Dianne successfully championed the development of York St John University from a modest two-site traditional teacher-education college, to become by 2010 a thriving University with a turnover of £40M and a student population of 6K. Working with Governors, staff and students she led a modernisation agenda which involved sound judgement in the shift to one campus in York; mobilising collective will and activity towards achieving university status; and a re-invention of estate through new-build and refurbishment, giving visibility to a new and distinctive identity – building partnerships and relocating traditional strengths within inspirational new learning spaces and new learning programmes.
At the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education from 2011 to 2014 Dianne revitalised the Governor Development Programme to strengthen partnerships with the Chairs of University Councils and with NUS; and to address contemporary challenges in university governance.
In the NHS and in the voluntary sector in York Dianne addresses the contemporary challenges of supporting the impact of demographic change and promoting successful ageing – involving work around independent living with long term conditions, living with dementia and securing appropriate end-of-life care; and with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation she is committed to a vision and practical agenda for solving UK poverty.
A particularly rewarding part of Dianne’s current agenda is successfully advising and mentoring junior and mid-career women (and men) to raise levels of ambition and achieve their potential.
2009 York Press Business Awards: Lifetime Achievement
2010 Deputy Lieutenant North Yorkshire
2012 Honorary Doctorate Sheffield Hallam University
2017 Honorary Fellow Rose Bruford College
2018 Honorary Doctorate York St John University