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Our Governors

Members of the Board of Governors at Plymouth Marjon University

Graham Raikes MBE

Graham Raikes MBE

Chair of the Board and Directly Appointed Independent Governor 

Graham served for over 26 years in the Army, originally commissioning as a Royal Welch Fusilier officer and later qualifying as a management accountant and chartered secretary. In his last Army appointment, he was responsible for the Army’s military management accountants world-wide and supporting major defence-wide reviews and initiatives. 

In 2003, Graham become Director of Corporate Finance at the University of Plymouth and was soon promoted to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources). In 2009, he became Director of Resources at the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  In 2013, he took on the additional role of creating and leading the Professional Support Unit for AHRC, EPSRC and ESRC. 

Graham is Chair of the Board, Chair of Governance & Nominations Committee and Deputy Chair of Finance & Resources Committee. Graham is a member of: Remuneration Committee; People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee; Digital & Physical Infrastructure Group; Healthcare Education Strategic Advisory Group. 

Interests: 

  • Nil
Prof Patricia Hind

Prof Patricia Hind

Joint Deputy Chair of the Board; Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Patricia began her career at Leeds University as a lecturer, before moving to a research position in the House of Commons. She joined the financial services sector as a business psychologist, then moved to City University as a Senior Lecturer.  Since joining Ashridge Business School, Patricia held the post of MBA Director for 12 years and now is Director of the Ashridge Centre for Research in Executive Education.

A magistrate, and former Chairman of the Bench in the Family Courts, Patricia has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

Patricia is Joint Deputy Chair of the Board.  Patricia chairs Remuneration Committee and Finance & Resources Committee. Patricia is Deputy Chair of People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee. 

Interests:

  • B2B Insights Ltd – Executive Director
  • Ashridge Executive Education – Professor
  • British Psychological Society - Trustee
  • Education and Training Board - Chair
Emma van Der Lugt

Emma van der Lugt

Joint Deputy Chair of the Board; Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Emma was brought up in Plymouth and has more than 20 years' management experience across the NHS. Emma is currently the Business Partner at Church View Surgery in Plymstock.

Emma is Joint Deputy Chair of the Board. Emma is Chair of Audit Committee. Emma is Deputy Chair of Remuneration Committee and also of Governance & Nominations Committee. Emma is a member of People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee and a member of the Healthcare Education Strategic Advisory Group. 

Interests: 

  • Church View Surgery, Plymstock – Business Partner
  • Mewstone Primary Care Network - Surgery Partner 
Professor Claire Taylor

Prof Claire Taylor

Vice-Chancellor (ex officio) 

Professor Claire Taylor  became the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive in May 2023, and was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.  Claire studied Music and Education at the University of Cambridge and qualified as a teacher, before becoming a primary school Headteacher.  Professor Taylor studied for her PhD at the University of Nottingham.  She held roles of Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor at two other values-based universities: Bishop Grosseteste in Lincoln and St Mary’s University, London. 

Professor Taylor was the first in her family to go to university and this continues to inspire her work. She holds a deep commitment to addressing areas of social inequality and to seeing individuals and communities flourish. 

Professor Taylor has advised on a wide range of boards and panels across higher education. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holder of an Advance HE CATE (Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence). She is a Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Professional Affiliate Member of the Chartered College of Teaching.  

Interests: 

  • Plymouth Marjon University - Employee
  • Bible Society - Trustee

Reena Bajaj

Co-optee

Reena is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

Reena is a chartered accountant and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with over 15 years working in both internal and external audit in public sector and research organisations. Reena is the internal audit manager for four UK Universities and works for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Reena studied Economics and Business at University College London.

Reena has a keen interest in volunteer work and has previously been a school governor at a primary school as well as being chair of the school's Business and Management Committee.

Reena is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee. 

 Interests

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP - Manager
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales - Fellow

James Beckly

Co-optee

James is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

James' career spans national and international project management. James is Managing Partner of Ward Williams Associates, Property and Construction Consultants, with responsibility for developing the strategic business plan alongside running business operations. 

James is an experienced Chartered Project Management Surveyor and has worked for developers, consultants and construction managers. Within these fields, he has worked in various sectors, such as retail, mixed-use, residential, offices, leisure, sports, heritage, healthcare, public realm and infrastructure.  James has professional memberships of MRICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and ACIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators). 

James grew up in the area and lives locally. He enjoys sailing, windsurfing and walking with his family.

James is a member of the Digital and Physical Infrastructure Group.

Interests

  • Seedling Homes - Director
  • Whitebox Construction - Director
  • Ward Williams Holdings - Director
  • MWJV Ltd - Director
  • Ward Williams LLP - Designated Member
  • Constructing Excellence Southwest - Board Member
Guy Bolt

Guy Bolt

Co-optee

Guy is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

Guy has lived and worked in Plymouth for 15 years whilst raising his young family before making the move over the border to Torpoint.

Guy is a well-respected Chartered Quantity Surveyor with over 20 years experience of projects across the UK with commercial, residential, industrial, defence, marine, healthcare and education clients in the private and public sectors, working in multi-disciplinary teams.

As a Registered Expert Witness as well as an Accredited Mediator, Guy is highly sought after by clients seeking to resolve disputes.

Guy is passionate about education and training the next generation, acting as a STEM Ambassador and undertaking the Counsellor role for RICS APC candidates.

Guy also enjoys making music; playing drums, guitar, keyboard and singing badly.

Guy is a member of Governance & Nominations Committee and Digital & Physical Infrastructure Group. 

Interests

  • Bailey Partnership - Senior Associate
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - Member
  • South West Association of Mediators - Member
Sarah Boyd's staff photograph

Sarah Boyd

Student Union Elected Governor 

MSU President for 2023/24, Sarah is also the Chair of the MSU Board of Trustees.

'Prior to election as MSU President, I studied BSc (Hons) Psychology. Throughout my time as a student, I enjoyed my time working as Women’s Officer in the Students’ Union, along with supporting students as a Residential Student Ambassador and Senior Residential Student Ambassador.

I have also enjoyed some of the many sports offered at Marjon, mainly including volleyball and netball.

I am excited to begin the process of implementing my manifesto, particularly on sustainability and student wellbeing. I am also excited to be a member of the Board of Governors, I am eager to share my own student experiences as well as be a representative of the student body at Marjon.'

Sarah attends meetings of Finance & Resources Committee, People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee and is a member of Digital & Physical Infrastructure Group.

Interests: 

  • Plymouth Marjon University - Employee

 

Louise Bridgett's Board Photograph

Louise Bridgett

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Louise is a Chartered Accountant and has lived in Plymouth for many years. Having graduated from the University of Exeter, Louise joined PKF Francis Clark in 1997 where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant. She remained there until 2008 when she joined Plymouth City Council as a Group Accountant with the Corporate Team.

She rejoined PKF Francis Clark in 2012 as a Not for Profit specialist. Her portfolio includes many charity, education and housing clients and she has extensive sector expertise and experience. She advises her clients on financial reporting, governance and regulatory matters. Louise is passionate about the sector in which she works and enjoys building relationships with and advising her clients.

Louise is Deputy Chair of the Audit Committee.

Interests: 

  • PKF Francis Clark Chartered Accountants - Director
  • Former colleague of Marjon's Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director
Rt Rev'd Dr Tim Dakin smiling at the camera

Rt Rev'd Dr Tim Dakin

Co-optee

Tim is a co-opted Board member and a former Marjon student.  He was born in Tanzania and grew up and later worked in Kenya.  His tertiary education took place in the UK (BA, MTh, PhD), focussing on Theology & Sociology and Mission Spirituality.  His interests include World Christianity and international studies. 

As Bishop of Winchester, Tim’s national portfolio was Further & Higher Education.  He oversaw the Church of England’s new thinking on the contribution of FE & HE to the common good within a pluralist and post-secular world. 

Tim was previously on the Board of Winchester University (another Cathedrals Group University).  

Tim is now an active retiree, and lives in Plymouth with his wife Sally.

Interests

  • Anglican Missioners of Africa Development and Education Trust (AMADET) - Chair
Kate Doodson - A Governor at Marjon University

Kate Doodson

Directly Appointed Independent Governor  

Kate is the Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic, one of the leading social enterprises in the South West.  Kate has spent over two decades in the IT industry, many of which running a wholly female owned IT software business.

Kate specialises in Digital Futures and the strategic use of Digital to transform business processes.  Her previous career in Civil Engineering enabled her to work extensively in both the UK and overseas.

Kate has been shortlisted for the Women in IT awards, as IT Advocate of the Year, and received awards from Tech4Good, Social Enterprise UK and Venus awards.

Kate is a member of Finance & Resources Committee and Chair of Digital & Physical Infrastructure Group. 

Interests:

  • South Devon College - Non Exec Director
  • South West Cyber Security Cluster- Steering Group Member
  • ICE SW Infrastructure Panel - Steering Group Member

 

Matt Evans

Matt Evans

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Matt's career has centred on promoting community sport and active lifestyles. He has held leadership roles with Somerset County Cricket Club, The England and Wales Cricket Board and Active Devon, where he has been the Chief Executive since 2011. He has extensive expertise across the grassroots participation agenda, public policy and investment strategies and is a passionate advocate for partnership and collaborative approaches.

Away from professional life Matt practises what he preaches, being a keen everyday walker and cyclist.  He is a passionate rugby fan and a keen but frustratingly worse than par golfer!

Matt is a member of the Governance & Nominations Committee.

Interests:

  • Active Devon (Devon County Council) - Chief Executive
  • Cedar Court (Rockbeare) Management Company Limited – Director

 

Katherine George - A Governor at Marjon University

Katherine George

Co-optee

Katherine is a co-opted member of the Finance & Resources Committee.  

Katherine George is the founder of the multi-award winning, international social media agency Oh So Social, which provides comprehensive social media management and training services, and online training platform Oh So Savvy. As one of just eight Meta Certified Lead Trainers in Europe and one of 24 Facebook and Instagram accredited #SheMeansBusiness mentors in the UK, Katherine has a wealth of expert social media knowledge and experience.  

Both Katherine and Oh So Social have won a string of awards, including being named by Enterprise Nation as one of their Top Marketing Advisers three years running, and celebrated in Cornwall's 30 Under 30 list four times.

Interests

  • Oh So Social - Director
  • Oh So Savvy - Director
Rt Rev'd James Grier

Rt Rev'd James Grier

Church Nominated Independent Governor

James became Bishop of Plymouth in September 2022.  James joined Marjon's Board (as a Co-optee) in January 2023 and then was appointed Governor in August 2023.  

James was born and brought up in Plymouth and returned to Devon 15 years ago.  He has been ordained since 1998 and worked in Oxford, Birmingham and Exeter.  Whilst in Devon, he has been the Mission Enabler for Exeter Diocese, encouraging and helping churches to live out their faith in their communities across Devon.  Prior to that, he began a multi-generational church working with young people with little or no interest in faith, particularly those studying at Exeter College. 

Throughout his ministry, James has worked in university cities and in churches with a significant commitment to working with students.  James is married to Liz. They have two sons, Josh and Toby.
James is a member of Governance & Nominations Committee. 

Interests

  • Exeter Diocesan Board of Finance - Director
  • Plymouth College - Governor
  • Transforming Plymouth Together - Trustee
  • South West Ministry Training Course - Trustee
Victoria Hatton

Vicky Hatton

National Society Nominated Independent Governor

Vicky is a Senior Associate at Browne Jacobson LLP, specialising in education law.  She has extensive experience and knowledge of the education sector and advises schools and academy trusts across the South West and nationally on legal and governance matters.  Vicky has been a volunteer in school governance since 2010, holding a range of roles including chair of governors.  She is currently a Member of a special school multi-academy trust and a Trustee of Askel Veur, the Diocese of Truro’s Umbrella Company Ltd. 

Vicky lives in Cornwall with her husband and two young children.

Vicky is a member of the Audit Committee.

Interests

  • Askel Veur (Diocese of Truro Umbrella Company Ltd) - Director
  • Browne Jacobson LLP - Solicitor
Alex Hawtin

Alex Hawtin

National Society Nominated Independent Governor

Alex is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years' experience in various finance roles covering engineering, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and the motor industry.  Alex studied Accounting and Finance and graduated from Plymouth University in 2009. He currently works as Head of Strategic Pricing within the Babcock International Group.

 Interests: 

  • Babcock International - Head of Strategic Pricing 
  • Association of Certified Chartered Accountants – Fellow

 

Mark Llewellyn, Board of Governors

Prof Mark Llewellyn

Co-optee

Mark is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

Mark has been Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University since 2017 having worked previously at Swansea, Liverpool and Strathclyde universities. Before joining Cardiff Mark spent six years as Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (now part of UKRI), where he led on research and innovation strategy.  

Alongside his own research and teaching, Mark has undertaken leadership, strategy and advisory roles, both in the UK and internationally. He has served as a governing board member for EU initiatives including HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) and the Joint Programme on Cultural Heritage, and as an advisor/consultant for projects with Historic England, DCMS, specialist HE providers in the arts sector, and a range of universities REF planning.  

Mark is a member of Finance & Resources Committee and Remuneration Committee.

Interests

  • Llewellyn McLaren Consulting Ltd. - Director
  • Isca Academy Local Governing Board, Exeter - Governor and Vice-Chair
  • Matford Brook Academy - Member of Local Governing Board
  • Whipton Barton Federation - Chair of Local Governing Board
  • English Association - Fellow
Fiona Nicholls

Fiona Nicholls

Academic Staff Governor

Fiona is a Senior Lecturer in the Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning Team and believes in creating the best environments for experiential and alternative ways of learning. She is also passionate about making change for the best and sustainability.

Fiona has experience in leadership and management, including budget management within Devon and Plymouth City Council over 20 years in Youth and Community.

Currently a part-time PhD student in the field of education asking; what is the value of 'leaving the comfort zone'? A critical examination of fear induced learning.

When not with our students or being a PhD student herself, Fiona can almost always be found outdoors on the sea or in the mountains with friends.

Fiona is a member of Digital & Physical Infrastructure Group.

Interests:

  • Plymouth Youth Sailing - Committee Member
  • Plymouth Marjon University - Employee
Prof John Scott

Prof John Scott CBE

Co-optee

John is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

John’s career has been in Higher Education, where he has worked at the universities of Strathclyde, Leicester, Essex, and Plymouth.  He is a sociologist who has published more than 40 books on the subject and has served on numerous national committees and bodies concerned with the A-level teaching, curriculum development, and research assessment.  John has undertaken research visits to overseas universities in Europe and Asia, including visiting positions in Japan, Norway, and Hong Kong.  He has Honorary Doctorates from Essex University and Edinburgh University.

An active member of his local community, he has been involved in committees concerned with transport development, heritage buildings, High street rejuvenation, and neighbourhood planning.

John is a member of Audit Committee, People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee and Remuneration Committee. 

Interests

  • British Academy - Fellow; Council Member (Trustee) of Governing Council
  • Academy of Social Sciences - Fellow; Council Member (Trustee)
  • British Sociological Association - Member
  • Lostwithiel Town Team - Member
  • Lostwithiel Business Group (incorporating Lostwithiel Town Forum) - Member
Duncan Swift

Duncan Swift

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Duncan is an Azets Partner who co-founded their Plymouth office in 2022.

It marks a return to the city where Duncan was based in the 1990’s. Since then, he has become a nationally recognised farming & food production specialist, undertaking a related postgraduate degree and numerous high-profile food supplier business rescues.

Duncan provides regular media commentary on supermarket/supplier trading terms and the Groceries Supply Code of Practice and its Adjudicator. In 2019, Duncan authored the Lloyd’s of London ‘Evolving Risks in Global Food Supply’ report.

Duncan is a Chartered Accountant and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner. In 2019/20, he was President of R3, the UK trade association for the restructuring and insolvency profession. He is a member of Plymouth Area Business Council.

Interests:

  • Moore (South) R&I LLP - Partner
  • Azets Holdings Limited – Partner
  • Plymouth Area Business Council – Member
  • The Mount Kelly Foundation - Governor
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales - Fellow 
  • Past-President & Honorary Member, R3 Association of Business Recovery Professionals
Esther Tonna-Morgan

Esther Tonna-Morgan

Professional Services Staff Governor 

I am Marjon’s Welcome Team Manager.  I have a background in customer service as well as NHS healthcare and am also a former student of Marjon myself.

I enjoy meeting people and sharing experiences as well as best practice. I delight in searching for alternative ways of working and was honoured to win the Marjon Staff Award for Curiosity in 2021. When an opportunity equally excites and scares me, I’m inclined to pursue it and step out of my comfort zone so that’s why I wanted to become a Governor.  I’ve got quite a diverse career history including two different shoe shops, an ice rink and most recently as a Cancer Support Worker in the NHS.  Staff Profile 

Esther attends meetings of the People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee.

Interests: 

  • Plymouth Marjon University - Employee 
Jennie Walker, Board of Governors

Jennie Walker

Co-optee

Jennie is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

Jennie retired in 2022 after nearly 40 years in education. Her final role was as the inaugural CEO of a multi-academy trust encompassing 20 primary schools. Born and bred in Cornwall, Jennie went on to study at Homerton College, Cambridge. During her career, she was a headteacher in three areas of England, a governor and Ofsted inspector. Jennie has always been involved in school improvement both in the UK and internationally. 

Jennie is a Branch Caseworker and Headteacher Mentor for the National Association of Headteachers. Jennie is an Executive Member of the Soroptimists and keen to enhance life chances for women and girls. She helps to look after her young grand-daughter, Indiana.

Jennie is a member of Audit Committee and People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee.

Interests

  • Soroptimist International (St Austell & District) - Communications Officer and Executive Member
  • Diamond Education Grant - Trustee
  • National Association of Headteachers - Branch Caseworker and Headteacher Mentor 
Laura Wallis

Dr Laura Wallis

Academic Staff Governor (Senate)

Laura is the Marjon Business Lead and Senior Lecturer. She holds responsibility for the postgraduate business provision at Marjon.  Her academic research focusses on lifestyle entrepreneurship within the lifestyle sports industry, flexible working, and work-life balance.  Laura has particular interest in the role that lifestyle choices play in the creation of the entrepreneurial identity. Recent research projects have included evaluating how rural micro enterprises can be supported for business growth and development, and students' conceptualisations of entrepreneurial learning. Laura’s academic background is in business, management, and entrepreneurship and she has teaching responsibilities in this area. 

Laura attends meetings of Finance & Resources Committee. 

Interests: 

  • University of Gloucester - External Examiner 
  • Chartered Management Institute - Member
  • Institute of Small Business and Enterprise - Member 
  • Enterprise Educators UK - Member
  • External Moderator for Plymouth City College - External Moderator, Access to HE Business course, through CAVA (the qualification provider).
  • Plymouth Marjon University - Employee

 

Jackie Westerman

Jackie Westerman

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

An experienced organisational psychologist, senior HR professional and executive coach working with Boards across a range of organisations in the UK and US.  Specialist in culture, change and transformation projects, leadership development and performance management.  Has worked across a range of industries to design workplaces that are high performing, healthy and inclusive.  Currently studying for a professional doctorate in how evidence-based decision making can be used to improve organisational outcomes. 

Jackie chairs the People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee and is a member of Remuneration Committee. 

Interests: 

  • BBC Content – Head of Leadership Development 
  • YJW Business Consulting - Executive Director
  • University of Plymouth – Guest Lecturer

 

Rev'd Tatiana Wilson

Bishop Nominated Independent Governor

Tatiana became the vicar of the Parish of Eggbuckland with Estover in November 2023 after a career in education spanning over 30 years.

Prior to taking up this role, Tatiana worked as Education and Chaplaincy Adviser for the Exeter Diocese.  Her work focussed on supporting Church schools develop their Christian foundation, Leadership development and support for vulnerable pupils.

Tatiana contributed to the development of Church of England’s Vision for Education.  She has written resources for schools on supporting good mental health (in partnership with the Children’s Society); spiritual development; children with complex behaviour needs (NPQ for Leading Behaviour and Culture); and resources to support LGBTQI+ inclusion.  She established Learn Teach Lead RE a SW initiative to improve the quality of Religious Education in all schools in the SW through addressing unmet needs.  She has chaired the national network of diocesan advisers supporting collective worship.

Previously, Tatiana was a Lecturer in Education at both Exeter and Plymouth Universities and a Board Member of the National Primary Teacher Education Council.  She has published in academic journals and books and contributed to research conferences in the UK and abroad.

Interests: 

  • Vicar of the Parish of Eggbuckland with Estover (Plymouth Marjon University lies within the Parish)