University Board

Professor Phil Deans

President and Vice Chancellor
BA, PhD, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Before taking up the role of President and Vice Chancellor Phil Deans served as the Provost of Richmond from 2011 to 2019 where he led the successful application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers, and registration with the Office for Students.  He oversaw the creation of Richmond’s dual degree award and worked with faculty on revising Richmond’s unique international liberal arts curriculum of four-year undergraduate programmes.  He has a BA in Politics and East Asian Studies and a PhD in International Relations from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and spent time as an undergraduate in China (1987-89) and as a graduate research fellow in Japan (1991-93).  He was fortunate to have the opportunity learn Chinese and Japanese at university and is keen to make similar international opportunities open to students at Richmond. Before joining Richmond, he was the Chief Academic Officer at the Tokyo Campus of Temple University, Director of the Contemporary China Institute and Associate Dean at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Lecturer in East Asian Politics at the University of Kent.

Dr Deans is a Director and Trustee of the Quality Assurance Agency, serves on the Board of Independent Higher Education, the UK’s representative body for independent and alternative providers of higher education, and is a School Governor at the Coombe Academy Trust.

Phil has dedicated his career to furthering international education opportunities for students and promoting diversity and international perspectives on learning, teaching and curriculum development and content. He is a proud single father to three children, and a season ticket holder at Fulham FC.

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Professor Kelly Coate

BSc, Northwestern University, MA, Middlesex University, PhD, University College London

Professor Kelly Coate joined Richmond as Provost in September 2023. She was previously in the role of Pro Vice Chancellor for Students and Education at the University of Sussex, from 2018-2023.

Her career prior to that time has always been in higher education: from working as a programme administrator at King’s College London in the early 1990s, to undertaking a PhD and conducting further research at the Institute of Education  (which is now part of UCL), and then on to the University of Galway in 2007 where she worked in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. She then returned to the UK and became Director of the King’s Learning Institute at King’s College London, followed by the role of Vice Dean Education in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy there.

She has been an active researcher of higher education, publishing books, chapters and articles on such topics as the curriculum in higher education, gender and academic careers, and internationalisation.  She was on the Governing Council of the Society for Research into Higher Education for 6 years, and serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals Teaching in Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development, and the Journal of Education Policy.

Ying Kay

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance and Operations
BA, National University of Singapore
MBA, Institute of Education, University College London

Ying qualified as an accountant from Singapore and achieved FCCA status and an MBA in Higher Education (IOE UCL) while working in the sector. She has over 30 years of experience in the profit and non-profit sectors. Before 2006, Ying lived and worked in Singapore, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Russia supporting her husband in his career whilst bringing up a young family. During which time, she worked as Finance consultant in both public and private organisations advising on Management Information Systems and systems development. On returning to the UK, she has worked in a number of universities in the areas of staff development and management, financial control and reporting and finance transformation projects.

Ying is a co-opted Director of the London Design & Engineering University Technical College (UTC) where she played a part in the set-up of the organisation in 2016 and has joined Stanmore College as a governor on the Audit and Assurance Committee this year.

Professor Sabine Spangenberg

Deputy Provost for Faculty
Diplom-Oekonom, University Duisburg-Essen
PhD, Lancaster University

Sabine is a Professor of Economics and previously served as Head of the Richmond Business School and as Head of Accreditation. After completing her studies in Economics and Business at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Sabine moved to the UK to take up a Fellowship position at Lancaster University, where she also completed her PhD in Institutionalised Economic Transformation.

Sabine is particularly interested in welfare economics and continues to engage in research when time allows. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Development and Happiness. Sabine has served as reviewer and assessor for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and as a member of subject benchmark statement review groups (Economics).

Dom Alessio

Vice President of International Programmes
BA, MA, McMaster University
PhD Victoria University of Wellington

Dom was born in Wales to Irish-Welsh and Italian parents, raised in Canada and studied in New Zealand after having been awarded a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship. He has taught at McMaster University (Canada), St Thomas’s University (Canada), Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) and Trinity St David’ University (Wales). He has been a Visiting Professor in the School of Arts at the University of Northampton, a Visiting Professor at Franklin University (Switzerland), a Research Associate for the Centre for Fascist/Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies, Teesside University (UK), and is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis for the Radical Right (CARR). He has been invited to give numerous lectures throughout the world and is also a fellow of Royal Historical Society, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, and a former Vice Chair of the New Zealand Studies Association.

Dr. Allison Cole-Stutz

Vice President (Pro Vice Chancellor) Student Affairs
BA, Colorado College
MA, University of Texas at Austin
EdD Institute of Education, University College London

Allison has worked in different facets of international education for over 30 years: first as an English language teacher to children and adults and later as a teacher-trainer in further education in the US. Her interest in student support started at a language school in Denver where she worked to support international students with immigration support and linked them with area host families. After moving to London in 2000, Allison worked briefly teaching English and supporting new immigrants to London and then joined Richmond in 2001 where she has worked for over 20 years in student support and alumni affairs. Allison’s research interests are in student engagement, community development and the service element of liberal arts education.

Sukh Chonk

VP Marketing, Recruitment and Communication

Sukh is an accomplished marketing and communications professional with over 20 years of experience in the higher education sector. From her first role as a Student Ambassador, Sukh progressed on to leadership roles with Cardiff Met, London South Bank University, and SOAS. Sukh has a strong passion for higher education and has been involved in developing integrated marketing and admissions strategies, brand positioning, and promoting collaborative cultures within teams.

Dean Morley

Director of Human Resources

Dean is Director of Human Resources for Richmond University, with executive level responsibility for the full range of people strategies, policies and programmes within the university.

Dean’s senior level HR experience spans over 30 years, gained across Financial Service, Central Government and Higher Education.  Within the HE sector, Dean has served as Chair, M25 HR Directors and Vice Chair, UHR. Dean is also a regular speaker at national and international HE events and has led reward projects recognised as CIPD Awards; Finalists

Dean is professionally qualified, holding both Chartered Fellow CIPD and an MSc (Distinction) in Strategic HRM. He is also accredited in the full range of Human Synergistic cultural transformation and leadership tools.

Outside of work Dean is a Trustee of Kingston Educational Trust and a regular marathon runner, having completed nearly 40 marathons world-wide.

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Stephanie Parr

Registrar & Deputy Provost: Academic Operations
BA Hons, Loughborough University
PGCert, University of Central Florida
MSc, University College London
DBA Candidate, University of Bath

Stephanie Parr has worked at Richmond since June 2016, having started as Head of Registry Services. In June 2018 she was appointed as Academic Registrar and in January 2023 was appointed as Registrar & Deputy Provost: Academic Operations.

Stephanie moved to London in 2009 and has worked at world-renowned UK institutions including University College London, the University of Oxford, London Business School and the London School of Economics and Political Science, mainly working in operations management and quality assurance in medical education and executive business education.

Stephanie is currently working towards a DBA in Higher Education Management at the University of Bath and has studied in the UK and the US. She was raised in the north of England close to the city of Liverpool and embraces her (softening) scouse accent and dialect with her international colleagues.

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Pragya Rai

Head of Planning, Research and Institutional Assessment

Pragya completed her undergraduate studies in Sociology at the University of Birmingham. Pragya joined RAUL in 2017 as the Examinations Officer and has since worked in various positions within the Registry Services department, and the Quality Assurance department. Pragya also received an MA in International Relations from RAUL in 2020 and is currently a PhD candidate in the School of International Relations, Politics and History at Loughborough University.

Helen Dalrymple

Secretary to the Board of Trustees

Helen graduated from Queen Mary and Westfield College (University of London) in Medieval History and English. She managed a bookshop for a couple of years and then moved into administration.

Whilst working in pharmacy regulation she joined the Governance Team and was Council Secretary of the General Pharmaceutical Council for two years before joining Richmond University as Secretary to the Board in 2018.