Posted: Sun 12th Dec 2021

Wrexham Glyndwr University appoints new next Chair of Governors for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Dec 12th, 2021

The board of Wrexham Glyndwr has appointed the University’s next Chair of Governors.

Current chair Maxine Penlington comes to the end of her term of office on March 31 next year, and after a detailed and robust process to find a successor, the Board has approved the appointment of Dr Leigh Griffin with effect from April 1, 2022.

Leigh has more than 30 years of experience in the NHS and other sectors in various leadership roles.

The appointment comes at a time when Glyndwr is strengthening its ties with the NHS in Wales, having secured a HEIW commission to launch a raft of new health and nursing courses which will bolster the local health workforce in the coming years.

Plans are also progressing for the development of a new Health Education and Innovation Quarter at the University’s Plas Coch campus as part of the wider Campus 2025 Masterplan, investing in facilities and specialist spaces across the university’s broad range of subjects offered such as in Business, the Arts and Engineering.

Leigh graduated with a BA in Geography from University of Wales and went on to complete his PhD in the epidemiology of mental ill-health/statistical modelling at University of Bristol.

He has led a number commissioning and commissioning support organisations, managed complex programmes of change, and has a strong track record of strategic leadership, turnaround, and transformational change. He retired from the NHS in 2016.

Having chaired numerous NHS Board meetings, Leigh demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of governance, risk, financial probity and health and performance improvement with a strong strategic focus.

During the last 10 years, he has also undertaken a range of Non-Executive and trustee roles, including since 2018 as a Non-Executive member of the Board of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust where he is Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee and acts as the Trust’s well-being guardian.

He is also a trustee for the Brandon Trust which provides support for people with learning disabilities and autism.

Leigh, who lives in Shropshire, has a passion for education and the transformational change it can make to the lives of people of all ages and social backgrounds.

Commenting on his appointment to be Wrexham Glyndwr University’s next Chair of Governors, Leigh said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join the team at Wrexham Glyndwr and support the continued growth and success of this fantastic university.

“The university is an anchor institution and I’m particularly keen on the role it has in supporting the development of communities across North East Wales. I have been greatly impressed by Wrexham Glyndwr’s commitment to social inclusion and community engagement.”

Current chair, Maxine Penlington said: “I am delighted that Leigh has been appointed by the Board of Governors to replace me as of 1 April 2022. I’m looking forward to working closely with him over the coming months to achieve a successful handover. I have every confidence that he will be a great asset to the university”

Wrexham Glyndwr University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maria Hinfelaar said: “Following nearly six excellent years with Maxine as Chair of the Board, we are now heading into a new era with Leigh taking over in a few months’ time.

“I look forward to welcoming him to the university community.”

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