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New appointments to York’s Executive Board

Posted on 12 January 2022

The University of York has made three key appointments to its Executive Board, including two new Faculty Deans and a new Director of Technology, Estates and Facilities.

Pictured (l to r) Harvey Dowdy, Professor Karen Rowlingson and Professor Andy Dougill

Professor Karen Rowlingson has been appointed as the new Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, while Professor Andy Dougill has been appointed as the new Dean of the Faculty of the Sciences. Both will start their roles in May.

Harvey Dowdy will join the University in April as Director of Technology, Estates and Facilities (DTEF). 


Professor Rowlingson joins York from the University of Birmingham where she is currently Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement and Impact) and previously Deputy Head of the College of Social Sciences. 

Professor Rowlingson said: “'I am tremendously excited about the prospect of leading such an impressive group of social scientists and working with everyone at the University of York to bring to life its important goal of being a university for public good.”

Professor Andy Dougill is joining from the University of Leeds where he is currently the Dean for Global Development, having recently completed two terms at Leeds as the Executive Dean of Faculty of Environment (2013 - 2021) and Head of School of Earth and Environment (2008 - 2013).


Professor Dougill said: “York has such a strong reputation and this is an exciting opportunity to join, at a time of real need for scientific advances to help in addressing social and environmental grand challenges. It will be an honour and privilege to draw on all the experience and energy of York’s science community.”

Harvey Dowdy joins the University from the University of Lincoln where she holds the role of Director of Estates and Facilities. 

Harvey Dowdy said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to this role and I am very much looking forward to meeting and working with colleagues and students across the University and external stakeholders. I qualified as a surveyor while working for the City of York Council in 1990 and our family home is in the City, so I am also looking forward to spending more time in this very special place”.


Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery said: “I am very much looking forward to welcoming Karen, Andy and Harvey to York at this crucial time, as we turn strategy into action. These are three excellent appointments and York is very proud to attract such exceptional knowledge and experience.

“They will all play such a central role to our mission as a University for public good; Harvey’s career spans public and private sectors and she will bring a wealth of very relevant experience, and the Faculty Deans have a key role in managing opportunities across our academic departments and driving the Faculty’s contribution to our strategic ambitions.

“My thanks to Warren Forsyth, who will be in post as Interim Director of DTEF to support the handover. There will be opportunities to thank Professor Stuart Bell and Professor Brian Fulton in time, but I am grateful for their help in ensuring a smooth transition and we have agreed the new Deans will work alongside the current Deans during the remainder of their term of office.” 


Further information:

Professor Rowlingson is a member of the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Birmingham, Chair of the Social Policy Association, and a member of the REF 2021 sub-panel for Social Work and Social Policy.

After studying Modern History at Oxford University and Sociology at the LSE, Professor Rowlingson then worked at the Policy Studies Institute in London before becoming an academic at the Universities of Derby and Bath prior to joining Birmingham in 2007. 

From 2010-2012, she was the Vice Chair of the ESRC's Research Committee and Chair of its Grants Delivery Group. Professor Rowlingson was Founding Director of CHASM (the Research Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management).

Professor Dougill has undertaken a wide variety of Leadership roles at all levels throughout his career with Leeds, culminating in the Executive Dean appointment and serving on the University Executive Group.

Professor Dougill will become a member of the Department of Environment and Geography at York. He is a dryland environmental change researcher who has developed research approaches that integrate a range of disciplines including soil science, ecology, climate change, development studies and environmental social sciences.

Harvey Dowdy spent five and half years as Deputy Director of Estates & Buildings at the University of Durham, prior to joining the University of Lincoln. While at Lincoln, she worked closely in conjunction with Directors of H&S and ICT to deliver a safe and compliant digital and physical estate.

Having undertaken her Bachelors degree in Mediaeval Archaeology at University College London, Harvey went on to complete an M.Phil in Land Management with the University of Reading. She is both a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Since 2018 she has sat on the Executive Committee of the Association of University Directors of Estates

She is a Trustee of the Historic Lincoln Trust and has sat on committees overseeing the management of Durham Cathedral and currently holds the position of Lay Canon and Lay Master of the Fabric at Lincoln Cathedral. 




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