Staff profile

Sarah Setchell

Chief People Officer


Office of the Vice-Chancellor


I joined the University in June 2019 originally as Director of HR and subsequently becoming Chief People Officer.  I am a member of University Executive Board and lead the department of People Experience and Culture, a professional services department focussed on engaging and enabling our workforce to succeed.  Our goal is to attract people whose values align with ours with a diversity of personal and professional experiences and perspectives to bring challenge and innovation into our organisation.  We aim to support colleagues to provide the best service and experience to our students and other internal and external stakeholders whilst also enabling people to achieve their own career and personal goals in an environment that respects and values everyone’s contributions.

We are part of an academic community and play a key role in growing and developing the quality and success of our academic performance through attracting talent and potential, ensuring opportunity to progress careers are available and clear and that we support the organisation in developing a talent pipeline in support of our academic goals.  

People Experience and Culture is made up of the following core departments:

Human Resources including: 

Talent, Culture and Inclusion including:

And Health, Safety and Wellbeing

I sit on the National Executive Committee of UHR (Universities HR) and the UCEA Health and Safety Committee.     

Prior to joining the University, I was Executive Director of People and Organisational Development at De Montfort University, having previously had the role of Deputy and HR Business Partner.

Before moving into higher education, I worked as an Organisational Development Adviser at Gateshead Council. I also spent five years working at Sainsbury's in a variety of leadership and management roles, having completed its Graduate Management Training scheme. I ended my time with the company as a Business Performance Manager. I also worked for the Civil Service as a leader of assessment and appeals teams.