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University agrees process for Vice-Chancellor recruitment

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With Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell leaving the University on Friday 21 September, work is underway on the process to appoint his permanent replacement.

Appointing a Vice-Chancellor is clearly an important strategic decision, with long-term implications for our whole community. The University’s Appointments and Governance Committee has, therefore, agreed on a process that ensures the full range of the University’s activities and interests are considered.

The appointment process

The Appointments and Governance Committee has approved the establishment of a Selection Committee comprising seven members, reflecting different aspects of the University’s activities:

  • four lay members of Council,
  • two academic members – one nominated by Senate and one agreed by the Selection Committee itself to ensure a balance of background and skills with the Senate nominee;
  • the President of the Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU).

The University Secretary and the Director of Human Resources will be in attendance at all meetings to support and advise the Selection Committee.

An external agency, Odgers Berndtson UK, will assist the Selection Committee with the recruitment search, which is standard practice for senior appointments across the sector. It is critical that the Odgers team have a thorough understanding of the University community and its needs, so, they will also be undertaking focus groups with a wide range of stakeholders including:

  • the RUSU sabbatical officers
  • representatives of Heads of School
  • representatives of Heads of Function
  • the Dean of the Business School
  • the Provost, UoRM
  • the President of the University and College Union
  • the Joint Chairs of the Staff Forum
  • representatives of the Teaching & Learning, Research and Diversity & Inclusion Deans
  • representatives of Senate
  • a selection of volunteer members of the People Plan Project Board
  • members of the University Executive Board not involved in the process.

Welcoming your input

As the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor affects all members of the University community, your views on what the University needs are also important.

In addition to the representative nature of the Selection Committee and the focus groups, you can have direct input into the recruitment process by emailing your views to our Odgers Berndston colleagues, in confidence, on what we should be expecting from an incoming Vice-Chancellor at by Wednesday 19 September.

Timetable for recruitment

All members of the Selection Committee should be in place in the week commencing 17 September. The Committee will then work to the following high-level timetable:

  • 25 September 2018: Selection Committee meets to agree recruitment materials
  • 28 November 2018: Selection Committee agrees a long list of candidates
  • 24 January 2019: Selection Committee agrees a short list of candidates for interview.

Interviews are likely to take place in mid-February, with a view to an appointment recommendation to Council in late February or early March.

Three panels representing academic staff, professional and managerial staff, and students respectively will interview shortlisted candidates prior to their final interview with the Selection Committee, and their views will inform the formal recommendation to the Council.

The Selection Committee will continue to share information about the process as it progresses so please look out for updates on the Staff Portal and in In Brief. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact the University Secretary, Dr Richard Messer.

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