Vicki Nairn, Vice-Principal for Corporate Operations

Vicki Nairn


As the Vice Principal, Corporate Operations, Vicki is a member of the Executive Leadership Team of the University, managing an extensive portfolio of corporate non-academic services across the University to ensure that the institution has strong corporate services leadership delivering institutional excellence.  As part of the Executive her role is also to ensure that the University takes advantage of strategic opportunities to maximise resources and continuously improve the student experience. 

Vicki studied at the University of Wales and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (FCIPS), and Chartered Institute of Public Sector Finance (CIPFA) qualified.  Vicki started her career with the BP Group, working across the commercial environment in the UK, specialising in commerce, corporate services, procurement and finance.  Vicki has worked extensively across the private, public and education sectors, including as Head of Development for the global defence contractor BAE systems, leading commercial partnerships, and working with universities, research institutions and industry to engage and create innovation development programmes. 

Following BAE systems, Vicki moved into the public sector as Head of Strategic Procurement and Partnerships, at Lancashire County Council, leading the strategic partnerships portfolio working in a shared role between the local authority and NHS on major partnerships, strategic commissioning/engagement and strategy development between the two £700m organisations.  In 2005 Vicki joined the Executive Leadership team of the £500m Highland Council, working corporately across the organisation leading corporate services, driving change,  transformation and integration programmes in education, service delivery, health integration, economic development, community and regional engagement, digital agendas and regional infrastructure projects such as leading the Scottish Government’s £70m Pathfinder North Programme across the Highlands and Islands.  During this time Vicki worked as a professional advisor to the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate and Ofcom including giving evidence to parliamentary enquiries and being a member of the Scottish Government’s Cross Party Group on Digital Participation, together with providing robust governance and control leadership at The Highland Council.  During her time at The Highland Council, Vicki worked extensively on the commercial and legal integration of the health and social care integration agenda between the local authority and NHS.  Other key achievements were leadership of the Smart Cities programme and City Deal, and leveraging regional and national public sector procurement to deliver economic development across the region.  In 2012 Vicki delivered new strategic learning outcomes for every school in the Highland Region, working closely with organisations such as Google, Microsoft and Apple alongside teachers, educationalists, communities and management teams to create a digital educational platform

Vicki has been appointed as a non-executive director to the boards of the University of the Highlands and Islands and the Glasgow School of Art providing strategic leadership and governance at institution level.  

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