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Profile of Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer

Steve West talking to a group of International students 

The Vice-Chancellor is the academic leader and chief executive, responsible for the strategic oversight, financial sustainability and academic direction of the University.

Professor West has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England, Bristol since 2008.

Professor West trained as a Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon in London, working in the NHS and private/commercial sector from 1982. He entered academia in 1984 as a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at The Chelsea School of Chiropody and Podiatric Medicine, The London Foot Hospital and Westminster University. He developed his research interests at King’s College London in the Department of Bioengineering and at Roehampton Limb Fitting Centre. In 1990 he took up a post as Associate Dean and Head of the Department of Podiatry at Huddersfield University and later became Dean of the School of Health and Behavioural Sciences in 1992.

In 1995 he joined UWE Bristol as Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care and Professor of Health and Social Care. In this post he merged three Colleges of Health into a new Faculty, establishing one of the largest Faculties of Health and Social Care in the UK. In this time he also consolidated the delivery of nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, radiography and occupational therapy, onto three regional campuses.

In 2005 he became Pro Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, with the planning and resources portfolio. In 2006 he became Deputy Vice-Chancellor and was later appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor in August 2007.

In May 2008 Professor West took up post as Vice-Chancellor, at the age of 46. Professor West is a Fellow of the Society of Chiropodists, Fellow of the College of Podiatric Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He continues to develop his research interest in Lower Limb Biomechanics and the Diabetic Foot and holds a number of honorary and advisory appointments in his discipline, and healthcare policy and practice, both nationally and internationally.

In August 2012, Professor West became Chair of University Alliance. University Alliance brings together 20 of the most innovative and enterprising universities in the UK – major institutions combining science and technology with a focus on delivering for the professions, business and the community.

In 2013, Professor West became President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the West of England Initiative, forging the link between a business-facing university and the business leadership organisation Business West.

In June 2013, Professor West was appointed as the first Chair of the new West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN). The network is one of 15 across the country that aim to transform health and healthcare by putting innovation at the heart of the NHS. In this role, Professor West will bring together a wide range of partners including health commissioners and providers, universities, industry and other stakeholders to improve some of the big and difficult health issues. 

Professor West is also Chair of the South West Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and a member of the CBI Board.

Civic and Professional Engagement

Professor West's Non-Executive Directorships, national and regional positions

Position Duration
Chair of University Alliance 2012 - 2016
Board Member of Universities UK 2011 - to date
Chair of UUK Health Education and Research Policy Network 2011 - 2017
Member UUK International and European Policy Committee 2006 - to date
Member of UUK Funding Policy Network 2012 - to date
Member of Health and Education National Strategic Exchange (HENSE) 2007 - to date
Chair of West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) 2013 - to date
President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the West of England Initiative 2013 - 2016
Chair of South West Region CBI (Confederation of British Industry) 2014 - 2016
HE Director – Local Enterprise Partnership 2014 - to date
Sponsoring Chair - Learning City Board Bristol 2015 - to date
Director of Bristol 2015 (European Green Capital) 2014 - 2016
Member - NIHR CLAHRC West Board 2014 - to date
Member of Bristol and Bath Science Park Steering Committee 2014 - to date
Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine 2006 - to date
Fellow of the College of Podiatric Medicine 2009 - to date
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts 2012 - to date
Member of Dr William M Scholl Research and Development Fund Scientific Committee 2014 - to date
Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gloucestershire 2012 - to date
Patron of Avon Air Ambulance Charity 2012 - to date
Patron of Royal West of England Academy 2006 - to date
Member of The Society of Merchant Venturers 2014 - to date
Director of the Wallscourt Foundation 2008 - to date

Historic positions

Position Duration
Non-Executive Director of the NHS South of England and Chair of the Patient Safety and Care Standards Committee 2011 - 2013
Non-Executive Director of The Leadership Foundation 2010 - 2013
Chair of Leadership Foundation and HEFCE Innovation and Transformation Leadership Fund 2011 - 2013
Member of HEFCE Healthcare Education Advisory Committee 2007 - 2013
Chair of Universities South West 2010 - 2013
Chair of Universities South West Health Planning Group 2007 - 2013
Regional Member of the Prince’s Trust 2008 - 2013
President of the City Academy Bristol 2008 - 2013
Treasurer of University Alliance 2009 - 2012
Vice-Chair and Non Executive Director of SWSHA and Chair of Clinical Governance Committee 2006 - 2011
Member of UCEA Clinical Staff Advisory Group 2006 - 2011
Trustee of Bristol Urological Institute 2007 - 2011
Chair of the NHS Regional Leadership Development Training Board 2006 - 2009
Chair of the Council of Deans of Health (UK) 2007 - 2008
Non-Executive Director and Trustee of the Brandon Trust 2005 - 2008
Non Executive Director of the AGW Strategic Health Authority 2003 - 2006
Interim Chair of Avon and then the Great Western Ambulance Trust 2005 - 2006
Executive Board Member of Council of Deans of Health (UK) 2001 - 2006
Trustee of MusicSpace (Registered Charity) 1997 -2006

Contact the Vice-Chancellor

Page last updated 17 November 2015

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