Profile of Professor Steve West CBE, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer
The Vice-Chancellor is the academic leader and chief executive, responsible for the strategic oversight, financial sustainability and academic direction of the University.
Professor West has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England, Bristol since 2008.
Professor West trained as a Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon in London, working in the NHS and private/commercial sector from 1982. He entered academia in 1984 as a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at The Chelsea School of Chiropody and Podiatric Medicine, The London Foot Hospital and Westminster University. He developed his research interests at King’s College London in the Department of Bioengineering. In 1990 he took up a post as Associate Dean and Head of the Department of Podiatry at Huddersfield University, and later became Dean of the School of Health and Behavioural Sciences in 1992.
In 1995 he joined UWE Bristol as Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care and Professor of Health and Social Care. In this post he merged three Colleges of Health into a new faculty, establishing one of the largest Faculties of Health and Social Care in the UK.
In 2005 he became Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University, with the planning and resources portfolio. Then in 2006 he became Deputy Vice-Chancellor and was later appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor in August 2007.
In May 2008 Professor West took up post as Vice-Chancellor, at the age of 46. Professor West is a Fellow of the Society of Chiropodists, Fellow of the College of Podiatric Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He continues to develop his research interest in lower limb biomechanics and the diabetic foot and holds a number of honorary and advisory appointments in his discipline, and healthcare policy and practice, both nationally and internationally, including Member of the Health Education England, Podiatry strategic oversight group.
In June 2013, Professor West was appointed as the first Chair of the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN). The network is one of 15 across the country that aim to transform health and healthcare by putting innovation at the heart of the NHS. In this role, Professor West brings together a wide range of partners including health commissioners and providers, universities, industry and other stakeholders to improve some of the big and difficult health issues affecting the UK.
Professor West is Non-Executive Director on University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust Board and Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.
Professor West became Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Gloucestershire in 2012 and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year's Honours list 2017, for services to Higher Education.
Professor West is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Patron of Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, Patron of Royal West of England Academy and Honorary Vice President of the Bristol Record Society. He is also a Member of The Society of Merchant Venturers.
Professor Steve West’s previous external commitments include Non-Executive Director for the Office for Students and Chair of University Alliance. Professor West also served as Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the West of England Initiative and President of the South West CBI.
Civic and professional engagement
Professor West's non-executive directorships, national and regional positions
|President Universities UK||2021-2023|
|Director of University Alliance||2019-to date|
|Member of the Diversity and Inclusion Honours Committee||2017-to date|
|Non-Executive Director for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust||2017–to date|
|Chair of UUK Mental Health in Higher Education Advisory Group||2016-to date|
|Member of the Education Honours Committee||2016-to date|
|Chair of West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN)||2013-to date|