Vice-Principal (Governance)

Responsibilities of the Vice-Principal (Governance) include:

  • secretary to University Court and General Council
  • managerial responsibility for the Court and Senate office
  • oversight of health and safety and management responsibility for EHSS
  • compliance with the code of governance
  • convener of the University Teaching and Research Ethics Committee (UTREC)
  • convener of trade unions consultative committee
  • oversight of complaints and appeals handling
  • risk management
  • information governance

Alastair Merrill

The current Vice-Principal (Governance) is Alastair Merrill. He has held this role since 2015.

Vice-Principal (Governance and Planning) Alastair Merrill

Alastair has held the position of Vice-Principal (Governance) since 2015, with responsibility for compliance, risk management and the efficient operation of the University’s governance structures.

Originally trained as a historian at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Alastair joined the civil service fast stream in 1986, and served in a variety of posts in Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Office, including secondments to the private sector and the UN peacekeeping force in the former Yugoslavia. In 1996 he left the UK civil service to work as a private secretary to NATO’s Secretary General in Brussels, advising on NATO enlargement, relations with the former Soviet Union, and refugee issues during the Kosovo crisis.

In 2001, he was recruited as a Senior Civil Servant and moved to Scotland where postings included running Educational Analytical Services, Change Management, Police Policy and as Corporate Services Director in the Scottish Prison Service. From 2009 to 2015 he served as the Scottish Government’s Chief Procurement Officer and Commercial Director, overseeing a major programme of reform of public procurement. He continues to provide advice to governments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on the reform of procurement to tackle fraud and corruption, encourage SMEs as drivers of economic growth, and placing sustainability at the heart of public purchasing.