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Chief Executive | University of Northampton Students’ Union

The University of Northampton Students' Union is looking for a new Chief Executive with exceptional communication skills who can role model effective, value-based behaviours and has a hunger for growth, a desire to innovate and a passion for supporting people.

  • Location: Northampton
  • Salary: £60,000 - £70,000

About the role

We are proud to be the representative body of the 11,000 students at The University of Northampton, which is one of the youngest universities in the UK.

At Northampton, we do things differently. Our university partner wants to break the mould of what Higher Education can be, a goal we share and, with that in mind, we want to reconsider how we support our members.

In recent years, we have received significant support and funding to build a state of the art building and develop a range of fantastic commercial venues. We have also made memberships to all sports clubs and societies free of charge, one of only three UK students’ unions to do this. We took these actions to enable us to help inspire change and positively transform the lives of our students. We will continue to innovate and trial new ideas so that we can better support even more students.

Undergoing such a significant transformation has presented challenges. We are still adapting to our new settings and finding out what ways of working with new operating models are the most effective. As we approach the end of our 2018-2021 strategy, it’s time to take our learning, build on the positives and continue to make the changes and transformations needed to make us the best possible SU for our students.

Who we're looking for

We are looking for a Chief Executive with exceptional communication skills who can role model effective, value-based behaviours. It is important to us that you have a hunger for growth and development, a desire to innovate and a real passion for supporting people.

You will have the opportunity to build our next strategy and help enable us to overcome the challenges ahead. Adapting services to better engage with a student population that has changed significantly over the course of our last strategy, enhancing our commercial performance and reducing reliance on university funding will be key measures of your success.

Experience of leading change at a senior level within a students’ union, non-profit organisation and with some experience in the education sector would be advantageous, but not essential.

We are proud to be an inclusive workforce and we are committed to supporting everyone within our hyper diverse student membership. It is essential that you are committed to reducing inequality, increasing inclusion and removing the systemic barriers that face underrepresented and marginalised groups.

If you are inspired by the job, we highly recommend you contact Peridot for an informal discussion and background on the role:

Bill Yuksel | 07801 897063 | bill@peridotpartners.co.uk

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Bill Yuksel

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Dear Candidate,

Thank you for showing you interest in joining our team at The University of Northampton Students’ Union.

We, as a collective, are dedicated to achieving our mission of becoming an integral part of every students’ life, from the minute they join us, through the entirety of their journey with us. We recognise the importance of community and a sense of belonging when commencing higher education, and the important place a Union can become in providing this.

Every one of our vibrant and ambitious staff team are driven by our values, so it is important that the right candidate can be too. These values are: Caring, Inspiring, United, Student Owned, Respectful, Bold and Relevant.

The staff team help to encourage and inspire the elected Sabbatical team to achieve against their manifestos, while ensuring that students are well supported and represented. Our student Voice at Northampton is strong, and we have already achieved so much change and we need to keep up the momentum and find our place on campus.

It is an exciting time to join us at Northampton. Having recently gone through a complete staff restructure, and nearing the end of our current strategic plan, the time is right for us to focus on development and growth within the Union. Now we are looking for the right person to help lead us through this.

It is never dull at Northampton, it is a challenging environment, as a Union in a Widening Participation University, but the rewards are high. The University itself has relocated to a beautiful, waterside town centre location, and the Union is placed in a heritage renovated Engine Shed. On top of the award-winning Engine Shed, we also have the award-winning Platform Club, a beautiful and safe environment for our more outgoing students.

This is an amazing opportunity for someone who is looking to really take the Union to a whole new level of support for our students, while being well supported by a very strong senior management team.

Good luck in your application, we look forward to meeting you soon.

Gemma Lovegrove
SU President & Chair of the Trustee Board

About the University of Northampton Students' Union

We are a registered charity, completely independent from the University. Led by students, backed by volunteers and staff, we seek to ensure that our members university experience is the best it can possibly be – that it is rewarding, fulfilling and memorable. All students automatically become members of the Students’ Union as soon as they enrol and it’s absolutely free!

As a member, students are entitled to all of our services and opportunities, including sports, societies, volunteering, advice and representation, our retail outlets and our nightclub. It couldn’t be easier to get involved in an activity at the Students’ Union – we have something for everyone. There are more than 35 sports clubs to choose from, ranging from Cheerleading to Rugby League, plus diverse societies including the History Society, Chinese Cultural Society and Disney Society! Even if you can’t find the one you’re looking for, students can start their own.

We also provide academic representation. Through our four democratically-elected Sabbatical Officers and hundreds of Student Representatives, we offer support when you need your voice to be heard, have queries about your course or just feel a bit homesick. The Students’ Union is always here for you.

The new Waterside Campus boasts our grade II-listed venue, the Engine Shed. It offers everything, such as coffees and paninis, space to unwind and a home on campus for our numerous services. We have also invested in a new nightclub in the town centre, The Platform. Spread across three distinct spaces, The Platform offers a multitude of music styles with luxe, comfortable furnishings offset against contemporary fixtures, alongside premium spirits and beverages. With Milk It Mondays and LOCO every Wednesday, in addition to our alternative dance night, Decibel, on a Friday, The Platform really has something for everyone!

Over on Avenue Campus, you’ll find a fun and vibrant Students’ Union that hosts our Art Shop, bar, café and evening entertainment. For those in halls on the old Park Campus, we have our UniExpress store, which provides affordable products at your convenience.

Mission and Values

The Students’ Union seeks to be recognised by all of our members as an integral part of their student life while at the University of Northampton.

We are committed to ensuring that students have a positive, quality experience at the University and of the Union’s services, such as our retail outlets, bars, Sports, Societies and Volunteering Projects. In addition, we want to provide opportunities for students to further their own development and enhance their employability skills, whether acting as a volunteer, a Committee Member of one of our student groups or as a paid, part-time member of our Student Staff Team.

Ultimately, it is our mission to represent, inspire and support our members to proactively shape an outstanding student journey and, to do so, in a manner that is in keeping with our values.

The Union has several such values, which are explained below:


We put our students first, supporting them at every stage of their journey.


We use our unique relationship with our student members to inspire them to achieve their goals.


We unify our student members around their common causes to produce shared benefits.


The organisation is led by our student members, driven by student decisions and is accountable to them for everything it does.


We celebrate our differences; by respecting the diversity of our student membership, staff and other stakeholders, we cultivate an inclusive community.


We will be clear and decisive in our decisions, confident in our views and courageous in our actions.


We will always strive to understand the needs of the broader student membership, revising our approach to improve our offer.

You can find out more about how we seek to address this mission, while adhering to our values, by reading our Strategy.

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    If you would like an informal conversation around the role, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Bill Yuksel, Business Manager, on 07801 897063 or bill@peridotpartners.co.uk.

    To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. It would also be helpful to provide an explanation of your interest and motivation in applying for this position within your supporting statement.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Chief Executive, University of Northampton Students’ Union” into the subject field.

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief. All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


    Closing date: 9am, Wednesday 27th May 2020
    Longlisting: 4pm, Monday 1st June
    Preliminary  interviews: Thursday 11th & Friday 12th June
    Final interviews: Friday 19th June

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and the University of Northampton Students’ Union are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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