Board of Governors - Profiles

 Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Governors

Mark Hopton, FCA

Mark is an alumnus of Birmingham City University. He retired in late 2012 from a career with leading global professional services firm, KPMG, where he was Chairman and Senior Partner of the Midland Region until 2007 and then held leadership responsibilities in the EMEA Region until his retirement.

Mark is passionate about public service and investing time in his community. As well as his appointment as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Governors at Birmingham City University effective from April 2015, he is currently Chairman of the Governors and Trustees at Solihull School and a Director and Trustee of Acorns Children's Hospice Trust.

Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors

Joe Kelly, FCA, MBA

Joe qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1983 and gained an MBA from Aston University in 1993. He is a Non-Executive Director for Birmingham Airport. Previously he was Birmingham Airport Holdings (BAHL) Ltd's Group Finance Director and Company Secretary. He is also a Member of the Institute of Credit Management, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Institute of Data Processing and the Pensions Management Institute. His experience covers the manufacturing, distribution, retail and service sectors.


Professor Philip Plowden


Professor Philip Plowden joined the university in August 2017, having previously served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby. Prior to that, Professor Plowden worked for almost 20 years at Northumbria University, where he was Dean of the School of Law.

Professor Plowden graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Oxford and then qualified as both a solicitor and barrister specialising in human rights and public law. He maintains close links to legal practice and education and is a member of the Law Society's Education and Training Committee. He was also a non-executive board member at the Office for Legal Complaints, which manages the Legal Ombudsman scheme. Before entering the legal profession, he worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau Service in London for almost a decade.

In 2005 Professor Plowden was appointed as a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research interests are based in criminal law and practice, and in legal education and pedagogic practice. He also has an interest in the field of privacy law and freedom of information. Professor Plowden has been influential in the development of clinical legal education in the UK, and in strengthening an international network of legal clinicians, centring on the ‘International Journal of Clinical Legal Education’, which he edited for many years.  

Outside academic life, Professor Plowden is a huge fan of American Football, as well as a self-confessed geek, with a long-standing interest in genre fiction and computer gaming.

Mohammed AyazMohammed 1

Mohammed is a graduate of Birmingham City University and has completed an Executive-MBA, an MSc in Data Networks and Security and a BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks for Business.

Mohammed has over 10 years of IT experience and is a member of the Board of Governors at the Croft Academy (part of the Elliot Foundation). Mohammed holds MCITP, MCSA, MCSE and MTA certifications from Microsoft and has held certifications from , Oracle and Cisco. Mohammed's experience covers both the retail and IT Sectors.

Sally Beavan, BScEcon (Hons), ACA, CTA

Sally graduated from Cardiff University in 1996 with a degree in Business Economics. She went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant in 1999 and as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 2001.

Sally is the Managing Director of Communities Division for Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank responsible for the Education, Local Authorities and Social Housing National teams. Prior to joining Santander in she was a Corporate Finance Partner with PKF (UK) LLP, now part of BDO.

Dr Louise Brooke-Smith, HonDTech, BSc(Hons), DipTP, FRICS, MRTPI  


Louise is a Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Town Planner with experience drawn, over 30 years, from the public and private sectors in the UK and overseas. She is an Equity Partner of Arcadis LLP, the Global Consultancy for the Built Environment, where she is UK Head of Town Planning and Head of Social Value. Prior to this, she was the CEO of Brooke Smith Planning, based Planning & Development Consultancy, established in 1994, serving a wide range of international clients.

 Louise was the first female Global President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (2014-15). As she championed diversity & inclusivity and led a series of initiatives, including the RICS Inclusive Employers Quality Mark and the Property Strategy for Sub Saharan Africa.

 She is a Freeman of the City of London and her various accolades include; Outstanding Woman in Construction (2015), National Achiever in Construction (2015) and shortlisted for the First Woman Awards in 2014 and 2015. She has Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Wolverhampton, Sheffield Hallam and Birmingham City. Louise is retained as a UKGov adviser, is a Trustee of the Lench’sHousing Trust and is Chairman of All We Can – the International Aid Agency.

Ian Burke

Ian Burke is the Chairman of The Rank Group . He was previously CEO at Rank for eight years until May 2014. His early career years were spent at Unilever and Exxon. For the past 20-plus he has led a number of leisure and hospitality companies including Thistle Hotels plc and Holiday Inn Europe, Middle East and Africa.

He has a Mathematics degree from Imperial College, London, an accounting qualification (A.C.M.A.) and in Business Administration from London Business School.

Ian is a Trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation and an Honorary Doctorate of Birmingham City University.

Andrew Cleaves

Andrew Cleaves Andrew took up his post as Principal and Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College in May 2014. He is a director of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, where he is lead for skills, working to improve employability, increasing the numbers of people in work and improving delivery and quality of skills provision and integration with employers.

Andrew has over 20 years’ experience in , latterly as managing director of National Express' international division, having formerly run its Birmingham-based UK Coach business. Andrew previously spent 12 years in commercial roles at Tube Lines, managing the partnership with Transport for London for infrastructure and maintenance of the Tube. He was part of the team which invested £10m on a training school for engineering Apprenticeships for its workforce.

Andrew is an alumnus of Cambridge University where he obtained an MA in Natural Sciences, and of Cranfield School of Management where he gained an MBA and Diploma in Marketing.

Jemma Ellis

Jemma Ellis, graduated from Birmingham City University in 2018 with a 2:1 in Law with American Legal Studies (LLB). Jemma has always been passionate about all student's voices being heard, helping people and making positive change for those she meets. During her time at BCU she was heavily involved with several societies, including being President of the Law Society in her third year.

She is regularly participates in voluntary work with children and was an active member of the BCUSU Voice Team as a Student Academic Leader, going on to be promoted to the role of School Representative. She went on to run in the BCUSU elections and was voted in as VP Voice. This role sees Jemma working to represent 24,000 students, the governance of the Students Union, as well as being involved with wider academic matters. Jemma was also involved with Graduate Plus and has been an ambassador for the University, and is excited to return to her studies in the next academic year to complete her Masters.

Professor Graham Henderson, CBE, DL

Professor Graham Henderson was the Vice-Chancellor of Teesside University since 2003 until his retirement in May 2015. He had previously worked for a number of other higher education institutions across North-East England.

Professor Henderson was awarded the CBE in 2011 for his outstanding services to higher education. He was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire in 2012.

In addition to his role as Board member of a number of University companies, Graham is a member of a number of Higher Education and Leadership boards, advisory groups and networks. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute (CCMI). Graham is also a Trustee of the Captain Cook Birthplace Trust and a Patron of Community Campus.

Glenn Howells Glenn1

Since establishing Glenn Howells Architects 26 years ago, Glenn has led the Practice, with studios in both Birmingham and London, to win numerous major design competitions, over 120 awards from industry organisations and built a portfolio of completed projects across a diverse range of building types.

Glenn has been closely involved with shaping the future of some of Britain’s most complex and ambitious regeneration projects. The practice has provided masterplans that have prepared the way for billions of pounds worth of investment such as Paradise in the civic heart of Birmingham, the historic Chapel Street area of Salford and the Royal Wharf project in London Docklands. The Practice is also working with Birmingham City Council on a vision for the entire Eastside of Birmingham, an area that’s set to be transformed by the arrival of the High Speed 2 rail link.

Outside of the practice, Glenn chairs the board of the Ikon Gallery and sits on the advisory board of Birmingham Hippodrome and the West Midland’s regional architecture centre, MADE. Glenn continues to work closely with the RIBA and CABE where he was a member of the 2012 Olympic design review committee. In the academic Glenn is an external examiner at Sheffield Hallam University and a lecturer at the Centre Alternative Technology in Wales.

Andrew Jowett, OBE

Andrew Jowett has worked in the Arts for over 40 years. Following graduation from the University of he held posts at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield and at Darlington Civic Theatre. He was appointed Director of Darlington Civic Theatre in 1979 and subsequently Director of the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick from 1982 until 1988.

From 1988 until his recent retirement, Andrew was Director of Symphony Hall, Birmingham, overseeing the opening and management of this major international concert hall to great critical acclaim.In 2007 Birmingham Town Hall was reopened following a £37m refurbishment, and its operation brought together under the company Performances Birmingham Ltd. Andrew was Chief Executive of PBL as well as retaining directorial responsibility for both Symphony Hall and Town Hall.

Andrew was Chair of the British Association of Concert Halls for 10 years until 2016, a former Council Member and Vice President of the UK Theatre Association of the Advisory Board for the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton, a Trustee of the Young Musicians Trust, the Brant International Piano Competition and the Elgar Birthplace Foundation.He is also a Founding Member of the European Concert Halls Association (ECHO). Andrew is an Honorary Fellow of BCU and is a recipient of the Birmingham Civic Society Gold Medal, which is awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution to life in the City. In June 2012 he was awarded the OBE in HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours for services to music.

Andrew Kulman Andrew k 1

Professor Andrew Kulman divides his professional life between working as a practising graphic artist and being an educator. His career milestones have been marked by innovative curriculum design and collaborative practice, with a particular interest in developing overseas partnerships. Andrew is a strong believer in continual professional development and has developed workshops for colleagues in his faculty, enabling them to gain teaching fellowships and progression. Recently he was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts and Principal Fellowship of the HEA.

Andrew has worked with D&AD and the Association of Illustrators. In 2016 he was elected to serve on the Representative Board of the European League of Institutes of the Arts. This prestigious appointment means that he can work alongside colleagues from leading European institutions in helping to form policies and strategies that will impact on future directions in art and design education.

Andrew has developed exciting workshops and classes at institutes of art and design overseas. He works closely with colleagues at in Hong Kong, where he supports colleagues in their teaching and development of innovative programmes. In NID in India, he ran a very successful series of workshops investigating the wordless novel. This built on new research that he has undertaken in visual communication practice.

He hopes to develop new environments for art practice using virtual reality models. This will enhance current research being carried out at Birmingham City University and will involve collaboration with BIFCA in Wuhan and SHAPE in Hong Kong.

Jenny Ladbrooke, BA (Hons), MCIPD

Jenny is a graduate of the University of Nottingham and the former Birmingham Polytechnic, from which she gained membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

She has held successive positions with the IMI Group, where she was Group Human Resources Director from 2001-2008.

Since 2008 she has been an HR Consultant and now balances her life with a range of roles, offering advice to the third sector and not-for-profit organisations. Two of her main passions Solihull Job Club where she supports people back into work and acting as a governor for Birmingham City University.

Dame Julie Moore, DBE

Julie is a graduate nurse who was appointed as Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) in 2006.

In 2011 Julie led the Government’s NHS Future Forum Education and Training reform. In 2013, she was asked by the Secretary of State to lead a UHB team for the turnaround of two Trusts in special measures.

Julie is a member of the Advisory Board of the Business School and the Court of the University of Birmingham and was a member of the Faculty Advisory Board of the University of Warwick Medical School until 2015. She is a founder member and past Chair of the Shelford Group, ten leading academic hospitals in England.

Julie was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2012. In 2013, she was awarded an Honorary Chair at Warwick University and was named in the first BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour List of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the UK. She has Honorary Doctorates from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University.

Parmjit Singh

Parm joined Eversheds as a trainee in 1987 and became a Partner in 1997. Parm is Head of Eversheds Sutherland's Diversified Industrials Group, responsible for the industrial, chemical, automotive, defence and aerospace sectors.

Parm is the founding member of Eversheds' India Group and is currently Eversheds Sutherland’s Head of the Group. Parm and colleagues visit India regularly on trips to its main cities, meeting clients doing business in India and Indian companies looking to do business outside of India.

Parm is a Board member of the UK India Business Council and specialises in urban regeneration, development and management/ investment. He was recommended as a leading lawyer in Real Estate Legal 500 and led the teams advising on the redevelopment of the Bullring, The Mailbox and Fort Dunlop in Birmingham.

Sahib Singh

Bio coming soon

Tracy Westall

Tracy Westall Tracy is an experienced Executive & Non-Executive Director and has worked in the Digital and Technology sector for over 30 years. With a background in Sales and Business Development, Tracy was responsible for establishing and running a successful public sector business to become a £350million operation over 15 years. Her most recent roles have included Non-Executive Director for Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP where Tracy was responsible for Stimulating Innovation in the West Midlands. As Director of Corporate Services at SCC, Tracy was responsible for Procurement, Marketing, Partner & Alliances, Corporate Social Responsibility, Support Services, day to day Human Resources, Learning and Development as well as Public Sector Policy, Strategy and Governance. 

Her ambitions for ensuring that the West Midlands seizes the opportunities that digital and technology her decision to join the Smart City Commission, Birmingham Science City Board, and Birmingham Smart City Alliance and to initiate the Digital Leaders West Midlands programme.

Currently, Tracy is a Non-Executive Director of Innovation Birmingham and a Board Director of TechUK, the trade body for the tech sector in the UK and she has also built and runs successful Software, Audio-Visual and Secure Cloud business units.

Co-opted Members of Board Committees

Nick Longley, BSc ACA - Audit Committee Member

Nick is a Chemistry graduate from the University of Birmingham and member of ICAEW following qualification as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He joined as a co-opted member of the Audit Committee in January 2013.

Nick has worked with a number of Midlands-based PLCs and Private Equity backed companies while working as an Audit Senior Manager at PwC and is now the Group Financial Controller at Titan Europe PLC following four years as Group Financial Controller of Metalrax Group PLC.