David Ashton joined Royal Holloway in September 2016. He is responsible for operations strategy and, with the exception of Finance, leads the academic-related and non-academic Professional Services. He is a major contributor to academic strategy, and executive lead for student recruitment and environmental sustainability. He also fulfils the role of Secretary to Council, with responsibilities for College governance. He oversees:
- Student and Academic Services
- Academic Policy and Quality Office
- Careers and Employability Service
- Centre for the Development of Academic Skills
- Centre for Educational Development
- Library Services
- Student Administration
- Student Advisory and Wellbeing Services
- Student Engagement and Support
- Research and Innovation
- Strategic Planning and Secretariat
- Commercial Services
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Marketing and Communications
Before joining Royal Holloway, David was Vice-President (Administration) at the University of Surrey (2011-2016), Registrar at Kingston University, London (2009-2011), Joint Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Reading (2007-2008), and Sub-Dean and Faculty Senior Tutor of the Faculty of Economic & Social Sciences at the University of Reading (2004-2007). Early in his career he worked at the University of Warwick and in Japan. Early academic interests were in 16th Century political history, provincial administration in England and the Tudor system of justice.
Externally, David is the Funders’ nominee as Trustee and non-Executive Director of JISC, the UK’s digital agency for lifelong learning and research (2021-present). Former non-executive appointments include: Trustee and non-executive Director of UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (2013-2021); Trustee representative on the UCAS Council (2013-2021); and Chair of the UCAS Audit Committee (2018-2021); Vice-Chair of Corporation of West Thames College of Further and Higher Education, London (2010-2014); Member of Council of Guildford Cathedral (2014-2016); Governor at Guildford High School (2011-2016); and Trustee of GSA Conservatoire (2011-2012).
David holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree by research in Historical Research from the University of Lancaster, a Doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford and a MBA degree in Higher Education Management from the Institute of Education, University College London.