Senior Leadership Team - Writtle University College

Senior Leadership Team

Senior Management Team

Dr Steve Waite

Dr Steve Waite


Responsible for the leadership, management and strategic direction of the Writtle University College, Dr Stephen Waite joined Writtle in April 2013.

Dr Waite has a distinguished academic career and has held academic and senior posts within prestigious institutions including University of Brighton, Birkbeck College University of London, the University of Westminster and the University of Sussex. Prior to joining Writtle he was Vice Principal (Higher Education) at Hartpury College and Associate Dean at the University of the West of England.

He has a passion for science, especially plant ecology and plant science, and has supervised 16 PHD students through to successful completion. His academic credentials are underpinned by commercial experience, including as a botanical and environmental consultant.

During his time leading teams at both further and higher education levels, he has developed many international links and has been involved in a number of global joint education ventures including in India, Malaysia, China and Vietnam. He has taught for the National State Mongolia University and carried out project work in the Ukraine.

Dr Waite is an advocate of the strength and diversity that specialist colleges and Universitys bring to education, creating life choices and opportunities through their breath of vocational courses outside of traditional portfolio offering.

Lesley Graham

Lesley Graham

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Lesley has overall responsibility for the strategic leadership, management and efficient operation of all academic programmes (both HE and FE) at Writtle University College. She is also responsible for ensuring the University College has appropriate and effective quality assurance procedures in place and also leads on and coordinate communication and liaison with external quality assurance bodies, including Ofsted and QAA.

Previously at Barking & Dagenham College as Vice Principal of Curriculum and the Learner Experience, Lesley has 20 years’ experience in the Education sector, having started her career teaching Business and ICT on a part time basis at Sutton Coldfield College (now Birmingham Metropolitan College). She was a Senior Lecturer at Tamworth and Lichfield College (now South Staffordshire College) before becoming Head of Quality and Curriculum at Hertford Regional College, and then taking the post of Director of Foundation Learning.

Catriona Wood

Catriona Wood

Director of Business & Finance

Catriona has overall responsibility for the University College’s finances, including all aspects of financial control, reporting and compliance. Significantly, this is a broader strategic role wearing a "commercial and business hat", working as a key member of the senior management team to help generate new income and to drive the University College successfully forward in the medium to longer term.

Catriona qualified as a chartered accountant in 1989 and joins the Writtle with a broad ranging experience, initially in professional practice and latterly in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. In 2002 she left Baker Tilly’s Corporate Finance team (London) and in 2003 took up a position with an Essex based horticultural company. Five years later, in 2008 she moved into private healthcare, joining Nuffield Health’s Brentwood Hospital where she worked until 2013 when she was appointed as Director of Finance for a prestigious private hospital in London. During her time in healthcare she has successfully driven an agenda to increase the overall surplus for reinvestment whilst enhancing, rather than compromising, the level of service.

With children of her own and a family background firmly in academia, Catriona is passionate about good education. She joined the Writtle team in March 2015.

Janine Rusbridge

Janine Rusbridge

Director of Human Resources

As the Director of Human Resources, Janine is responsible for delivering a proficient Human Resources service, promoting good practice in people management, supported by the existence of processes and policies which ensure that Writtle University College remains legally compliant and maintains a strong focus on enhancing the student experience through the delivery of inspiring education underpinned by effective performance management.

Janine is also the senior staff member of Writtle's management team with lead responsibility for Safeguarding, supported by the Head of Learner Services and Safeguarding Panel.

A fully qualified member of the CIPD holding Chartered Member status, with an Honours degree in Business Studies, Janine, joined the organisation in 2005 having previously developed her HR Management career for 9 years in the private sector Luxury Hotel Industry.

Bridget Sumner

Bridget Sumner

Director of Estate, Property & Facilities Management

Bridget is responsible for the strategic leadership and day-to-day management of the Estate, Property and Facilities Management operations. The broad remit encompasses the Property and Facilities Department, the Farm, Equine Resources, Grounds Maintenance, Accommodation, Warden team, Catering and Bar Services, Conference and Events, Health and Safety and Transport. In addition, she is responsible for the development of the University College’s Estate Strategy and Master Plan. Bridget joined Writtle in September 2014.

Bridget has 25 years’ experience in the HE sector, most recently at the University of Reading as Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities. Prior to this she held various facility management roles at St John’s College in Cambridge, the University of Bath, the University of Warwick and Brasenose College in Oxford.

 Jane Sullivan

Jane Sullivan

PA to the Vice-Chancellor

Jane is responsible for the smooth running of the Vice-Chancellor’s office, and providing a proactive and efficient interface with visitors, students and staff. She supports the Vice-Chancellor in his leadership initiatives to meet University College targets and deliver on strategic goals, and manages the administration of senior management team meetings.

Before joining Writtle, Jane worked in local Government (Libraries and Planning) and also for a diverse range of employers including a chartered surveyors practice, a builders’ merchant, British Telecom, an investment bank and a confirming house.

Jane joined Writtle University College in 2003 and held other roles within the University College before becoming PA to the Vice-Chancellor. She sees herself as an enabler, and is happy to be contacted about any University College related matter.

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