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Academic Leadership

Pro Vice-Chancellor office

PVC Education – awaiting information


Prof Alasdair Blair


Alasdair Blair is Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Jean Monnet Professor of International Relations. He works with Faculties and Directorates across the University to design, develop and implement new strategies that ensure the continued relevance of our educational provision and excellence in our student and staff experience.


Alasdair is a is a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Certified Management and Business Educator.  He has been editor of European Political Science since 2015 and served as reviews editor of European Foreign Affairs Review from 2002-2016.  He also served as Honorary Treasurer of the UK Political Studies Association from 2015-2018.


Alasdair continues to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and welcomes PhD applications on European integration, international relations/diplomacy, and research into higher education practice.  He has supervised 13 research students to successful completion and has extensive experience as an external examiner.


Alasdair’s research interests include higher education, civic engagement, and European integration/international relations. His current projects include co-editor of Teaching Civic Engagement Globally (American Political Science Association, 2021), the 3rd edition of The European Union since 1945 (Routledge, 2022) and a 2nd edition of Global Politics (Edinburgh University Press, 2022).



Dr Debbie Le Play


Deborah Le Play is University Senior Tutor, responsible for the strategic direction of personal tutoring at the university and for supporting staff in undertaking the role of personal tutor. She also co-chairs with the DSU the Student Academic Representation Committee which drives initiatives to enhance student representation and opportunities to capture the student voice, and the Student Integrated Induction Group where all faculties, along with relevant university directorates, develop programmes of induction and agree and plan their operationalisation.


Dr Le Play is a DMU Teacher Fellow and Senior Fellow of the HEA. She has over 30 years teaching experience at all levels (French and French Studies; Education Studies), has in recent years supervised a number of Master’s and PhD students, and has held roles as Programme Leader, Faculty Head of Studies and Faculty Head of Quality. She currently teaches level 4 students and supports groups of personal tutees at levels 4 and 5.    



Derrick Mensah


Derrick Mensah is a special projects officer to the Office of the PVC Academic with responsibility for developing strategic initiatives on student engagement. While Studying, Derrick was always puzzled by the lack of student engagement in various opportunities. He previously served for two years as an Executive Officer in De Montfort Students Union where he was Vice President student activities. A graduate of Biomedical Science, he is passionate about the student experience and ensuring equal opportunities for all. He is working with students and the institution to evidence that the student engagement issues currently faced in HE can be solved with a robust institutional structure.



Momodou Sallah


Momodou Sallah (PhD, MPhil, MA, PGCHE) is the Director, Centre for Academic Innovation, and a Reader in Globalisation and Global Youth Work at DMU. 


Momodou considers himself a scholar-activist engaged in disruptive pedagogy, interested in both bringing real life learning into the classroom and transformative learning within communities. He has numerous publications, including six books, in the fields of teaching and learning, poetry, and diversity (race and religion). His research interests include diversity, participatory methodologies, globalisation in relation especially to young people, and public engagement.


In June 2013, he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the UK Higher Education Academy. In November 2015, he was named the "Most Innovative Teacher" in the UK by Times Higher. He has more than 25 years' experience working with young people at local, national and international levels.



Bobby Upple


Bobby leads the Educational Partnerships (EP) team at DMU, with responsibility for the development and management of all UK academic partnerships.

Bobby joined DMU in September 2015, having worked in Further Education (FE) and affiliated organisations for 20 years. He held various roles in FE including lecturer, programme area manager, senior policy manager, E&D projects manager, Chair of Governors, and prior to joining DMU, as a director with two sector organisations.

Since joining DMU, Bobby has managed both UK and international partnerships, and has represented the university internationally and nationally, promoting DMU, and the city of Leicester, as a destination for students. Across his career, Bobby has worked in partnership with education institutions in South Africa, India, China, Hong Kong, Denmark, and Abu Dhabi.

Bobby is a graduate from Nottingham Trent University, where he studied Mathematical Methods for Information Technology, and has a teaching qualification from the University of Greenwich. He is an Advance HE Associate, PRINCE2 Practitioner, and a trained mentor.



David Parkes


Director of Library and Learning Services at De Montfort University and a National Teaching Fellow. He heads the libraries as well as the Centres for Student Success, Enhanced Learning, and Maths Learning. A Chartered Librarian and Technologist, and as a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, he writes and speaks widely on emerging technologies, smart buildings, learning technologies, future libraries, the provision of information and digital literacy, psychogeography and transition to universities. He contributes to the Educause/NMC Horizon Report expert panel and is currently preparing an options appraisal for a future library.


Associate Deans Academic



Dr Claire Orwin


Dr Claire Orwin is Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Arts, Design & Humanities.


Claire leads on strategic developments relating to all academic issues and learning and teaching matters. In her role she also leads on the management and development of all taught programmes within the faculty and is supported by the Associate Professor (Student Experience) when dealing with student matters.


Claire is a DMU Teacher Fellow and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has gained the Vice Chancellors Distinguished Teaching Award & Deans Award for Good Teaching. Within the School of Fashion & Textiles she has led both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, has supervised to PhD and has been an external examiner both in the UK and overseas. Her subject expertise has focussed on fashion management, sourcing, supply chain management and sustainability & ethics and she continues to supervise students’ undergraduate dissertations. Her current research and professional interests include supporting student success, achievement & experience and embedding employability and enterprise in the curriculum to support graduate outcomes.                



Leanne De Main


Leanne De Main is Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Business and Law.


Leanne is an experienced leader in Higher Education, and focusses on learning, teaching and the student experience. She is a Senior Fellow (Advance HE) and holds the CMBE with the Chartered Association of Business Schools. Her recent co-authored book entitled ‘Achieving Teaching Excellence’ focusses on enhancing practice using case studies from across the sector and features key takeaways for practitioners and policy-makers. As Associate Dean in the Faculty of Business and Law, Leanne initiated and continues to lead the Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TaLEnt) strategy which focuses on raising the profile of teaching and learning through academic development and student voice opportunities.


Leanne researches teaching and learning, widening participation and opportunity in HE with a focus on access for working class students, commuting students and care leavers. In wider research, Leanne writes on social exclusion, media representations of class, the 'underclass', defining class, class identity, political disconnect, and critical social mobility.



Zoë Allman


Zoë Allman is Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media


Awarded National Teaching Fellowship (2020) and Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2018), Zoë is passionate about enhancing teaching and learning for students and colleagues, and continually seeks new opportunities to develop her own skillset to share with and empower others. 

Zoë drives change through inspirational leadership, improving the experience of students and colleagues. Her philosophy is underpinned by embedding mental wellbeing in the curriculum, and she leads the university-wide project aligned to the Advance HE project of the same name.   



Nikki Brooks


Nikki Brooks is Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.


Nikki is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Nikki is a Registered Nurse by professional background, and she still teaches across pre and post registration Nursing courses at DMU. Nikki also works freelance as a clinical trainer teaching clinical skills and professional skills for Nursing and Medical colleagues. Nikki’s research and professional interests are related to supporting student success, learning analytics, clinical skills and professional issues, and she has recently completed a Doctorate in Education, in which her research focused on perceptions and experiences of using learning analytics to support student success through a multi-stakeholder perspective.


Nikki is an accomplished author, and she has published more than 25 journal articles and conference papers in relation to her professional background. She also acts as a peer reviewer for many publishers and for both educational and nursing journals