Stephanie joined the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2012 as Deputy Chief Executive (Research and Policy.) She has been Chief Executive Officer since August 2013.
During this time Stephanie has led the organisation through a period of innovation and change, shaping it to meet the needs of a newly-diversified sector. As higher education providers in the UK and internationally have increased their focus on the importance of excellent teaching in higher education, the HEA, under Stephanie's leadership, has seen an increased demand for its professional development work, accrediting courses that provide training for those who teach in HE. There are now 371 provisions and over 100 CPD frameworks accredited by the HEA in the UK and the number of HEA Fellows increases by 1000 per month. Internationally, the HEA has broken into new territories including Bahrain, New Zealand and Kazakhstan with its consultancy work.
Stephanie has also been keen to provide opportunities for the sharing of institutional approaches to learning and teaching at the highest levels, and recently introduced two new HEA programmes: the Vice-Chancellors' Strategic Enhancement Initiative, and the Executive Development Programme which is aimed at future Pro-Vice-Chancellors for learning and teaching.
Leading the HEA's research programme as Deputy Chief Executive, Stephanie commissioned work that contributed to key debates in the sector, including 'Transition to higher degrees across the UK: an analysis of national, institutional and individual differences ' by Dr Paul Wakeling and Gillian Hampden-Thompson which identified inequalities in progression to postgraduate degrees, as well as developing the HEA's unique national postgraduate student surveys. She is currently spearheading the HEA's work into teaching excellence, including sector-wide discussions about a teaching excellence framework. Previously, Stephanie was Director of Programmes with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE). She developed their leadership activities from a single programme, led the Governor Development Programme, and developed the LFHE's Professional Recognition Scheme. Stephanie was formerly Provost of the University of York and ran the Centre for Leadership and Management. As a researcher and teaching academic at the University of York, Stephanie developed the University's first development programme for academic staff - the York Certificate of Academic Practice (YCAP). Stephanie is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Manchester. She is co-editor (with Heather Fry and Steve Ketteridge) of A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Kogan Page, 1999, 2003, 2009, and 2014.)