Ian Blachford

Chief Operating Officer at Staffordshire University

Ian Blachford

Ian is the Chief Operating Officer at Staffordshire University and a member of the University’s Executive Team. He is a senior postholder as defined by the Instrument and Articles of Government.

Ian reports to the Board of Governors and its sub-committees on key areas of University activity related to the responsibilities of his post.

He is responsible for leading on the development and delivery of the University’s organisational development agenda, with key features including resource planning, performance management, reward and recognition, culture and working environment, leadership development and talent management. Ian has Executive-level responsibility for Student Experience and the oversight of the delivery of the Student Experience Strategy.

As well as these two major areas Ian is Executive lead on Student Recruitment & Admissions, ensuring that we maximise every opportunity to recruit students against our targets, in accordance with the Recruitment Strategy.

Ian is also Project Champion of the Student Systems Project – a cross-organisational project which will replace the student database with the SITS vision software which will have a transformational impact upon the student experience and our ways of working.

He leads and manages the Student Recruitment function, Student Office and University’s Personnel Services (including Personnel Management, Professional Development, Diversity and Payroll). In additiona, Ian leads our partnership working arrangements with the two recognised unions UCU and UNISON and is responsible for health and safety within the institution.

Together with these roles, he is also Clerk to the Board of Governors.

Professional memberships and activities

Ian is a member of our Executive and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and sits on various committees. He chairs, amongst others, the Joint Union Management Committee with UCU and UNISON, Recruitment Strategy Group, Health & Safety Committee and the Student Systems Project Board. In relation to the Board of Governors Committee Meetings, he attends all sub-committees and full Board of Governor meetings.

In addition, he is Vice-Chair of the Corporation for Stafford College, chairing the Curriculum and Standards Committee and Post Inspection Action Plan Group, and a member of the Search & Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee, and the full Corporation.


Ian went to the University of Hull to study a BA(Hons) Business Studies in 1990. Affter graduating in 1993 he continued his studies and gained an MA in Human Resource Management.

He went on to work in a number of areas of the public sector including district, county and unitary councils, all within the field of personnel/human resources. In 1997 Ian became the Head of Human Resources for a college of Further Education, before leaving and joining the University as Personnel Manager in 2001. Since then he has been Head of Personnel (2003), Director of Human Resources (2004), Director of Human Resources and a member of Executive since 2007 and was redesignated to Executive Director of Corporate Services from 2014.

Please contact:

Executive Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer
Emily Smith
Email: emily.smith1@staffs.ac.uk
Tel: 01785 353299