UCL announces two new Faculty Deans along with a new interim Vice President (Operations)

Photo of Professor Eloise Scotford (Dean of Faculty of Laws), Professor Jennifer
Photo of Professor Eloise Scotford (Dean of Faculty of Laws), Professor Jennifer Hudson (Dean of Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences) and Andy Smith (interim Vice President (Operations)) - Professor Eloise Scotford (left), Professor Jennifer Hudson (Centre) and Andy Smith (Right)

Today UCL announced the appointment of Andy Smith as interim Vice President (Operations), alongside the appointments of Professor Eloise Scotford as Dean of the Faculty of Laws and Professor Jennifer Hudson as Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences.

Following approval by its governing council, UCL is delighted to announce the appointments of Professor Eloise Scotford as Dean of the Faculty of Laws and Professor Jennifer Hudson as Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences. Alongside this, UCL can also announce that Andy Smith has been appointed as interim Vice President (Operations).  

UCL’s University Management Committee ratified the appointments of Professor Eloise Scotford as Dean of the Faculty of Laws and Professor Jennifer Hudson as Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences.  

Professor Scotford will assume the position of Dean of UCL Laws on 1 November 2022, succeeding Professor Piet Eeckhout, who will continue in his position as Academic Director of Centre for the UCL European Institute. Currently a Professor of Environmental Law, Professor Scotford is a leading scholar on the legal treatment of environmental principles, air quality law, climate change governance, waste law, and legislative and adjudicative processes as they relate to the environment.  

She served as Vice-Dean for Research from 2019-21, and in 2018-2021, she was the Faculty’s REF Lead, with the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) submission resulting in UCL Laws being ranked first in the UK for research quality. 

Professor Scotford said:  

’I am delighted to be taking on the role of Dean of Laws. UCL Faculty of Laws is a truly excellent academic institution, driven by a strong sense of social purpose and justice. It is a privilege to lead the Faculty’s brilliant community of staff and students to foster that excellence and purpose.   

"As Dean, I will be focused on ensuring that the Faculty’s teaching and research environment cultivate critical thinking, freedom of thought, time for reflection and intellectual generosity, whilst meeting the highest standards of scholarly rigour. This includes ensuring that our people - staff and students - are supported and motivated and are bringing diverse perspectives to the academic life of the Faculty.   

"I also want to acknowledge the work of our outgoing Dean, Professor Piet Eeckhout, who has led the Faculty with a steady hand for the last five years, during which time the Faculty’s vitality and strength has continued to grow, including through the challenges of the pandemic. We are fortunate to be retaining his deep expertise in EU and international economic law in the Faculty going forward.  "

Professor Jennifer Hudson is currently Professor of Political Behaviour, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences and Acting Vice-Dean for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at UCL. She is also the Director of the Development Engagement Lab , a multi-country research programme working in partnership with over 30 international development NGOs and government ministries to analyse and understand public support for aid and sustainable development.   

She has published widely on elite and mass political behaviour, including public opinion and engagement with development, support for foreign aid, and campaigns and elections. Professor Hudson’s research has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Danish Council for Independent Research, Nuffield Foundation and Leverhulme Trust 

Professor Hudson said:  

"I am honoured to be appointed Executive Dean for the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences at UCL, one of the best universities in the world. It will be a privilege to work alongside an incredibly talented group of academic, teaching, and professional services colleagues. 

"As Dean, I look forward to further developing our transformative and impactful research and education programmes, as well as the Faculty’s strategic initiatives in social data science, policy, environment, and health.  

"I would like to extend my thanks to Professor Sasha Roseneil for her outstanding leadership of the Faculty over the past four years. Supporting colleagues to deliver their best work in an environment that reflects UCL’s values, focusing on our internal enablers, and deepening our relationships across UCL and with external partners will be key priorities of my work as Dean."  

As well as today’s academic appointments, Andy Smith will temporarily assume the position of interim VP(Operations), succeeding Fiona Ryland who is leaving UCL after 5 years to take up the role of Chief People Officer in the Civil Service.  

Andy Smith joined UCL in May 2020 as Chief Information Officer (CIO) where he has led the development of UCL’s IT strategy and the planning and delivery of services and systems across the university.   

Before joining UCL, Andy was the Global CIO for Arm, one of the world’s leading technology companies, with its processor designs in more than 150 billion chips including almost every phone in the world. Prior to this, Andy spent 5 years as a Government CIO for an agency in the defence sector. He started his career at BP, where he worked for 20 years in a variety of roles and locations around the world, including 6 years in Alaska.  

In response to his appointment, Andy Smith said:  

"Having really enjoyed my time so far at UCL as CIO, I am delighted to take on the interim VPO position. Working with the VPO team I am excited to improve the wide range of services we provide and to take forward the Enablers vision as part of the UCL Strategy." 

While Andy serves the interim role, Sarah Lawson will become the interim Director of Information Services Division (ISD) in addition to her role of Chief Information Security Officer. Derfel Owen who leads the Change and Improvement and James Hetherington who leads the Centre for Advanced Research Computing (ARC) team will continue to work directly for Andy. Recruitment for the permanent [VPO] position is now underway.  

Dr Michael Spence, President and Provost of UCL said:  

’I would like to congratulate Eloise and Jennifer on their appointments to Dean of Laws and Social and Historical Sciences respectively. They are two tremendous appointments who have championed an environment for excellence in both academia and research and have fantastic visions for how their departments can grow and develop in the years to come.    

"I would also like to congratulate Andy’s appointment to interim VP (Operations), I know Andy will use his years of experience and expertise to lead the Professional Services team and continue the hard work which is so vital for the university.  

"I look forward to working with them all in their new roles."  

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