Doctoral supervision: I'm interested in taking on new doctoral students whose research is closely aligned with mine - please click on the tab 'Research and Projects' for information and advice.
Born and brought up in Greater Manchester, I was a primary school teacher in Salford and Burnley before becoming an academic. My first academic post was at the University of Warwick, where I worked for 12 years before moving to the University of Leeds, to take up a post as reader before then being promoted to a professorship. I was delighted to come to the University of Manchester in June 2017.
In my leisure time I enjoy the theatre and visiting historical sites. I am a fan of the website, Onehundredthousand words, and I am a lifelong Manchester United supporter. I enjoy European travel and learning foreign languages, and as a French student many years ago spent a period of study at the University of Dijon in Burgundy (now l'Université de Bourgogne). More recently, I lived in France in 2011 as visiting professor at the Institut français de l'éducation in Lyon. I remain a fluent French speaker and I speak reasonably fluent German. I have several networks in the francophone world, and from time to time I present my work in French and collaborate with Francophone colleagues on research and writing projects. Most recently this involved a return to Dijon, where, in June 2018, I presented a paper, ‘L’attractivité des métiers de l’enseignement en Angleterre’, at the journées d'étude: Penser l’attractivité des métiers de l’enseignement : des agendas politiques aux travaux scientifiques held at the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté.
My research focuses broadly on professional working life in education contexts representing all sectors - compulsory and post-compulsory - and my recent studies have examined the academic workforce in higher education. Four funded projects on UK-based university professors have culminated in my latest book, Professors as academic leaders: expectations, enacted professionalism and evolving roles, published in 2018 by Bloomsbury. A Spanish translation of the book has been published by Narcea, with the addition of a prologue by the eminent Professor Miguel Zabalza Beraza from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. One of the research projects that feeds into the book traced the history of professors and professorship from medieval times - from which I developed a website intended for a general audience of those interested in how professorship and professors' work has evolved. Since my research into professors has generated what I believe is the largest research-generated data set to date on UK-based professors, I am often invited to speak at universities' professorial away days, or to advise universities on how best to deploy and develop their most senior academics.
Another of my fields of interest and expertise is research leadership and researcher development, and, again, I am often invited to speak on issues related to these topics. A video of my keynote address at Liverpool University's Pedagogic Research Conference in January 2018 may be accessed via this link. My most recent invited keynotes were at the University of Brighton's Pedagogic Research Conference on February 1st 2019, at the conference, 'Academics, Professionals and Publics', at the University of Manchester on April 4th, and at Liverpool Hope University's 'Pathologies of Professionalism' colloquium on April 25th 2019. I shall be the keynote speaker at the annual Conference of Professors of Accounting and Finance at the Cass Business School, London, on 6th September.
(Click on the Research and Projects tab for more details of my research, and the Activities tab for information on my recent keynotes and other speaking and advisory engagements.)
Teacher’s certificate (with distinction) (subjects: French; history) - Didsbury College of Education
Diploma in mathematical education - Manchester College of Higher Education
BEd (hons), class I - Lancaster University
MA in education - Lancaster University
PhD - University of Warwick (passed with no corrections)
Diplôme approfondi de langue française, level C1 - Brasshouse Language Centre, Birmingham, UK
Learned society membership and activity
I am a member of the International Professional Development Association.
Resignation from SRHE governing council
I was a member of the Society for Research into Higher Education between 2007 and 2018, and served for over eight years as an elected member of the SRHE's governing council, including over two years as its vice chair. Due to my disillusionment and dissatisfaction with several issues relating to the society's governance and management, however, I resigned my council membership on 28th June 2018 and have allowed my society membership to lapse.