Paul has over 40 years’ experience in the higher education sector. He has had extensive roles in university governance, providing external expertise. He has been mentoring newly-appointed vice-chancellors, deputy and pro vice-chancellors since 2013. He was a member of the Academic Advisory Panel in 2016-17 for work by LFHE on ‘Reviewing Academic Governance’ and a Reviewer for the QAA-led review of sub-degree programmes at the University of Hong Kong in 2018.
From 2004 to 2014 Paul served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield. He acted as Vice-Chancellor for several months during the period 2013-14, and was then Deputy Vice-Chancellor until April 2015 when he stepped down after exactly 11 years on the University’s Executive Board.
Paul started his career in HE when he took his Bachelor’s and DPhil degrees at the University of Oxford, and was appointed to a lectureship at Sheffield in 1974. He was successively promoted to senior lecturer, then reader, and finally to Professor in 1997. He has also held visiting appointments at the University of Oxford, the Université de Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), Università degli Studi di Cagliari (Italy), and the Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain).
Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and in 2006 he was presented with the Society’s Edward Heath Award for geographical research on Europe. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011. And he was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List of 2016 “for services to higher education”. Since 2015 he has been a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of South Yorkshire.