Professor Frank Sanderson

A black and white photo of Frank in a sports hall.

Professor Frank Sanderson spent nearly four decades working at LJMU and is one of the pioneering team that launched the sport science degree at the then Liverpool Polytechnic. He went on to hold many different senior management roles as we became a university, always with his focus on providing the best possible experience and opportunities for our students.

The 1970s marked the growth of sport science as a new discipline, something that remains a key strength at LJMU today with the thriving School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. In 1975, Liverpool Polytechnic became the first institution in the world to host a single honours programme in sport science, founded and led by Dr Vaughan Lancaster-Thomas alongside Frank and Professor Tom Reilly. Frank oversaw the enrolment of the first group of students to undertake the degree as he was the admissions tutor in September 1975.

Frank lectured in sports psychology for many years before becoming increasingly involved in management, first as head of the Department of Sports Sciences and then as Director of the School of Health Sciences. It would be remiss not to mention that Frank himself is also an athlete, once competing as a county squash player.

“The epitome of a ‘good citizen’, you would often find him at LJMU’s social and corporate events from JMSU balls and graduations to teaching and learning events as a friendly and familiar face of the senior leadership team. Renowned for his good humour and good spirit, he is always a pleasure to be around and continues to be an excellent role model for many LJMU staff and students.”

– Aly Leigh, Head of Operations with the Faculty of Science

In 1991, he was awarded a professorship, and after the polytechnic achieved university status, he held a number of senior positions, including university Dean, Director of Liverpool Business School, and at the time of his retirement in 2011, Executive Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor.

Aly Leigh added: “Even way back long before we had the Office for Students, Frank put the student experience at the front and centre of university life.  Working tirelessly to ensure that the students had a fair deal and could expect the very best during their time here. Later in his career he mentored and guided many of JMU’s Student Leadership Team, working hard to ensure that the student voice was heard loud and clear in all our decision making.”

During his time at LJMU, Frank also led on many of the orations when Honorary Fellows were installed at ceremonies at Liverpool Cathedral.