The senior team

University Steering Group (USG)

Chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, USG is the executive leadership team which meets fortnightly during term time and advises the Vice-Chancellor on matters relating to the management of the University. USG prepares and recommends to Council the University's strategic plan and the annual budget and resource allocation and then reviews and monitors implementation of the approved plans and budgets throughout the year.

As part of the University’s commitment to equality and diversity within and beyond its community, individual members of our Senior Management Team (University Steering Group (USG)) also act as diversity champions in relation to each of the nine protected characteristics.

  • Professor Jules Pretty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

    Jules Pretty

    The DVC plays a central role in the development and implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan. He assists the Vice-Chancellor in carrying out his responsibilities and plays a strategic leadership role in specific pan-University areas of responsibility on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, deputising for the Vice-Chancellor as required. He provides strategic academic oversight of the University’s planning and resource allocation processes and the development and implementation of the University’s human resources strategy.

    He also represents the University nationally and internationally to a wide range of key stakeholders and works to influence national and international policies and agendas on behalf of the University.

    He spends 20 per cent of his time undertaking research at the highest level and maintaining and developing his research career.

    The DVC is a member of the University Steering Group, Resources Committee, Senate and Council, and is one of the University's age diversity champions.

    To make an appointment to see Professor Pretty, please contact Christina Squibb on 01206 872436 or email caghili@essex.ac.uk

  • Professor Heather Laurie MBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)

    Professor Heather Laurie, PVC

    The PVC Research is a member of the University’s executive leadership team and plays a central role in the development and implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan.

    She is responsible for developing the University’s research strategy (including the dissemination and application of the University’s research through knowledge transfer activities, and consultancy), and for ensuring the effective implementation of the strategy.

    She also represents the University nationally and internationally in relation to research issues, raising the profile and reputation of the University and influencing national and international policies and agendas in this area.

    She spends 20 per cent of her time undertaking research at the highest level and maintaining and developing her research career.

    The PVC Research is a member of the University Steering Group, Resources Committee and Senate, and is one of the University's disability diversity champions.

    To make an appointment to see Professor Laurie, please contact Sarah Harris or Abi Lower on 01206 874079 or email pa2provc@essex.ac.uk

  • Professor Aletta Norval, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

    Professor Aletta Norval

    The PVC Education is a member of the University’s executive leadership team and plays a central role in the development and implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan.

    She is responsible for developing the University’s education strategy (covering both undergraduate and postgraduate education, and both the academic and extra-curricular experience of students), and for ensuring the effective implementation of this strategy.

    She also represents the University nationally and internationally in relation to education issues, raising the profile and reputation of the University and influencing national and international policies and agendas in this area.

    The PVC Education is a member of the University Steering Group, Resources Committee and Senate, and is one of the University's gender diversity champions.

    To make an appointment to see Professor Norval, please contact Sarah Harris or Abi Lower on 01206 874079 or email pa2provc@essex.ac.uk

  • Professor Sasha Roseneil, Executive Dean (Faculty of Social Science)

    Sasha Roseneil

    The Executive Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences is a member of the University’s executive leadership team and provides academic leadership to the Faculty in its pursuit of the purpose, aims and objectives set out in the University’s Strategic Plan.

    She is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Faculty including devolved responsibility for financial management.

    She line manages the Faculty Deputy Dean (Education) and the Heads of Department in the Faculty and is directly supported by a Faculty support team led by a Faculty Manager, and by relevant colleagues in professional services.

    The Executive Dean is a member of the University Steering Group and Senate.

    To make an appointment to see Professor Roseneil, please contact Nikki Diason on 01206 872690 or email ndiason@essex.ac.uk

  • Professor Lorna Fox O'Mahony, Executive Dean (Faculty of Humanities)

    Lorna Fox O'Mahony

    The Executive Dean for the Faculty of Humanities is a member of the University’s executive leadership team and provides academic leadership to the Faculty in its pursuit of the purpose, aims and objectives set out in the University’s Strategic Plan.

    She is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Faculty including devolved responsibility for financial management.

    She line manages the Faculty Deputy Dean (Education) and the Heads of Department in the Faculty and is directly supported by a Faculty support team led by a Faculty Manager, and by relevant colleagues in professional services.

    Professor Fox O’Mahony spends 20 per cent of her time undertaking research at the highest level and maintaining and developing her research career.

    The Executive Dean is a member of the University Steering Group and Senate, and is one of the University's sexual orientation diversity champions.

    To make an appointment to see Professor Fox O’Mahony, please contact Margaret Smith on 01206 874362 or email smithm@essex.ac.uk

  • Professor Graham Underwood, Executive Dean (Faculty of Science and Health)

    Graham Underwood

    The Executive Dean for the Faculty of Science and Health is a member of the University’s executive leadership team and provides academic leadership to the Faculty in its pursuit of the purpose, aims and objectives set out in the University’s Strategic Plan.

    He is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Faculty including devolved responsibility for financial management.

    He line manages the Faculty Deputy Dean (Education) and the Heads of Department in the Faculty and is directly supported by a Faculty support team led by a Faculty Manager, and by relevant colleagues in professional services.

    Professor Underwood spends 20 per cent of his time undertaking research at the highest level and maintaining and developing his research career.

    The Executive Dean is a member of the University Steering Group and Senate, and is the University's race diversity champion.

    To make an appointment to see Professor Underwood, please contact Jen Eames on 01206 874520 or email jeames@essex.ac.uk

  • Bryn Morris, Registrar and Secretary

    Bryn Morris

    The Registrar reports to the Vice-Chancellor and is responsible for the administration of the University.

    He is also one of the University's disability diversity champions.






  • Andrew Keeble, Director of Finance

    Andrew Keeble

    The Director of Finance reports to the Registrar and Secretary and is responsible for University's financial management.

    He is also one of the University's gender diversity champions.

  • Monica Illsley, Chief of Staff

    Monica Illsley

    As Chief of Staff, Monica reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, supporting him in delivering his responsibilities as the chief executive of the University.

    As well as being a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s senior management team, Monica is responsible for coordinating the work of the senior team to ensure effective development and delivery of the University’s strategic objectives.

    She is also responsible for ensuring that the Vice-Chancellor is fully connected with both internal and external stakeholders and in touch with sector-wide policy and political developments.

    The role includes:

    • providing a high level senior coordinating capacity for the Vice-Chancellor;
    • tracking legislation and higher education policy developments, assessing their potential impact on the University, and formulating policy responses and actions;
    • advising the Vice-Chancellor on the development of University priorities;
    • representing the Vice-Chancellor and ensuring effective communication both internally and externally;
    • providing administrative and strategic leadership of high level, high priority projects and initiatives across all areas of the institution; and
    • managing the operation and strategic budget of the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

    She is also one of the University's age diversity champions.

    Monica has 17 years of experience working within the higher education sector, in recent years undertaking leadership and management roles across a range of communications, marketing and external relations functions. She is the first to take on the role of Chief of Staff at the University, a well-established function in US and Canadian universities but new in the UK higher education sector.

    To make an appointment to see Monica Illsley, please contact Benita Ganeva on 01206 872810 or email bdgane@essex.ac.uk.