Appointment of the Chair of the Board of Governors


Dear Candidate,

We are one community: we are the ambitious and competitive Cardiff Met.

Thank you for expressing an interest in becoming the next Chair of the Board of Governors at Cardiff Metropolitan University (Cardiff Met).

Recently named The Times and Sunday Times Welsh University of the Year 2021, we have seen over the past 12 months student recruitment levels increase and significant improvements in all league table positions. Following what has been a challenging year for many, we are now looking to the future. Our applications are up 16% on last year, our turnover was £110million and we have one of the fastest growing Schools of Technologies in the UK.

We also recently launched three Global Academies to take forward our international, interdisciplinary, and impactful education and research to tackle global challenges in: Health and Human Performance; Food Sciences, Safety and Security; and Human Centred Design. Our continued investment and adaptation put us in a strong position to achieve our ambition of becoming a top 50 UK university.

To achieve this, we require an inspirational Chair, responsible for leading the Board of Governors to fulfil its role in shaping the character and strategy of Cardiff Met, supporting and holding to account the executive and ensuring the effective governance and scrutiny of all University activity.

Improving the student experience is at the heart of our values-driven strategy. At Cardiff Met, we have established a rich environment in which creativity is highly prized. Our unique and successful approach to internationalisation enables us to advocate diversity from a position of strength. We are all committed to championing academic freedom. Our outlook, our research and our mind-set prioritise innovation. These four values are driven by the behaviours of our talented staff and students, and we would wish to see this further reflected in the values and behaviours of our Chair.

You will bring a proven track record of executive and non-executive leadership; will be an effective communicator, able to grasp complex issues and lead the Board in a manner that encourages contribution, debate and achieves consensus. Well-organised, able to think strategically, you will manage complex relationships with tact and diplomacy, able to draw on your powers of negotiation and persuasion.  If this sounds interesting, we would be delighted to hear from you.

You will find out more about Cardiff Met on this site, and our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you, in strict confidence.

Kind regards,

Professor Cara Aitchison
President and Vice-Chancellor

About us


Cardiff Metropolitan University’s academic portfolio is oriented towards practice-focused and professionally recognised education and research. Our taught programmes align with the University’s research and innovation agenda and deliver impact in a wide range of areas across art and design, business and management, education and social policy, sport and health sciences and digital and data sciences, computing design and engineering technologies.

Today the University has around 11,500 students based on two campuses in Cardiff and almost 9,000 trans-national education students studying Cardiff Met degrees at partner institutions in 15 countries around the world. Students come from over 100 countries and among our Cardiff-based students 50% are from Wales, 17% are international, 15% are from Black, Asian and minority ethnicities, 54% are women, 37% come from UK low participation neighbourhoods and over 25% are studying for postgraduate degrees.

Having undergone significant recent change, the University is in a strong financial position with turnover having increased from £98m in 2015/16 to £107m in 2019/20. Significant cash generation, including over £13m in 2018/19 and £8.6m in 2019/20, continues to enable the University to invest in the development of its campus environment and facilities and a new Master Plan is currently being developed for a post-Covid world and a programme of transformation placing community, health and wellbeing at the heart of both campuses.

Our University has grown and diversified over the last three years by developing over 40 new degree programmes and revalidating over 30 existing programmes to meet student demand and employer need. New programmes include a wide range of provision in computing, engineering, robotics and data science that has seen the School of Technologies grow since its launch in February 2018 to have almost 1,000 students today.

Together with new programmes in initial teacher education, law, policing, and architecture and in health sciences and allied health professions, many of which are supporting responses to and recovery from Covid-19, the University has developed in scope, scale and reputation while remaining true to its roots. Our students now arrive with the second highest entry tariff of all universities in Wales and we remain the university with the largest percentage of Welsh students from those areas of greatest social and economic deprivation identified by the lowest two quintiles of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Strategic Plan

Cardiff Met is rooted in Wales while providing practice-focused and professionally oriented education to students from around the globe. Our Strategic Plan 2017/18 to 2022/23 highlights our commitment to education, research and innovation undertaken in partnership with our students, governments, business and industry and with tangible benefits for individuals, society and the economy. We are committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to realise their full potential to make outstanding graduate-level contributions to their own and future generations through sustainable economic growth and social cohesion for our city, Wales and the wider world.

Our strategy is underpinned by our values of creativity, diversity, freedom and innovation and through the development of trusted partnerships that generate educational transformation, research with impact, sustainable economic growth, social cohesion, health and wellbeing.

In addition to our longstanding reputation in education, our reputation for research has grown recently and the was judged to have the highest quality research amongst modern (‘post-92’) universities in the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). The synergies between our teaching, research and innovation are now being developed further, including via the creation of our recently launched Global Academies.

Our Strategic Plan has seven priorities and was recently refreshed mid-cycle in autumn 2020. We will continue to:

  • Improve the quality and outcomes of teaching and the wider student experience through delivery of the Cardiff Met EDGE enabling all students to develop ethical, digital, global and entrepreneurial skills
  • Increase our student population by extending our geographical reach, diversifying our programme portfolio and enhancing our partnerships with employers and stakeholders
  • Focus on growing the new Cardiff School of Technologies by using the School’s unique mix of disciplines to offer education, research and innovation that addresses student demand and employer need in digital and smart technology, data science and informatics, and electronics and robotics engineering to raise Wales’ international profile in creativity, sustainability and technology
  • Build on our position as the UK’s modern university with the highest quality research (REF 2014) to develop our reputation through diversifying income, maintaining volume and focusing on long-term staff development and support, including a systematic increase in research output quality, value and impact of research and innovation through the Global Academies
  • Build and strengthen our global links by connecting with partner universities, organisations and people around the world; producing research with global relevance and impact; and graduating students as global citizens who will play a leadership role in their communities wherever they live
  • Build on our civic mission work in line with Welsh Government priorities
  • Improve our digital infrastructure to support online teaching, learning and co-curricular activity post-Covid to support a learning environment where online and flexible provision is recognised as being of paramount importance.

University Campuses

Cardiff Met has two campuses, Cyncoed and Llandaff; both offer excellent environments in which to work, study and relax and each is surrounded by green space and woodland supporting the University’s emphasis on health and wellbeing.

Cyncoed Campus is home to Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy and Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences. The campus offers outstanding sporting facilities reflecting the University’s long-standing reputation as Wales’ leading university for both elite performance sport and widening participation in sport. It also has an outdoor centre, large refectory, student halls of residence, on-site shop, coffee bars and acts as the head office for the Students’ and Athletics Union.

Cyncoed is also home to NIAC, the National Indoor Athletics Centre. The facility is fully equipped to international standard and has a seating capacity for 690 spectators. NIAC is utilised by students on sports courses, student clubs and the general public. Governing bodies of sport, including Welsh Athletics and Welsh Netball, also use this facility on a regular basis. Sports medicine services are located within NIAC offering physiotherapy and sports massage. NIAC is used to host major events and, outside the sporting calendar, it has the flexibility to be transformed into a Conference Centre.

Llandaff Campus is the home of Cardiff School of Management, ​​​Cardiff School of Art & Design and the recently established Cardiff School of Technologies​. With millions of pounds of recent investment in Cardiff School of Technologies, as well as an increase in state-of-the art learning facilities for our students, the campus offers a gym and sporting facilities, Students’ Union offices, on-site shop, coffee bars, and large refectory. The campus is located approximately two miles from the city centre and is surrounded by parks, playing fields, the River Taff and the historic Llandaff Cathedral.

Siginificant investment is planned for both campuses; new academic buildings and further sport and health facilities are planned for Cyncoed Campus and at Llandaff Campus a new centre for combined Students Services will be established. There are also plans to develop a cycle super-highway in partnership with Cardiff Council – the highway will be located on the perimeter of the Llandaff Campus and will stretch to the city centre and on to Cardiff Bay with the centre of campus then being pedestrianised to enhance health, wellbeing and the environment.

Structure and Governance

Governing Body

​Cardiff Metropolitan University’s constitution has been​ drawn up under the Education Reform Act 1988 (as amended) which provides for the appointment of a Board of Governors with responsibility for the educational character and mission of the Institute and oversight of its activities. ​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Board of Governors has a​ duty to govern Cardiff Met​​​ropolitan University so as to achieve and develop its primary objectives of teaching, learning and research, and related activities. It is the Board’s function to consider and approve Cardiff Metropolitan University’s strategic plan, which sets Cardiff Metropolitan University’s  academic aims and objectives, and to oversee the financial, physical and staffing strategies necessary to achieve it.

Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Governance and Nominations Committee is always interested to hear from members of the public who have an interest in university governance.  Details of the work of the Board of Governors and opportunities for membership may be obtained from the University Secretary & ​Clerk to the Board of Governors (contact details below).

​Independent Governors 

  • Mr Nick Capaldi (Chair), Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales
  • Dr Chris Turner (Vice-Chair), Former Academic Registrar and Director of Governance and Compliance, Cardiff University
  • Ms Sheila Hendrickson-Brown
  • Mr U Hussain MBE (Chair of Audit Committee), Chief Finance Officer, South Wales Police
  • Ms Ruth Marks MBE
  • Mr Paul Matthews
  • Prof Myra Nimmo
  • Ms Menai Owen-Jones
  • Mr Scott Waddington, Former Chief Executive, S.A. Brain
  • Mr David Warrender, Chief Executive and Founder of Innovation Point

President and​​ Vice-Chancellor​

  • Professor Cara Aitchison

Academic Board Governor

  • Dr Katie Thirlaway (Deputy Dean, Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences)

Student Governors

  • Mr Midhun Pavuluri (S U President)
  • Miss Keira Davies (Students’ Union Vice President)

Co-opted Governors

  • Denn Yearwood, Project Manager, Business Improvement Services (Professional Services Staff Governor)
  • Dr M James, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of Management (academic staff)
  • Mr G Davies, Chair of the Welsh Rugby Union Board

External Co-opted Members of the Audit Committee

  • Mr A Piper, Former Bank of England Agent in Wales
  • Ms L Winstone, Head of Internal Audit, Office of National Statistics

University Secretary & Clerk to the Board of Governors


The role

Chair of the Board of Governors

Job reference:

The University’s purpose is to deliver high quality practice-focused education, research, and innovation in partnership with our students and industry. In working together, and by championing creativity and diversity, Cardiff Met is committed to enabling every student to fulfil their full potential.  We champion Creativity, Diversity, Freedom, and Innovation.

Cardiff Met has been awarded the Welsh University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.


The Chair of the Board of Governors sets the tone for the effective delivery of the University’s governance and strategic oversight.  The Chair is responsible for the leadership of the University’s Governing Body, ensuring that the body and its committees work together, effectively.

The Chair will ensure, inter alia through a good working relationship with the Chairs of the Committees of the Board of Governors, that Committee business is carried on in a proper manner, efficiently and effectively, and that regular and satisfactory reports are presented to the Board of Governors.

The Chair will ensure that the Board of Governors acts in accordance with the instruments and articles of governance of the University and with the University’s internal rules and regulations and should seek advice from University Secretary and Clerk to the Board of Governors in any case of uncertainty.

The Chair will ensure that the Board of Governors exercises collective responsibility, that is to say, that decisions are taken corporately by all members acting as a body. The Chair will foster constructive debate and effective challenge, encourage consensus, and ensure committees are well run.

The Chair is expected to uphold the highest standards of good governance, ensuring that the Nolan Principles of Public Life and understood and embodied in all aspects of the Governors’ activities.

Cardiff Met is committed to actively promoting equalities and diversity and the Chair is expected to take a lead in ensuring that the University’s approach is equitable, progressive, and forward-looking.

The following summary provides an overview of the key responsibilities of the Chair.

 Leadership, governance and oversight

  • Chair meetings of the Board, providing leadership and engagement, ensuring that all members are able to contribute fully and effectively;
  • Ensure that the Board complies with its obligations as a Charity and that proper mechanisms exist to ensure financial control;
  • Ensure that Board members are committed to conducting themselves in accordance with the accepted standards of public life which embrace duty, selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability and stewardship, openness, honesty, leadership and respect;
  • Lead the Board in the development of the University’s strategic plan
  • Ensure that student members are given the necessary support to participate effectively in Board business;
  • Ensure an appropriate balance of authority between the governing body and the executive;
  • Lead on governor recruitment, board development and succession planning and ensure that the Board membership includes the range of skills, experience, and expertise to discharge its responsibilities for good governance of the University;
  • Ensure that all new Board members receive appropriate induction and support to fulfil their roles;
  • Be fully involved in the process of the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor, should this be required;
  • Ensure that the Board conducts regular, full, and robust reviews of its own performance and effectiveness and that of its committees;
  • Engage with the Board process for the appointment of the University Chancellor and support the Chancellor in the conduct of their duties. 

Effective working relationships 

  • Maintain an overview of the business of Board Committees in order to coordinate and monitor progress of Board business and to ensure that appropriate reports are made;
  • Host or attend staff, student or alumni events by invitation;
  • Meet with members of the Board on an individual basis annually to discuss their contribution, receive feedback and provide guidance if needed;
  • Be involved in Board committees as required;
  • Support the Executive by joining the recruitment and selection panels for senior staff as required. 

Working with the Vice Chancellor

  • The Chair will endeavour to establish a constructive and supportive but challenging working relationship with the Vice Chancellor, recognising the proper separation between governance and executive management;
  • Support, including challenge and debate, the emerging vision as led by the Vice-Chancellor and Executive team;
  • Conduct an annual performance evaluation of the Vice-Chancellor.

Supporting the external profile of the University 

  • Ensure that the University is well connected, and responsive, to key stakeholder groups;
  • Represent the Board and the University externally, including at sector-wide activities;
  • Act as an ambassador, and as a positive spokesperson for the University;
  • Host or attend a range of events at the University or externally, including graduation and prize giving ceremonies. 



  • Successful leadership of large complex organisations in the public, private or voluntary sectors;
  • A clear yet collegiate approach to leadership which will command the respect of other Board members, staff, students, members of the University Executive and the wider University community;
  • The insight, experience and personal skills to build a strong, constructive relationship with the Vice-Chancellor and members of the Board.

Personal attributes

  • The energy, drive, enthusiasm and commitment to lead the Board;
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to Higher Education and the values, aims and guiding principles of Cardiff Met University. A personal commitment to optimising the transformative power of a university, and an understanding of the importance of decisions positively impacting on the student experience;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and experience of public speaking;
  • Personal integrity and the ability to exercise independent judgement;
  • The ability to build connections, influence and persuade a range of internal and external stakeholders including staff and students;
  • A demonstrably strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity.

Knowledge and experience

  • Up to date experience of good corporate governance;
  • Experience as a non-executive member of a Board;
  • A proven ability to analyse complex strategic and financial information;
  • Experience of and a proven ability to manage and support organisational leaders at the highest levels;
  • An appreciation of, and support for, the University’s historic and continued commitment to Wales, its culture and its language;
  • A proven ability to chair complex meetings, encouraging open dialogue, different points of view and ensuring a consensus is achieved.

To view the Executive Organisational Structure, please click here.

Standing Orders

To view key documents such as the Cardiff Metropolitan University Standing Orders, Articles of Government, or Instrument of Government, please visit:

Terms of appointment

The expected time commitment is 4-6 days a month.

Cardiff Met is aiming to return to face-to-face meetings. The schedule for meetings will include; 4-6 Board meetings plus Committees (generally each committee meets 3-4 times a year) and awaydays.

The Chair role is unremunerated.


How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Cardiff Metropolitan University. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44(0)7584 078 534, Helene Usherwood on +44(0)7719 322 669 or Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944.

The closing date for applications is noon on Tuesday 4th May 2021.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of three pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the knowledge and experience criteria of the person specification.
  • Please include the names and email addresses of two referees in either your CV or cover letter. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please use the following link to complete an online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1077


Closing date: noon on Tuesday 4th May
Longlisting: Thursday 13th May
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: Week commencing 17th May
Shortlisting: Thursday 3rd June
Final Panel Interviews: Thursday 24th June