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New Heads of Department at Warwick

Meet the new Heads of Academic Departments who have taken up their roles over the course of 2019, or are due to start during the new academic year.

Professor Andrew Sanders
School of Law

Andrew Sanders

Andrew took up the role of Head of Department in January 2019.

Joining Warwick from the University of Sussex, where he had been Head of the School of Law, Politics and Sociology since July 2015, Andrew is a Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology. He has previously worked at the University of Bristol, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham, University of Oxford and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Andrew’s research is in the area of criminal justice: prosecutions, suspects’ rights, police powers, courts, victims of crime. He has also done policy work and published on legal education.

Find out more about Andrew

Learn more about the School of Law

Professor Jon Forster
Department of Statistics

Jon Forster

Jon took up the role of Head of Department in July 2019.

Jon joined the University in July 2019 as Head of Department of Statistics, having previously spent over 20 years at the University of Southampton, where he had been Head of School of Mathematical Sciences since 2016.

Jon has a range of interests in methodological and computational statistics, including statistical inference and prediction under model uncertainty, and statistical inference for categorical data. He has worked in a wide range of application areas, most recently focusing on applications in demographic estimation and forecasting, including advising the Office for National Statistics on mortality estimation and projection. From January 2020 he will be Vice-President (academic affairs) of the Royal Statistical Society and is a former recipient of the Society’s Guy medal in bronze.

Find out more about Jon

Learn more about the Department of Statistics

Professor Kate Astbury
School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Kate Astbury

Kate took up the role of Head of Department in September 2019.

A Professor of French Studies, Kate’s research focuses on French culture during the period 1750-1815 and in particular the connections between aesthetics and politics in theatre and prose during the Revolution and the Napoleonic era.

Kate was awarded a University award for Public Engagement in 2019, in part for her work with the English Heritage property Portchester Castle, and a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence in 2007. She has been at Warwick for 20 years and has previously been Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Impact, and Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach for the School of Modern Languages & Cultures.

Find out more about Kate

Learn more about the School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla
School of Cross-Faculty Studies

Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla

Stéphanie took up the role of Head of School in September 2019.

Stéphanie joined Warwick’s Global Sustainable Development programme in May 2017, before which she worked at Aston University, Wingate University and Princeton University.

Stéphanie’s research focuses on Caribbean Studies from an interdisciplinary point of view, bridging the areas of Cultural Studies, Sociology and Oral History. Her teaching experience lies mainly within the field of Latin American and Caribbean studies and Human Rights within a Latin American and Caribbean context. Stéphanie is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Find out more about Stéphanie

Learn more about the School for Cross-Faculty Studies

Professor Derrick Watson
Department of Psychology

Derrick Watson

Derrick takes up the role of Head of Department in January 2020.

He has previously served as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Psychology and is currently the Deputy Head of Department.

Derrick's research focuses on the topics of visual attention and perception. His research questions include: How do we search for and find relevant visual information? What makes certain types of stimuli and events capture our attention? What kinds of things distract us and what causes ‘failures of attention’? What are the limits of our attentional systems? How do our emotions influence what we see? How do we respond in VR environments?

He has applied this research to areas including road safety, driver performance and driving simulation.

Find out more about Derrick

Learn more about the Department of Psychology

Caroline MeyerNew Faculty Chair

Professor Caroline Meyer took up post as the new Chair of Faculty for Science, Engineering and Medicine from 1 August 2019.

Learn more about Caroline and the role of the Faculty Chair

What does a Head of Department do?

The role of Head of Department at Warwick is critical to the University’s success, where individuals provide academic leadership for all departmental activities.

They set the strategic direction for the department, and have responsibility for planning and resourcing academic and support functions, for ensuring an excellent environment for students, and for ensuring a positive environment in which colleagues can perform strongly and promote both research and teaching excellence.

Reporting to the Provost, Christine Ennew, they work collaboratively with Faculty Chairs and members of the University Executive Board, as well as the wider University community.

They represent the department to public and private audiences - nationally and internationally, and develop networks to promote the work of the department.

These roles are typically appointed on a fixed term basis of three years, with the majority of appointments being made from existing faculty.

Resources for Heads of Academic Departments

A resource page for new Heads of Academic Departments has been developed to provide easy access to a range of web pages and information useful for those in this role.