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Vice-Chancellor and Senior Team

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Last is joined on the management team of the University by Angela Robson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor; Professor Neil Powell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic); Angela Tubb, Academic Registrar; Professor Richard Sawdon-Smith, Dean of Media; and Professor Hilary Carlisle, Dean of Arts & Design.

Norwich University of the Arts Vice-Chancellor


Professor John Last

Professor Last joined Norwich University of the Arts in January 2009, having worked in art and design higher education since 1989. He was awarded a Chair in Art, Design & Media Education in 2008 and his work in the sector has included research on student satisfaction and the National Student Survey, having been a member of the HEFCE NSS National Steering Group. He was also a member of the group that reviewed the UK External Examining system (the Fitch Report). Other external work includes Board membership of the Higher Education Statistical Agency (since 2009) and, from 2015, the Higher Education Academy. Read Professor Last’s staff profile.


Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Angela Robson

Angela Robson graduated from Exeter in 1982 and then qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London in 1985. On qualifying she moved into investment banking, working for JP Morgan and then Goldman Sachs. In 2003, she left the City to move to Norfolk. She joined Norwich University of the Arts in 2005 and is now Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Outside the University she is a Non-Executive Director of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, a trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, a trustee of the Theatre Royal Norwich and a Director of the Diocesan Finance Board.

Neil Powell

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Professor Neil Powell

Professor Powell produces sculptural objects using a varied range of materials and idioms, from objects through to printed matter. More visible collaborations include work with Dr Michael Corris and Art & Language, (‘The Artist Out of Work’, Museum of Modern Art, New York 2000). He also works with artists as diverse as Lawrence Weiner, Alfredo Jaar, and the late Ian Hamilton Finlay, whose works formed part of the successful exhibition ‘A Spectre at The Feast’, which he curated in downtown Manhattan, New York City. Professor Powell’s sculptural and written works attempt to problematise the linguistic turn in art from the mid 20th Century onward. Of special interest are areas such as Concrete Poetry, Sculpture in all its guises, and forms of Conceptual and environmental art. Read Professor Powell’s staff profile.

NUA_Hilary_MG_3699 for web

Dean of Design and Architecture

Professor Hilary Carlisle

As Dean of Design and Architecture at NUA, Professor Carlisle is responsible for the development and academic health of the BA courses in the Faculty. She is a member of the University’s Strategic Management Group, playing a key role in advising on academic developments and future plans. She has overall responsibility for taught postgraduate courses in the University and supervises research students engaged in practice-led doctoral research. Professor Carlisle continues to be involved in design education and research and her own digital textile design practice. Read Professor Carlisle’s staff profile.


Dean of Arts and Media

Professor Richard Sawdon Smith

Professor Sawdon Smith is a member of the University’s Senior Management Group and as Dean of Arts and Media he is responsible for the leadership, organisation and management of the Faculty, which consists of courses in animation, film, games, photography and VFX. He is an internationally exhibiting and award-winning photographer. Professor Sawdon Smith is a former winner of the John Kobal/National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Award, a Board Member of The bookRoom Press & Archive, on the Editorial Panel of the Journal of Photography & Culture and Co-editor of Langford’s Basic Photography. His photographs and writing are widely published. Read Professor Sawdon Smith’s staff profile.


Find information relating to the way NUA is governed and how decisions are made. It includes information on the legal status of the institution, which individual member of staff or group within the organisation is responsible for specific functions and where they fit in the overall structure of the organisation.