Professor Mike Saks is Emeritus Professor at the University of Suffolk and Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln, the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, and the University of Toronto, Canada. Until recently he held a Visiting Chair in Sociology at the University of Essex and Plymouth Marjon University. He studied for his doctorate in Sociology at the London School of Economics, where he also taught, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Knowledge Exchange, the Research Council for Complementary Medicine, and the Royal Society of Arts. He was Provost and Chief Executive at University Campus Suffolk (UCS), Senior Pro Vice Chancellor/Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln and Dean of Faculty of Health and Community Studies at De Montfort University – following over ten years contributing to the Schools of Business, Law, Public Administration and Social Sciences there. He is currently on the Board of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London – and was previously on the Executive of the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia, which owned UCS.
Professor Saks has continued to publish extensively in this context on health, professions, regulation and research methods. He has given many keynote presentations at international conferences – a number of which he has co-organised. He has also produced numerous high profile journal articles/chapters, as well as seventeen edited and single authored books with top publishers, including Researching Health: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods (2013), The Professions, State and the Market: Medicine in Britain, the United States and Russia (2015), Professions and Metaphors: Understanding Professions in Society (2016), Professions and Professional Service Firms: Private and Public Sector Enterprises in the Global Economy (2018), and Professional Health Regulation in the Public Interest: International Perspectives (2018). In addition, he is co-editor of the Policy Press series ‘Sociology of Health Professions: Future International Directions’. His work spans the social sciences, from politics and social policy to his base discipline of sociology, with high personal achievement over two decades in the Research Assessment Exercise/Research Excellence Framework in the UK.
In parallel with his long and successful career in universities – most recently helping to gain Teaching Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) and a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold Award at Rose Bruford College which has had some of the highest student satisfaction scores in the sector – Mike Saks has a strong enterprise profile. He is a member of the Innovation Council, along with many Chief Executives of major multinational corporations. He has also been a chair/member of numerous National Health Service committees at all levels – covering areas from the changing healthcare workforce to research and development. This has included being a member of, and academic adviser to, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit Committee and Suffolk NHS Primary Care Trust (PCT) in the UK. In addition, he has formally advised the UK Departments of Health and professional bodies, such as the General Medical Council and the General Social Care Council, on the regulation of health and social care professions. He has also been Chair of the UK Human Tissue Bank and the Research Council for Complementary Medicine.
Internationally, he has received research funding for studies ranging from the changing attitudes of physicians with the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow to care in the community with the University of Toronto. In 2013 he was a co-chair and speaker at the International Humanitarian Conference in Azerbaijan, with fourteen Nobel Prize winners and eight Heads of State, and gave the annual Distinguished Professor lecture at Arizona State University in the United States. In 2014 he advised the Canadian government on health policy, receiving the Best Brains Exchange Award from Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In 2015 he was invited by the Vice Provost (Academic) to the University of California to discuss with university leaders health and educational governance. In 2016 he was a professorial visitor at Wuhan University (in the top five universities in China), sponsored by the Chinese government. In 2017 he was an invited keynote speaker at high profile conferences in countries ranging from Japan to South Africa. In 2018 he became Honorary Senior Adviser on Public Sector Leadership to the United Nations (UN) and in 2019 the Institute for Responsible Leadership which he co-founded was endorsed and sponsored by the UN. He was until recently President of the International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee on Professional Groups, and is the current Vice President of the ISA Research Committee on the Sociology of Health and a Board member of several top international journals.