I want to welcome you to the University of Salford and thank you for your interest in the new role of University Secretary and Director of Academic Quality.
We are proud at Salford to be a University which derives strength from our industrial past and uses that to shape our current and future contribution to academic achievement, skills development, discovery, and our economic, social and cultural impact. Working with industry is in our DNA, and we continue to build strong relationships with our partners, providing real-world experience for our students. With 25,000 students and 2,300 colleagues, we are a significant business in our own right. We have a main campus in Salford, on the border with Manchester City Centre, and a significant presence in the heart of Media City UK. We are proud to be part of Salford, and we are truly a University of our community.
The University has recently reviewed our approach to academic quality. With the changes to quality assurance and regulation that the OfS are planning to implement necessitating a new approach to quality assurance for the University. This has come at the same time as the recent University-wide approach to improvement in student quality metrics through the Enabling Student Success programme of work which is delivering improvements across much of the provision, so there is a real opportunity to strengthen our approach through a step change in academic quality management.
We have created the new Quality Management Office and created a new leadership role combining it with that of the University Secretary. The role attends the Vice-Chancellors’s Executive Team and will provide inspiring and energetic leadership for the management of the quality and standards of the University’s awards. This will include the development and implementation of a new Quality Management regime building on existing good process and significantly developing the approach to encompass a metric-based way of assessing the academic health and performance of modules and programmes.
If you are excited by the opportunity to take on a varied and interesting portfolio and have a proven track record in delivering significant change, I would like to hear from you.
Mission & Values
By pioneering exceptional industry partnerships we will lead the way in real world experiences preparing students for life.
Collaboration with external partners is in our DNA. Since our beginnings in 1896 as Salford Royal Technical Institute we have served industry and advanced the skills of working people. We have a clear mission as a civic institution to:
We are a proud anchor institution in our city and our ambitious plans for the future reflect our desire to drive change and progress at a local, national and international level.
Our location sets us apart and continues to drive our strong industry links. Our campus is just 2km from Manchester with easy transport routes and opportunities to connect with industry in an internationally recognised city home to many growing industries, such as digital, sports business and the built environment. We are supporting many growing areas with partnerships with organisations of all types and sizes. We’re proud to have more partnerships with SMEs than any other Greater Manchester university. We are also the only university with a MediaCityUK campus, sitting right next to neighbours such as ITV and the BBC.
Through teaching, learning, research and enterprise, we harness the skills, imagination and enthusiasm of our students and staff to work in partnership to change people and communities and deliver lasting economic and social benefit.
We are proud to still be the fastest growing university in the north-west and the 5th fastest growing in the UK. We have over 25,000 students and 2,300 staff staff from across the world and an ever-increasing number of alumni in all corners of the globe. We offer undergraduate degrees and postgraduate taught and research degrees in 40 subject areas. We have a main campus in Salford, on the border with Manchester City Centre, and a significant presence in the heart of MediaCityUK.
Whilst our students come from a variety of backgrounds, we have a range of schemes to encourage participation in our academic courses by students from underrepresented socio-economic groups and those from low income households, particularly those here in Salford.
Collaboration and co-creation between industry partners, students and staff come to life across campus, to give our students a range of experiences outside of the lecture theatre. Work placements, live briefs, community and practice-based projects provide real-life experience that puts academic theory into practice.
We’ve always played a major role in improving the lives of our local communities, and today we take this challenge more seriously than ever. Our research is focused on meeting the four grand challenges of the Industrial Strategy: Data and AI; Clean Growth; Future of Mobility; and Ageing Society.
A Great Colleague Experience
We recognise that a great Colleague Experience enables a great Student Experience. We must enable our students to be successful and as our colleagues are at the heart of all student successes, we must enable our colleagues to be consistently at their best.
Everyone is unique, we want to celebrate the differences we all have and look for how we play to everyone’s strengths. We want to create an experience that is consistent, not the same, but where there is a clear understanding and expectation of what working at the University of Salford means.
We know that if we get our colleague experience right, we’ll enable colleagues to be at their best and that colleagues will be enabled to contribute their best. The colleague experience will be the backbone of our culture at the University of Salford and critical to enabling our students to be successful.
Role title: University Secretary and Director of Academic Quality
Reports to: Chairman of Council (University Secretary role) and Chief Operating Officer (Director of Academic Quality role)
The requirement for the role of the University Secretary is set out in the University Ordinances. Ordinances 12.1 and 12.3 provide as follows:
12.1 – In accordance with Section 8 of the Charter, Council has determined that there will be a University Secretary who will act as Secretary to the Council. Council will determine the functions and duties to be performed by the Secretary.
12.3 – The University Secretary may combine the role of Secretary to the Council with responsibilities as a Senior Manager and a member of the Executive. Further details regarding this dual role may be found in Annex B to the Code of Conduct; the Role and Responsibilities of the University Secretary as Secretary to Council.
In summary, the responsibilities of the University Secretary are as follows:
Further information on the role of the University Secretary is provided in the University’s Code of Conduct for members of council and Senior Officers. The relevant sections are provided in Appendix 1.
Director of Academic Quality
The Director of Academic Quality (AQ) will have overall responsibility for establishing the University’s framework for Academic Quality and for establishing processes which provide assurance at local, VCET and Senate level that the framework is operating effectively in practice and is being adhered to.
The Director of AQ will achieve this through the operation of the Quality Management Office (QMO). The QMO provides a focus within the University for the management of the quality and standards of the University’s awards. The work of the Office supports key strategic aims in academic improvement, growth and diversification, and internationalisation by ensuring that quality management policies and procedures are robust and effective in securing and monitoring the standards of academic awards. Further detail on the functions and structure of the QMO is provided as Appendix 2.
The following is intended as a guide to the work initially required and may be adjusted from time to time as appropriate to changing circumstances.
Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the post holder will provide inspiring and energetic leadership for the management of the quality and standards of the University’s awards. This will include the development and implementation of a new Quality Management regime, building on existing good process and significantly developing the approach to encompass a metric-based way of assessing the academic health and performance of modules and programmes. The regime will mirror but not be limited by OfS approaches to measuring quality and standards.
Related functions which will also sit with the Director of AQ include but are not limited to:
The role requires excellent leadership, interpersonal, networking and communication skills, the ability to engage academic and professional services staff at every level of the University, and the ability to build and maintain complex relationships with various stakeholders with differing requirements. Key will be establishing good working relationships with the academic schools such that the new quality management regime has an understanding of and is informed by the operational challenges that module or programme teams may face and the strategic and market positions of each of the schools.
The role requires the postholder to develop an effective, outcome-based approach to interventions whenever shortfall in practice is identified, for example below or near to quality thresholds that OfS may establish from time to time. Where under-performance is identified, the QMO staff will liaise with schools and other internal bodies to ensure appropriate action is taken. Appropriate and systematic escalation procedures will need to be established and operationalised to support the intervention approach.
Key will be for the Postholder to establish productive relationships to embed quality management with all stakeholders. In the academic community those key relationships include the Deans, Associate Deans Academic, Heads and Associate Heads of School, and academic programme leaders. The post holder will have lead responsibility for liaison with a number of external bodies, for example, Ofsted, External Examiners and External Advisors, PSRBs, OIA and other external parties and ensure that all communication is conducted in a professional manner.
This role will demonstrate the Salford behaviours in everything they do to help achieve the University strategic plan with a key focus on Co-Creating, Evolving and Aligning.
|Works with and through others to generate the best possible ideas and solutions for the University, its students and its staff||Creates a better future through a constant focus on improvement and innovation||Focuses on what is in the best interests of the University and its students and positively aligns to University strategy|
Leading the work Quality Management Office, the post holder will:
Background and experience
Skills and competencies
The University’s Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Senior Officers sets out the requirements for the role in relation to Council.
Role of the University Secretary in relation to the Council
At the University of Salford, the University Secretary performs a dual role of Secretary to Council and Senior Officer; this means that, in addition to the University Secretary’s formal role as Secretary to Council, the post holder holds a senior management role in the University.
In respect of the role as Secretary to Council, the post holder is solely, primarily and independently responsible to the Council and therefore reports directly to the Chair of Council for the conduct of Council business and ensuring the integrity of governance.
In respect of the senior officer role, the post holder is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor through the Chief Operating Officer.
The University and the University Secretary must exercise great care in maintaining a separation of the two functions. The Council has agreed guidance on how to deal with conflicts of interest, actual or potential, on any particular matter between the University Secretary’s two roles (see Annex A).
The Chair and members of the Council should look to the University Secretary for guidance about their responsibilities under the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and policies of the University to which they are subject, including legislation and the requirements of OfS, and on how these responsibilities are to be discharged. It is the responsibility of the University Secretary to alert the Council if any proposed action would exceed the Council’s powers or be contrary to legislation, to regulation, or to the OfS Terms and Conditions of Funding for Higher Education Institutions or expose the University to any significant risk.
The University Secretary is responsible for providing legal advice to or obtaining it for the Council and advising it on all matters of procedure. The University Secretary should also advise the Chair in respect to any matters where conflict, potential or real, may occur between the Council and the Vice-Chancellor.
Annex A: The role and responsibilities of the University Secretary as Secretary to the Council
1.0. The post of University Secretary
The University Ordinances provide for the appointment of a University Secretary upon such terms and conditions as it shall determine. The University Secretary combines the role of Secretary to the Council with responsibilities as a senior manager (University Registrar).
The job description for the post draws a clear distinction between these different roles.
2.0. Purpose of this note
Universities need to ensure that the conduct of their business is regulated by a system of checks and balances to ensure accountability and to guard against unlawful or inappropriate practice on the part of the Council or the officers it employs. Whilst the Council itself holds responsibility for the proper conduct of its business, the University Secretary has a key role in helping to ensure this. The purpose of this note is to assist the University Secretary in fulfilling this role and to make clear to other officers or members of the Council the distinctive role that the University Secretary fulfils. It is intended to complement the Higher Education Code of Governance published by the Committee of University Chairs (CUC) in 2014. This document was informed by the Second Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (the ‘Nolan Committee’), published in 1996. More recently the CUC and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education AdvanceHE have published reports to support governing bodies, including in relation to the role and influence of the Secretary. The Corporate Resources webpage (teamsite) provides links to external resources and documents.
3.0. The role of the University Secretary – rationale
The Council carries a significant range of responsibilities and is accountable for their proper discharge. Business is conducted largely by discussion in formal meetings of the Council, communication between Lead Members and senior managers, or committees of the Council established for particular purposes. Meetings of the corporate body or agreement in correspondence are the sole means through which the Council can take decisions other than any which it has specifically delegated to its committees, the Chair or the Vice-Chancellor.
The Council recognises that its systems of governance need to be reviewed regularly so that best practice is maintained.
The University Council has to be seen to:
The legitimacy of the Council’s actions depends upon these actions being within powers and procedures that are established in law, in the University’s Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, etc., and in agreed procedures and standing orders. Every member of the Council shares responsibility for the proper conduct of its business. In fulfilling this responsibility, members of the Council are individually and collectively entitled to guidance on procedures. The Council must also maintain an agreed record of its meetings and the decisions it has taken.
The essence of the role of the University Secretary as Secretary to the Council is therefore to:
4.0. The role of the University Secretary – independence
The University Secretary combines the role of Secretary to the Council with senior management responsibilities in the institution. Indeed, the nature of the Secretary’s role is such that it will need to be undertaken by a senior member of staff who has a close understanding of, and engagement with, the key business of the institution. They S/he also needs to have sufficient knowledge, expertise and standing within the University to carry weight and authority on governance issues with senior colleagues and members of the Council.
To be effective, the Secretary to the Council nevertheless requires an appropriate measure of independence. The Secretary to the Council needs to remain detached from the discussions and decisions of the Council and its committees, not participating in them except to give advice on procedural and other issues or, when the occasion demands it because of their his/her other responsibilities, as a senior manager.
It is incumbent on the University Secretary to make clear to the Council in which capacity they s/he are speaking if there is the possibility of any ambiguity. In circumstances where it is necessary for the University Secretary to report to the Council or one of its committees on matters for which they/s/he carry(ies) senior management responsibility, the University Secretary should raise the matter with the appropriate chair beforehand. If, in the view of either party, the University Secretary’s reporting responsibilities could reasonably be construed as conflicting with their/his/her responsibility to give independent advice and guidance to the committee/Council on the conduct of the particular business, then separate arrangements will be made to provide an alternative independent Secretary to the committee/Council for that item of business.
The University Secretary (when acting as Secretary) needs to be able to act as-is the servant of the Council and must in that capacity be able to preserve independence from the management of the University despite the need (when acting as a senior manager but not as Secretary) to participate as a member of senior management. It is important that all those involved understand that the University Secretary is responsible to the Council, and not to the Vice-Chancellor, for fulfilling their/his/her duties as Secretary, and that appropriate working arrangements are devised which reflect this.
5.0. The role of the University Secretary – corporate governance
The University is a corporate body established by Royal Charter entitled to act as a single person with a separate identity from that of its individual members. While the University Secretary needs to establish and maintain a close working partnership with the Chair of the Council, lead members and the chairs of its committees on a day-to-day basis, and from time to time to advise individual members of the Council, their/his/her ultimate responsibility is to the Council as a whole.
The role of University Secretary in this respect and the relationship with the members of the Council is analogous to that of a company secretary and the board of directors of a company except that a company secretary may also be a member of the board, and this is not the position for the University Secretary. The Code of Practice recommended by the Cadbury Committee in its report The Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance (1992) states that:
“All directors should have access to the advice and services of the company secretary, who is responsible to the board for ensuring that board procedures are followed and that the applicable rules and regulations are complied with.”
The question can arise as to whether any Council business should ever be confidential from the University Secretary. The central issues are those of propriety, public confidence, and the trust between the members of the Council and the University Secretary. Except in respect of the University Secretary’s own appointment, conditions and remuneration and other matters in which the University Secretary’s involvement is an issue, it is unwise for the Council to exclude the University Secretary from any of its business.
For the University Secretary to be able to exercise their/his/her role properly, a relationship of trust should exist between the members of the Council and the University Secretary. The members should be able to trust the University Secretary not to disclose confidential matters or to discuss publicly any disagreements or difficulties which arise during the discussion of Council business. Equally the University Secretary may on occasion need to offer unwelcome advice and the members of Council should trust that such advice is properly considered and offered in their and the University’s best interests.
6.0. Relationships and communications
The effective operation of the Council will depend heavily on a sound working relationship and good communications between the University Secretary, the Chair of Council and the Vice-Chancellor. It is a sine qua non for the effectiveness of the relationship between all three that a climate of trust and confidence is in place.
Whilst the University Secretary must retain the right to approach the Chair of Council on any matter of concern and to give advice to the Chair of Council without going through the Vice- Chancellor, this will only happen in rare and extreme circumstances. It is essential to the smooth running of the institution that the Vice-Chancellor, the Executive Team and the Council are aware of each other’s needs and concerns. The University Secretary is an important conduit for communication between the Vice-Chancellor, the Chair and the members of the Council.
Senior managers are responsible for making sure that the Council and its committees are fully aware of developments that touch on their responsibilities, of the information which needs to be provided to them, of decisions they may be asked to take and of progress in responding to requests by members for reports or information. To a large extent, this will be achieved through discussions between the Chair of Council and the Vice-Chancellor, or between senior officers and either chairs of the relevant committees or lead members. The University Secretary needs, however, to play a pro-active role in assisting the progress of business by liaising with senior colleagues. In order to do this the University Secretary needs to be kept informed on matters that involve, or will involve, the members of Council. The University Secretary should also be seen by senior staff, who are preparing matters for Council or committee consideration, as a source of advice on procedure, presentation, propriety, legality, compliance and timing.
The University Secretary is appointed to serve the whole Council and any member should have access to their/his/her services and be able to seek assistance from them/him/her about any aspect of their member responsibilities. The University Secretary in turn has a responsibility for ensuring that members of Council are receiving the appropriate level of information to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities.
From time-to-time complaints about the institution will be made direct to members of Council. Whilst such complaints should be acknowledged, members of Council should not seek to investigate or respond themselves unless and until the University’s agreed complaints procedures require them to become involved. The University has clearly defined procedures for dealing with complaints including whistleblowing, as recommended in the Second Report of the Nolan Committee. The University Secretary has a key role in such procedures, acting as a conduit for complaints and overseeing compliance with process.
Functions and structure of the Quality Management Office
The QMO is structured as two mutually supporting teams, the Quality Standards Team and Quality Operational Team
The Quality Standards Team will:
The Quality Operational Team will:
To view the QMO structure organogram, please click here.
A competitive salary will be negotiated with the successful candidate.
To find out more about the support and benefits we offer, please click here.
Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to the University of Salford. 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: Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ed Pritchard on +44(0)7980 817 927, email@example.com
The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 8 November 2021
Applications should consist of:
Completed applications should be uploaded at www.andersonquigley.com/candidates using thereference AQ1241.
|Closing date:||Noon on Monday 8 November|
|Longlisting:||Friday 12 November|
|Preliminary Interviews with AQ:||Week commencing 15 November|
|Shortlisting:||Thursday 25 November|
|Informal conversations with Salford University||Friday 10 December|
|Final Panel Interviews:||Friday 17 December|