Diane Aderyn, Director of Finance and Commercial Services, and Tess Ridge, Professor of Social Policy and Deputy Head of the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, have both been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Diane receives the award for services to higher education, Tess for services to social sciences.

Finances turned around

Diane Aderyn was appointed Director of Finance in 1993 and under her guidance the University has moved from regular annual deficits in the 1990s to the surpluses which have enabled the major investments in facilities, staff and infrastructure which have underpinned our current success.

Diane said: ”I am very honoured to receive this award, which is a wonderful surprise. I believe passionately in the ability of higher education to transform lives through education and research and it has been a privilege to have been able to contribute to the success of the University of Bath over the past 23 years.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, commented “Diane richly deserves this recognition of her outstanding management and transformation of the University’s financial position over so many years.”

Alongside her contribution as a member of the University’s Senior Management Team and in leading several professional services, Diane has given generously of her time in a voluntary capacity in the Bath area. For 19 years she represented the University as Trustee of the Herschel House Trust and is now a Trustee of the Bath Preservation Trust having also served as a Trustee of the Bath Festivals Trust. She has been a church treasurer for 19 years.

Research into childhood poverty

Professor Tess Ridge has been at the University since arriving as a mature student to study social policy and administration in the mid-1990s. Her doctorate research, published as Childhood Poverty and Social Exclusion: From a Child's Perspective, quickly became a widely read and much cited book. She was appointed as a lecturer in 2000, reader in 2011 and professor in 2012.

Contrary to accepted academic and policy positions, which saw children as passive victims of poverty or used adults to provide information about the impact of poverty in childhood, Tess approached the issue from a child-centred perspective. Her ground-breaking research has produced new theoretical insights, based on children’s lives and experiences.

Professor Ridge’s impact on government policy has been substantial, especially the 2010 Child Poverty Act. She has helped local government to devise plans to tackle child poverty, working also with groups like the Children's Society and the Child Poverty Action Group. She has been an adviser to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union.

Tess said: “I am delighted that my work has been recognised in this way, it reflects the considerable support that I have received since I started my academic career at the University of Bath. I am grateful to all those who have collaborated with me in my research. In particular my thanks go to the many disadvantaged children who have generously shared their experiences of poverty with me. Their accounts have greatly enhanced our understanding of the corrosive impact of childhood poverty in affluent societies.”

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University of Bath’s success is rooted in its people, staff and students. Tess Ridge is a great example - an inspiring teacher, generous with her time, encouraging the next generation of social policy experts. Her work is an outstanding example of how robust and rigorous research can influence policy at all levels.”