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

Steve West with International students at UWE International Orientation 

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 24 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. 

In the summer of 2014 Professor West will take up Chairmanship of the South West Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and join the Board of the CBI.

Civic and Professional Engagement

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

Position Duration
Chair, West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) 2013 - to date
Chair, University Alliance 2012 - 2015
President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the West of England Initiative January 2013 - 2015
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts 2012 - to date
Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gloucestershire 2012 - to date
Patron of Avon Air Ambulance Charity 2012 - to date
Board Member of Universities UK  
Fellow of the College of Podiatric Medicine 2009 - to date
Member of HENSE (Higher Education Network for Sustainability) 2007 - to date
Chair of UUK Health Education and Research Policy Network 2011 - 2013
Patron, Royal West of England Academy 2006 - to date
Member of the Bristol Initiative 2008 - to date
Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine 2006 - to date
Chair of South West Region CBI (Confederation of British Industry) 2014 - 2016
Member of The Society of Merchant Venturers 2014 - to date
Member UUK International and European Policy Committee      2006 - to date
Director of the Wallscourt Foundation 2008 - to date
Director of Bristol 2015 (European Green Capital) 2014 - 2016

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
Trustee of MusicSpace (Registered Charity) 1997 -2006
Non Executive Director of the AGW Strategic Health Authority     2003 - 2006
Interim Chair of Avon and then the Great Western Ambulance Trust 2005 - 2006
Non-Executive Director and Trustee of the Brandon Trust 2005 - 2008

Vice-Chair and Non Executive Director of SWSHA and Chair of Clinical Governance Committee

2006 - 2011
Chair of the NHS Regional Leadership Development Training Board 2006 - 2009
Member of UCEA Clinical Staff Advisory Group 2006 - 2011
Executive Board Member of Council of Deans of Health (UK) 2001 - 2006
Chair of the Council of Deans of Health (UK) 2007 - 2008
Trustee, Bristol Urological Institute 2007 - 2011

Page last updated 3 June 2014

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