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Council members

Anyone wishing to contact external members of the council should email the Working Secretary in the first instance (details below).

Malcolm Sweeting

Mr Malcolm Sweeting 
Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council

Malcolm Sweeting took up the role of Pro-Chancellor of the Open University from 1 January 2019.  He says, "The Open University is instantly recognised with great affection and great respect for its achievements. Almost everyone I speak to has a story to tell about the OU, and how it has inspired one of their family or friends to achieve their ambitions. As the OU celebrates its 50th Anniversary, it is with great pride that I take this wonderful opportunity to assist the OU to continue to change the lives of so many and to make such a profound and deep impact on society."

Malcolm is a partner of Clifford Chance LLP; and was, from 2010 – 2019, the Senior Partner of the firm. Clifford Chance is one of the world's largest elite global law firms.

Malcolm has spent his entire career at Clifford Chance; he worked for 3 ½ years in the Middle East; he was the youngest member of the firm's council in the early nineties; he led the Global Telecoms Practice in the mid to late nineties; was the head of the London Banking practice from 2002 – 2010. More recently, Malcolm has led or sponsored the firm's efforts around Brexit, Technology and the Emerging Markets (and specifically China).

Malcolm is a member of the Government's BRI Expert Panel; a member of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) Advisory Board; a member of the European Advisory Board of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business; a Fellow of the 48 group; a Trustee for Hope and Homes for Children; and a Speaker for Schools.

As a Pro-Chancellor, Malcolm is the Chair of the OU Council and Governance & Nominations and Investment Committees; Deputy Chair of Strategic Planning and Resources Committee; and a member of the University's Finance and Remuneration Committees.

Term of office: 01.01.2019 – 31.12.2022 (first term)

Professor John Brooks

Professor John Brooks
Vice-Chair of the Council

John has been an academic throughout his working life. His career has combined a deep interest in research, with a commitment to excellent teaching and learning.

His early career was at Sheffield Hallam University, where he became a Reader, Head of Department of Applied Physics and Director of Materials Research Institute, before becoming a PVC responsible for Academic Teaching and Research.

John then became Vice-Chancellor of Wolverhampton University, where the emphasis was on developing a modern and flexible curriculum that was accessible and served the needs of a diverse student body. At this time, the impact of new technology was considerable and an innovative Managed Learning Environment enabled the University to package programmes to suit different markets.

After seven years, John moved to become Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University. Here the challenge was of scale, complexity and distributed campuses. Over ten years, MMU rationalized from seven campuses to two with a capital spend of £250m. The performance in both teaching and research improved significantly.

John has always admired the OU for the way it combines academic excellence with a real commitment to open access and flexible learning.  He believes that this model of a University is not well served by the current quality framework and student fee regime. However, it is vital that the OU maximizes its position within the present HE environment. The planned changes are vital and may not go far enough.  Several performance measures have been in decline and it is vital that this trend is reversed.

He says ‘I hope that my HE experience will help the Council to support the change agenda led by the Vice-Chancellor. I know how difficult it is for non-HE colleagues to understand the complexity of HE regulation and funding, and the political influences. I hope that my role can be to simplify, to challenge and to support. I am confident that the OU has a vital role to play in the future direction of UK HE, particularly post Brexit, and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to contribute.

Term of office: 01.08.2017 – 31.07.2025 (second term)

Robert McCracken

Mr Robert McCracken
Treasurer

Robert graduated in law from Edinburgh University in 1979, joined Ernst & Young (EY) in 1980 and was a partner in the firm from 1992 until 2018. He became a member of the OU Finance Committee in August 2015. Throughout his career at EY, Robert has specialised in auditing and advising banks and other financial services institutions. After 2007, Robert combined a leadership role in the UK firm’s accounting technical department, a global role as co-chairman of the firm’s IFRS Financial Instruments Working Group, and a continuing role as audit partner or independent review partner for various audit clients. Since retiring from the partnership in June 2018, Robert has performed a consulting role at EY (advising on audit quality) and has taken on the role of Audit Committee Chair of a number of portfolio companies owned by a leading Private Equity group. . Robert was the Treasurer and Audit Committee Chair of the Tate Members Council from 2004 to 2014, and was a member of the Corporate and Financial Reporting Committee of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland from 2015 to 2019. He brings to the OU significant experience of operating at board level either as an auditor or non-executive director/trustee, combined with a strong interest in education and equality of opportunity. As Treasurer, Robert is Chair of Finance Committee and Investment Committees and a member of the Remuneration Committees.

Term of Office:  01-08-2019 – 31-07-2023

Mary Curnock-Cook

Ms Mary Curnock Cook CBE

Ms Mary Curnock Cook CBE joined the OU Council in August 2017. From 2010 to 2017, she was Chief Executive of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), overseeing a transformation of the organisation’s operations, communications and data services. Prior to 2010, she was Director of Qualifications and Skills at the QCDA.

Earlier in her career she held a number of senior executive and non-executive posts in private, public and not-for-profit organisations in the biotechnology, food, hospitality and education sectors. Ms Curnock Cook has an MSc from London Business School. Having herself only obtained her degree in her 40s, she is interested in students who follow non-traditional pathways. She continues to be active across the education sector, with a special interest in people who are under-represented or disadvantaged in education.

She holds a number of non-executive board roles including as Chair of the Access Project and the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, and as a director of the London Interdisciplinary School, the Student Loans Company, and the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI. She is Network Chair for Edtech investor Emerge Education, and is also an investor and advisor to a number of EdTech start-ups.

Ms Curnock Cook was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to training in the hospitality industry, and a CBE in 2020 for services to Further and Higher Education. She is a Fellow of Birkbeck College and Goldsmiths, and has an honorary Doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.

Term of office: 01.08.2017 – 31.07.2025 (second term)

Ceri Doyle

Ms Ceri Doyle

Ceri Doyle has been the Chief Executive of Newport City Homes (NCH) since September 2014 and has utilised her extraordinary breadth of experience ranging from health, education, finance and community development to drive service improvements, increased financial stability and a focus on residents within NCH.  Since the tragic events at Grenfell in June 2017, she has personally led NCH’s response to engaging with residents, ensuring the safety of the tower blocks in Newport, and lobbying and working with national and regional agencies to promote the safety of residents and clarity in regulations.

Prior to NCH, Ceri held a number of executive roles at the Big Lottery Fund – the UK’s largest lottery distributor – including Interim Chief Executive, Director of Strategy, Performance and Learning and Director Wales. Ceri also held a number of senior management positions in local government in Scotland, where she delivered a number of pioneering partnerships utilising European, Lottery and PFI funding. Alongside this, Ceri established a number of not-for-profit organisations working to tackle unemployment and community regeneration.

Ceri has held numerous non-executive positions, she is currently a Commissioner with the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales, a former Ministerial Advisor and has previously served on the board of a number of health, education, arts and third sector organisations.

Term of office: 28.08.2020 – 31.07.2024 (first term)

andrew Dickinson

Mr Andrew Dickinson

Andrew Dickinson has enjoyed a successful career with a tremendous breadth of international knowledge in business leadership, operations and Finance and is an experienced Senior Executive and Non-Exec Director, with a proven track record of success achieved working in a FTSE 100 company.

For 28 years, Andrew worked for Rolls Royce Plc, which has seen him work across the world – including Brazil, Germany and Singapore. Most notably Andrew’s role as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Staff for Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace saw him successfully lead the Finance, Commercial, Compliance, Risk and I.T functions globally for the £8bn turnover business with 24,000 employees.

Since 2018, Andrew has held a number of non-executive positions, including Evolution Power Tools and Board Member and Chair of Audit Committee at Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham College.

Andrew will be Chair of the Audit Committee from 1 August 2021. 

Term of office: 01.08.2021 – 31.07.2025 (first term)

Paul Gray

Professor Paul Gray

Professor Paul Gray is an experienced public sector leader at CEO level. Paul was Chief Executive of NHS Scotland and Director General for Health and Social Care in the Scottish Government from 2013 to 2019.

During this time he was responsible for the delivery of health and care services through 22 Health Boards, and partner organisations, with accountability for an annual budget of £13bn and a staffing complement of around 160,000. Paul joined the Civil Service in 1979 and held a number of Director General roles from 2009 until 2019.

Paul is currently an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow, and holds a number of other positions in the public and private sectors, including a Senior Faculty Member at the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh), a Non-Executive Director with the Care Inspectorate and a lay assistant with the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland. Paul is also a coach and mentor to a number of senior executives.

Paul places a strong emphasis on ethical and compassionate leadership, transparency and collaborative working. Committed to public accountability, he is experienced in leading delivery and change and specialises in public service, ethical leadership and governance.

Term of office: 28.08.2020 – 31.07.2024 (first term)

Paul Greenwood

Mr Paul Greenwood

Paul is the Chief Information Officer for Clifford Chance LLP, where he is responsible for the global law firm's technology and digital strategy.

Paul began his career as an analyst and was Research Director at Research Associates before joining McKinsey & Company, the strategy consultancy. At McKinsey, he was responsible for research, information and knowledge management in the United Kingdom and was part of McKinsey's Knowledge Management Council and also consulted to clients on Knowledge Management issues, specialising in post-merger situations.

Paul is a strong believer in open and flexible education having seen first hand in his own family the limitations of a monolithic approach for those with particular needs, and more broadly is an advocate for a step change in society's approach to lifelong learning. He sees the Open University as a powerful force for good in both of these areas and is very proud to serve on its Council.

Paul also serves as a board member for a technology start-up and an Indian-based business process provider.

Paul is a member of the Audit Committee and the Governance & Nominations Committee.

Term of office: 01.08.2018 – 31.07.2022 (second term)

Rachel Lock

Mrs Rachel Lock

Rachel has been the HR Director for TSB since November 2012, during which time she has led the creation of the HR function and the TUPE of partners to TSB ahead of the IPO sale by Lloyds Banking Group. Following the acquisition of TSB by Banco Sabadell, she has held responsibility for HR for Sabadell UK.

Prior to this role, Rachel gained extensive Director-level Human Resources experience across a number of roles in Lloyds Banking Group. She held the position of HR Director for Group Corporate Functions and Corporate Affairs in LBG, providing strategic HR expertise to GEC members and their teams and leading associated people practices.

Rachel’s other previous roles include Executive Assistant to the LBG Group HR Director, HR Director for Lloyds TSB Mortgages and HR Director for LBG Group Operations.

Rachel has worked her way up having joined as a school leaver to her local branch. She has Retail, Telephony, Operations, Training and HR experience, stretching 33 years.

Rachel brings a commercial and people-related focus to the debates and decisions that the OU Council makes. Her passion for talent and succession and employee development means that she has the interests of the OU employees in mind, as well as the students.

Outside of work Rachel enjoys going to the gym, gardening, watching sport and spending time with her niece and nephews.

Rachel is Chair of the Remuneration Committee.

Term of office: 02.10.2015 – 31.07.2023 (second term)

Lopa Patel

Mrs Lopa Patel MBE DUniv

Lopa Patel MBE DUniv is a digital entrepreneur with experience of creating start-ups and transforming businesses through technology. The founder of two ventures in online media and a data-driven marketing consultancy, she is also the Chair of Diversity UK, an equality and inclusion charity; a Trustee of The Science Museum Group and a Non-Executive Director of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Lopa has previously been a Trustee of education charity Raha International, a member of the DCMS BBC Charter Review Advisory Board, Deputy Chair of volunteering initiative Sewa Day, a Board Member of social enterprise venture TSBC (The Small Business Consultancy), a Board Member of Tamasha Theatre Company and a Non-Executive Director of Becta (British Education Communications and Technology Agency) – a Non-Departmental Public Body in the UK.

With a lifelong love of science and technology, Lopa is an evangelist for STEM, innovation and bridging the skills gap in business. Lopa has been recognised with accolades including an MBE for services to the creative industries; the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and an Honorary Doctorate by The Open University, in recognition of her efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in science and technology.

Term of office: 28.08.2020 – 31.07.2024 (first term)

Tevin Tobun

Mr Tevin Tobun

Tevin Tobun is the CEO of Gate Ventures Group (GV), a company he founded in 2001 that focuses on food transportation within the education, social, healthcare, retail and business and industry sectors. GV Group is one of the UK’s leading independently owned food logistics specialists with a global footprint spanning the UK, South America and Africa, and employing over 500 people. 
 
Tevin is a Patron for the charity Springboard – the biggest independent charity in the hospitality sector that supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds into jobs in the hospitality industry. Tevin also runs The Tobun Foundation. Launched in 2015, the foundation offers four young people from disadvantaged backgrounds yearly funding to support their University studies. The Tobun Foundation also provides bursary support to students on specialist programmes including the United Nations Summer Programme in Geneva.  
 
Additional to this, Tevin frequently speaks at industry events and sits on a number of Boards for a range of organisations.  
 
Tevin and GV Group have been recognised amongst the business community through a significant number of nominations and accolades. In 2019 and 2020, Tevin was listed as one of the top 100 most influential Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Executives in the UK, and is also listed by JP Morgan as one of the top 100 most influential black people in the UK in 2020. 

Term of office: 28.08.2020 – 31.07.2024 (first term)

Student members


Sarah Jones

Mrs Sarah Jones
OU Students Association President

Sarah Jones has been a student with The Open University since October 2017. Sarah started a Masters in Education in September 2020, having completed a Primary Education degree, gaining a First Class honours in the summer of 2020. Sarah is interested in Lego Therapy and the benefits it has for children with English as another language, as well as the benefits of using Lego in research with adults using Lego Serious Play. 

Sarah was elected the OU Students Association President in the summer of 2020 and is looking forward to helping represent the student voice not only on Council but in all levels of the University.

Sarah lives in Bristol with her husband and two sons.

Term of office: 01.08.2020 – 31.07.2022 (first term)

 

Danielle Smith

Miss Danielle Smith
Student Member on the Council

I live just outside Newcastle upon Tyne with my cat Archie and work for a local NHS Trust. I am currently on my third qualification with the Open University, having gained the Professional Certificate in Management in 2002 and an Open Degree (BSc Hons) in 2018. I am currently studying the Masters in Translation putting the Spanish I learnt growing up in Spain from the age of 10 to good use.

I love to travel and explore new places and my dream would be to do a three month coast to coast road trip across North America in a classic convertible.

I have been volunteering with the Open University Students Association in a variety of roles since 2016 and am passionate about ensuring we have a strong student voice within the University as well as promoting the Students Association to both OU students and staff.

I am proud and honoured to have been elected to the role of Student Member of Council and am looking forward to being able to represent our wonderful and diverse body of students at this level and throughout the University.

Term of office: 04.11.2020 – 31.07.2022 (first term)

Staff members


Tim Blackman

Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor

Professor Tim Blackman has a long and proud association with The Open University and took on the role of Vice-Chancellor in October 2019. Tim served as Acting Vice-Chancellor in 2015 and as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Scholarship and Quality between 2011 and 2015, when he took up his previous appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University.

Tim has extensive and varied leadership experience in higher education.  A graduate of Durham University, he returned to Durham many years later as Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, holding positions as Head of the School of Applied Social Sciences, Director of the Wolfson Research Institute and Dean of the University’s Queen’s Campus in Stockton-on-Tees. He has also served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at Teesside University and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at Oxford Brookes University.

A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Royal Society of Arts, and a Trustee of the Legal Education Foundation, Tim has held various appointments as a government advisor and as an assessor for Social Policy & Social Work in the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework exercise.
 

 
John D'Arcy

Mr John D'Arcy OBE
Senate Member of the Council

John has been Director of The Open University in Ireland since October 2010, and has responsibility for the University in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He has also been acting Director in Scotland during 2015 and was Interim Director in Wales during 2018/19.

Prior to joining The OU, John was Chief Executive of Colleges Northern Ireland, the membership organisation for Northern Ireland's further education colleges from 2003 to 2010. John was a Director of BDO Stoy Hayward Management Consultants from1997 to 2002, leading its organisational development and human resource consulting division. Prior to that, he was Principal Officer for Research and Statistics at the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (1990 to 1997). He was Research Fellow with The Northern Ireland Council for Educational Research from 1984 to 1990.

John is a Trustee of The Lightbody Foundation; a Board member of The Open College Network in Northern Ireland; and a Board member of AONTAS, The Republic of Ireland’s National Adult Learning Organisation. He was non-executive Chairman of Enterprise Northern Ireland from 2013 to 2106; was founding Chairman of Oh Yeah Music Centre from 2007 to 2013 and is a former Chairman of Audiences Northern Ireland as well as a former Board member of the BBC’s Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland. He was a Board member of Sport Northern Ireland from 2008 to 2015, including a period as interim Vice Chair. John was a member of the Education Panel of the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise in 2001 and was made an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Education at Queen’s University Belfast in 2000.

Term of office: 01.08.2018 – 31.07.2022 (second term)

 

Catherine Halliwell

Dr Catherine Halliwell 
AL Elected Member of the Council

Catherine has worked as an Associate Lecturer in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics since 2008. Catherine tutors on science modules at all undergraduate levels and also actively pursues her own scholarship work in improving the online learning experience of students. Catherine has been an AL representative since 2014 and was elected Chair of the Associate Lecturers Executive in 2019.

Prior to joining the OU, Catherine worked with the Department of Trade and Industry and the European Commission to promote British industry and academia involvement in international research collaborations. Before that, Catherine was a Strategic Research Fellow at the National Physical Laboratory, specialising in nanobiotechnology.

In her spare time Catherine enjoys swimming, hiking, ornithology, and Scandinavian culture and cooking.

Term of office: 01.08.2020 – 31.07.2024 (first term)

Sas Amoah

Mr Sas Amoah
Senate Member of the Council

Sas Amoah is OpenLearn’s Digital Media Producer, as the team’s primary AV lead he’s responsible for commissioning and producing most of the video and Audio content produced in the department. Sas leads the team that manages OpenLearn’s YouTube channel; one of the most popular higher education channels on the platform form with 270,000 subscribers and over 50,000,000 million views to date.

Sas is also co-chair of The Open university’s Black and Minority Ethnic Network, a position he’s held for over a decade. In that time, the network has grown significantly and now supports a number of different units across a variety of different initiatives. As part of the EDI workstream within Learner and Discovery Services (LDS)  Sas has worked on policy proposals which after being piloted locally, where later embedded institutionally.

He is also currently a Team Leader, at Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes, a charity that provides supervised overnight accommodation to homeless and vulnerable people. He’s on the board of trustees for living Archive Milton Keynes, an organisation that preserves and shares the history and heritage of Milton Keynes and was recently appointed to the board of Milton Keynes Gallery.

Term of office: 01.08.2021 – 31.07.2025 (first term)

Carol Howells

Ms Carol Howells
Senate Member of the Council

Carol is Senior Lecturer in Law, a Faculty Lead for accessibility and Law School Lead for Scotland. She joined the OU in 1998 and led a number of innovative projects including the LLB and LLM programmes which helped place the OU Law School as one of Europe’s largest Law Schools and the largest provider of law graduates in the UK.

During her time at the OU, Carol has gained considerable and wide-ranging experience in curriculum design and development, module production and presentation. As a member of the OU’s pioneering Law School she led the development of the first OU level one module in law and built on this experience to produce access modules in law, OpenLearn materials on the law in Wales and short courses on the law in Scotland. She went on to lead the development of the OU’s first in-house produced undergraduate law degree and the first law postgraduate degree. Along with colleagues in Executive Education she has also worked on external projects including one with the civil service.

Carol’s research interests include the legal systems of the UK, their interaction, historical and contextual development and multi-disciplinary relevancies. She is currently working on projects related to first women lawyers, constitutional reform, the rule of law, inclusivity within the law curriculum, compassion as a legal skill, devolution, citizen engagement and diversity. Her upcoming publications include reflections on the legal history of the Royal Mile, how law is used to shape identities and the constitutional underpinnings and evolving institutional dynamics of the UK nations.

In her spare time Carol serves as a school governor, sails, reads and walks.

Term of office: 01.08.2020 – 31.07.2024 (first term)

Rob Parker

Mr Rob Parker
Senate Member of the Council (Associate Lecturer)

Rob’s journey with the Open University began in nearly two decades ago as a fresh-faced MBA student. Very quickly, the OU ‘got under his skin' and after gaining his qualification, began teaching in the Business School as an Associate Lecturer. Now, Rob teaches across the Undergraduate Business Programme, the CMDA Apprenticeship programme and in the Computing and Communications school.

Outside the OU, Rob runs an IT business providing reporting and data services to large national companies and is active within his community as a Parish Councillor and school governor. He is a certified Chartered Manager and has been active as an AL representative for over eight years.

In his spare time, he is slowly working to complete the Scottish Munros and enjoys playing the piano and church organ.

He ‘hopes that as a member of Council he can contribute to the future success of the University and ensure that it continues to provide life-changing opportunities and experiences for as many people as possible.’

Term of office: 20.10.2020 – 31.07.2022 (first term)

Eileen Scanlon

Professor Eileen Scanlon OBE FAcSS
Senate Member of the Council

Professor Eileen Scanlon is Regius Professor of Open Education and Associate Director of Research and Innovation in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, as well as an Honorary Professor in Moray  House School of Education for the University of Edinburgh.

Eileen has extensive research experience on educational technology projects. Eileen is involved in research projects that explore aspects of digital scholarship to develop open educational resources; investigate science learning in formal and informal settings concentrating on the development of an inquiry learning pedagogy and citizen inquiry; and develop innovative approaches to evaluation of learning (e.g. games based learning and citizen science). Furthermore, Professor Scanlon has published extensively in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning.

Term of office: 01.08.2020 – 31.07.2024 (first term)

Rukhsana Malik

Ms Rukhsana Malik
Senate Member of the Council

Rukhsana has worked at the OU for over 19 years with a background in IT working mainly in the examinations and assessment area, she was responsible for delivering the electronic TMA system to wider university in 2005 and has extensive experience of AL and student engagement. She has been a Senate member since 2019.

Rukhsana is a Trustee at Camphill Milton Keynes Communities and an Ambassador of Milton Keynes Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture. She also works on local community projects and is active in her local Parish council.

'Focusing on people and their best outcomes is important to me. The OU has a major role to play in in striving towards a better society, where learning and personal growth is available to everyone as much as possible. I hope I can contribute greatly on Council towards achieving that.

Term of office: 21.04.2021 – 31.07.2022 (first term)

Council contacts


Dave Hall

Mr Dave Hall
University Secretary

Dave is the University Secretary and therefore Secretary to the Council. Dave's role is to ensure that the main decision making bodies of the University receive appropriate advice and information on which to base their decisions, that they operate within clear terms of reference and that the processes used for decision making are clear and open.

tbc

TBC
Head of Governance

The Council is supported by a team led by the Head of Governance. The Head of Governance has overall responsibility for the operation of the Council including membership and reviews of its effectiveness. The Head of Governance is supported by Sue Thomas and other staff in the Governance Team.

Tel: tbc
Email: tbc

Sue Thomas

Ms Sue Thomas 
Working Secretary to the Council

Sue is the Working Secretary for the Council, and is responsible for the management of its meetings and the support of its members.

Tel: (01908) 655083
Email: sue.thomas@open.ac.uk

Suzanne Butler

Mrs Suzanne Butler 
Governance Assistant

Suzanne supports the Working Secretary for the Council, providing assistance with the preparation of papers and the logistical arrangements for meetings of the Council, Governance and Nominations Committee, Audit Committee, ASPC & CSC promotion Committees, the Senate and the Strategic Planning and Resources Committee.

Tel: (01908) 652023
Email: suzanne.butler@open.ac.uk