facing Higher Education - Justine Andrew, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity in the UK, KPMG

11:05am   Break

11:20am   Panel - How Will Higher Education Governance Need to Change Over the Next 10 Years? - Lynn Dobbs, Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive, London Metropolitan University & Paul Greatrix, Registrar, University of Nottingham & Iain Cornish, Chair, Leeds Beckett University

12:05pm   Demonstrating Value for Money - Transparency and Dealing With Senior Pay - John Rushforth, Executive Secretary, CUC

12:30pm   Breakout Discussions - Innovation in Higher Education Governance

12:55pm   Feedback From Discussions

13:00pm Close



Justine Andrew

Partner, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG
Justine Andrew
Based in Leeds, Justine is Head of Education and Skills and she is also Head of KPMG’s University Partnership Team.
She leads our work with some of the largest Education providers nationally as well as being at the forefront of our work in the skills space. In her University Partnership role she is thinking differently about how providers and employers can work together across a range of areas. Justine also leads KPMG’s relationship with DSIT.

John Rushforth

CUC Secretary
Advance HE
John Rushforth
John is a nationally recognised expert on UK University governance. He is responsible for the key documents that underpin the governance of all publicly funded UK HE institutions namely the CUC HE Code of Governance, the HE Senior Staff Remuneration Code, a range of illustrative practice notes e.g. Academic Assurance, Recruitment of VCs, etc and a Leadership Foundation publication on the relationship between Vice Chancellors and Chairs.

Lynn Dobbs

Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive
London Metropolitan University
Lynn Dobbs
Over the course of her distinguished career, Professor Lynn Dobbs has forged a professional reputation as an academic, researcher and leader with a strong passion for tackling social exclusion and raising the educational aspirations of young people. Lynn’s research has impacted business developments and public policy at local, national and international levels.

Dr Paul Greatrix

University of Nottingham
Dr Paul Greatrix
Dr Paul Greatrix is Registrar at the University of Nottingham, a post he was appointed to in January 2007.

As Registrar he is responsible to the President and Vice-Chancellor for the academic administration of the University. As well as being Secretary to the statutory bodies of the University and a member of the University Executive Board, the Registrar manages the provision of a broad range of professional services for prospective students, current students and staff.

Aaron Porter

Associate Director (Governance)
Advance HE
Aaron leads on Advance HE governance activity through the delivery of our national Governor Development Programme which engages with around 900 governors across the UK on an annual basis. He has extensive experience leading reviews of over 25 governing boards. Aaron was previously President of the National Union of Students (NUS) and also chair of trustees for the organisation.

Iain Cornish

Chairman of Leeds Building Society
Iain Cornish
Iain is currently Chairman of Leeds Building Society, having been firstly appointed as an Independent Non Executive Director in January 2019 and then Chair of the Board in April 2020. He is Chair of Nominations Committee and member of Remuneration Committee. Iain has more than 30 years’ experience working in financial services.


This event will be delivered virtually through Zoom, with joining instructions sent out by the governance team two weeks before the day of the event.

Along with the joining instructions and links delegates will receive a copy of the programme, with finalised timings, topics, and speakers.

The event will be delivered as as a series of presentations, discussions and panels, with time after each for questions and comments.

For any enquiries regarding the event please contact the Programmes and Events Team at:



Related content


Victoria Holbrook, Assistant Director Governance, Advance HE, talks to John Rushforth, Executive Secretary, CUC. In this video John discusses the common issues that new chairs face when they start in post and shares advice on how to create a healthy board culture.

Watch the video, Governor Dialogues – Board Culture and Governance

This film explores a number of key elements that help make a board effective as well as exploring how boards create a culture that facilitates good governance, creates healthy debate and fosters diversity of thought.