Jill Cowley

Interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities

Jill Cowley is interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities. This is the most recent role in a 15-year career at DMU, which began with a one-year contract as Teacher Fellow (Dance) in the Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts. Prior to this most recent secondment, Jill was Head of School for Humanities and Performing Arts, responsible for strategic leadership, including portfolio and partnership developments, international strategy, enterprise and commercial activity, and resource management. 

Jill gained a 1st class degree in Performing Arts (Dance) from Lancaster University, and an MPhil in Dance Studies and Public Health. She went on to freelance, contributing to the conception, development and realisation of Ludus Dance Agency’s Millennium project whilst developing a community dance practice in the field of cardiac health and rehabilitation. She began her formal teaching career within Further Education, prior to moving to DMU in 2007, where her research has been pedagogic, centred around models of collaborative practice. She was instrumental in the development and dissemination of the pioneering Universal Design for Learning project and has held the role of DMU Teacher Fellow. Jill is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an alumnus of Aurora and the Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme (Advance HE). Jill was also a founding member of improvisation collective, Quick Shifts, receiving Arts Council funding and support from Dance4 to investigate audience engagement with improvised performance practices. Jill also has much experience within QA, working regularly as consultant, external examiner and external panel member nationally and internationally. 

Beyond academia, Jill is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of British Climbing’s National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme, where she leads the Diversity and Inclusion sub-committee.

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