Our Vice-Chancellor's Office

Professor David Mba

Professor David Mba

Professor David Mba joined Birmingham City University in October 2023 as Vice-Chancellor, previously he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise at the University of the Arts London (UAL).

Prior to joining UAL, he was Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, at De Montfort University. Whilst at DMU he also held the post of Pro Vice Chancellor/Dean for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media. Other roles he has held include, Dean of Engineering at London South Bank University, and Associate Dean at Cranfield University’s School of Engineering.

David studied Aerospace Engineering (1st class honours) and completed a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Cranfield University, for which he was awarded the Lord King Norton Gold medal for the most outstanding doctoral thesis.

David is a Principal fellow of the HEA and is strongly committed to Social Justice. He is a trustee of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, a member of Advance HE’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategic advisory group, a member of the advisory board of the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers and more recently, a board member of the Hamilton Commission - set up to increase representation of Black people in UK motorsport.

Professor Mba’s research has been funded via numerous commercial, EU and EPSRC projects and he has published over 300 journal and conference papers.

Miss Karen Stephenson LLB, Solicitor, MA
University Secretary

Karen Stephenson - Profile photo

Karen Stephenson joined Birmingham City University in June 2016, as University Secretary and Clerk to the Board of Governors.

Karen is responsible for all matters of governance, legal and statutory compliance and is the institutional lead for overseeing compliance with the Prevent Duty. In addition she is Company Secretary to a number of subsidiary companies.  Her portfolio includes Governance; Legal & Compliance; Equality Diversity & Inclusion; DPA/FOI; UKVI Compliance; Business Continuity and Insurance.

Karen is a qualified solicitor with particular expertise in higher education corporate governance and all issues that arise out of the institutional relationship with students. She has written and published extensively on matters relating to Higher Education Management and student governance and is currently the AHUA Blog Champion for legal issues.

Before joining the University, Karen spent seven years as an external legal adviser in private practice advising a number of HEIs on issues involving corporate governance, strategic management (including faculty, department and course restructuring) and Board matters. She also advised on all aspects of the student/University relationship and management of complex student litigation. 

Prior to that she spent 15 years at London South Bank University; nine years as the University Secretary & Principal Solicitor and the previous six years as Course Leader and an Academic Lecturer in Law. 

Karen is a member of the Law Society and AHUA (the Association of Heads of University Administration).

Professor Julie McLeod
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning & Teaching

Julie McLeod profile photo

Professor Julie McLeod joined Birmingham City University in January 2020 as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) leading on the teaching and learning strategy and responsible for the Directorates of; Quality Standards & Inclusion, Education Development Service and Library & Learning Resources. Prior to that Professor McLeod was interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) at Bucks New University and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at Oxford Brookes University since 2014.

Having qualified from University College London with a BSc (Hons) Pharmacology, Professor McLeod completed her PhD at the Royal College of Surgeons and moved to the University of Bath where she undertook research into the immunology of autoimmune diseases and cell apoptosis. Professor McLeod moved to UWE, Bristol where she undertook her academic and biomedical science career, publishing widely on immune ageing and alternative models of allergen testing, supported by UK and EU grant funding. Professor McLeod became Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching in 2011.

Professor McLeod has been a QAA assessor and, more recently, was an assessor for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) subject plots for the Medical Health subject panel. She has worked with the Department of Health in implementing Modernising Scientific Careers and is an executive member of the Heads of Biomedical Sciences. She has been invited to speak on a range of aspects related to enhancing the student experience.

Outside of academic life she lives in Bristol with her husband and son and is a Bath Rugby supporter.

Affiliated to The Vice-Chancellor's Office is the:

Director of Strategic Academic Engagement and the Director of Development.