Big plans for Business and Law
We recently met with Donna Whitehead, the newly appointed Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, to find out what attracted Donna to UWE Bristol and hear her views on the exciting changes happening within the faculty as part of the wider UWE Bristol Master Plan.
The UWE Bristol appeal
“I knew a few colleagues who worked here and they spoke very highly of UWE Bristol. The University’s reputation precedes itself and I was already aware of the great work UWE Bristol and the Law School were doing.
"What really attracted me to the role was the Faculty of Business and Law new build. It will transform everything that we do and will open up so many doors for the Faculty and the University. Honestly, getting the job was my career highlight so far.”
Donna, who has previously worked at the University of Sunderland and the University of South Wales, was the first member of her family to attend university and she admits that it completely transformed her life. She is now motivated to help change the lives of others and her goals for the faculty reflect this.
“We aim for our research, our programmes and all our activities to be fully engaged so that students can really hit the ground running after they graduate. Through the new build, the Faculty can become this live environment where all our activities involving students, staff and organisations can happen in a collaborative way.”
Despite only being in post a short while, Donna has already set the ground running with her work on the Faculty’s vision for 2020 which aims for the Faculty to be nationally and internationally renowned for enterprising, practice-led teaching and research.
“I really love a challenge: I like it when the job is huge and there is a massive task ahead.”
Donna has some projects that she personally wants to see achieved in the next three years including the new build becoming a live, collaborative environment and extending the pro-bono offering that the Law School currently provides members of the public, to businesses.
The Bristol Law School already provides legal assistance (social justice) to members of the public. The students have helped secure £1 million pounds of benefits claims and Donna believes that same process can be applied to helping local, start up business on business debt and intellectual property.
Following on from this, Donna would like to introduce an external facing hub within the faculty so businesses can approach the Faculty for help and advice from finding placement students to providing consultancy work.
A big change for everyone at UWE Bristol
The Faculty of Business and Law’s plans form part of the UWE Bristol Masterplan for Frenchay Campus which aims to develop a university campus fit for the 21st Century. Alumni who have not seen our campus for a few years might notice some big changes at UWE Bristol, with a new landmark Student Union building.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Commercial Director Bill Marshall comments, “A series of building projects, including the Faculty of Business and Law new build, will transform UWE Bristol and will enable us to compete nationally and internationally, improve our performance and meet the changing needs of our students in line with our values and status”.
Donna also commented on the wider changes and improvements happening at UWE Bristol:
“All the changes on campus are really exciting: It shows the commitment to student experience and really improving the environment that the students study in. An exciting new Enterprise Zone will house start-ups and provide valuable opportunities for Faculty of Business and Law students to contribute and advise."
Finally, we asked Donna what she finds most rewarding about her role:
“The people. It’s always the people. I knew I was joining a great team here, but what has really struck me was the amount of top-class things we do. Some areas of teaching and research are as good as you will find anywhere in the world.”
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