Leigh Sparks is Deputy Principal with specific responsibility for internationalisation and graduate studies. He is also Professor of Retail Studies.
Leigh was a geography undergraduate at the University of Cambridge and completed his PhD on retail employment at the University of Wales.
He has been Professor of Retail Studies at Stirling since 1992. Leigh was a Visiting Professor at Florida State University from July 2000 to July 2001 and Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee from June to December 2006.
Leigh is well-known for his research into aspects of retailing. This is undertaken on behalf of public and private clients, for the research councils and for other funding bodies.
He has authored and edited a number of books, has published over 125 refereed journal articles as well as many practitioner, trade and newspaper pieces and runs a Scottish retailing blog www.stirlingretail.com.
He is Editor of the leading European retail journal, 'The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research', and on the editorial boards of a number of major marketing and management journals.
Leigh is the Chair of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the “go-to” body for Scottish Government on matters to do with Scotland’s towns.
Leigh was a member of the External Advisory Group for the Scottish Government’s National Town Centres Review and a member of the Expert Advisory Group investigating the lessons of the horsemeat scandal for the Scottish Government.
As Deputy Principal Leigh provides academic and strategic leadership in his areas of specific responsibility, internationalisation and graduate studies. Previously as the inaugural Head of the Stirling Graduate School he provided leadership and co-ordination of postgraduate provision across the University.
The new strategic plan places internationalisation at the heart of all we do and Leigh's responsibilities involve building on the strength of Stirling's international and postgraduate activities to deliver an enhanced, expanded, integrated and consistent approach across the University and enabling us to meet our ambitious strategic goals in these areas.