THE podcast: how to lead a university from the front

De Montfort University vice-chancellor Katie Normington talks about leadership, why change is best undertaken quickly, what ballet taught her about resilience and persistence, and how to empower others to realise their potential

Katie Normington's avatar
De Montfort University
23 May 2024
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Listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts or Google podcasts. 

Katie Normington, vice-chancellor and CEO of De Montfort University, has proved to be adept at both leading by example and change management. Not only did she join the Leicester institution during Covid amid the longest lockdown in the UK but in the three years that she has led the institution she has overseen large-scale curriculum reform. De Montfort has moved most of its undergraduate and postgraduate courses from a traditional curriculum structure to a block plan, leading to a significant boost in student satisfaction.

The way Normington, a past winner of a Times Higher Education leadership and development award, talks about leadership demonstrates the qualities she champions: clear strategic direction, communication and empowering others to lean into their strengths. This conversation covers her journey from aspiring ballet dancer to university head, early leadership challenges, and why higher education needs bold leaders, courage, creativity and agility as it faces global challenges. 

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