The University Court is the governing body of the University. Its powers are set out in the University's constitutional document, which is 'The University of Abertay Dundee (Scotland) Order of Council 1994'.
Court comprises a maximum of 25 members including core and co-opted members, ex-officio members and staff and student members. Independent members remain an absolute majority. Court meets at least five times each year.
The primary responsibilities of Court as the governing body of the University are set out in the Statement of Primary Responsibilities.
The members of Court for the year to 31 July 2018 are:
Chair of Court/Independent Member
Retired (former Head of Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, Scottish Executive)
Eddie Frizzell is a former senior civil servant, retired from the post of Head of the Scottish Executive’s Enterprise Transport and Lifelong Learning Department. Previous roles included Chief Executive, Scottish Prison Service and Director, Locate in Scotland, the inward investment attraction agency. He also served on secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a First Secretary in the office of the UK Permanent Representative to the EU in Brussels.
Eddie Frizzell was, until February 2008, an external member of HM Prison Service Audit Committee (England and Wales). He was an adviser to Charteris plc and a member of the Board of the charity, Trefoil House.
He led an Independent Inquiry into the former Kerelaw Residential School, which was run by Glasgow City Council.
He is a visiting professor at Queen Margaret University.
He is married and lives in Edinburgh
Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Ambulance Service (public appointment)
Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Ex officio Member
As Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Services), Mark is responsible for strategic planning and resource allocation, and for the University's support services. He line manages the heads of department for estates and campus services, business development, information services, finance, business development, communications, human resources, strategic planning, student recruitment, student services, and research, enterprise and innovation services.
Mark joined the University in 2013 after five years as chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, the national body responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in Scotland's colleges, universities and other tertiary education institutions. In this role, he was accountable to the Scottish Parliament for the combined annual budgets of £1.6 billion allocated to the Funding Council, and responsible for ensuring the delivery of the Scottish Governments policy objectives for further and higher education.
Between 2003 and 2008, Mark was Director of Lifelong Learning for the Scottish Government, with overall responsibility for delivery of government policies on higher education, further education and skills.
Mark has held a number of previous posts including Director of Social Justice for the Scottish Executive from 2000, and Assistance Director of Finance in the Scottish Office and subsequently for the Scottish Executive from 1999.
Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Services), Abertay University
Member of Board and Council of the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) non-remunerated
Non-executive Director, GGiS (The Goodison Group in Scotland), non-remunerated
Trustee, Robertson Trust, non-remunerated
Board Member, Scottish Association of Marine Sciences (SAMS), non-remunerated
Adviser to STEP charity/Independent Member
Born in Perth, Lucinda has lived in a number of places around the world, returning to Scotland in late 2011 after 15 years living in Massachusetts,USA.
While in the US (aside from bringing up her two sons) she spent many years as a relocation specialist for the Coldwell Banker Group, relocating senior executives and their families from around the world to the Boston area.
On retiring from the relocation field, and because of her interest in education as related to career choice, she founded a Not-for-Profit charity STEP.
Lucinda is on the panel for Perth and Kinross Children’s Hearings, having previously served on the Aberdeenshire panel. She remains an adviser to STEP.
Now living in Perthshire, Lucinda is a keen traveller, walker and tennis player.
Former Chief Executive of Angus College/Independent Member
John Burt was Principal of Angus College for over 16 years.
Whilst at Angus College, John Burt held a variety of posts including Director of the Association of Scottish Colleges, Chair of Principals' Forum in Scotland and Director of Scottish Further Education Unit. He also served as a member on forums including Fife and Tayside Wider Access forum and Tayside Economic Forum.
A graduate of Edinburgh University and Moray House College, Mr. Burt has wide experience as a lecturer, educational manager and sectoral leader in Scotland. In 2006 Mr. Burt was awarded was awarded an OBE for services to Further Education in Scotland.
Trustee, Scottish Colleges Foundation
Managing Director, Fletcher Jones Ltd/Independent Member
Richard Fletcher is an entrepreneurial business leader and advisor on senior appointments and wider aspects of commercial activity for clients based across Scotland and the UK.
A Managing Director for nearly 30 years, Richard studied Accountancy at Abertay for one year before transferring to Napier University in Edinburgh. He is a regular guest speaker in the HE sector and has recently been appointed a member of the School Advisory Council of the Glasgow School for Business & Society at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Richard lives in Edinburgh with his wife Margaret, who is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow.
Managing Director, Fletcher Jones Ltd.
Managing Director, Fletcher Jones Ltd
Court Director, The Edinburgh Academy
Program Manager at NCR Corporation/Independent Member
Gameelah Ghafoor heads NCR's Financial Software Security Portfolio. Gameelah has over twenty years experience within the software industry leading various technology driven solutions. In this capacity, she has worked with a range of industry, academic and public sector partners throughout her career. Gameelah is passionate about continuous learning.
Since graduating from Abertay University in 1994, Gameelah has owned her own retail business and has had numerous patents filed with the US Patent Office.
Gameelah is married with one daughter. She enjoys running having completed various 10K, half-marathons and a full marathon. Gameelah has also competed in the Royal National Mod with the Dundee Gaelic Choir.
Programme Manager, NCR FSG Ltd
Consultant, Former Vice President NCR Labs, NCR Corporation/Independent Member
Mark Grossi was responsible at NCR Labs for leading an inventive and highly creative team focused on designing and developing new self-service technologies for banking, retail, travel, healthcare, hospitality, gaming, entertainment and the public sector.
Mark joined NCR in 1979 after graduating from Abertay University and began his career working with some of NCR’s most innovative hardware and software engineers. He and his team worked with technology suppliers and customers on self-service software and hardware and this led to the development of the automated teller machine (ATM), which transformed the way consumers bank.
First as a member and later as head of NCR’s Strategic Solutions Group, Financial Systems, Mark Grossi brought forward several key technologies including Java-based ATM, Iris identification and contactless user interface. Mark Grossi has developed a strong architecture and design community and a research-based innovation culture and the development of three research and development labs for NCR – in Atlanta, USA, Dundee and Cebu in the Phillipines.
Director of MND-Systems Ltd
Trustee of Norman Fraser trust fund.
Member of Tayside Regional Advisory Board
Vice-Chancellor of Glyndwr University/Independent Member
Dr Maria Hinfelaar is the Vice-Chancellor of Glyndwr University in Wales. Although one of the youngest universities in the UK (2008) education has been delivered at its main Wrexham campus since 1887, when it was known as the Wrexham School of Science and Art. Industry-led courses are at the heart of Glyndwr's portfolio, with strong links to major local and national employers, such as Airbus, Kellog's, JCB and the BBC.
Prior to joining Glyndwr, Maria was the President and Chief Officer of the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in Ireland, a multi-campus HEI in the Mid-West of Ireland with 6,500 students. Before that, she was Head of School of Business at a higher education institution in The Netherlands and has 18 years’ experience in leadership and management roles in higher education, of which over 10 years have been as head of institution.
Maria holds a Ph.D in Marketing and her research explored the successes and failures of international retailers. In recent years, her research interests have moved on to higher education policy and she has published papers on the subject of mergers and collaborations. She is an alumna of the Top Management Programme with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK.
Dutch by birth, Maria speaks several languages and is a keen cyclist who used to compete in elite level races in Holland and Belgium.
Head of Operations, Skills Development Scotland/Independent Member
Gordon has over 20 years’ progressive experience in managing complex public sector organisations. As Head of Operations for Tayside, Fife and Forth Valley, he is responsible for all Skills Development Activity in North East Scotland.
Born in Dundee, Gordon read history at St Andrews University before going on to further study at Napier, Dundee College and Abertay.
He is a Justice of the Peace for the Sherrifdom of Dundee, Central and Fife, sitting mainly in the Dundee Court and a trustee of the Dundee Heritage Environment Trust.
Head of Operations (North East Region), Skills Development, Scotland
Director/Trustee of Dundee Historic Environment Trust, Director of WorkNet International Ltd, Justice of the Peace - Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife
Skills Development Scotland
Former Director of Finance, NHS Tayside/Independent Member
Ian McDonald has had nearly 40 years’ experience within the National Health Service and was the Director of Finance for NHS Tayside between 2009 and June 2015.
Ian began his career in the NHS in 1975, gained an SHNC in Accounting from Perth College of Further Education in 1980 and is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Financial Accountants.
For the last five and a half years, Ian was a co-opted external member of the Audit Committee prior to joining the lay membership of Court of 1 January 2015.
Married with 2 children (both Abertay graduates) and living in Dundee, Ian is a self-confessed keep fit fanatic as well as an avid follower of St Johnstone Football Club now that his playing days are over.
Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Ex officio Member
As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Steve overseas teaching, research, and portfolio development. He line manages the four heads of academic schools and the Director of Teaching and Learning Enhancement. He works closely with the Students’ Association, and represents the University on several senior Universities Scotland committees, representing the Vice-Chancellor externally when necessary. He is currently the Chair of the Management Board of Scottish Higher Education Employability Forum, and has served on the executive Committee of Million+.
Steve arrived at Abertay in November 2005 as Head of the School of Social and Health Sciences, having spent five years as Head of Sport Sciences at Northumbria University. He was educated at Rhodes University in South Africa, and has worked at Rhodes, the University of Cape Town, the University of Zululand, and in the UK at Staffordshire University, Edge Hill University, and Northumbria University. He is a trustee of the Rhodes University UK Trust.
Steve has extensive experience of quality enhancement and assurance, research and consultancy management, course development, and teaching and learning innovation. Recent activities at Abertay have included developing the current strategic plan; leading Outcome Agreement negotiations with the SFC; submitting bids for additional funding; refining the graduate attributes; and overseeing preparations for ELIR, REF, NSS and enrolment planning.
He is still an active researcher, specialising in the ethics of outdoor and adventure activities. He has published widely, in a number of areas including the philosophy of sport, research ethics, sports psychology, physiology, and morphology. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the British Philosophy of Sport Association, and was a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences accredited researcher. He previously served on the Association’s Accreditation and Fellowship Committee, and as the Research Representative on the Education and Professional Development Committee.
A lifelong surfer, he is probably one of the few Professors in the UK who brave our chilly waters on a regular basis. He also serves as a crewman in the RNLI. An experienced triathlete, he has been heavily involved as a participant in endurance events and in extreme sports. He played first class rugby in his native South Africa, and is an experienced and successful rugby coach at high levels, both in England and South Africa.
Member of the Board of Governors at Fife College
Academic Administration Officer/Member elected by academic staff
As Purchasing Officer, Colin is responsible for managing the purchasing and travel team for the University to offer a cost-effective, responsive and compliant purchasing service for internal customers driving to deliver value for money for spend.
Colin joined the University in 2001 and has operated in several departments including Secretariat, Information Services, Central Services, Timetables, Estates, School of Design and Informatics, and is currently based in Finance.
Colin was elected as a non-union support staff representative in 2007, and as a UNITE Workplace Representative in 2010. He is Chair of the UNITE Regional Industrial Sector Committee for Higher Education (Scotland) and meets regularly with Workplace Representatives from all the other Scottish universities.
Colin has previously worked in a variety of roles including Hospital Porter, Security Patrol, Lecturer and workplaces such as NCR, WL Gore, EB Nitran.
Purchasing Officer, Finance & Research Funding, Abertay University
UNITE Workplace Representative
Chair of UNITE Regional Industrial Sector Committee (RISC) for Education in Scotland
Higher Education Consultant/Independent Member
Jenny Rees is an experienced senior manager and director in higher and further education, currently a Board member of the UK Quality Assurance Agency for higher education (QAA) and also on the Board of Edinburgh’s Telford College and the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s Advisory Council. She has held a number of ministerial appointments and voluntary positions including serving on the Scottish Funding Council. She retired from Edinburgh Napier University in 2011 where she was Vice Principal (Academic Quality and Customer Service).
She started her career as a statistician in the brewing industry before moving into education as a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. From responsibility for its part-time MBA programme, she developed her managerial career through posts at the Scottish College of Textiles, now part of Heriot-Watt University; Bell College, now part of the University of the West of Scotland; and Glasgow Caledonian University. Her responsibilities spanned academic quality; teaching & learning strategy; the quality of the student experience; corporate planning; marketing & communications; UK and international recruitment; and wider access.
She is now developing a portfolio of interim management and consultancy assignments to complement her board positions.
Consultant & Interim Manager, Dr Jenny Rees, Ltd
Director of Dr Jenny Rees Ltd
Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business
Member of the Advisory Council of the Scottish Qualifications Authority
Public Interest member, Discipline Panel, Institute of Chartrered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
Former Vice-Principal, Adam Smith College/Independent Member
Shirley has more than 30 years’ experience in Scotland’s college sector, having joined Glenrothes College in 1980 as a temporary part-time lecturer. Over her subsequent career, she held the posts of senior lecturer, Head of Faculty, Director of Curriculum, Associate Principal, Assistant Principal and finally, Vice-Principal of Adam Smith College. She also represented the College on a number of national strategy groups covering all aspects of tertiary education.
She played a key role in the merger of Glenrothes and Fife Colleges to form Adam Smith College in August 2005, and was closely involved in research which revealed Fife’s “degree deficit” – a smaller proportion of the population educated to degree level than most other parts of Scotland. After the merger, Shirley began to work closely with Abertay University, building on its long-established relationship with Fife College.
Shirley was instrumental in the setting up of the Abertay University Centre at Adam Smith College in 2008. This partnership has greatly improved access to high quality degree-level education for enthusiastic and able people in Fife, at a time and place that fits around their personal commitments and lifestyles. More than 1500 Fife people have now achieved degrees they might not otherwise have been able to study. In effect, their lives have been changed as a result of the work the Adam Smith/Abertay Partnership.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor/Ex officio Member
Nigel Seaton joined Abertay University as Principal and Vice-Chancellor in 2012.
Professor Seaton began his academic career at the University of Edinburgh, where he gained a BSc (Honours) in Chemical Engineering in 1982. He went on to do an MSE and a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his PhD in 1986, he worked as a research engineer with Atkins Research and Development and with BP.
From 1989 to 1997, he was Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Clare College. He was a visiting professor at Cornell University in 1996-97. In 1997, he returned to the University of Edinburgh as Professor of Interfacial Engineering. Between 1998 and 2007, he was successively Head of the School of Chemical Engineering, Head of the Division of Engineering, Head of the Institute for Materials and Processes, and Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Science and Engineering. He then became Assistant Principal (Taught Programme Development) and later Vice-Principal (Academic). In 2008 he moved to the University of Surrey, firstly as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Development) and then as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Seaton is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.
Principal, Abertay University
Director, Equality Challenge Unit
Unit Director, JISC
Trustee, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
Retired Solicitor/Independent Member
Murray Shaw is a retired solicitor and is a graduate of the University of Dundee. Qualified in 1982, Murray was a solicitor for over 30 years. He joined Biggart Baillie in 1982, becoming Senior Partner and Chairman in 2009, a position he held until the firm merged with DWF. He left DWF and joined Gillespie MacAndrew in 2014 and, having become Chairman there, he retired in 2017.
While his original workload included a broad range of disputes including commercial disputes, his experience in recent years has concentrated on planning and construction matters including judicial review and statutory challenges.
Murray was a member of the ICAS Discipline Board and Chairman of the ICAS Appeal Committee.
He is married with two sons and lives in Glasgow. His interests include golf, theatre-going and American history.
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust
Scottish North American Business Council
Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business
President of Abertay Student Association
Tam Wilson is the President of Abertay Student Association, elected in March 2017.
Tam Wilson was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife and attended Balwearie High School. Leaving school at the age of 15, Tam had a number of jobs in Fife ranging from shop assistant to welder's labourer. Tam began his BA in Media, Culture & Society at Abertay aged 21.
During his time at university, Tam worked in after school care and held the role of Dundee UNISON youth officer and Dundee SSP branch chair. Tam stood in the West End ward of Dundee in the May 2017 council elections and graduated from his honours degree in the July.
As well as local party politics, Tam is involved in a number of grassroots organisations and campaigns.
Vice-Chair of Court
Retired Executive Nurse Director, NHS Tayside/Independent Member
Elizabeth Wilson was born in Dundee and trained as a nurse in Dundee Royal Infirmary. On completion of her training, she moved to London where she worked in various nursing posts.
On returning to Dundee, she trained as a Health Visitor and worked for Fife Health Board. She completed an MSc in Nursing and Health Care Management at Edinburgh University and subsequently became a Clinical Director for the then Dundee Primary Healthcare NHS Trust.
Following the amalgamation of the organisation into NHS Tayside, Elizabeth was appointed as Executive Nurse Director at the Board in 2006 and is also a Visiting Professor of Nursing at Abertay University.
On her retirement from the NHS, she was invited to work for the Scottish Government Health Department in St Andrews House in Edinburgh, where she enjoyed her role as Clinical Advisor for e-health, a post she held until 2011. In addition, she carries out work for the Central Legal Office in Edinburgh and acts as an Expert Witness when required.
On appointment, new members of Court are sent the following Template Letters of Appointment from the Chair and the Secretary.
The Abertay Students’ Association Vice-President is invited to attend all meetings of Court.
In accordance with the Scottish Code of Good HE Governance, the Secretary to Court and the Finance Director - as senior officers closely associated with the work of the governing body – have submitted details of any interests to the University register of interests - see below.
Director of Finance and Research Funding
David joined Abertay in July 2015, and is responsible for providing strategic financial insight, supporting transformational change and delivering financial leadership and direction across the University. David has extensive financial and management experience in international food manufacturing and higher education.
Non-Executive Director, APUC
Executive Committee Member, Association of Heads of University Administration
Vacancies in the independent membership of Court arise from time to time and are advertised widely, including on the University website and through alumni. If you are interested in becoming an independent member of Court, please email the Secretary to Court at email@example.com to express your interest and further information will be provided to you.