Tom is Emeritus Professor of Personal and Professional Development at the University of Brighton. Until he retired from the university he was Head of Research at the Business School and before that he headed up the Management Development Research Unit. He was also a committed and successful teacher being featured in an article in the 'Star Turn' series of the Times Higher Education Supplement.
Tom was trained as an economist and taught economics in polytechnics for 15 years. Then he became concerned about what happened to his students after they graduated, which led to an interest in graduate destinations more generally and then other outcomes of higher education (HE). At this stage his research mostly involved developing and analysing HE statistics. For example, in the 1980s he led the team that developed the transbinary database of HE outcomes of the Council for National Academic Awards. Increasingly, his interest turned to the educational processes that were generating these large numbers, including teaching and learning methods and then to ways of including personal and professional development within HE. Other areas of research have included part-time degree courses (during the 1980s), action learning (during the 1990s) and professional doctorates (during the early 2000s). He has published over a hundred articles in academic journals and more than a dozen books.
He has always been interested in developing innovative courses and at the University of Brighton led the development of a part-time degree course in Business Studies, a university-wide research methods course leading to a postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodology, a research degree programme for the Business Faculty leading to a postgraduate Diploma in Business Research Methods and MPhil/PhD, a Masters Degree in Change Management and Doctorate in Business Administration (BDA). His most recent programme development was the Altogether programme for developing knowledge and skills for neighbourhood renewal.
Nowadays, Tom's research interests are largely focused on university education and learning and teaching methods (pedagogical research), reflective learning in HE, graduate employability, action learning, student-community engagement and the role of the university in society. He regularly reviews books and referees submitted articles to academic journals.
Tom lives in Kemp Town in the
heart of Brighton, which he loves. He is
married to Jill, who recently completed a fine art degree in sculpture, and
they have two wonderful daughters, Katie and Sally. Tom's other interests
include staying fit and healthy, spending time with Jill, reading (especially
works on 'big history', happiness, HE and human development), free-form dance,
enjoying the delights of Brighton and otherwise living a simple life.