How the University is managed

The University of Bradford is governed through its Court, Council and Senate.

The University also has an Executive Team who oversee the strategic direction of the University. The Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic Deans and non-Academic Directors make up the Executive Team.

Chair of Council

Baroness Ann Taylor
Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor

Baroness Ann Taylor was appointed Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor at the University of Bradford with effect from 1 August 2015.

Baroness Taylor has a long association with Bradford, having graduated with a BSc in Politics and History from the University in 1969. She also received an Honorary Doctorate of the University in 1997 for her public life and political achievements.

She is one of The Labour Party’s most experienced politicians, beginning her political career as MP for Bolton West in 1974, serving more recently as MP for Dewsbury.

She has held many senior positions both in government and opposition, including Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. She became Leader of the House of Commons in 1997 before being appointed Government Chief Whip.

She was Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee from 2001-2005. She has since served as a Government Minister in the House of Lords, as Minister for Defence Equipment and Support and Minister for International Defence and Security. She has also served as a Representative on the Council of Europe and the Western European Union. She became a Life Peer in 2005.

She is Chair of the following: Governance and Nominations, Remunerations, Ethics Committee, Investment Committee; and a member of Honorary Degrees Committee.


Professor Shirley Congdon

"Shirley’s priority is to engender a vibrant culture for staff and students reinforcing the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching & learning, research, knowledge exchange and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Having lived and worked in the Bradford City Region for ten years she is committed to positioning the University at the centre of the region’s social and economic regeneration."

Shirley is responsible for the leadership and management of the University of Bradford, leading the development of its values and strategy.  Shirley is the eighth Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford and is the first woman to hold the role.  Shirley has significant experience of working in higher education championing the quality of the student experience, widening participation, engagement with business and communities and advancing the quality of research and innovation.

Originally qualifying as a Registered Nurse, Shirley’s professional and academic expertise lies within the area of health and social care, service modernisation and cultural change, research methods and evidence-based practice.  She has a strong track record in all aspects of university leadership, having worked within the field of higher education for 25 years and held senior roles in three different universities.

Shirley is committed to value led leadership, equality, diversity and inclusion, increasing social inclusion and mobility through widening participation in higher education; opening up opportunities and unlocking potential for people of all backgrounds. 

A tireless ambassador for students, she is committed to ensuring that they get the best possible education and support that leads to a rewarding career after they graduate.  Her number one priority is to place the student experience at the heart of all aspects of University activities.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Zahir Irani
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic, Innovation and Quality)

Professor Zahir Irani is a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic, Innovation and Quality) and previously the Dean of the Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, University of Bradford.

He studied Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Salford (UK) and then working as a Project Engineer before then doing a PhD in Production Economics at Brunel University (UK). He started his academic career in a Department of Computer Science at Brunel University. Five years later securing his Chair followed by becoming Head of Department, where he championed industry-academia partnerships. His research interests at that time explored investment decision making in Engineering organisations, expanding to focus on Public Sector Investment Decision Making as local and central Governments started to invest in their eGovernment infrastructures. Much of his work at that time is now considered normative, where it also attracted funding from UK research councils, industry and from the EU as part of the FP 6-7 and H2020. A move to lead a Business School saw his research interest broaden, along with changes in his methodological approaches to include techniques such as Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) which is an AI based technique.

His interdisciplinary background has allowed him to publish across Engineering, Information Systems, Operational Research and Business-related journals. This research attracted funding from the Australian Research Council and Qatar Foundation (NPRP-6, 7 and 8). His professional development has seen him complete his leadership and financial management training at Harvard Business School and University of Cambridge respectively. Having completed a 7-year tenure as Head of a Business School where he won the Times Higher Education (THE) Business School of the Year award, he accepted an invitation to work in Government, where he was seconded to Whitehall to become a Senior Policy Advisor in the Cabinet Office during the coalition Government. On completion, he returned to academia, to become the Founding Dean of the newly established College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences at Brunel University London. Later headed to the University of Bradford where, as the Dean of Faculty (Management and Law) he lead the merger with the Faculty of Social Sciences. He recently assumed the interim role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic, Innovation and Quality).

He remains research active, graduating 30 PhD students and with a H-index of 75. His research interests have more recently focused on Food Security, with current work funding through the British Academy of Management and the Qatar Foundation (NPRP-10). His research on Food Security has clear demonstration of impact and has featured in the Conversation and Geographical with interviews and commentary in the Doha News, Penninsula and with CNN.Com. His research has informed Government Policy in Qatar and will be written as an Impact Case Study for the REF.


Professor Udy Archibong MBE
Pro Vice-Chancellor Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Uduak Archibong is Professor of Diversity at the University of Bradford, UK, where she directs the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity and provides strategic oversight for equality and diversity across the institution.

She obtained a BSc (First Class) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria in 1990 and a PhD from Hull University in 1995. She is Visiting Professor at several international universities, a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing. She is a member of the Chartered Management Institute.

Uduak is recognised as a thought leader in inclusion and diversity and currently leading in setting agenda to drive research, learning and knowledge exchange activities internationally. She has a sustained, distinguished presence in the field of diversity management and much of her work has focused on inclusive workplaces, representative diversity, diversity-competent leadership in public, private and third sector organisations.

Informed by over 25 years' experience of working in the higher education sector, Uduak’s academic and professional work has major impacts locally, nationally and globally. Key among these impacts is that the body of her research work has provided a robust understanding of the challenges of applying diversity interventions in enhancing workforce diversity and inclusive service delivery.

Her research has provided a clear international definition of positive action and application for representational and participative diversity. She is currently leading a major multi-million European Commission funded action research project, GENOVATE, across 7 European Universities.

Uduak has published extensively on inclusion and diversity. She is on the editorial board of a number of academic journals and the Guest Editor of a recently published Special Issue of the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organisational Culture entitled 'Reframing Diversity Interventions in Austere Times'.

Uduak was listed in the New Year Honours list 2015 and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her contributions to higher education and equality.

Paul Watson
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience

Paul joined the University in November 2017. He has overseen the creation of the Directorate of Learning, Teaching & Quality Enhancement which brought together the previously dispersed functions of educational development and quality assurance. His team provides support to Faculties in all aspects of programme design, delivery, and enhancement including the operation of the new Bradford:Fellowships scheme recently accredited by Advance HE.

Before joining Bradford, Paul was the Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching in the Faculty of Design, Arts and Humanities at Teesside University, and before that Head of their English Studies Department. His research interests focused on the issues of popular culture and the politics of representation and he is widely published in the area of music video, cinema, and gendered identity.

Paul is an Executive Board champion for Gender Equality.