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Professor Karen Stanton


Vice-Chancellor's Group

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor

Role at Solent

The Vice-Chancellor is responsible to the Board of Governors for the leadership, overall management, performance and strategic direction of the University. Among the main tasks of the Vice-chancellor are to provide leadership for the University community of staff and students; represent the University externally, both within the UK and overseas; compliance with all regulatory bodies. Leading and managing the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and being a key point of contact for major stakeholders who will support and impact the University: for example alumni, industry partners, policy makers, cultural organisations, donors and research funding bodies.


Professor Stanton joined Solent from her role as Vice-Chancellor at York St John University, where she delivered clear strategic leadership, driving improvements in the student experience and student outcomes, and providing strong external representation and institutional sustainability.

Prior to that, Professor Stanton was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University and has also held positions at King’s College London and at the universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Sheffield Hallam.

Her previous areas of responsibility have included Director of the Centre for e-Research, a 4* rated research team based at King's College London, responsibility for GCU’s overseas campuses in New York, Oman and Bangladesh and as a member of the United Nations Alliance-UK. She was Chair of the Cathedral’s Group and Vice Chair of GuildHE until December 2019.

Prior to her academic career Professor Stanton worked as a researcher for the BBC and the Home Office.

Professor Stanton has over 20 years' academic leadership experience having dedicated her career to enhancing and advancing life and career opportunities through education, with a particular commitment to widening access and support for all.

External bodies

  • UUK
  • Million Plus
  • Previously Chair of the Cathedral’s Group (Dec 19)
  • Previously Vice Chair of GuildHE (Dec 19)
  • A member of the UUK Taskforce on the Public Impact of Universities
  • Previously a Trustee on the UCAS Board.
  • A member of the local LEP York and North Yorkshire (Dec 19)
  • A Director of the York tourism and business development agency.
  • A patron of the Philosophical Society, the Island Charity and the Guildhall Orchestra.

Committee membership

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Group (Chair)
  • Board of Governors and its Committees
  • Academic Board (Chair)
  • Management Board (Chair)
  • Honorary Degrees Committee (Chair)