Professor Dominic Shellard
Professor Dominic Shellard joined De Montfort University (DMU) in June 2010 as vice-chancellor and chief executive. During his tenure DMU has embarked upon a focussed journey of improvement. In 2014 DMU climbed 32 places in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, moving from 86th to 54th. This is the highest league table position DMU has ever achieved, as well as being the biggest improvement of any university in the UK.
An expert on post-war British theatre, Dominic was educated at Dulwich College and at St Peter's College, Oxford, beginning his academic career as a lecturer in English at the University of Salford. In 1996, he moved to the University of Sheffield, becoming Head of the School of English in 2005, and Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs in 2008. An author of nine books, he is the leader of the British Library Theatre Archive Project, and continues to conduct research into post-war theatre.
At DMU, Dominic has placed an emphasis on building creative strategic relationships with key industry and education partners in the UK and overseas, and promoting higher education and universities as a public good – this is encapsulated in DMU’s award-winning Square Mile community project, launched by Dominic in 2011, which won the 2014 Guardian University Award for Community Contribution as well as the Mahatma Gandhi International Award 2013, presented to organisations that make a “distinguished contribution” to the community.
Dominic’s focus on driving up quality and improving the student experience at DMU is reflected in the university’s £136 million campus redevelopment project, which is currently underway. Incorporating what will be the Jonathan KS Choi Creative and Cultural Centre, supported by a generous donation from the Chairman of the Sunwah Foundation, and the DMU Confucius Institute, this centrepiece of the development will significantly strengthen ties between China and the UK.
The expansion of the international agenda, together with the university’s commitment to advancing the employability prospects of its students, is epitomised by Dominic’s most recent innovation, #DMUglobal, which was launched in 2013. This unique initiative will see half of DMU’s students benefit from an international experience during their studies, and is complemented by DMU’s recent selection as the education channel partner for the UK government’s international GREAT Festivals of Creativity in Istanbul, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
On a personal level, Dominic is a passionate supporter of Queens Park Rangers Football Club and one of the UK’s most active VCs on Twitter. You can follow him @DMUVC.