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Durham University

About Durham University

Stephen Willis, Chief Financial Officer


The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the financial strategy of the University. He provides direction and oversight, and drives financial and operating performance to ensure the financial sustainability of the University.

As Chief Financial Officer, Stephen advises on major capital projects and other investments, and he provides oversight following our success in securing £225 million of borrowing through a private placement, our first capital markets issue.

Professional background and expertise

Stephen joined Durham University in April 2019 from the University of Hull, where he served as Chief Financial Officer.

Before that he was Director of Finance and Resources at Leeds Beckett University and the Head of Group Financial Planning at the University of Leeds. He has also worked in the printing and computer software industries.

Stephen was named Finance Director of the Year 2018 at the Yorkshire Accountancy Awards, having won the Finance Director of the Year (not for profit organisations) award at the Northern Finance Director Awards in 2017.

Education and qualifications

Stephen has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) since 1996, having qualified whilst working for the University of Leeds.