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Lay Member of Council Newcastle University

Newcastle University is seeking a dynamic and successful senior, strategic leader from a large, complex commercial environment to join the Council as a Lay Member. Join a world-class university and use your expertise to play a vital part in the governance of the institution as it seeks to advance education, learning and research in the North East of England and globally.

  • Location: Newcastle
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

Who we are.

Newcastle University exists for the public benefit to advance education, learning, and research. We are a world-class university that advances knowledge, provides creative solutions, and solves global problems. Newcastle University is proud to be a values-led, research-intensive university that makes a significant contribution to our city, region, and globally.

The University’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion, social and environmental justice, and academic freedom are at the heart of everything we do.

We are passionate in our belief that universities should play a fundamental role in creating and fostering more equitable societies.

We aim to work collaboratively with our many external partners to shape brighter futures, grow the economy and champion social justice.

About the role.

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Newcastle University conducts its business in accordance with the seven principles identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life and with guidance to universities from the Committee of University Chairs.

The University is an independent corporation whose legal status derives from the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Act 1963, which sets out the University’s objectives, powers and framework of governance.

Senate is the academic authority of the University and draws its membership from academic colleagues and students. Its role is to direct and regulate the teaching and research work of the University. Senate meets six times per year.

Court is not part of the University’s day-to-day decision-making processes but plays an important and influential role on behalf of the University’s stakeholders. Its membership is representative of the University, the local community, and other organisations with an interest in the work of the University. Its meets twice a year to receive a report from the Vice-Chancellor and President.

Council is the supreme governing body of the University, responsible for the finance, property, investments and general business of the University, and for setting the general strategic direction of the institution. It is also responsible for the University’s system of internal control and for reviewing its effectiveness, including its arrangements for risk management and value for money. It keeps under regular review the performance of the University and the effectiveness of the governing body itself and safeguards the good name and values of the institution.

The Council:

  • Sets and agrees the mission, strategic vision and values of the institution with the Executive;
  • Agrees the long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, ensuring these meet the interests of all stakeholders;
  • Ensures processes are in place to effectively monitor, evaluate and benchmark the institution’s performance;
  • Establishes and monitors systems of control and accountability;
  • Conducts business in accordance with best practice;
  • Acts as the institution’s legal and principal financial and business authority;
  • Promotes a culture which supports inclusivity and diversity, protects academic freedom of speech, and ensures all students and colleagues have opportunities to engage with the governance and management of the institution.

You can review the full Statement of Council responsibilities on page 42 of the Integrated Annual Report 2022-23 and for further information, visit the governance page on Newcastle University’s website.

Council has a majority of members from outside the University (lay members), 16 in total, including three lay officers: Chair, a Vice Chair and Honorary Treasurer. Members also include 6 University colleagues and 2 students who are representative of the student body.

Council meets six times per year and has a joint-away day with the Executive Board.

Much of the detailed work of Council is routed through committees of Council. These committees are:

  • Audit, Risk and Assurance
  • Finance
  • Nominations
  • Remuneration
  • University/Students’ Union Partnership

The University’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion, social and environmental justice and academic freedom are at the heart of everything we do. We are passionate in our belief that universities should play a fundamental role in creating and fostering more equitable societies.

Lay members of Council have a vital part to play in the governance of the University and bring a knowledge and experience of particular value, given the nature of the environment in which universities work.

Lay Members are expected to play an appropriate part in ensuring that the necessary business of Council is carried on efficiently, effectively, and in a manner appropriate for the proper conduct of public business. You will be expected to make rational and constructive contributions to debate and to make your knowledge and expertise available to Council as opportunities arise.

Members have a responsibility for ensuring that the governing body acts in accordance with the instruments of governance of the University and exercises efficient and effective use of the resources of the University to meet its charitable objectives, maintain long-term financial viability, and safeguard its assets.

Members do not play an executive role, which is primarily advisory and facilitating, and we expect Members to establish a constructive and supportive, but challenging, working relationship with the University.

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Members are covered by the University’s Professional Indemnity cover in respect of fulfilling their duties.

Members of Council are appointed for three years and membership may be renewed for up to two more terms of three years. It is hoped that Lay Members will serve on one or more of the Council’s sub-committees.

As such, the University is seeking Lay Council Members who can commit up to 16 days per year to this role, which roughly equates to a time commitment of one to two days per month.

The role is not remunerated, except for reimbursement of reasonable expenses.

You will be provided with a full induction and training opportunities to support your work on Council.

Who we are looking for.

Newcastle University is seeking an exceptional individual to join the Council as a Lay Member. This is an excellent opportunity to make a considerable contribution to advancing the University’s core mission.

We are particularly interested in those who bring the following experience, expertise, skills, and commitments:

  • Successful track record of senior, strategic leadership experience in your field of expertise, industry or sector.
  • Experience of operating in a large, complex commercial or international corporate environment at a senior strategic level, would be advantageous.
  • Prior governance experience, although not essential is advantageous.
  • Collaborative, inclusive, and enabling approach.
  • Commitment to being a strong external and internal ambassador for Newcastle University.
  • Ability and willingness to contribute to a broad range of University matters.
  • Committed to offering your time and expertise to meet the duties of the role.
  • Strong commitment to the University’s values, mission and EDI ethos.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive global University, which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.

We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

If you think you meet these criteria and have a genuine interest in supporting Newcastle University as a Lay Council Member, please do get in touch.


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

Olivia Robson | olivia@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 924770

HE-and-FE-recruitment-Dr-Sophie-Carney

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

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Welcome from the Chair of Council

Dear candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining Council, our governing body here at Newcastle University.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to add to our Council membership following the retirement of several current members this summer. I believe this is an outstanding opportunity for dynamic individuals to strengthen Council in fulfilling its role in preserving the stability of the University in a volatile global, political, and economic environment.

Council is the supreme governing body, responsible for the finance, property, investments, and general business of the University, and for setting the general strategic direction of the institution. It is also responsible for the University’s system of internal control and for reviewing its effectiveness, including the appropriateness of its arrangements for risk management and value for money. It keeps under regular review the performance of the University and makes use of key performance indicators to assist in this task.

As Chair of Council, I take a leading role in ensuring that good governance is exercised by the University. Newcastle University conducts its business in accordance with the seven principles identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership), and the Office for Students’ Public Interest Governance Principles. In line with the Committee of University Chairs Higher Education Code of Governance, Council has a Senior Independent Governor, who helps to support good governance by advising the Chair and acting as an intermediary for other members.

Our Council is deeply committed to making a tangible difference to the University and works closely with the University’s highly collegiate senior management team – Executive Board – as well as other University leaders, the Newcastle University Students’ Union, and academic colleagues.

We would like to hear from candidates who have credibility as a governor and trustee, and an active interest in higher education. In particular, we are looking for generalists who bring a successful track record of senior, strategic leadership experience, ideally from a large, complex commercial or international corporate environment.

We are seeking a new member of Council who share the University’s ambition and values, and who will contribute their time, skills, and expertise towards the ongoing success of the University.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Walker
Chair of Council

About us

Newcastle University can trace its origins to a School of Medicine and Surgery, established in Newcastle in 1834, and to the College of Physical Science, later Armstrong College, founded in the city in 1871, which formed part of the federal University of Durham. When this was dissolved in 1963, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne was formed, latterly trading as Newcastle University.

We are a founding member of the Russell Group, comprising the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, and we ranked 33rd in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Today, our university is home to over 29,000 students from over 145 countries and offers undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research degrees in over 40 subject areas. We are one of the largest employers in the North East of England, with over 6,000 colleagues.

Our faculties are: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences and Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering.

Key achievements include:

  • Ranked 110th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2023)
  • Ranked 168th in the world (THE World University Rankings 2024)
  • Ranked 61st in the world for Research Quality (THE World University Rankings 2024)
  • 5 QA stars awarded for Research (2023)
  • Top 25 in the world for sustainable development (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022)

Newcastle University aspires to be a people-focused university that harnesses academic excellence, innovation and creativity to provide benefits to individuals, to organisations and to society as a whole.

Our three aspirational values inform everything we do and guides us as we develop and grow as an institution:

Excellence: Enabling our staff to realise their twin ambitions of leading the way globally in their areas of research expertise and providing an outstanding educational experience for our students.

Creativity: Being creative and innovative in finding ways to advance knowledge and engage with society to address global problems.

Impact: Working in partnership with governments, industry, the creative and cultural sector, and community groups to identify the current and future challenges faced by society and to provide innovative ideas and solutions that will make a difference.

We exist for the benefit of society, and our four core strategies have been developed to demonstrate how we will tackle some of the challenges it faces. We are a first-class teaching and research institution, and excellence in these areas is central to our purpose.

Education for Life

Our educational activities are based on a commitment to promoting the highest levels of student engagement. We challenge and empower our students to discover and reach their full potential, supporting and working with them to do so.

Staff and students work in partnership to co-create learning experiences, which allows our graduates to develop the resilience, attributes and skills to transform their own lives and the communities in which they live — and to excel in their chosen futures.

Research for Discovery and Impact

Our commitment is to be a world-class, research-intensive university that builds upon its distinctive attributes.

We nurture excellent research and innovation that expands fundamental knowledge, addresses societal and global needs, supports sustainable economic growth and promotes health and well-being.

Engagement and Place

As a civic university, our regional engagement is integral to ensuring that our academic and professional activities have economic, social and cultural benefits. There are many diverse and complex challenges facing society across the globe, and we work with a wide range of partners to approach these challenges, co-create knowledge, and expand our contribution to the city and region, as well as developing our global influence.

Global

We take a different view from many universities, believing that having presence outside of Newcastle allows us to develop partnerships, perspectives, innovations and solutions for education and research that we could not achieve in Newcastle alone. We have three global locations in Newcastle, Singapore and Malaysia and more than 200 collaborative agreements with universities and institutions around the world. We have a diverse student and staff community from more than 120 different countries and a global alumni network of more than 200,000.

Please see links to key documents below to learn more about Newcastle University’s Strategy and Vision and read the Integrated Annual Report 2022-23 to find out how we are meeting our strategic objectives.

Accessibility information

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities.

Our accessibility provisions include:

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Further information

Details of reasonable adjustments we have undertaken range from equipment provision including desks, keyboards, chairs to workspace considerations i.e. sound sensitivities, lighting considerations and mobility support.

We also offer a range of assistive technologies for those with sight impairments and dyslexia.

We fully utilise the Government grant scheme, Access to Work, for colleagues who may benefit from adjustments as well as supporting colleagues with an on-site Occupational Health Team who will also assess and advise on reasonable adjustments.

There are EDI statistics available regarding the diversity of our workforce on this link from page 13.

Applicants with a disability 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 role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


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

Olivia Robson | olivia@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 924770

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

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Role Description and Person Specification.

    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 “Application: Newcastle University – Lay Member of Council” 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

    Olivia Robson | olivia@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 924770

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support that needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.

    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 10th June 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Tuesday 18th June 2024
    Interviews: w/c Monday 24th June 2024


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Newcastle University 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 will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. 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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