Members of Court

Members of Court

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 independent 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 the Court as the governing body of the University are set out in the Statement of Primary Responsibilities.

Members

The current members of Court are:

Mr Murray Shaw

Chair of Court/Independent Member  (Retired Solicitor)

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.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

None

Directorships etc:

None

 

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

None

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

Professor Liz Bacon

Vice-Principal (Academic)/ex officio member

 

Professor Liz Bacon joined Abertay University as Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in 2018.

A former President of BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT, Professor Bacon is also current President of EQANIE (European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education) and a past Chair of the BCS Academy of Computing and the CPHC (Council of Professors and Heads of Computing) national committee.

She is also a Trustee of Bletchley Park Trust.

A Professor of Computer Science at Abertay, Professor Bacon’s research interests include computing policy, smart systems, security and technology enhanced learning.

She is passionate about the development of her discipline and is keen to inspire more people to choose computing as a career, with a particular commitment to supporting women in entering, and progressing in, the profession.

Mr Andrew Bailey

Director – Customer Services, Business & Public Sector / Independent Member


As Director for BT Business customer service, Andrew is responsible for managing the customer experience including new contracts implementation and faults and repairs for BT’s Corporate & Small/Medium Enterprise (SME) business customers together with Billing in the UK.

Andrew joined BT in 2011 having previously held a number of senior management and leadership positions at Sky Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.

Andrew has vast experience of customer service & large scale people operations together with programme & delivery management roles in the UK and Internationally.

He holds an MBA from Edinburgh Napier University Business School & resides in Perthshire.

PAID EMPLOYMENT

BT Group PLC

 

DIRECTORSHIPS ETC.

BT Scotland Board.

 

SIGNIFICANT INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY ORGANISATION WITH WHICH THE UNIVERSITY MIGHT DO BUSINESS

BT Group PLC

 

POSITION(S) OF AUTHORITY WITH ANY ORGANISATION(S) WHOSE POLICIES AND DECISIONS MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO IMPACT ON THE UNIVERSITY

N/a

SIGNIFICANT PECUNIARY INTERESTS

N/a

 

Mr John Barnett

Business Consultant/Independent Member

John was born in Angus and studied Law at Dundee University and Economics at St Andrews University.

He has 20 years’ experience in international corporate banking and project finance in the City of London, covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Upon returning to Scotland, he has worked in charity management and for a leading ethical bank providing advice and affordable loans to organisations in the charity, social enterprise and community sectors.

He has served on various boards and committees in the voluntary sector including social housing and recycling. For 8 years he was a member of the University of Dundee Audit Committee. He has served on several public policy commissions and is a founder member of the independent Commission on School Reform.

Married with two children, he lives in St Andrews where he enjoys driving the safety for the sailing club.

 

PAID EMPLOYMENT

Director of Vanellus Consulting Ltd

 

DIRECTORSHIPS ETC.

Trustee of Fife Law Centre - unremunerated

               

SIGNIFICANT INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY ORGANISATION WITH WHICH THE UNIVERSITY MIGHT DO BUSINESS

Nil

               

POSITION(S) OF AUTHORITY WITH ANY ORGANISATION(S) WHOSE POLICIES AND DECISIONS MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO IMPACT ON THE UNIVERSITY      

Nil

 

SIGNIFICANT PECUNIARY INTERESTS

Nil

Mr John C Burt OBE

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.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

None

Directorships etc:

Trustee, Scottish Colleges Foundation

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

None

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

Ms Gameelah Ghafoor

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.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

Programme Manager, NCR FSG Ltd

Directorships etc:

None

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

None

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

Mrs Maureen Guild

Technical Team Leader / Member nominated by Abertay Unite support staff union

Maureen is currently employed as the Technical Team Leader in the School of Applied Sciences. She began her career as Technician when the University was known as Dundee College of Technology, leaving after a number of years to raise her family.  She returned to Higher Education in 2005 and gained an MA in Food & Welfare Studies from Dundee University. In 2009, she returned to Abertay.  She has overall responsibility for the technical team, overseeing and reviewing work activities to support teaching and research within the School.  She has a particular interest in Health and Safety and encouraging and supporting the next generation of Technical staff.

Outside of work, she enjoys looking after her granddaughter, singing in a choir and traditional home crafting.

Register of Interests

PAID EMPLOYMENT

Abertay University

DIRECTORSHIPS ETC:

None

SIGNIFICANT INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY ORGANISATION WITH WHICH THE UNIVERSITY MIGHT DO BUSINESS

None

POSITION(S) OF AUTHORITY WITH ANY ORGANISATION(S) WHOSE POLICIES AND DECISIONS MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO IMPACT ON THE UNIVERSITY

Trade union representative (UNITE)

SIGNIFICANT PECUNIARY INTERESTS
None

Dr Annie Ingram

Independent Member

Annie Ingram has recently retired from NHS Scotland, following a 30+ year career in which she  was the Director of Workforce for NHS Grampian and NHS Orkney and the North Regional Lead for Workforce. Annie worked in the NHS most of her working life, starting in Greater London at Mount Vernon Hospital, before returning to Scotland, where she worked for NHS Lothian, NHS Tayside and NHS Grampian. A fellow of CIPD, Annie has worked as both an HR professional, at all levels including as a Board Director. She has managed clinical services, led healthcare planning at a regional level for the North of Scotland and was also the National Programme Director for Remote and Rural Healthcare, developing and supporting the implementation of Scottish Government Policy to sustain remote and rural services.

Annie has an interest in European employment law and its impact on the NHS, with a research LLM which looked at the impact of the Acquired Rights Directive and TUPE on commercial tendering in the NHS and a PhD in the impact of Working Time on the NHS. 

Register of Interests

PAID EMPLOYMENT

Director of Workforce, NHS Grampian

DIRECTORSHIPS ETC.

As above.


SIGNIFICANT INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY ORGANISATION WITH WHICH THE UNIVERSITY MIGHT DO BUSINESS

The NHS has significant links with the University, but this is more likely to be with the local NHS Board, than NHS Grampian.


POSITION(S) OF AUTHORITY WITH ANY ORGANISATION(S) WHOSE POLICIES AND DECISIONS MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO IMPACT ON THE UNIVERSITY
Nil

SIGNIFICANT PECUNIARY INTERESTS
Nil

Professor Tom Inns

Director of cofink ltd. / Independent Member

His work brings collaborative design thinking to the complex challenges faced by universities, public sector organisations and businesses.

He was Director of the Glasgow School of Art from 2013 to 2018. Under his leadership the Art School opened two new academic schools, developed its campuses in Singapore and the Highlands and moved from 20th to 8th position in the QS World rankings for Art & Design education. During the period GSA became one of Scotland's leading Institutions for widening access for disadvantaged students. Previously Tom was Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and Director of Research for Art, Science and Engineering at the University of Dundee. Between 2005 and 2010 he was Director of the AHRC/EPSRC Designing for the 21st Century Research Programme. Tom studied Engineering at the University of Bristol and Design at the Royal College of Art, his PhD explored how design develops the innovation capability of business.

Tom is passionate about the role Higher Education plays in transforming lives and the contribution made by universities to local communities and global knowledge.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

cofink Ltd

Directorships etc:

cofink Ltd

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

Visiting Professor, University of Strathclyde

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

Chair of Arts & Humanities Research Council Design Theme Advisory Group

Member of Scottish Funding Council Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee

Significant Pecuniary Interests

None

Mr Fraser Keir

Academic Registrar at Birkbeck, University of London / Independent Member

Fraser Keir was the first in his family to enter Higher Education. After completing an Access to Degree Studies Certificate at Moray College in Elgin he graduated with an MA (Honours) in History from the University of Aberdeen. He then went on to study at Dundee College for his Professional Diploma in Marketing and subsequently became a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM). Fraser was awarded an MBA from the Open University in 2012.

Having grown up in a number of towns across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland Fraser now resides in Hertfordshire and works in central London at Birkbeck, University of London where he is a member of the senior management team.

Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, playing golf and keeping up with politics and current affairs.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

Academic Registrar, Birkbeck, University of London

Directorships etc:

None

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

None

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

N/A – Although I am a Trustee of Christchurch, Harpenden

Significant Pecuniary Interests

None

Ms Veronica Lynch

Vice Principal, Perth College UHI/Independent Member

Veronica has 30 years’ experience in leadership roles gained across local, regional and national government organisations in the areas of business development, marketing and international development. She is currently Vice Principal at Perth College UHI. Veronica was formerly a member of the Board of Governors at West Lothian College and currently sits on the board of Caledonia Housing Association. Veronica chairs the Business Development Directors Network of Scotland’s Colleges.

Veronica is a graduate of Abertay University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is a qualified practising clinical solution focussed hypnotherapist and psychotherapist.

Paid employment
Perth College UHI, Vice Principal, External Engagement

Directorships etc.

Perth College UHI

Caledonia Group

Vital Life Solutions Hypnotherapy Ltd

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the university might do business

Perth College UHI

 

Mr Gordon MacDougall

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.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

Head of Operations (North East Region), Skills Development, Scotland

Directorships etc:

Director/Trustee of Dundee Historic Environment Trust, Director of WorkNet International Ltd, Justice of the Peace - Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

Skills Development Scotland

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

Ms Claire MacEachen

School Head of Teaching Quality and Learning Enhancement / Member nominated by Senate

Biography and Register of Interests to follow.

Mr Jim MacGregor

Digital Capability & Transformation Manager, Heineken / Independent Member

Biography and Register of Interests to be added

Mr Tony Marks

Chief Executive of 20/20 Business Group, Business Sector / Independent Member.

As Chief Executive of 20/20 Business Group, Tony is responsible for leading a Group of companies in the UK and US that provide project management training and consultancy services to leading organisations in the oil & gas, engineering & construction, aerospace & defence, utilities, nuclear, transport & logistic sectors.

Tony is a Fellow of The Association for Project Management, The Chartered Management Institute and of The Institute of Leadership & Management. He was the author of ‘2020 Project Management’ published by Kogan Page, and also wrote the Standard for Capital Projects Management for NHS Scotland.  He is currently co-authoring a ‘Handbook of Project Controls’.

Tony previously founded and led a collaborative learning research company called BusinessLab ®, was a Director of Worldwide Learning (a division of Times Supplements), a Director of two software companies, and spent 10 years in project management with British Telecom. He has also been a Charity Trustee, served on the Scottish Enterprise Regional Advisory Board for Tayside and supported The Tay Cities Deal.

He resides in Broughty Ferry, Dundee and works throughout the UK.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

20/20 Business Insight Ltd

Directorships etc:

20/20 Business Group Ltd

20/20 Business Insight Ltd

20/20 Intellectual Property Ltd

20/20 Project Management Ltd (non-trading)

20/20 Business Group Inc. (U.S.)

Also Trustee of The 20/20 Employee Ownership Trust

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

None

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

Significant Pecuniary Interests 

Married to Alison Marks, Senior Solicitor, Thorntons LLP (provider of legal services to Abertay University)

Mr Ian McDonald

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.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

None

Directorships etc:

None

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

None

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

Dr Jenny Rees

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.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

Consultant & Interim Manager, Dr Jenny Rees, Ltd

Directorships etc:

Director of Dr Jenny Rees Ltd

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

None

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

Member of the Advisory Council of the Scottish Qualifications Authority
Public Interest member, Discipline Panel, Institute of Chartrered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

Dr Andy Samuel

Lecturer / Member nominated by Abertay UCU academic staff union

Biography and Register of Interests to follow.

Professor Nigel Seaton

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.

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

Principal, Abertay University

Directorships etc:

Director, Equality Challenge Unit
Unit Director, JISC
Director, GuildHE

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

Trustee, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

Dr Kate Smith

Head of Division of Mental Health Nursing and Counselling/Member elected by academic staff

Born in the UK, Kate has lived in Spain, Germany, Israel, and the US.  After gaining an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, she came to Scotland to carry out a research PhD at St Andrews University.  She stayed here to raise her two sons and undertook training to become a Counsellor.  She joined Abertay in 2012 as a teaching fellow and currently leads the Division of Mental Health Nursing and Counselling.  Her research interests include the process and mechanisms of change in therapy and the development of Pluralistic Counselling.

Outside of her family and work interests, Kate enjoys gardening, watching rugby and walking her dog.

Register of Interests

PAID EMPLOYMENT

Abertay University

DIRECTORSHIPS ETC.

None

SIGNIFICANT INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY ORGANISATION WITH WHICH THE UNIVERSITY MIGHT DO BUSINESS

None

POSITION(S) OF AUTHORITY WITH ANY ORGANISATION(S) WHOSE POLICIES AND DECISIONS MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO IMPACT ON THE UNIVERSITY
None

 
SIGNIFICANT PECUNIARY INTERESTS
None

Mrs Caroline Summers

Vice-Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Strategy and Planning)

Caroline took up the role of Vice-Principal (Strategy and Planning) in February 2020, having been Director of Strategic Planning at Abertay since October 2013.  Caroline is responsible for leading the University’s strategic and operational planning and for ensuring that appropriate systems are in place to monitor progress against our objectives. Caroline’s team also manage the University’s Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Funding Council.

Caroline has over 20 years’ experience within the higher education sector having worked in a range of roles in several institutions including Glasgow Caledonian University and the Scottish Funding Council.

Register of Interests

PAID EMPLOYMENT

Abertay University

DIRECTORSHIPS ETC.

None

SIGNIFICANT INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY ORGANISATION WITH WHICH THE UNIVERSITY MIGHT DO BUSINESS

None

POSITION(S) OF AUTHORITY WITH ANY ORGANISATION(S) WHOSE POLICIES AND DECISIONS MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO IMPACT ON THE UNIVERSITY
None

SIGNIFICANT PECUNIARY INTERESTS
None

On appointment, new members of Court are sent the following Template Letters of Appointment from the Chair and the Secretary.

Officers closely related to 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.

Mrs Sheena Stewart

University Secretary

Register of Interests

Paid Employment

Abertay University

Directorships etc:

None

Significant involvement with any organisation with which the University might do business

Non-Executive Director, APUC

Position(s) of authority with any organisation(s) whose policies and decisions might be supposed to impact on the University

None

 

Opportunities to become an independent member of Court

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 s.stewart@abertay.ac.uk to express your interest and further information will be provided to you.