Meet the Governors

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Professor Nick Braisby, male governor

Professor Nick Braisby BA PhD CPsyhol AFBPsS PFHEA

Chair of Governors

Professor Nick Braisby is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer at Buckinghamshire New University, having been appointed to the position in February 2019.

He joined Bucks New University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor in September 2017 from the University of West London where he had held the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor since 2013. 

Professor Braisby is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has held posts at London South Bank University, the University of Winchester, the Open University and London Guildhall University.He studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and then read for a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh. Prof Braisby obtained a British Academy postdoctoral research fellowship held at the London School of Economics.

Anita Cranmer

Bucks County Council Representative


Russ Brittain

Taylor Wimpey Representative

Chair Search & Select Committee

Russ, currently Head of Human Resources, has been with Taylor Wimpey since May 2001 in a number of HR roles.

Prior to moving to the House Building Industry Russ has worked in the Financial Services sector in both customer facing and HR roles.

With the increasing need for skilled talent in the Industry, Russ is passionate about working with the UTC to highlight and provide access to career opportunities in the Industry. The key differentiating factor from traditional recruitment sources is the UTC’s drive for students to be work ready.

Russ is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with over 20 years’ experience in the Human Resources field.

Dr Tim Coole, male governor

Dr Tim Coole

Buckinghamshire New University Representative

Bucks New University, Safeguarding and SEN Link Governor

Head of Departmental Design and Craft at Bucks New University. He has worked at the Bucks New University for the last 14 years. I am a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the RSM. He is also a member of the IED and I am actively involved with the professional accreditation of courses for the IED. He is a director of OXETA and involved with both the Oxford LEP and the Bucks LEP. Currently I hold 2 external examiner roles one with the Glasgow Caledonian University, and the other with the Asia Pacific University of Malaysia. I completed my PhD at Staffordshire University in 1998. I have worked as an engineer for more than 30 years and have supervised 8 PhD students to completion. He has run several EU projects on advanced manufacturing and have supervised student exchange programmes with several countries in Europe. He currently supervise 4 PhD students two who are about to complete. In the area of Manufacturing and Production Efficiency. He has worked with companies throughout the region including BMW, Oxford Instruments, Cobham, Instron, etc. He has published some 70 journal and conference papers and contributed to several books. He has run his own business for the last 20 years in property development. And is an active member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Karen Mitchell, female governor

Karen Mitchell

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative

Karen is the Principal and Chief Executive of Aylesbury College. Karen has a strong leadership and management background in Further Education holding a number of senior positions including Vice Principal and Director of Quality. Prior to her time in Further Education Karen worked as a nurse practitioner and manager for 17 years in the Health Service.

Karen is a passionate supporter of inclusive learning in Vocational Education and Training. Her focus is on leading an outstanding student experience which prepares students of all ages and abilities to realise their ambition and achieve long-term success in work and life. She strongly believes that Further Education should be at the heart of the community, transforming lives and driving economic and social success.Karen is a Board member of the Bucks UTC, Connexions, Bucks Education, Skills and Training (BEST) and the Bucks Thames Valley LEP Skills and Employability Board. She is a Trustee for Youth Concern. A Director of the Women’s Leadership Network, Karen is a leadership mentor and coach. Karen holds a range of teaching and coaching qualifications as well as a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management.

Alan Sherwell, male governor

Alan Sherwell

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative

Alan Sherwell retired from BT as Head of Consumer Regulation. He spent 18 years as a District Councillor including several as leader of the Council. He has over 20 years’ experience of School Governance at Primary and Secondary level and was Vice Chair of the Corporation of Aylesbury College. He is a Board Member of Buckinghamshire Learning Trust and a Trustee of four charities and has also been a Board Member of a government-sponsored local delivery vehicle.

Eric Sisi, male governor

Eric Sisi


Pupil Premium Link Governor

Eric Sisi’s international career spans 30 years of telecommunication, information technology and business experience, working in the military and Fortune 100 technology firms while based in Europe, the Middle East and North America. Eric possesses a B.Eng. in Computer Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada and a LLM in International Business Law from the University of Liverpool. Currently, Eric is Vice President Customer EMEA Customer Technical Support and Services at McAfee International (an Intel Company). Eric speaks French, English and Italian and lives in London, England.


Atiq Elias

Cisco Representative

Stephen Way, male governor

Stephen Way

Vice Chair

National Leader of Governance, Governing Body Adviser, Acting Chair (Associate Governor/Consultant)

Sarah Valentine, female

Sarah Valentine


Sonia Hothi, female governor

Sonia Hothi

Staff Governor


John McGrath

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative

Aylesbury College

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Paula Kavanagh

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative


David Oxley

McAfee Representative

Ken Mcrea, male governor

Ken McCrea

Buckinghamshire New University Representative

Ken McCrea has had a varied career, initially graduating in Psychology from Hull University, with a particular interest in both Clinical and Environmental Psychology. In 1978, he joined a major London advertising agency, McCann Erickson where he spent 8 years working on a number of high profile accounts, such as Kodak, RAF, Nestle, Martini Rossi, British Tissues and Levi’s. He then left to join a smaller agency as Client Services Director and then moved on to be Managing Director at Golley Slater & Partners, running the London office. In 1990, he started his own advertising/design agency, Mayhew Harper McCrea, based in Covent Garden and which he ran successfully as CEO until 2002.  

After 25 years in the London Advertising business, Ken decided it was time for a change and moved himself and his family out to Oxfordshire to run traditional golf club based near Henley-on-Thames. In 2009 Ken became self employed and devised a number of small entrepreneurial ventures and business consultancies, using his marketing, advertising, business development and internet experience to the full.  

He has been a governor of Bucks New University since 2012, is also a director of BEST (Buckinghamshire Education, Skills and Training) and was a governor of Wallingford School for 9 years, was Chair of Governors (2016/18) and was a Trustee/Director of the Merchant Taylors Oxfordshire Academy Trust.  He also sits on his local Parish Council.

Dr Ramesh Marasini, male governor

Dr Ramesh Marasini

Buckinghamshire New University Representative

Ramesh is the Associate Head of the School of Art, Design and Performance and  an engineering lead at Bucks New University. He is a Chartered Engineer and a senior fellow of Higher Education Academy. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

Ramesh has over 20 years of international experience, transitioning from industrial roles in design, planning and management of building and infrastructure projects into academia in higher education. Ramesh obtained his PhD in 2002 from Teesside University, UK and specialises in construction engineering and management  covering areas such as building information modelling (BIM), simulation modelling, project management and lean construction. He has written numerous papers in international journals and conferences.

Silhouette of a female person

Professor Rachel Cragg

Buckinghamshire New University Representative

To learn about our governor’s interests, please click here.