UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve West

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

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 the University, with the planning and resources portfolio. Then 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.

From August 2012 to August 2016, Professor West was 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.

From 2013 to 2017 Professor West was 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 Non-Executive Director for the Office for Students in 2018 and was previously Non-Executive Director for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Non-Executive Designate on United Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust Board.

Professor West was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year's Honours list 2017, for services to Higher Education.

Civic and professional engagement

Professor West's non-executive directorships, national and regional positions

Position Duration
Chair of UUK Mental Health in Higher Education Working Group 2016–to date
Non-Executive Director for the Office for Students 2017–to date
Non-Executive Director for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust 2017-to date
Chair of West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) 2013–to date
Commissioner UPP Foundation Civic University Commission 2018-to date
Board Member of South West Region CBI (Confederation of British Industry) 2014–to date
President of the Anchor Society 2017-2018
Chair – West of England Local Enterprise Partnership 2017–to date
Board Member of the University Alliance Mission Group 2008-to date
Stakeholder Member of the HEE South of England LETB 2016-to-date
Member of the Education Honours Committee 2017–to date
Member of the Education Honours and Diversity and Inclusion Honours Committee 2017-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
Honorary Vice President of the Bristol Record Society 2017–to date
Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gloucestershire 2012–to date
Member of Bristol Health Partners 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
Director of Bristol Polytechnic Enterprises Limited 2009–to date

Previous positions

Position Duration
Sponsoring Chair - Learning City Board Bristol 2015–2018
Non-Executive Director for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) 2017-2018
Board Member of Leadership Foundation for Higher Education 2016-2018
Member - NIHR CLAHRC West Board 2014-2017
President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the West of England Initiative 2013–2017
Board Member Business West 2012-2017
Board Member of Universities UK 2011-2017
Chair of UUK Health Education and Research Policy Network 2011-2017
Member UUK International and European Policy Committee 2006-2017
Member of UUK Funding Policy Network 2012-2017
Member of Health and Education National Strategic Exchange (HENSE) 2007-2017
HE Director – West of England Local Enterprise Partnership 2014-2017
Member of Bristol and Bath Science Park Steering Committee 2014-2017
Member of the Panel on Technical and Professional Education    2015-2017
Director of Argillasys Limited 2014-2017
Director of Currency Supply Chain Services Limited 2014-2017
Director of Bristol 2015 (European Green Capital) 2014-2016
Chair of South West Region CBI (Confederation of British Industry) 2014–2016
Chair of University Alliance 2012–2016
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

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