Venn Building


As the governing body of the University, the Council is responsible for:

  • The management and administration of the whole revenue and property of the University
  • The conduct of all affairs of the University
  • All such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon on it by Statute or Ordinance

The Statement of Primary Responsibilities sets out what the Council does and provides information about effectiveness and performance review.

A comprehensive list of the duties and powers of the Council can be found in the University Charter.


Lay members


George Garlick

Chair of Council

George was appointed as Chair of Council on 1 September 2019.  George is a University of Hull graduate with more than 25 years’ experience at the head of public sector organisations.  He worked as a teacher and a solicitor and spent 24 years in the North East as Chief Executive of Stockton-on-Tees Bororugh Council and then Durham County Council, where he led the integration of eight local authorities into a single organisation with 20,000 employees and a £1bn annual spend.  



Julia Whittaker

Lay Member


Julia was appointed as a lay member of Council on 27 November 2014. Her previous business roles include CEO and Partner of law firm, Wilkin Chapman LLP, where she spent the majority of her career, taking the firm to 105th in the UK by turnover and a major regional employer. She served on the Chamber Council for Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce where she was one of the Business Award judges. Julia holds a BSc from the University of St Andrews and MBA from the University of Hull and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. A former Governor of Caistor Grammar School, where she Chaired the Personnel and Pay Committees, prior to that she also Chaired Caistor Primary School’s PTA. Julia is a Trustee of the charity Bloodwise, a member of the Grimsby Branch of Bloodwise and is a volunteer and co-ordinator for Caistor Cares, a charity which aims to reduce isolation in the elderly in the local community.



Ursula Lidbetter

Lay Member


Born in Lincoln, Ursula Lidbetter is the Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-operative.Ursula has been instrumental in setting up the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park in a joint venture with the University of Lincoln.  Plans are also coming to fruition for a redevelopment of Lincoln’s city centre to create enhanced retail and leisure space and a new transport hub. She took over as Chair of the national Co-operative Group from 2013 to 2015, during a difficult and turbulent time, overseeing a radical overhaul of its governance, management and business.Ursula graduated from the University of Hull in 1984, with a 1st class honours degree in operational research and management and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Hull and Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. She is Chair of Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership and is a deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire.



Vanessa Lee

Lay Member

Originating from Hull, Vanessa was appointed as a lay member of Council in March 2019 and is Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee. She is a Tax Partner at BDO LLP and leads their Private Client practice across the North of England. She is a Chartered Tax Advisor, an Affiliate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the Association of Tax Technicians. Vanessa is also a member of the Development Committee for The Prince’s Trust in Yorkshire and Humber and sits on the UK Advisory Board of Tax Aid.  



Matt Jukes

Lay Member

Matt was appointed as a Lay Member in September 2019.  Matt is Chief Executive of Hull City Council and before that Port Director for ABP. He has considerable board level experience on Absolutely Cultured, Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce and the Hull Place Based Board.



Rosalyn Schofield

Lay Member


Rosalyn was appointed as a Lay Member in September 2019.  Rosalyn studied Law here at Hull. She is responsible for the governance of the Associated British Food PLC and its 400+ subsidiaries.  Rosalyn is Chair of the Audit Committee. 


Matthew Swindells

Lay Member

Matthew was appointed as a Lay Member in September 2019.   Matthew studied Economics here at Hull. He is a visiting professor at the University of Surrey and is Deputy Chief Executive and National Director of Operations for NHS England.



Richard Thompson

Lay Member

Richard was appointed as a Lay Member in September 2019.  Richard studied Chemistry and Physics here. He has worked in senior finance positions around the world and is currently CEO of RWS Holdings one of the world’s leading providers of language services.



Denise Wilson

Lay Member


Denise was appointed as a Lay Member in September 2019.  Denise studied Modern Languages here. She is Chief Executive of the Davies Review which was set up by government to improve gender equality in FTSE 350 companies. Denise has had an executive career in large financial services companies.


Non-Lay members


Professor Susan Lea




John Duffy

Chief Operating Officer



Phoebe Bastiani

President, Hull University Students’ Union



Professor Mark Lorch

Senate Member and Associate Dean International (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Prof. Becky Huxley-Binns

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education)



Frances Hanson

Member appointed by the non-academic staff of the University




University employees and lay members of Council have a responsibility to respect and promote the financial and other interests of the University, with due regard to academic freedom.

There is a general duty on all members of staff and lay members of the University to disclose at the earliest possible stage any financial or other interest they may have in any transaction, or proposed transaction, between the University and a third party.

A Register of Interests is maintained and updated annually. If you wish to inspect the Register, please contact

Code of Conduct for Council Members

Code of Practice on the Registration of Interests

Contact us

  • University of Hull
  • Hull, UK
  • HU6 7RX