Professor at Cranfield University between Bedford and Milton Keynes receives OBE

Lynette Ryals
Lynette Ryals

A professor has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to Higher Education.

Lynette Ryals, director of Cranfield School of Management and Programme Director for the new university planned for Milton Keynes, called MK:U is also known as one of Milton Keynes’ proudest ambassadors and a true champion of the city.

Previously, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at Cranfield University, Professor Ryals was appointed Director of Cranfield School of Management in August 2017. Alongside this role, she is also leading the programme to deliver a ‘new model’ university for Milton Keynes, known as MK:U.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield University, said: “This honour is richly deserved. Lynette’s passion for higher education shines through everything she does and this is a well-merited tribute to her skill, drive and determination.

“We owe a great deal of gratitude for Lynette’s work in initiating our Mastership programme. Through Lynette’s leadership, the School of Management became the first business school to offer the Executive MBA via the apprenticeship levy. With her work at MK:U she is developing pioneering educational models that are reimagining how higher education is delivered in the 21st century.

“She is a fantastic colleague, widely respected by all at Cranfield, not only for her work with us but also for her work with the many community organisations she supports. She is one of Milton Keynes’ proudest ambassadors and a true champion of the city.”

As Director of the School of Management, Lynette has responsibility for the academic and professional staff and for the delivery of the school’s portfolio of award-bearing programmes (MBAs, MScs and doctorates) as well as customised executive development and a large portfolio of short courses.

Lynette is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Theatre Board of The Stables in Milton Keynes, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and a Fellow of the Society of Investment Professionals.

She joined Cranfield School of Management in September 1997 as a PhD student researching customer profitability and customer management practices in sales and key account management.

Her prize-winning research has been published in world-leading journals including Harvard Business Review and Journal of Marketing. More recently, she has begun researching topics relating to executive education and andragogy, looking at the most effective way to educate adult post-experience learners.

Before taking on her current role Lynette was a Professor of Strategic Sales and Account Management at Cranfield, where she was also the Director of Cranfield’s Key Account Management Best Practice Research Club (2003-2014) and the Director of the Demand Chain Management Community (2007-2014). She was Pro-Vice-Chancellor – Education of Cranfield University from 2014 to 2018.

Her professional background is in financial services (she was a registered representative of the London Stock Exchange) and management consultancy. Her consulting experience extends to public sector and large private companies, including building and construction, banking, insurance, accounting and legal, pharmaceuticals, paper manufacturing and engineering.