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Cardiff Met welcomes five new Independent Governors to the University’s Board

​May 13, 2020

Five key new appointments have been made to Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Board of Independent Governors, effective from 1 May 2020.

The Board of Governors has responsibility for the educational character and mission of the University and oversight of its activities. It is the Board’s duty to govern in ways that enable the University to achieve its primary objectives of teaching, learning and research, and related activities. 

It is also the Governors’ role to consider and approve Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Strategic Plan and to oversee the effective and efficient generation and use of financial, physical and staffing resources to develop the long-term financial sustainability and reputation of the University.

To this end, Paul Matthews joins the Board from Monmouthshire County Council where he has been Chief Executive for 10 years. Committed to improvement in public services, his local government career has included a period in education as Chief Education Officer at Torfaen County Borough Council. He is also Visiting Professor at Cardiff University, Clerk to the Lord Lieutenant for Gwent, and Innovation and Business Engagement Lead for the Cardiff Capital Region.

Also joining as an Independent Governor is Sheila Hendrickson-Brown, CEO at Cardiff Third Sector Council. Previously Director at Torfaen Citizens Advice Bureau, she has served as a Trustee on the UK Citizens Advice Governance Board and currently sits on a range of strategic partnership boards, including the Cardiff Public Services Board, the Cardiff and Vale Regional Partnership Board and the Wales Third Sector Equality and Human Rights Coalition.

The University also welcomes to the Board Mike Fishwick, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Director for the Intellectual Property Office. Last year Mike was appointed to the Board of Directors of Companies House, providing direction in all matters relating to technology, digital transformation and data. He is also a non-Executive Director at Companies House. He brings experience in media, retail, mobile telecoms and oil and gas in the private sector.

With a background in the voluntary sector gained over 20 years, Menai Owen-Jones is CEO of The Pituitary Foundation in Bristol. A law graduate, Menai brings experience in developing and managing a broad range of stakeholder relations and strategic partnerships and is a Trustee and Board Member for both the Race Council Cymru and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).

The final addition to the Board of Governors is Ruth Marks, Chief Executive Officer at Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Again bringing extensive Third Sector experience, Ruth has held board-level positions at organisations including Chwarae Teg/Fair Play, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Wales and the Older People’s Commission for Wales. She has sat on numerous expert panels and advisory groups, including at the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Institute of Welsh Affairs and the Wales National Training Awards Panel. 

Commenting on these appointments, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University, Professor Cara Aitchison, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new Independent Governors to Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Board at this unique time in our University’s development. 

“We undertook a wide search for new Board members and are delighted to welcome five experienced, talented and principled Independent Governors to Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Board.

“Over the last three years we have made significant progress in delivering the aims we set out in our 2017/18-2022/23 Strategic Plan. Key priorities that have been achieved include: the opening of our new School of Technologies; establishing our place in the top 10% of UK universities for graduate start-ups; developing of a range of new professionally recognised programmes; improving student satisfaction; increasing student recruitment and increasing revenue generation from research, international and commercial services.  

“While Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges, we are confident that with both appropriate executive leadership and the support and constructive challenge of our Board of Governors, we will continue to steer Cardiff Met on an upward trajectory in accordance with our refreshed Strategic Plan 2020-2025. 

“Our purpose continues to be the delivery of high quality and high impact education, research and innovation and this new cadre of Governors will help us deliver on our ambitions of generating sustainable economic growth, social cohesion, health and wellbeing for our City, for Wales and for the wider world in the post-Covid era.”

Echoing these views, Chair of the Board of Governors, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, added: “A strong, committed Board of Governors is key to upholding the mission and strategic vision of the University, long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, and to ensure that these meet the interests of our stakeholders.

“To this end, we warmly welcome our five new Independent Governors and look forward to benefiting from their diverse range of backgrounds, skills and experience.”