Accessibility statement

Dr Adam Dawkins

University Secretary


I joined the University of York in June 2019 to take up the newly-created role of Head of Governance and Assurance. I became Acting University Secretary in September 2020 and was appointed to the new position of University Secretary in December 2020.

Prior to joining the University, I was Head of Governance and Secretary to the Board of Governors at Northumbria University, Newcastle from 2011 and Assistant Registrar and Assistant Secretary to Council at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) for three years prior to that.

I have worked in the Higher Education sector since graduating from my undergraduate degree. My career began at the British Academy Humanities Research Board (which later became the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)), followed by academic quality management and policy roles at the University of London International Programmes and the Royal College of Art (RCA).

As University Secretary I am the lead professional support services steward of effective governance at the University, providing specialist and expert advice to both the Vice-Chancellor and President and Chair of Council. My role includes being Secretary to University Executive Board, Council, Senate and Court. My role sits within the Vice-Chancellor’s Department and I report directly to the Vice-Chancellor and President and to the Chair of Council (in my capacity as Secretary to Council).

I lead the Governance and Assurance Team, which is also based in the Vice-Chancellor’s Department.

Publications and qualifications

Publication in books, journals and online

Educational Management Administration and Leadership (2018) I have published in the field of governance policy and practice including research-based journal articles in 

Trustee Responsibilities in Higher Education (Advance HE, 2017)

Governing Higher Education Today: International Perspectives (Routledge, 2019) - chapter on the public good(s), public benefit and public interest in HE.

I have also written thought pieces for WonkHE, THE and ICSA.


I have presented at multiple Advance HE governor development events. 


  • First-Class Honours Degree in English from the University of Reading
  • MA with Distinction in Modern Literature from Birkbeck, University of London
  • Doctor in Education research degree in the field of HE governance from UCL's Institute of Education (IoE)
  • Currently completing modules and examinations for the Institution of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators qualifying programme to secure Chartered Secretary status

Contact details

Dr Adam Dawkins
University Secretary
Governance and Assurance Office

Tel: +44 (0)1904 326424