Professor Geoff Layer joined the University in August 2011 from the University of Bradford where he was Pro Vice-Chancellor and then Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
Geoff has always been active regionally, nationally and internationally. On a national level, Geoff is the Chair of the Disabled Students’ Commission. Geoff is also currently Chair of the Student Loans Company Stakeholder Forum, a Trustee of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning, a Trustee of the Worker's Educational Association (WEA), a Director of Advance HE and Chair of the Advance HE Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Previously he was a member of the QAA's Degree Awarding Powers Committee.
Regionally Geoff is a Director of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, Vice-President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chair of Universities West Midlands (UWM), Director of the West Midlands Growth Company, a governor for the Telford College Corporation.
Between 2000 and 2006 he was the Director of Action on Access, an agency established to advise HEFCE on its Widening Participation Strategy. He has been a consultant to Universities UK, Higher Education Quality Council and many universities in Widening Participation and Learning and Teaching Strategies. He was also Director of the HEFCE Innovations Co-ordination Team from 2000-2002 and has researched and published widely on Inclusive Education.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of Leeds College of Music and was awarded the OBE for services to Higher Education in 2003.
He was educated in the North East of England and in Soham, Cambridgeshire. He is a Sunderland supporter and plays cricket for Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club.