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


Dr Keith Hopkins

Interim Chair of Council


After leaving University - Hull graduate in Chemistry, PhD in 1970 - Keith was a graduate trainee with Unilever and then a manager in their chemical businesses in Germany and the UK. In 1976 he joined Croda International plc which is based in Snaith near Goole and was Chief Executive there from 1987 until 1999 following which he was Chairman until he retired in December 2001.  Since then Keith has had a number of part time roles that have enabled him to travel and do some mountain trekking. Keith was Non-Executive Director of Tate & Lyle plc (1994-2004) and Chairman of their Audit Committee.  He was Chairman of the chemical distributor Ellis & Everard plc from 1999 until it was taken over by Vopak; he was also Chairman of the Audit Committee of British Vita plc. From 2001 until his retirement in 2007 Keith was Chairman of the adhesive tape manufacturer Scapa Group plc. Keith is the current Chair of the University's Finance and Investment Committee.



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.



Lady Carolyn Roberts

Lay Member


Carolyn trained as a registered nurse at The General Infirmary at Leeds. Subsequently she trained as a health visitor at the University of Leeds and later gained an MSc in Health Administration & Research at the University of Hull. In 2013 Carolyn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Hull. She joined the University Council in 2014. She is a member of the Finance & Investment Committee, the University Ethics Committee, the Honorary Awards Committee, the Nominations Committee, plus the HYMS Joint Board. Her most recent formal roles, apart from the above, were as a Member of the Commission on Human Medicines and, a Member of the Ethics Committee of the Royal College of Nursing.



Simon Lunt

Lay Member


Simon was born in Hull and educated locally at Hymers College and, after university in Manchester (LLB), qualified as a solicitor. He joined local firm Gosschalks in 1976 to establish its Corporate Department. He became Senior Partner of the firm in 2000. He has advised many public and private companies over the last 35 years on legal matters and strategy and has been involved with the growth of numerous local businesses. He holds a number of private company directorships and advisory roles. Simon was a Governor of the University of Lincoln for 10 years. He is a Governor of Pocklington School. He is a member of Hull Civic Society and has a keen interest in education, sport, gardening and architecture.  



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.



Dominic Gibbons

Lay Member


After graduating in 1992 Dominic qualified as a chartered Surveyor in 1995 whilst with national practise Rapleys. Dominic Joined Hull based property development and investment company Wykeland in 1996. He joined the Board of Wykeland Properties in 1999, was appointed to the Group Board in 2003 and became Managing Director in 2009. As well as having a property portfolio that stretches from Grimsby to Glasgow Wykeland have a current £400M commercial property development programme within the Yorkshire and Humber region. He is also a Governor at Hymers College, chairing their Estates and Capital Works Committee and is a Trustee of Holy Trinity Church Developments. 




Vanessa Lee

Lay Member



Non-Lay members


Professor Susan Lea




Professor Glenn Burgess

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs)



Osaro Otobo

President, Hull University Union



Professor Mark Lorch

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



Professor Kathryn Haynes

Senate Member and Dean (Faculty of Business, Law and Politics)



Mike Dobson

Member appointed by non-academic staff Head of Technical Services




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 Practice


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