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Please address correspondence to The Secretariat, University of Leeds, E C Stoner Building 11.72, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.

If telephoning from outside the University campus, please dial 0113 34 and then the relevant extension below.


David Wardle (Deputy Secretary): 34452;
David heads the Secreatariat. He has particular responsibility for risk management; business continuity; critical incident management (incorporating student deaths and other crises); and delivery of the University's responsibilities under the Prevent duty. He services a number of key bodies, including Strategy and Investment Committee and the Employment Security Review Group. David also acts as the University's Complaints Officer (for students) and as its principal contact with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.

David is supported by a management team which comprises Rebecca Dearden, Melody Mellor and Adrian Slater.

Rebecca Dearden (Head of Student Cases): 33626;
Rebecca manages the University's processes and procedures for student cases (including academic appeals, progression, academic malpractice, discipline and exceptional awards and circumstances) and for student complaints. She is also the secretary to the Committee on Applications, the University Special Cases Committee, the Committee on Student Discipline and the University Committee on Student Health and Conduct.

Melody Mellor (Head of Governance Support): 34061;
Melody services the University Council and its ad hoc committees, and maintains a watching brief on work conducted to support other central committees. Her work on corporate governance incorporates the University’s Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and other constitutional arrangements (for faculties and schools, for example). She also manages and provides administrative support for staff-related cases, including third stage disciplinary procedure and appeals against dismissal (for academic and academic-related staff), staff grievances, research misconduct and whistleblowing.

Adrian Slater (University Solicitor): 34078;
Adrian provides the University with in-house legal advice and manages the Legal Adviser’s Office. His specialisms – the detail of which can be found here – include contractual matters and international agreements, data protection, and any legal matters that are not litigation, employment or property-related.  (Please note that the Legal Adviser’s Office does not represent staff or students as individuals.)


Although nominally grouped within teams, staff within the Secretariat work across team boundaries; and the list of members set out below is therefore alphabetical.

Daksha Chavda (Secretarial support): 36705;
Daksha provides general clerical support, including practical arrangements for the Senate, the Health and Safety Committee and the Employment Security Review Group. She also co-ordinates bookings for the Nathan Bodington Chamber (and ante-room) in the Parkinson Building.

Catherine Cho (Senior Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer): 34054;
Catherine services the Audit and Risk Committee and undertakes associated work on risk management. She also has a significant involvement in the management and progression of student complaints and appeals; and acts as company secretary for the University’s childcare centre, Bright Beginnings.

Caroline Coulsey (Specialist in litigation): 33942;
Caroline is a solicitor. In addition to litigation and dispute resolution, Caroline also deals with the legal aspects of Health and Safety and any other contentious areas which do not involve real estate or employment. Further information can be found here.

Cheryl Cox (Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer): 33992;
Cheryl’s work covers the full range of student cases. She also has specific responsibility for academic appeals and services the Committee on Applications.

Tracey Crombie (Secretarial support): 34079;
Tracey supports the work of the legal team, including handling freedom of information queries.

Guy Dixon (Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer): 31028;
Guy’s work covers student and staff cases, as well as contingency planning. He also services the University’s Court and the Joint Committee of the University and the UCU.

Jenny Foggin (Senior Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer): 31155;
Jenny services the Senate and handles associated matters, including the conferment of the title of emeritus professor on retiring professors; provides support on constitutional matters, particularly in relation to centres and institutes; and handles staff-related cases. She co-ordinates the University’s responses to freedom of information requests; and arranges the production of obituary notices.

Louise McCunniff (Insurance Officer): 36029;
Louise handles all University insurance-related matters, including enquiries from students and staff.

Rebecca Messenger-Clark (Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer): 37346;
Rebecca services the University Executive Group, the Nominating and Governance Committee and the Committee on Honorary Degrees. She also provides support for staff-related cases; co-ordinates the University’s responses to data subject access requests; and generates the University’s Almanac.

Helen Pickersgill (Office Manager): 34036;
As the longest-serving member of the Secretariat, Helen can help with most enquiries relating to its functions. She supports the practical arrangements for a number of central committees, including the Council, the Nominating and Governance Committee and the Committee on Honorary Degrees. Helen also administers elections to University committees; and circulates a number of formal notices, including obituary notices.

Helena Smith (Company Secretary): 36011;
In addition to her role as company secretary for most of the University’s subsidiary and associated companies (further details can be found here), Helena also provides support for the University Research Ethics Committee.

Melanie Steed (Specialist in employment law): 37661;
Melanie is a solicitor. Information about her role in advising the University on employment-related policy, procedure and contractual matters, and handling associated legal disputes and claims, can be found here.

Dawn Thompson (Secretarial support): 36012;
Although her primary role is to assist Helena with companies-related business, Dawn also provides advice on the University’s insurance arrangements (when Louise McCunniff is absent – see above). 

Alison Usher (Secretariat Support Officer): 31276;
Alison supports the work of the student cases team. She is the point of contact for information on all of the processes relating to student casework and associated committees.

Updated: 19.5.17 (CLLC)