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Independent Members of the University Council | University of Derby

The University of Derby is looking to appoint three Independent Members to our Governing Council, including a Chair of the Skills Committee. We also seek a further three Co-opted Members to strengthen the newly constituted Skills Committee to support our continued drive to deliver excellence and opportunities for students, staff and the region as a modern university with a modern outlook.

  • Location: Derby
  • Salary: Unremunerated

The Governing Council

The governing body of the University of Derby is known as the Governing Council and is responsible for determining the University’s educational character and academic direction, approving the mission and strategic aims, ensuring that the University fulfils its legal obligations and ensures effective performance monitoring.

The Governing Council is made up of Independent Members representing expertise, skills and knowledge from across relevant sectors and industries, four staff representatives from across academic and central services, two student governors, and the Vice Chancellor.

The Governing Council undertakes its duties through the work of five sub-committees:

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

The Governing Council meets seven times a year. The term of office for full Governing Council Members and Co-opted Committee Members is three years. The commitment is estimated at 12-20 days per year, depending on appointment to a sub-committee, and all newly appointed Members will receive a full induction, including mandatory governor training. Members of the Governing Council and sub-committees are strongly encouraged to become part of the wider community through invitations to networking events and graduation ceremonies.

In return for your contribution, Council and Committee Members will benefit from being part of a successful and ambitious University seeking to maximise opportunities for its graduates, with the opportunity to build professional networks, collaborate with other governors and build a non-executive profile.

With three Independent Council Members due to step down as their terms of office come to an end, the University is seeking to appoint to the following Governing Council and sub-committee roles:

  • Chair of the Skills Committee (also a full, Independent Member of Council)
  • Two Independent Members of the Council
  • Three Co-opted Members of the Skills Committee

Skills Committee

The Skills Committee is a newly constituted sub-committee of the University’s Governing Council, responsible for determining the strategic direction of Skills Education and the University’s links to the external environment.

The sub-committee is made up of three independent members of Governing Council, three independent co-opted members, the Vice Chancellor, two members of staff representing teaching across levels 1 to 7, and the President of the Union of Students.

The committee meets four times a year and as part of an Annual Strategic Planning Day.

The Committee’s primary objectives are to:

  • Determine the strategic direction of Skills Education and Training of the University
  • Oversee and monitor the processes for the maintenance and improvement of quality and delivery of University Skills provision, including Ofqual and Ofsted regulated further and higher skills education and apprenticeships
  • Monitor equality and diversity, safeguarding and Prevent issues, ensuring good practice and statutory compliance
  • Scrutinise sub-contracting provision

As such, it is essential that the Skills Committee can advise the Governing Council on the implications of curriculum related national policy, make informed recommendations on the University’s Skills Education offer, including the development and monitoring of a Quality Strategy, review employer engagement and oversee the raising of skills education standards across all Colleges and departments.

For full Terms of Reference for the Skills Committee please click here

Chair of the Skills Committee

The Chair of the Skills Committee is a full and independent member of the Governing Council and a Member of both the Nominations and Remuneration Committees. The Chair will receive £8K p/a as remuneration for the role, which is paid quarterly in arrears.

Co-opted Skills Committee Members

This new body has a significant remit in terms of its oversight of the University’s strategic direction of Skills Education and Training and requires members with insight into the external regional skills and business environment to help steer the agenda.

Co-optees will join, advise and be active members of the Skills Committee, without being appointed as full members to the Governing Council.

The Skills Committee meets four times a year.

Who we are looking for

First and foremost, the University of Derby is 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 its students.

In addition, candidates should bring relevant experience to each role, credibility in their field and an interest to support the University’s direction of travel and to help it realise its institutional ambitions.

Whilst it would be desirable for candidates with experience of operating at executive or board level (an essential requirement for the Chair of the Skills Committee role), the University encourages ambition across the institution and would welcome interest from those in senior level positions, wishing to gain experience of a non-executive board role. Co-option to a sub-committee is viewed as a mutually beneficial route to broaden the Governing Council’s talent pool.

As part of the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, they are eager to welcome interest from candidates from under-represented groups.

The University is seeking candidates with experience in one or more of the following:

  • Senior leadership in a regulated environment
  • Government Skills agenda, especially around apprenticeships and T Levels
  • Ofsted regulatory framework
  • Health Sector
  • Higher Education partners and/or consultants, with insight of the HE landscape and national policy on industry, skills and employer requirements, especially in the East Midlands
  • Legal or Finance professional, with audit experience

For the Chair of the Skills Committee role, the University is seeking a senior leader working at a strategic level, bringing expertise and knowledge around national and regional Skills initiatives, innovations in the delivery of Skills across further and higher education, or current insight into employer requirements across relevant and regional industries around apprenticeships and wider skills development.

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

Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528 307

Drew Richardson-Walshdrew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364 033

Closing date: 12pm, Monday 12th April 2021

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

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Welcome from Stephen Smith - Chair of Governing Council

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

We employ around 3,000 people across a number of sites in both the city and the county, where quality teaching facilities enhance the learning experience for students. The University achieved the highest possible Gold rating in the independently assessed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), putting in the top 20% of all UK institutions for teaching quality. Our recent top 30 position in the Guardian League Table, appearance in the top 1,000 universities in the World and globally in the top 250 of young universities places us in a very strong position from which to achieve our future ambitions.

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 a small number of additional members to the main board and co-optees to its Skills Committee. Prospective governors should be able to add to the University’s perspective and future direction with specific expertise in one or a number of the above areas.

I am 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, the roles of Governor and co-opted Committee Member and if you feel this could be for you we would be delighted to receive your application.

Stephen Smith
Chair of Governing Council

Welcome from Professor Kath Mitchell DL - Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

I am delighted that you are considering applying for a position as a governor at the University of Derby.

I have been at Derby for almost six years and during this time we have embarked on an ambitious programme to take the University forward to its future.

Our 2018-2030 Strategic Framework, launched in June 2018, signalled a new chapter for our University, providing staff and stakeholders with clarity over our direction of travel and raising the bar in terms of our institutional ambitions, and those of our staff and students.

The civic role we play, and the importance of the University as an anchor institution within our city and county, has been highlighted throughout the pandemic. Our commitment to working in partnership to improve the health, education and wellbeing of our community is stronger than ever and has been reaffirmed through our pledge to develop a Civic University Agreement.

At Derby, our researchers are generating distinctive, world-leading and impactful research, and as we prepare for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, I am confident that this renewed focus and drive will receive the recognition it deserves. This impact and influence are further enhanced through our work with businesses and organisations on knowledge exchange, innovation and skills activity.

We continue to build our reputation as an institution that puts students at the heart of everything we do and are fully committed to further enhancing our student experience. At the same time, we are keen to continue to grow and develop our research profile and the way we interact with businesses both locally and nationally.

We will deliver excellence and maximise what Derby has to offer through our people, and I remain impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of our team. Every day within the University I interact with people who have great ideas and who are striving to deliver the best they can, be that in teaching, research or supporting services.

Our sector is fast-moving, and our world is changing – to thrive, any university needs to be at the top of its game. Derby has the potential to achieve more, and it is well positioned to do so; we have secure finances, a wonderful estate, talented staff and students, major employers including Bombardier and Rolls Royce on our doorstep and, with the advantage of a Further Education College within our portfolio, the opportunity to grow and make a difference is well within our reach.

I hope you find our vision and ambition exciting, refreshing and meaningful, and that you feel inspired to join the University’s Governing Council and contribute to Derby’s strategic leadership.

Thank you for your interest and time.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive
University of Derby

Foreword from Professor Kamil Omoteso

Our journey toward an Inclusive Institution

The University of Derby is an ambitious and forward-thinking institution, committed to providing the best learning experience for our students and invested in maximising the potential of our staff. Entwined within this ambition is the University’s journey to eradicate inequality from within our institution.

25% of the population of Derby City and 21% of our student body identify with a BAME background. However, this demographic is not currently reflected in our staff across all areas of the University, including within leadership where only 7% of the group identify as BAME. We believe representation matters and we are keen to tackle this disparity. Consequently, the University has embarked on the journey toward attaining Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter (REC).

The Charter aims to provide a framework to trigger a cultural shift by eradicating inequality, implicit or structural, which contributes to unequal treatments and outcomes between different groups of students and staff. The result will be improved representation, progression and success of our minority ethnic staff and students. It will also enhance the EDI efforts of the University, as an inclusive institution benefits not just its individual staff and students but also its external stakeholders. We are, therefore, committed to rethinking our strategies, processes and systems, reflecting on our practices, and challenging any form of inequality that may exist within our institution.

I am excited to be the Executive Lead for this important project. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with colleagues across the institution and to see the real impact our efforts are already making on our staff, students, and the University environments in general. I hope that you are similarly inspired and will consider joining the University on its journey to equality by applying to be a member of the University’s Governing Council.

Professor Kamil Omoteso
PVC/Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences;
Executive Lead for the Race Equality Charter (REC) and Access and Participation Plan.

About Us

Located in the heart of England, the University of Derby builds on the region’s heritage of innovation to provide industry-relevant, expert teaching, from foundation and undergraduate degrees through to postgraduate study and research.

Rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), the University aims to ensure everyone receives the high-quality education they deserve, regardless of age, background or location. Derby was named University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards 2020, Higher Education Institution of the Year at the 2020 NEON (National Education Opportunities Network) Awards, and won the Guardian University Award 2020 for Social and Community Impact.

The University nurtures and encourages research excellence across all its disciplines and all career stages, and as a result its researchers are generating distinctive, world-leading and impactful research that is receiving national and international recognition.

It is a relatively large higher education provider comprising of a total of c.29,000 students:

  • At undergraduate level: c.15,500 full-time, 2,000 part-time and 2,400 online students
  • For postgraduate taught provision: 2,000 full-time, 2,000 part-time and 2,000 online students
  • For postgraduate research provision: 170 full-time and 240 part-time students

In addition, the University has a total of 800 full-time and 1,900 part-time students studying further education at its Buxton & Leek College.

The University of Derby is an innovative education provider that achieved its University status in 1992. With roots tracing back to 1851 and the Diocesan Training Institution for School Mistresses, it has a long history of expertise in education.

As an anchor institution within Derby and Derbyshire, it takes the civic role it has to play seriously and is committed to working in partnership to support the area’s long-term economic prosperity, and to improve the health, education and wellbeing of the local communities it serves.

During the last five years the University has invested over £150 million in world-class facilities, designed to give students the very best real-world learning environment. Further investment is planned, as it continues to develop teaching and learning environments that are innovative, stimulating and engaging.

Recent investments in the facilities include:

  • A £12 million STEM Centre, including facilities for mechanical testing, robotics and an anechoic chamber
  • A state of the art £10.8 million sports centre
  • An immersive interactive simulations suite, the only one of its kind in a university outside London
  • A forensic training facility, with a dedicated crime scene house
  • A dedicated fashion and textiles facility
  • An industry standard Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab

Derby is an ambitious university with a focus on development and growth. It is committed to investing in resources, people, estate and, most importantly, to securing its students’ success for the future.

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


    If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528 307

    Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

    To apply: Please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    The University of Derby requires all applicants to complete and submit a ‘Fit and Proper Person Form’ as part of this application. Please find information about the ‘Fit and Proper Person Assessment’ here. We kindly request that you download and complete this form and return along with your CV and covering statement as a requirement of Conditions E1 and E2 of the Office for Students’ Regulatory Framework. Applications will not be progressed without submission of this form.

    Please ensure that your application, Equality Monitoring Form and Fit and Proper Person Form are emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting: “Council Member – University of Derby” OR “Chair of the Skills Committee – University of Derby” OR “Co-opted Skills Committee Member – University of Derby” into the subject field.

    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.

    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.

    We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please check your application has been received by contacting:

    Recruitment Timetable

    Closing date: 12pm, Monday 12th April 2021
    Governing Council Members: Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th April 2021
    Co-opted Skills Committee Members: Monday 17th & Tuesday 18th May 2021

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and University of Derby are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse, inclusive, 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 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 Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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