Higher Education Academy chief executive to step down

Stephanie Marshall announces departure ahead of three-way merger

January 10, 2018
Stephanie Marshall

The chief executive of the Higher Education Academy has announced her departure, following confirmation of the organisation’s merger with two other UK sector agencies.

Stephanie Marshall, who has led the HEA since August 2013, said that she would leave the York-based teaching agency at the end of January.

This comes after the boards of the HEA, the Equality Challenge Unit and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education signed off on a merger, due to be completed in August.

Alison Johns, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation, has been named chief executive of the as-yet-unnamed new agency.

Professor Marshall said that she was “sure” that the new agency would “safeguard and build” on the work of the HEA in promoting teaching excellence, and said that she would “continue to work in the sector, supporting and encouraging the pursuit of teaching excellence at every level”.

Rama Thirunamachandran, vice-chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University and the chair of the HEA board, said that Professor Marshall had “made an immense contribution in raising the profile of teaching in higher education”.

“Among many challenges, she successfully navigated the HEA along the difficult path from a government funded organisation to a robust independent body with a global footprint,” Professor Thirunamachandran said.

“Under Stephanie’s leadership the HEA has significantly extended its reach with nearly 300 subscribing institutions, including almost 40 based outside the UK. In the same period, HEA fellowship numbers have grown from under 25,000 to just short of 100,000 today.”

Mark Jones, the HEA's chief operating officer, will continue in his post, and has been appointed interim director for agency integration at the post-merger organisation.


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