Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Heads of College

Portrait of Sarah DaviesProfessor Sarah Davies

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering

Professor Sarah Davies is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering. In this role she has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the College, supporting and empowering all staff and students of the College to fulfil their citizens of change ambitions. She is also a member of the University Executive Board, Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and the Academic Leadership Team.

Professor Davies is an internationally recognised Professor of Sedimentology, who joined the University’s Department of Geology in 1999. 

Born and brought up in the West Midlands, Sarah received her undergraduate degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Leeds. After completing her PhD at the University of Leicester, she began her career as a Research Associate at the University of Liverpool followed by a post at the University of Edinburgh. Returning to the University of Leicester as a lecturer, she has held a series of roles in Geology including Admissions Tutor, Careers Tutor, Postgraduate Tutor and Course Director. In 2015 Sarah was recognised for her contribution to science and awarded the prestigious Coke medal by the Geological Society of London.  

Her passion for research and ability to engage and develop students and staff has set her apart as a citizen of change. In 2017, she was appointed as the first head of the University’s School of Geography, Geology and the Environment within the College of Science and Engineering and she held this post until appointment to her current role.

Sarah’s extensive research interests include the response of palaeoenvironments and ecosystems to perturbations in the Earth system and linking sedimentology with physical properties to improve understanding of complex solid-fluid chemical systems. Since 2007 she has managed a team of researchers and technicians, based at Leicester and in Montpellier, France, who are part of the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD) Science Operator (ESO) delivering scientific expeditions for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). 


henrietta oconnor profile

Professor Henrietta O'Connor

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

Professor Henrietta O’Connor is Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and a member of the University Leadership Team. 

Henrietta is a Professor of Sociology and joined the University’s Centre for Labour Market Studies in 1997, before moving to the School of Media, Communication and Sociology in August 2014. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Academic Fellow of CIPD and an elected trustee of the British Sociological Association.

She received her undergraduate degree in Human Geography from Queen Mary College, University of London and was awarded an MLitt from Trinity College, Dublin. Henrietta completed her PhD at the University of Leicester.

Henrietta has played an active role at the University of Leicester. In addition to her role as Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, she is also Chair of the University Equality and Diversity Committee. Previously, she was Head of Department of the Centre for Labour Market Studies. She has also held posts as Sub-Dean of Graduate Studies and Director of Postgraduate Research in the College of Social Science.

Henrietta's principal research interests focus on the sociology of work, in particular debates around transitions to and from the labour market.


phil baker profile

Professor Philip Baker

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Life Sciences, Dean of Medicine

Born and bred in Leicester, Professor Philip Baker trained in Nottingham, Cambridge and Pittsburgh before taking Chairs of obstetrics in Nottingham and then Manchester. He led both Manchester’s successful bid for an NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and the Manchester medical school, before moving to head the Medical School in Edmonton, Canada.

He remained in Edmonton as special adviser to the Provost before being appointed as the Director of the National Centre of Growth and Development in New Zealand. During this time he also directed a pregnancy research centre in Chongqing, China, and the Chinese Government appointed him as a National Distinguished Professor.

Professor Baker is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in both New Zealand and the UK. He was principal author of the position paper on ‘Health of Women and Children’ that was considered at the 2010 G8 Summit.