Mr. Chris Cobb

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Chris Cobb, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary, University of London

Starting his career as an Oracle Analyst Programmer in the late 1980’s, Chris Cobb has reached senior positions at three universities: Director of Business Systems and Services at the LSE, Pro Vice Chancellor at Roehampton and Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of London. He is well known in the UK Higher Education (HE) sector as a leading innovator in the use of technology in universities. In the 1990’s, at the LSE he selected and led the first implementation of the Tribal-SITS student record system which is now the market leader in the UK and used worldwide.

In the early 2000’s he led ground breaking initiatives introducing WEB2.0 technologies to improve student experience and reduce costs for which he won the UCISA Award for Excellence and the EUNIS Elite award for Excellence. Later that decade, he successfully won funding to lead work on the use of Services Orientated Architecture and Enterprise Architecture in enhancing interoperability standards and change management in Higher Education.

Chris chaired the Corporate Systems Group of the UK’s HE IT Association (UCISA) between 2003 and 2005; he was a founding member of JISCInfoNet; chair of a UCAS working group on Postgraduate Admissions 2005-2007 and in 2008 he advised on the IT integration arising from the merger of three universities in Strasbourg. Between 2007 and 2010 he led and taught an “HE IT Leadership” module for the European Network of University Leaders (HUMANE).

Chris is a leading advocate on the benefits of sharing services across universities, speaking at numerous conferences nationally and internationally. He served on the HEFCE Shared Services Board between 2006-2010; he has won funding to support various national shared services projects and he contributes to the UUK Leadership Foundation Efficiency Exchange. He is currently leading a programme to expand the range of services provided by the University of London in partnership with business.

Chris is a member of the UK’s AHUA National Executive; UUK Cyber Security Advisory Group, Ovum’s Conference Advisory Group, Oracle’s EMEA Strategy Council and has been a judge on the Times Higher Awards since 2009. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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