Paul Elmer joins Westminster Business School from the University of Central Lancashire, where he was Head of Academic Development at the School of Business. 

The Westminster Business School has a large and diverse student community of 4,400 students, enrolling over 1,000 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate students each year. The School has around 200 full-time faculty and 100 visiting lecturers, making it one of the largest University business schools in the UK. Under the leadership of Professor Malcolm Kirkup, the School’s vision is to gain worldwide recognition as an internationally facing, professionally applied and research-engaged Business School.

As Associate Dean (Education) Dr Elmer will provide academic leadership for the educational mission of the School, and will ensure delivery of KPIs relating particularly to the student experience and employability outcomes as measured through the Teaching Excellence Framework. He will drive innovation in the School’s educational portfolio, and lead in opening new markets with new programme formats.

Dr Elmer is an experienced academic manager, having held senior roles in universities, as well as senior level positions in commerce and Whitehall. Since 2016, he has been Head of Academic Development in the School of Business at the University of Central Lancashire, where he was tasked with leading a step change in the School curriculum, and in quality, teaching and learning and management processes across the college. Prior to this, Dr Elmer was Head of School, Journalism, Language and Communication.

On his appointment, Paul said:

"I am delighted to be joining Westminster at such an exciting time. I feel certain that the coming period will draw heavily on my experience of leading innovation and change, but I’m looking forward to that, confident in the knowledge that I am joining a highly respected team in an unrivalled location. My previous roles include head of school, head of international programmes, and head of academic development, but none of the titles are as instructive as one important fact; I am, at heart, a teacher. I get up in the morning because I want to promote self-development and learning, in our students, in our institutions and in ourselves. I’m also a national teaching fellow, and a self-confessed enthusiast for developing courses, which remains probably my favourite part of the job.

My research interests include work, employability and labour markets. Over recent months I was invited to lead a national project to develop better graduate outcomes. This has refocused attention on the importance of links with employers, on apprenticeship, internship, and forms of course delivery and content that help students to reach their potential, not just as workers but as citizens. None of this is new to HE, of course, but today we are re-encountering it, sometimes after a gap of several decades, and under changed social conditions.

On a more personal note, I came late to higher education, as a mature student who undertook much of my own study part time alongside work. I’ve been fortunate to gain such broad experience across the sector, and I am certainly looking forward to the coming period as I join Westminster."

On his experience of working with Society, Paul commented:

"I was politely encouraged towards this role by Megan at Society, who were very fine partners in my recruitment. They were knowledgeable and thorough, which I found oddly reassuring considering I was the object of scrutiny. They were also very personable, not merely professional, and over what turned out to be a long process I feel I have established a valuable occupational relationship with people who understand what makes me tick. A nice company, with good values; each successful hire choses a charity to receive a CSR donation from their fee."