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Who's who

Who's who

Professor Keith Brown

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities

Professor Brown graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1979 with an MA in Modern and Scottish History, and was awarded a PhD also from Glasgow in 1983.

He was appointed Glenfiddich Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews in 1983 and went on to hold a number of fellowships there until becoming a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Stirling in 1991.

In 1995 he returned to the University of St Andrews as Professor of Scottish History and was appointed Head of the School of History in 1997. He became Vice-Principal (Teaching) for the University in 2001 and in 2003 was appointed Master of the United College, managing the overall academic operation of the University. His remit was extended to include the role of Deputy Principal in 2006.

In 2010 he joined The University of Manchester as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. The Faculty of Humanities is the largest of the University’s four faculties with 17,000 students, around 2,000 academic and professional support staff and a diverse portfolio of disciplines organised around the Schools of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Environment, Education and Development, Law, Social Sciences, and Manchester Business School.

Professor Brown is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His field of research is early modern Scottish and British History. He led the team that in 2007 launched the acclaimed online archive of the proceedings of the original Scottish Parliament, from its first surviving act of 1235 to its union with the English Parliament in 1707 (see In recent years he has published a three-volume edited history of the Scottish Parliament and a monograph entitled Noble Power in Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution (Edinburgh University Press 2011). Currently he is working on Scottish migration to England in the sixteenth to eighteenth century for which he holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network Grant.

Professor Keith Brown

Russell Ashworth

Director of Faculty Operations

Russell graduated from University of Central Lancashire in 1987 with a BA (Hons) Politics with History. He joined Liverpool John Moores University in 1988 as an Administrative Assistant in the Academic Quality Unit, progressing to Senior Administrator in 1992. He was appointed Head of Student Recruitment in 1994 and in 1996 he took up the new position of Head of Collaborative Partnerships.

In 1998 he joined UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester to take up the post of Senior Administrator in the joint venture Federal School of Business and Management. This role involved further developing of the management infrastructure for the Federal School and he led on a number of collaborative projects including joint Masters programmes and a major research infrastructure funding award.

In 2002 Russell serviced the Project Unity Academic Group, which steered the merger of UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester, before taking up the role of Assistant to the Interim Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences in May 2003. Russell was appointed Director of Faculty Operations for the Faculty of Humanities in February 2004.

Russell Ashworth

Professor Maja Zehfuss

Associate Dean (PG Research)

Maja Zehfuss is Professor of International Politics in the School of Social Sciences. She studied in Munich and Aberystwyth, received her doctorate from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Post-Compulsory Education (Higher Education) from the University of Warwick. Before coming to Manchester in 2006, she taught at the University of Warwick. She is the co-founder of the British International Studies Association Poststructural Politics Working Group, which she co-convened from 2001 to 2007, and a member of the editorial board of Manchester University Press.

Maja Zehfuss has published two research monographs with Cambridge University Press. Her current research examines how the problematic of ethics is produced, enacted and negotiated in contemporary war. She also works on the idea of humanity, vulnerability, memory and on poststructural thought. She co-edits Global Politics: A New Introduction (Routledge 2008, 2013).

Maja Zehfuss was PGR Director in Politics from 2008 to 2010. The PG researchers she supervises make an active contribution to the research environment at Manchester and beyond. Her former PhD students include a winner of the Political Studies Association Lord Bryce Prize for Best Dissertation in International Relations/Comparative Studies.

Professor Maja Zehfuss

Professor Colette Fagan

Deputy Dean, Research

Colette Fagan is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences and a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manchester.  She holds degrees from the University of East Anglia, the London School of Economics and the Victoria University of Manchester (PhD).  She joined the University as a sociology lecturer in 1998 and became a professor in 2005. Previously she held positions at the University of Liverpool, UMIST and the Equal Opportunities Commission (now the Equality and Human Rights Commission).  She has held visiting positions at the University of Madison-Wisconsin USA; RMIT Australia and the WZB, Germany.  Professor Fagan is the UK academic expert to the European Commission's Expert Group on Gender and Employment.

Colette's research focus is on work and employment, with particular interests in gender relations and inequalities in the workplace and domestic life; in international comparisons of employment and living conditions in industrialised economies; and the topic of 'time'.

Professor Colette Fagan

Fiona Smyth

Associate Dean (Teaching, Learning and Students)

Fiona Smyth is a Senior Lecturer in Geography in the School of Environment, Education and Development.  She gained her undergraduate degree from the University of Bristol and her PhD from the University of Manchester.  After completing her PhD, Fiona was appointed as a lecturer in Geography at the Victoria University of Manchester where she oversaw Admissions, Examinations, Quality Assurance and the Geography Undergraduate Programmes at different points in time.  She has been a member of numerous university level committees and working groups including the Ethical Grand Challenges Steering Group, the Online Education Strategy Group, the Research and Teaching Working Group, Task Force 7 (Library and Information Services) as part of the Review of Undergraduate Education and, the Project Unity Academic Framework and Regulation Project.  Immediately prior to becoming Associate Dean, she was Head of Geography (2008-11) and Director of Teaching and Learning for SEED (2011-14). 

Fiona is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Editor of Geography Review and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Geography in Higher Education.  She has particular interests in assessment for learning, fieldwork and skills development.  Her teaching contributions focus on cultural geography and the social constructions of health and disease.  She leads an annual fieldcourse to Cuba each year.

She became Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students in the Faculty of Humanities in July 2014.

Fiona Smyth image

Professor Ken McPhail

Associate Dean (Social Responsibility)

Ken was appointed Professor of Accounting in Manchester Business School, in September 2014.  Prior to joining Manchester University he was Professor of Accounting and head of department at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

Ken is interested in the changing role of corporations in society and the systems of accountability that emerge in relation to these roles.  His resent research has focused on the emerging trend to give human rights responsibilities of companies.  Amongst other projects he is currently studying the role of corporations in the delivery of Australia’s asylum seeker policy; the implementation of human rights screening in the Norwegian government’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and the introduction of human rights risk into bank lending decisions.

Recent articles include a prize-winning paper on the need to incorporate human rights into the business school curriculum

Ken’s publications include 5 prize winning articles; a four volume research master work on Accounting Ethics, published by Sage in 2013 and two special journal issues, one on Accounting and Human Rights and a second on Accounting & Theology. In 2011, Ken delivered the CPA Australia Kate Stanton Annual Research Lecture on Accounting & Human Rights. In the same year he was also awarded an honorary membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia for his work on accounting, ethics and human rights.

Ken sits on the editorial board of a number of journals, including Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal; Critical Perspectives on Accounting; the Journal of Business Ethics Education; Sustainability, Accountability, Management, and Practice Journal and the newly establish Business and Human Rights Journal.

Ken holds Honorary positions at Deakin University and La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Professor Ken McPhail

Professor Jeremy Gregory

Head, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Jeremy Gregory is Professor of the History of Christianity. He has a BA in Modern History and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He was appointed Lecturer in History at what is now the University of Northumbria in 1985, becoming Head of History and Principal Lecturer in 1995. He moved to the Victoria University of Manchester in 2000, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001, and to Professor in 2010. He was the first Director of Undergraduate Education in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures from 2004-2007 and took up the headship of the School in August 2011.  He was appointed as Head of the new School of Arts, Languages and Cultures in 2012.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has held visiting fellowships at Brown University, Magdalen College, Oxford, and The Boston Athenaeum. 

Jeremy's research and publications have shaped and contributed to the debates concerning the role of the Church of England in particular, and religion in general, in English social, cultural, political and intellectual history from the mid seventeenth to the mid nineteenth centuries. He has also published on the relationship between religion and gender, religion and the wider artistic and literary culture, and on the relationship between conformity and dissent. Since moving to Manchester he has developed an interest in the history of early Methodism, using the world-class archives at The John Rylands Library. His current project is on the Church of England in New England. He has been a co-editor of Studies in Church History and is currently an editor of Literature & History. He is Vice-President of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Professor Jeremy Gregory

Professor Tim Allott 

Head, School of Environment, Education and Development

Tim Allott is Professor of Physical Geography in the School of Environment, Education and Development. He has a BSc and PhD in Geography from University College London and from 1992-1999 was the Deputy Director of UCL’s Environmental Change Research Centre. Since joining Manchester in 2000 he has been Head of Geography (2003-2006) and Research Director for Geography (2001-03 and 2009-2014).

His research focuses on anthropogenic impacts on upland landscapes and the management and restoration of degraded freshwater and peatland systems, funded by grants from NERC, DEFRA and the Environment Agency. Current work with colleagues in Manchester supports the widespread peatland restoration efforts underway in the UK and internationally, including collaborations with external partners such as the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), National Trust and the Moors for the Future Partnership working in the Peak District National Park. Tim’s teaching contributions focus on issues of hydrology and environmental change, using field and practical work as key vehicles for student learning.

Professor Tim Allott

Professor Toby Seddon

Head, School of Law

Toby is Professor of Criminology in the School of Law. He joined the University of Manchester in 2006 and was previously a University Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. Before becoming an academic, he spent 10 years as a researcher in the voluntary sector, working in the areas of penal reform, criminal justice, drug policy and homelessness. He was educated at the University of Birmingham (LLB Law), University of Leicester (MA Criminology) and University of London (PhD Social Policy & Politics).

He took over as Head of School in August 2014, having previously been Director of Research from 2012-14. Within the School, he is a member of the Centre for Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCCJ) and a co-founder of ManReg, an innovative inter-disciplinary research network in the area of regulation and governance. He has published widely and is author of several books. His current research is focused on rethinking illicit drug policy through the lens of regulation. 

Professor Toby Seddon

Professor Fiona Devine

Head, Manchester Business School

Fiona Devine is Professor of Sociology and was previously Head of Sociology (2004-7) and Head of the School of Social Sciences (2009-13). She joined the University of Manchester in 1994 and was promoted to Professor in 2001.  Prior to joining Manchester, she worked at the University of Liverpool, the Policy Studies Institute and the (then) Department of Employment HQ in London.  She studied Sociology and Government as an undergraduate degree at the University of Essex where she also completed an MA and PhD.

Fiona's research interests are in the fields of social stratification and mobility, work and employment and politics and participation from a comparative US/UK perspective. Much of her research has been funded by grants from the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust. She is currently working on the BBC's Great British Class Survey with Professor Mike Savage at the LSE and a team based at Manchester, LSE and York. 

Fiona was a member of Council of the Economic and Social Research Council and Chair of its International Advisory Committee (2003-7).  She was on the Board of NORFACE and was a member of the Governing Council of the European Science Foundation. She has held visiting positions at the University at Chicago, Harvard University and the University of Queensland. She is currently an Honorary Professor in the Institute of Social Science Research at UQ. 

She was awarded an OBE for Services to Social Sciences in 2010 and elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011. 

Professor Fiona Devine

Professor Chris Orme

Head, School of Social Sciences

Chris Orme studied at York (BSc in Mathematics and Economics) and LSE (MSC Mathematical Economics and Econometrics) and obtained his DPhil from York in 1989 (Misspecification and Inference in Microeconometrics. He held Lectureships at the Universities of Hull (1984/5) and York (1985/7) before moving to the University of Nottingham in 1987. Returned to York in 1989 and then took the Chair in Econometrics at Manchester in 1995.

Honorary Visiting Professor, University of York, 1997-date. Member of the ESRC Strategic Research Board (2005-2009). Advisory Panel Chair, World Economy and Finance Programme (2006-2010). Advisory Panel Member, CeMMAP (2008-date). Managing Editor of The Manchester School journal from 1996-2005, 2008-date. Research Director in Economics (1997-2000). Research Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law (2000-2004). Head of Economics (2004-2007 & 2011-13) and School of Social Sciences Research Director (2011-13).

He has published widely in the leading economics, econometrics and statistics journals (Econometrica, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Econometrics Journal, Econometrics Review, International Economic Review, Biometrika), principally in the area of econometric misspecification theory and testing although his collaborative work addresses issues in labour economics (Economic Journal, Journal of Applied Econometrics).

Professor Chris Orme