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Change to our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion structure and reporting

11 Jan 2021

Mehrunnisa Lalani is appointed Interim Head of EDI

Mehrunnisa Lalani

Dear colleagues

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are fundamental to the success of our University.  Whilst we have made progress in a number of areas, we know we need to do much more and act more quickly.  To enable this we plan to change the way that EDI is structured and reports in to our senior management and governance groups.

Over the coming months, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team, which is currently based in the Directorate of Human Resources, will become a new organisational unit called the Directorate for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  The team will be led by a new Director of EDI, who we are in the process of recruiting and who will report directly to me and be a part of the Professional Services Leadership Team, as well as working closely with Professor Nalin Thakkar, Vice-President for Social Responsibility who will remain our Senior Leadership Team representative on EDI matters along with other senior staff including President and Vice-Chancellor Nancy Rothwell.

The new Directorate will work closely with the existing EDI Governance Group and the high level advisory group on racial inequality and harassment which was announced in November 2020.  This change will raise the profile of our existing and new EDI activities and bring a refreshed focus to delivering our objectives and actions.  Recruiting a new Director and making this structural change will not hold up our EDI work and we will continue to deliver the actions outlined in our Race Matters report and work towards a refreshed EDI strategy.

Patrick Johnson, our current Head of EDI, will be leaving our University towards the end of January and I’d like to thank him for his commitment to this important work over a number of years.  An Interim Head of EDI has been appointed and I’m delighted to announce that Mehrunnisa Lalani will take up this role on Monday, 11 January 2021.  

Mehrunnisa has more than 25 years of experience in senior EDI roles including as Director of Inclusion at the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Head of Equality and Diversity at The Law Society and will work closely with Karen Heaton, Director of Human Resources and I to transition to our new EDI structure.

Best wishes,

Patrick Hackett, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer