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Governing Council Member University of Derby

The University of Derby is seeking a senior leader and qualified finance professional, ideally with audit experience to join the Governing Council as a full member, to provide expertise and insight that will help steer the University to achieve its ambitious goals and contribute to the success and future potential of students.

  • Location: Derby, East Midlands
  • Salary: Unremunerated, with reasonable expenses paid

The University of Derby is working towards its 2018-2030 Strategic Framework and we are seeking candidates with a passion for contributing to the development of educational opportunities, the senior leadership experience, and insight to steer the University through to its future goals and the commitment to contribute to the success and future potential of our students.

In particular, we are seeking to recruit an independent governor who is a qualified finance professional with recent and relevant experience in finance, accounting, or auditing to join the University’s Governing Council, who may also be invited to join one of its sub-committees.

Appointments to Governing Council (the Board) and Committees

University of Derby Undergraduate Prospectus 19 First Key Visual Shoot / Campaign

The University’s Governing Council is the governing body of the University and the board of directors of the company. Membership comprises of a majority of independent governors (lay members) alongside representatives from the University’s staff and student body. Governing Council undertakes its duties through the work of its sub-committees, which are:

  • Audit and Risk Committee
  • Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee
  • Skills Governance Committee
  • Nominations Committee
  • Remuneration Committee

Governing Council Member

University of Derby Graduation 2014

Council Members are appointed for an initial term of up to three years and will need to commit 12 to 20 days per year for council and sub-committee meetings. New Members are provided with a full induction programme, which will include mandatory governor training. There are six full Council meetings throughout the year, inclusive of a Council strategy day. Preparation time will be required before meetings to read through board papers and to organise thoughts and contributions to debate. All members are expected to engage fully with the debate and contribute their expertise and knowledge as required to enable the work of the Governing Council and its committees.

You will be invited to attend networking events and University graduation ceremonies and we love to see as many of our governors as possible at University events and celebrations.

Governing Council Membership is unremunerated, but all members of Governing Council are able to claim reasonable travel and other expenses incurred whilst undertaking governor duties. An iPad will be provided where required to access meeting papers via the University’s Board Management Software.

In return for your commitment and contribution, you will benefit from being part of a successful and ambitious University seeking to maximise opportunities for its graduates. You will also have the opportunity to build professional networks, collaborate with other governors and further build your non-executive profile and impact.

Who we are looking for

University of Derby Undergraduate Prospectus 19 First Key Visual Shoot / Campaign

We are looking to recruit an individual with the relevant experience, credentials, and interests required to support the University’s direction of travel and to help it realise its institutional ambitions. We are seeking a qualified finance professional, ideally with a strong track record in accounting or audit  and a proven track record in executive or senior leadership roles, with excellent communication skills, the ability to analysis complex information at a strategic level, and the personality to be a strong ambassador and advocate for the University.

You will be familiar with working in a complex business environment, with corporate level finance experience, and, ideally, an appreciation of corporate governance and internal quality assurance. Involvement in the strategic planning of large estates developments would be desirable. Skilled in challenging effectively at executive level but also able to offer insight and support, we are seeking those with the ability to contribute to strategic thinking and an understanding of compliance challenges within a regulatory environment. Finally, we are excited to engage candidates who are adept at working in a non-executive role, taking the pulse without being hands-on.

As part of our commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion we are particularly interested to hear from applicants from under-represented groups.

Additional Information

University of Derby Council Governance Structure

University of Derby Strategic Framework

University of Derby Financial Statements 2020-21

University of Derby GC Schedule 2022-23

University of Derby Governance Webpage 

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Dr Sophie Carney | Sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dr Sophie Carney

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Welcome from the Chair of Governing Council

The University of Derby is a successful and highly regarded institution.

We employ around 3000 people across a number of sites in both the city and the county, where quality teaching facilities enhance the learning experience for students. We have worked to build a powerful, regional university that addresses the needs of our students, the region and beyond. Recognised by the Times Higher Education as one of the top 250 young universities in the world, our reputation for delivering excellence in research, knowledge exchange and teaching continues to grow.

Having recently launched an ambitious City Masterplan to transform its estate in Derby, beginning with a brand new city-based Business School set to open in 2024, the University is demonstrating an ongoing commitment and contribution to the inclusive and regenerative growth of Derby city and its surrounding area, encouraging enterprise and innovation collaboration with businesses and expert academics.

The University of Derby is a multi-faceted organisation which fulfils many important roles with a wide number of stakeholders. First and foremost, we deliver a great learning experience for our students, equipping them with the key skills and knowledge to help them achieve their life ambitions.

We work extremely closely with industry across a range of initiatives and partnerships and play an important role locally as a core part of the Derby and Derbyshire main ‘infrastructure’. Our activities stretch beyond just the local however, with many exciting developments regionally, nationally and globally promoting high value learning.

The University is also involved in helping influence government policy for the Higher Education (HE) sector to ensure that all universities deliver great outcomes for students, partners and stakeholders with the best possible return on investment, the first of which is formally monitored through the regulatory framework of the Office for Students’ (OfS) established in 2018.

The Governing Council plays a key role in supporting and challenging in equal measure a highly capable senior team to deliver the University’s strategic plan – a comprehensive current and future framework covering academic quality, research output, financial sustainability, estates, planning, risk management, student recruitment, business development and international partnerships.

Governors have a varied range of skills and experience and we are looking to complement the current membership with an independent governor demonstrating recent and relevant experience in finance, accounting or auditing, who can contribute their expertise to the University’s ambitious plans.

I feel privileged and proud to have been on the Governing Council since 2014 and took the position of Chair in 2018. I have found it an immensely rewarding experience which I would highly recommend.  I am constantly impressed by the drive, determination and passion of the team and have learnt a lot myself in that time as well as making my own contribution to the success of the University.

Please take time to read through the information about the University and the roles of Governor, and if you feel this could be for you we would be delighted to receive your application.

Stephen Smith

Chair of Governing Council

About the Organisation

The University of Derby is a modern, innovative education provider that achieved its University status in 1992. Teaching at the Derby site actually dates back to 1851, when it was a Diocesan Institution for training teachers, so we have over 160 years of expertise in education. We have since become a University of first choice for students who want a supportive, aspirational environment where they can equip themselves for the career they choose. Our significant investment in world class facilities is building on our reputation for student-focused real-world learning in an increasingly competitive sector. Located in the heart of England, we build on our region’s heritage of innovation to provide industry-relevant, expert teaching at all levels.

Our combined higher and further education offering is spread over campuses in Derby, Buxton, Leek, and Chesterfield and we have some of the best university facilities in the UK.

During the last ten years, we have invested over £200 million in facilities designed to give students the very best possible learning environment. We have more investment planned and continue to develop teaching to be innovative, stimulating, and engaging.

Recent investments include:

  • £12 million STEM Centre including facilities for mechanical testing, robotics and an anechoic chamber
  • State-of-the-art £10.8 million Sports Centre
  • Immersive Interactive Simulation Suite, the only one of its kind in a University outside London
  • Forensic Training Facility with a dedicated crime scene house
  • Fashion industry facility at Chandos Pole Street
  • Industry-standard Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab

We achieve outstanding results for our teaching and research and with more than 34,000 people choosing to study with us every year, we depend on the dedication of a team of 2,200 academic and professional services staff.

We want everyone to receive the high-quality education they deserve, regardless of age, background or location. We were named University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards 2020 and Higher Education Institution of the Year at the 2020 NEON (National Education Opportunities Network) Awards. And we have won the Guardian University Award 2020 for Social and Community Impact.

Challenging, interesting and constantly changing, the University of Derby is an exceptional place to learn and an incredibly rewarding place to work.


The University of Derby knows that not all disabilities are visible. If you have a hidden disability, we recognise the Sunflower scheme. People may wear a sunflower badge to let others know that they have a hidden disability and may need additional support, time, or adjustments.  For more information and access to our accessibility maps, please click here:

Our other accessibility provisions are:

  • We have step-free access to the building, accessible workstations (e.g. desk, office), and step free access to all key meeting rooms and toilets.
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcomed.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats if needed.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for an interview.
  • Working patterns / working locations can be adjusted.
  • Examples of reasonable adjustments are available to share.
  • EDI statistics can be shared regarding the diversity of our workforce.
  • The University of Derby is part of EDI workplace initiatives.

Further Information:

The University recognises its obligation to make reasonable adjustments for staff, to enable a person with a disabling condition to work Equality Act (2010).  All reasonable adjustments are individual, but generic examples include on-site blue badge parking, DSE equipment.

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


    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey


    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Governing Council Member | University of Derby” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners

    Dr Sophie Carney | Sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

    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: Monday 9th May 2022

    Candidates will be informed of decision: Tuesday 17th May 2022

    Interviews: Tuesday 31st May 2022

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and University of Derby 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 thisequality monitoring survey.

    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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