Professor George Boyne
Principal & Vice-Chancellor
Professor George Boyne became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen on 1 August 2018.
Professor Boyne led the creation of the University’s Aberdeen 2040 strategy which was launched in February 2020 to mark the 525th anniversary of the foundation of Kings College in Old Aberdeen. Aberdeen 2040, which builds directly on the university’s foundational purpose to be open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others, won the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association award for University strategy of the year in 2021.
Professor Boyne is Chair of the University Senate, a member of the University Court and a member of the Board of the University’s Development Trust. His external roles include Chair of Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), Convenor of Universities Scotland Funding Policy Group, member of the Board of Opportunity North East, and member of the Aberdeen City Deal Joint Committee.
Professor Boyne has published extensively on the performance of public sector organisations and has been a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2010.
Senior Vice Principal and Vice Principals
Professor Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice Principal
Professor Karl Leydecker took up the role of Senior Vice-Principal in March 2019. He is responsible for providing direct line management to all Heads of School and ensuring the delivery of ambitious School plans and budgets. He coordinated the development of the University’s award-winning Aberdeen 2040 strategy launched on the 525th anniversary of the founding of the University in February 2020. He is the strategic lead for People, Estates and Environmental Sustainability and institutional strategic planning, and deputises for the Principal and Vice-Chancellor as required.
Karl was previously Vice-Principal (Learning and Teaching) and Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Dundee from 2013. Before that he was Dean of Humanities at the University of Kent for 6 years, having also served as a Head of School at Kent and before that University of Stirling.
Karl studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, taking a BA in English and Modern Languages (including a year at the University of Passau) and a PhD in German (including two years at the University of Hamburg). Karl’s research interests include marriage and divorce in German and European literature from the late eighteenth century to the 1920s, and German drama and social history from 1890 to 1930.
From 2017 until taking up his current role, Karl was the Theme Leader for the QAA Scotland Enhancement Theme Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience. In 2022 Karl joined the Board of the QAA. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and has served on the RSE’s Tertiary Education Futures Group and the Royal Irish Academy’s Higher Education Futures Taskforce.
Professor Marion Campbell
Vice Principal Research
Professor Marion Campbell is Vice-Principal (Research) for the University of Aberdeen. She was appointed to the role in October 2017. In this role Professor Campbell has primary responsibility for promoting the University’s research ambitions, ensuring effective delivery of the University’s strategic objectives for research. and for enabling a research context for academic colleagues to deliver world-leading, impactful research. She also leads on the establishment of interdisciplinary research across the institution.
Prior to this appointment Marion was Dean of Research for Life Sciences and Medicine following ten years as Director of the Scottish government core-funded Health Services Research Unit.
Marion is a medical statistician by training, a clinical trialist methodologist and Professor of Health Services Research. Her main research interests are in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials especially the design and conduct of surgical and device trials. She has published widely on clinical trials methodology including on cluster randomised trials, design of surgical trials, pragmatic trials and trials reporting. She has served on many national and international funding agencies and committees and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Faculty of Public Health and the International Society for Clinical Trials.
Marion graduated with an honours degree in Statistics from the University of Aberdeen and subsequently gained an MSc in Statistics and PhD in Public Health. Following early career appointments within the National Health Service in the fields of Operational Research and Statistics of Medical Audit, she joined the Health Services Research Unit in 1993. She became Director of the Unit at the end of 2006, and Dean of Research for Life Sciences and Medicine in 2016. HSRU remains her academic base where she is co-Director of the RCSEng Aberdeen Surgical Trials Centre.
Professor Peter Edwards
Vice Principal Regional Engagement
Having completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry, I then shifted my academic allegiance and completed a PhD (Leeds) which explored cooperative reasoning in distributed blackboard systems. I joined the University of Aberdeen as a postdoc in Computing Science in 1988, before moving into an academic position as a Lecturer in 1991. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and Professor in 2009.
As a researcher I have been fortunate to lead a number of major interdisciplinary efforts, first as Director of the ESRC funded PolicyGrid eSocial Science Research Node (2006-2012) and later as Director of the RCUK dot.rural Digital Economy Research Hub (2009-2015). To date, I have secured over £20M in external research funding, the majority of it from UKRI (formerly RCUK) sources.
I am currently Vice-Principal for Regional Engagement.
I have also held numerous offices at the University of Aberdeen, most notably Head of Computing Science (2002-2005), Head of Graduate School for the College of Physical Sciences (2005-2011) and Head of the School of Natural & Computing Sciences (2018-2021). In addition, I was the founding Director of the Northern Research Partnership Graduate School (involving Aberdeen, Dundee and Robert Gordon universities) between 2007 and 2009. I was a member of the University Senate from 2002 to 2014 (and again 2018- ), and a Senate Assessor to the University Court between 2007 and 2014; in addition, I served on the Operating Board of the University Court for six years (2008-2014).
Professor Alan Speight
Vice Principal Global Engagement
Professor Alan Speight is Vice-Principal for Global Engagement and has strategic oversight of the University’s strategic alliances and international partnerships, and for the University’s global student recruitment strategy, across all levels of study and modes of delivery, including online. He has particular responsibility for the University’s tripartite strategic alliance with the Universities of Curtin and Calgary, and for the University’s transnational education activities, including through its partnerships in Qatar and China.
He has provided leadership for numerous successful international partnerships delivering student recruitment pathways, articulation routes, transnational education, including English language training, joint programmes, distance taught and distance learning programmes, and dual degrees. He has worked closely with regional agencies, national governments and their embassies and representatives in the Middle East, China, and across South-East Asia.
Alan was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Hull, having previously been Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at Swansea University. He is an Economics graduate of the University of Essex, and a postgraduate of Queen Mary University, London, where he completed both an MSc and a PhD in Economics, prior to taking up his first academic position as a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Aberdeen. He has held professorial positions in Economics and in Finance, and his research background is in empirical finance and financial economics, including the analysis of financial market volatility and the management of financial risk.
Professor Ruth Taylor
Vice Principal Education
I am Vice-Principal Education with responsibility for leading the effective delivery of the University’s strategic objectives for Education including: quality and innovation in learning, teaching and assessment; student experience and engagement, including student support; student success; employability and entrepreneurship; quality assurance and enhancement across the provision; and student mobility. I am particularly proud of our National Student Survey results in 2022 in which we are ranked 4th out of 122 UK universities – a reflection of the focus of our university on the student experience.
I am the chair of the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and lead the University’s work on our Antiracism Strategy, the Race Equality Charter, and on Decolonising the Curriculum. The Antiracism Strategy was launched in August 2022 and we are continuing our focus on taking action to achieve our strategic ambitions.
I am deputy chair of the QAA Scotland Enhancement Theme (Resilient Learning Communities), and deputy chair of a QAA Scotland project on the Anti-Racist Curriculum.
In my previous role, I was Senior Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of a Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, and Professor of Nurse Education, at Anglia Ruskin University. I also held an institutional role in the leadership of the student retention strategy including the development of a university-wide revised personal tutor role. Prior to that I worked at The Robert Gordon University in a leadership role in the School of Nursing and Midwifery having had a career in clinical nursing practice for 15 years.
My research interests have included student retention, the first-year student experience, social capital in the context of the student experience, compassion in healthcare practice, and student leadership in healthcare practice. These interests inform my approach to leadership and to working with students with a focus on compassion and partnership working.
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer and Directors
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
As University Secretary, Tracey is responsible for University governance. This means making sure that Court and Senate have the right information and support to take effective decisions and that we comply with our statutory responsibilities. As Chief Operating Officer, Tracey has responsibility for Professional Services across the University and for the leadership of work on Risk Management and Resilience.
Tracey joined the University in January 2021 from the University of Edinburgh . At Edinburgh, she was Deputy Secretary, Strategic Planning, with responsibility for Court Services, Strategic & Business Planning, Student Recruitment & Admissions, Widening Participation, Data Protection and Freedom of Information, and co-ordination of the submission to REF2021. Originally a Government Economist, Tracey is an experienced governance and change professional who has held senior roles in Scottish Government, government agencies in both Scotland and England, and in the private sector.
Director of Advancement
Liza Boffen-Yordanov heads the Development and Alumni Relations Directorate at the University of Aberdeen as a member of Principal George Boyne’s Senior Management Team. Prior to her move to Scotland in November 2022, Liza led the University Advancement Office at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore as Chief Development Officer and Executive Director. She joined NTU in September 2018 from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), where she was the first CDO and CEO of the IITB Development and Relations Foundation in Mumbai.
Her 25-year advancement career includes roles as the Vice President of Advancement at Franklin University Switzerland, Senior Director of International Advancement at George Washington University, Director of the Development Office at Singapore Healthcare Group, and Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the Center for American Education, Singapore. She was the first in Singapore to have attained the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. She is an AFP Master Teacher and has taught the Annual Giving module for the AFP Essentials of Fundraising Certificate Program, numerous CASE conference sessions as well as NAFSA presentations. Liza was a member of the Singapore Charity Code Refinement committee in 2009-2010.A dedicated volunteer, Liza serves as an Ambassador for CFRE International and served as the President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Singapore. She holds professional memberships with Rotary International, CASE, AFP and the American Association of University Women as well as a lifetime membership in the Girl Scouts of the USA.
Liza graduated from Trinity College (now Trinity Washington University) in Washington DC in 1996 and completed her Master of Arts in Teaching at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT in 1997. She is ABD for her PhD at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.
Director of People
Bio to follow
Chief Financial Officer
Bio to follow