Sue Brownlow and David Noyce 4

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Arts University Plymouth appoints Dr Sue Brownlow as Chair of Board of Governors

Dr Sue Brownlow takes over from David Noyce, who is retiring as Chair of the Board of Governors.

After eight years of service to Arts University Plymouth, David Noyce has retired from his role as Chair of the Board of Governors, being replaced by Dr Sue Brownlow, previously Deputy Chair. Anna Corbett, previously a member of the Finances and Estates Committee, will now take on the role of Deputy Chair of the Board.

Sue Brownlow and David Noyce 14

Dr Sue Brownlow and David Noyce

David Noyce was the Chair of the Board of Governors and Chair of Nominations & Governance Committee as well as a Member of the Finance & Estates Committee, Remuneration Committee and Employment Committee, and is retiring after working for over twenty years in a senior position at the funder and regulator of Higher Education in England, HEFCE. Latterly, he was responsible for universities and colleges in London, Kent and the East of England and led HEFCE’s relations with the NHS and specialist institutions. Over a long career, he directed major expansions expansions of medical and dental education; was a prime mover in the Combined Universities in Cornwall partnership, a transformative project in one of the most deprived areas in the country; and initiated numerous regional projects addressing widening participation, research collaboration and reach out to business and the community.

I have been sustained by the incredible community our Arts University represents - supportive, inspiring and above all joyous.
David Noyce, former Chair of the Board of Governors

David holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and is a qualified teacher and community worker. He currently lives in Devon where he pursuits his interests in philosophy, education and Buddhist meditation. David was also Governor of the University of East London and is an Honorary Fellow of St George’s University of London.

David said, "It has been an amazing privilege to have served on Arts University Plymouth's Board for the last eight years, which is now coming to an end. I can't pretend it hasn't had its challenges, particularly recently with COVID lockdowns, financial pressures and a generally unsympathetic national environment for the arts, but throughout I have been sustained by the incredible community our Arts University represents - supportive, inspiring and above all joyous. I will be sad to go but know that my successor as Chair, Sue, and the rest of the Board are well placed to lead AUP from strength to strength, all the while transforming the lives of people who come into contact with it.”

David Noyce at our Graduation Ceremony

David Noyce at our annual Graduation Ceremony

Dr Sue Brownlow takes over the role from David, having previously been appointed as Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors at Arts University Plymouth, Chair of the Remuneration Committee and Chair of the Employment Committee as well as Member of the Audit Committee and Nominations & Governance Committee.

Sue said, “It's a privilege to be taking over as Chair as we begin our journey as Arts University Plymouth, and work out how we want to develop as a University while staying true to our identity as 'a new kind of art school since 1856'. David has built a strong and cohesive Board that has always put students at the heart of our decision-making, and given everyone a voice. I am looking forward to working with our Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul-Fieldsend Danks, to build on this legacy and see where it can take us.”

Sue Brownlow gives an awards speech at our annual summer shows

Dr Sue Brownlow awarding the Board of Governor's Award at our annual Summer Shows

Sue retired as Director of the Combined Universities in Cornwall in 2013, since undertaking a range of consultancy and non-executive director roles including chairing the Diocese of Truro’s Academies Trust and serving on the advisory board of Cornwall Chamber. She moved to live in Cornwall in 2002 where initially she headed up the RDA’s work in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, leading large-scale development projects and grant funding agreements and working extensively with the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter and other local higher education institutions, including Dartington College of Arts.

Prior to this, she had been Human Resources Director in a large regional law firm and a senior manager with the Further Education development agency, where she gained experience as an HE inspector and FE funding council advisory committee member, and a specialist consultant in the education sector. In Bristol, she also served for four years as an elected local councillor and member of the planning and development committee, in which capacity she was also a board member of Bristol Airport.

Sue lives just outside Liskeard, where she and her husband own Looe Valley Vineyard. She is an active member of the Church of England and enjoys singing in the voluntary choir at Truro cathedral.

WNC Wall

Anna Corbett now takes over the role from Sue as Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors, as well as Chair of Remuneration Committee and Chair of Employment Committee, alongside being a Member of the Audit Committee and Nominations & Governance Committee.

Anna is Chief Executive for Tor Mark Ltd, a leading publishing and distribution company. With an initial background in education, Anna has considerable experience in non-profit organisations. She is currently involved in significant grant-awarding for the Cornwall Community Foundation, as well as retaining a portfolio on non-executive roles, where she specialises in leading and developing excellence in governance and trusteeship.

Anna is a Trustee for Aspire, Cornwall’s largest multi-academy trust, and for Arts University Plymouth, for both of whom she undertakes the responsibility of Safeguarding and Prevent trustee. Both professionally and in her non-executive roles, Anna has extensive experience of initiating and leading acquisition and merger, with associated due diligence, team management, rationalisation and restructuring.

Anna Corbett

Anna Corbett

Anna is passionate about the importance of high performing teams and how these may be developed to benefit organisations and individual staff members. Anna works with a number of charities to improve their financial and sustainability performance, most recently with a high-profile foodbank.

Anna said, “I'm absolutely delighted to have been elected as the Deputy Chair of Governors for Arts University Plymouth. This is an incredibly exciting time for all our students, staff and governors, and I'm looking forward to working together as we continue to provide a world-class arts education for everyone.”

Established in 1856 and formerly known as Plymouth College of Art, this year students voted Arts University Plymouth as the top arts university in the UK for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS). Students also voted Arts University Plymouth as above the national average in every main category of the NSS, which follows the University’s win at this year’s WhatUni Student Choice Awards for Best Small or Specialist University.