About>University Structure & Governance>Vice Chancellor's Executive Group

Cardiff Met's Senior Leadership Team

Llandaff Campus

The Vice-Chancellor's Executive Group (VCEG) is the senior leadership team of the University and assists the Vice-Chancellor in providing strategic leadership for all the Executive portfolios. VCEG members include the President & Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Engagement), Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), University Secretary, and Chief Officer (Resources).

President & Vice-Chancellor | Professor Cara Aitchison

The President & the Vice-Chancellor is the most senior member of executive staff at the University, acting as both the academic and administrative head, overseeing all the activities that take place at Cardiff Met.

The Vice-Chancellor is accountable to the Board of Governors and HEFCW and is herself responsible as line-manager for the other members of the Vice-Chancellor's Executive Group.

Other key responsibilities include:

  • Strategic direction

  • Financial performance

  • Measures of success

  • Organisational culture

  • External reputation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Professor Rachael Langford

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor deputises for the Vice-Chancellor internally and externally as required.  She has direct line management responsibility for the Deans of Schools, ensuring the high performance and resource management effectiveness of the Schools.

Professor Langford is the University lead for Global Engagement with line management responsibility for the Director of Global Engagement, ensuring the University meets the international engagement ambitions of the Strategic Plan.  She works in partnership with the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Engagement to ensure improvements in the Schools in relation to learning, teaching and related aspects of the Strategic Plan; and in partnership with the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation to ensure improvements in the Schools in relation to research, innovation, and related aspects of the Strategic Plan as well as supporting the development of the Global Academies initiative.

Read more about Rachael

Rachael has been a senior leader in universities for several years, having been a member of the Vice-Chancellor's Group at Oxford Brookes University as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Recruitment) and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and a senior manager at Cardiff University as former Head of the School of Modern Languages. She has led curriculum renewal projects focused on digital education, employability and inclusion and is an experienced leader in student mobility and international study. Rachael has also taught and led Welsh-medium curricula. She has directed research groups and networks in her areas of specialism, and her research has been included in submissions to all REF (Research Excellence Framework) exercises to date. She has native level French and speaks Welsh proficiently and continues to research and publish in her field.

Academic qualifications:

  • BA, MA French (Oxford University)

  • PhD French Cultural Studies (Cambridge University)

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Engagement) | Professor Jacqui Boddington

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Engagement) is responsible for the University's strategic approach to learning and teaching, college-based higher education, academic quality, graduate employability, library and information services, and all aspects of student support.  Jacqui also has responsibility for the University's Registry Services, which deals with academic and student administration. Registry Services works closely with all academic schools and other administration and support departments.

Read more about Jacqui

​Jacqui started her role as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Engagement) in 2017 after 16 years working in higher education.

Beginning her career as a reporter and editor, her shift to education saw her heading up a journalism degree within a further education environment, before leaving to lead a £15m European Union funded access programme at Falmouth University which was designed to extend local opportunity for higher education study across Cornwall. 

Jacqui then moved to heading the Learning Futures directorate at Falmouth University, coordinating a programme of curriculum development work to accommodate the merger with Dartington College of Arts and initiate the digital portfolio at Falmouth.

She moved to Middlesex University in 2011 as Director for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience where she developed and implemented a student-centric approach to programme development, design and delivery to ensure the portfolio effectively supported student access and engagement, in the process achieving demonstrable impact on external metrics.

Academic qualifications: 

  • BSc Genetics & Microbiology (Queen Mary College, London)

  • PGCE (Plymouth University)

  • MA Mass Communications (University of Leicester)

  • PhD (Middlesex University)

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) | Professor Sheldon Hanton

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) is responsible for all research and innovation strategy at the University including the Research Excellence Framework and the University's Global Academies. They also have responsibility for all research and innovation funding streams, ethics, the International Centre for Design and Research (PDR) and the postgraduate research Doctoral Academy.

Read more about Sheldon

​Sheldon began his role as Pro Vice-Chancellor Research in 2012, having been a senior leader at the university for many years, formerly the University Director of Research as well as having held School Directorships in Research, Graduate Studies and Enterprise.

A professor of Psychology, Sheldon remains active in research, specifically in areas such as competition and organisational stress, mental toughness, injury psychology and professional practice.

In addition to academia, Sheldon has held and continues to hold several high profile international editorial positions and formerly consulted with the England Swim Team at international training camps and competitions.

Academic qualifications: 

  • BA (Hons) Human Movement Studies (Leeds Metropolitan University)

  • MSc Sports Science (Loughborough University)

  • PhD  (Loughborough University) An examination of facilitative and debilitative competitive anxiety

University Secretary | Emma Potts

The University Secretary is responsible for leading the provision of services in the ​areas of corporate and academic governance, policy and legal advice, records and information management, strategy and planning, risk management and institutional project management. This includes ensuring that good governance operates in relation to all aspects of the University including the relationship between the Executive and the Board of Governors. Emma ensures that the ​Secretariat works closely with the academic Schools and Professional Services departments, ensuring that decision-making is informed by current policy, regulatory and statutory conditions and relevant data.

Read more about Emma

Emma has worked in university administration for over 30 years, starting her career at University College London where she spent 17 years working within student and academic administration and student systems development, and then moved to the University of Oxford where she spent 12 years in different roles providing leadership and coordination of student-related services and operations, latterly as Academic Registrar. Having then spent two years as a COO and University Secretary, she moved into interim management, undertaking a series of leadership roles at the University of Sussex before moving to Cardiff Met. Her particular focus is on creating effective teams and providing leadership within complex organisational structures, promoting change and improving service provision and developing effective relationships with key stakeholders. She has led major (£10m+) capital building projects and significant transformational change programmes, involving organisational restructuring, process review and systems development.

Academic qualifications: 

  • MusB Music (University of Manchester)​

Chief Officer (Resources) | David ​Llewellyn

The Chief Officer (Resources) is responsible for matters relating to the University's financial, human, physical, and commercial resources. This management of resources supports the University's strategy and ensures adherence to compliance and regulatory requirements.

David is also a member of the Vice-Chancellors Executive Group, as well as having Board of Governor, Committee, strategic, and leadership responsibilities. 

Read more about David

​David has worked at the University since 1992 when he joined as a Financial Accountant, subsequently working with the University in the finance team as Assistant Director, Deputy Director, and then Director of Finance before beginning his role as Chief Officer (Resources) in 2020.

In addition to a breadth of experience in finance and higher education, David has served on the boards of many organisations as a non-executive director.  He has a varied skill set, including interpersonal, strategic, and operational skills.

Academic qualifications:

  • BSc Economics (Cardiff University)

  • Chartered Accountant