Appointment of the University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer

Welcome

Dear applicant

Thank you for your interest in joining the University of East London as University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer.

The University of East London is a careers-led university dedicated to supporting our students to develop the skills, emotional intelligence and creativity needed to thrive in a constantly changing world. We produce graduates, entrepreneurs and researchers capable of making profound social, cultural and economic impact in our own community of East London, and globally.

London is moving east, and the University is located in the heart of this industrial and creative shift. Centred on one of the world’s most multi-cultural areas, the University has a 17,000-strong diverse student body representing 134 nationalities across three dynamic campuses – two in Stratford and one in the Royal Docks within London’s only enterprise zone. We employ more than 1,300 staff and have a turnover of more than £130 million.

In 2018 the University of East London launched a new 10-year strategy, Vision 2028, aimed at transforming the curriculum, pedagogy, research impact and partnerships to make a positive difference to student, graduate and community success. The ambitious goal is to become the leading careers-focused, enterprising university in the UK, one which prepares students for the jobs of the future and provides the innovation to drive that future sustainably and inclusively.

We are now seeking an exceptional individual to join us as University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer, working directly to the Vice-Chancellor & President and Chair of the Board, leading governance, legal and compliance matters across the institution.

The University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer is a member of the University Executive Board (UEB) and will act as Clerk to the Board of Governors. The incumbent will be responsible for delivering a professional, effective and efficient service to the Board and its committees and ensuring compliance with the University’s system of governance and the higher education regulatory framework. The University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer will work with the Board and the UEB to position UEL as an exemplar of governance best practice. The University Secretary will also lead the legal team, which provides legal advice to the Board and manages institutional compliance.

We are seeking to appoint a specialist in governance, ideally with experience of the higher education sector. The successful candidate will bring significant experience of supporting boards and developing good governance and will be an outstanding communicator, able to persuade and influence at the highest levels and advise on a broad range of governance, legal and compliance issues.

You can find out more about UEL, our ambitious plans and the role of University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer on this website. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you, in strict confidence – their details can also be found on this site.

I do hope you will make an application to join us at what is a critical stage in the development and evolution of UEL.

Yours faithfully

Professor Amanda Broderick
Vice-Chancellor and President, University of East London

About us

The University of East London is a vibrant and diverse university located in Stratford and Docklands. Our goal is to become the leading careers-focused, enterprising university in the UK, one which both prepares our students for the jobs of the future and provides the innovation to drive that future sustainably and inclusively.

The University has been pioneering futures since 1898: from the 2nd Industrial Revolution through to where we are now, the 4th. We work with global organisations to make our courses entrepreneurial, creative and inspirational. Wherever our students want to work – in business, technology, teaching, arts, media, science, sport or the public sector – they will have the skills necessary to adapt to the world of tomorrow, and to be the leaders and pioneers of today.

More and more, employers are seeking workers who possess skills such as emotional intelligence and creativity, the ability to think critically and undertake complex problem solving. That’s why we’ve put these skills at the heart of every one of our degrees, counting towards students’ final qualification.

This ambition is captured in the four strategic objectives of Vision 2028:

  • Future Graduate: to increase participation, engagement, progression and successful completion of life-changing, life-long education.
  • Future Professional: to address industry and community skills gaps, increasing access to and acceleration of graduate-level employment.
  • Future Life: to increase the economic, social and cultural impact of our education, applied research and enterprise activity to the communities we serve.
  • Sustainability: to increase financial, physical, digital, environmental and human resilience, maximising value, reducing waste and incentivising behaviour.

Key Information

  • UEL has campuses in Stratford and Docklands, within easy access of central London.
  • UEL has over 17,000 under-graduate and post-graduate students from over 130 different countries studying on UEL awarded programmes.
  • UEL has an annual turnover of over £130 million.
  • UEL has 1,300 staff.
  • UEL is centred on six schools – the School of Health, Sports and Biosciences; School of Business and Law; School of Psychology; School of Architecture; Computer Science and Engineering; School of Arts and Creative Industries and the Cass School of Education and Communities.

Governance

The University of East London is a higher education corporation as defined under the Education Reform Act 1988. The powers of higher education corporations are defined by that act and include the power to provide higher and further education and to carry out research. The University of East London is an exempt charity under the terms of the Charities Act 2011.

Governance and Legal Services at UEL

Governance and Legal Services performs a key role within the University.  It has stewardship of the governance framework of our University and assists the Board of Governors, the UEB, and Schools and Services to maintain compliance across a range of domains. It also provides the secretariat for the Board and its Committees. The team gives specialist legal services support, professional advice, guidance and support to Governors and senior managers on a range of aspects of corporate governance and legal issues.

Staff provide management support for specific individual cases of personal or corporate litigation involving staff, students, partner organisations or other parties.  They advise, as the need arises, on other areas of law which are relevant to the activities of our University, its partners and/or subsidiaries.  In addition, the office undertakes due diligence and risk assessments on collaborative activities and partnerships, assisting in development of contracts and a range of legal agreements. As part of governance, the office is responsible for oversight of risk management arrangements.

Key Aims

The key aims of the service to support the University in meeting its strategic aims are to:

  • Provide support to the effective performance of Board of Governors and Committees;
  • Support schools and services through the provision of specialist advice and staff development;
  • Reduce exposure to risk through the risk management process;
  • Ensure compliance with external legislation/regulatory requirements; and
  • Avoid reputational and financial damage to the university.

The Chair of the UEL Board of Governors is Anulika Ajufo.

With over a decade of experience in investment and finance at some of the world’s largest financial institutions, including Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and The Carlyle Group, Anulika Ajufo has an investment track record spanning across a range of sectors and geographies.

She is currently an investment professional at Soros Impact Investment Fund where she leads on investments across the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on financial inclusion and access to services for marginalised populations globally.

Anulika is passionate about finance and economic justice through development as well as the need to promote equity and social justice in the world’s most fragile countries. In 2006, Anulika set up The Sequoia Platform, a not-for-profit initiative which focuses on education and empowering vulnerable youth through skills development, mentoring, and work placements with the support of strong regional and international partnerships.

Anulika has a BEng and MEng in medical engineering from Queen Mary University of London and an MSc in law and finance from the University of Oxford.

Full details of the membership of the Board can be found here.

The role and responsibilities of the Board of Governors is set out in the Articles of Government.

The Sub-Committees of the Board are:

  • Audit and Risk Committee
  • Finance and Resources Committee
  • Governance and Search Committee
  • Remuneration Committee

The role

University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer

Job reference:
AQ907

Grade: Management
Service: Board of Governors; University Executive Board; Academic Board       
Campus: Docklands                         
Responsible to: The Vice-Chancellor & President for legal and compliance matters; Chair of the Board in relation to Clerk to the Board duties
Responsible for: Governance and legal services team; Data Protection; Compliance and Complaints & Appeals team, strategic planning
Liaison with: Board of Governors and University Executive Board (UEB) members

Job Purpose

The University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer (who will also be Clerk to the Board of Governors) provides professional advice to the Board and the Vice-Chancellor & President and is responsible for ensuring that the Board of Governors complies with the relevant legislation and terms of authorisation.

The University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer maintains an awareness of relevant governance practice and requirements in order to advise and support the Board in the development and maintenance of procedures for the effective and efficient governance of the institution.

The University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer advises the Chairs of the Board and its Committees, including ad hoc working groups, in their roles to ensure that meetings run efficiently and effectively to meet the intended outcomes contained in their terms of reference and the scheme of delegation and that they are properly recorded.

She/he ensures that the members of the Board and Governors receive appropriate induction, development and onward support.

The post-holder also oversees a legal function for the University, ensuring that risks are minimised and that members of the University Leadership Team understand and operate in compliance with the law and the UK HE regulatory framework.

The University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer is also responsible for managing the institutional insurance policies; dealing with renewals as they arise and assessing the appropriateness of cover provided.  The post holder will also liaise with insurers on individual matters that arise from time to time.

In overall terms, this role enables an effective governance and legal/compliance culture to be maintained and introduces opportunities for beneficial change.

Key Duties & responsibilities:

  • To advise the Board of Governors on the integrity and propriety of governance and to ensure procedural and regulatory compliance.
  • To provide guidance to the Board of Governors on its responsibilities, including legal advice.
  • To support the Chair of the Board of Governors in ensuring that the Board functions efficiently and effectively.
  • To advise the Chair of the Board of Governors regarding internal procedures and effectiveness.
  • To be responsible for the administration of the Board of Governors, the Academic Board and their selective Committees; to manage a team of staff and organise Board meetings and undertake agenda planning and recording of proceedings; and to manage the Secretary to the Academic Board.
  • To advise and support individual members of the Board of Governors (including the Chair) with induction, development and support.
  • To support the Chair of the Board and the Vice-Chancellor & President in succession planning for new Board members and the appointment of senior post holders to University posts.
  • To act as or line-manage company secretaries to the University’s subsidiary companies where required, and to ensure compliance with recognised good practice in administrating and reporting to the UEB and the Board on the business of subsidiaries, in conjunction with the nominated officer(s).
  • To oversee compliance with the Prevent Duty by the University.
  • To ensure compliance with Equality and Diversity legislation, to advise the Board and the Leadership Team on this and to promote good practice in this area.
  • To oversee the University’s arrangements for risk management.
  • To liaise on formal constitutional matters with the Students’ Union.
  • To oversee the in-house legal and compliance services team, including an in-house legal team whose work may be commissioned, via the University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer, by the Vice-Chancellor & President and/or the Chair of the Board.
  • Act as the lead officer responsible for the compliant handling of student complaints, academic and non-academic discipline, academic appeals and other student regulatory casework.
  • To work with the University’s in-house legal team to liaise with external lawyers instructed by the University.
  • To oversee the review and effectiveness of the University’s insurance coverage.
  • To keep the University Seal and report to the Board of Governors on its use.
  • To undertake any other duties requested by the Vice-Chancellor & President or the Chair of the Board in relation to the role of University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Educational qualifications/achievements

Essential

  1. A first degree or equivalent.
  2. Knowledge and experience with company law and/or governance.
  3. Evidence of continuing professional development.

Desirable

  1. Chartered Secretary qualification (ICSA).
  2. A higher degree or postgraduate qualification.

Knowledge and experience

Essential

  1. A proven track record and experience as a Company Secretary or similar role.
  2. An understanding of the roles of the Boards of Governors / trustees in higher education institutions or similar organisations. Appreciation of the responsibility of the Board for the overall governance, strategic direction and the financial health of the institution and exercising appropriate accountability for the Chief Executive.
  3. Experience of committee and agenda management.
  4. Experience of facilitating change in governance and board practice.
  5. A comprehensive understanding of the legal and regulatory framework in which a UK university operates.
  6. Strong commitment to equality and diversity issues.

Desirable

  1. Experience of working at a senior level in a university.
  2. Experience of being Clerk to a university board.

Skills

Essential

  1. High degree of self-confidence and personal strength so that the individual may work independently, ask challenging questions and give advice in potentially difficult circumstances both to the Board, individual Board members and to senior members of University staff.
  2. The ability to treat matters confidentially where appropriate and to be able to work effectively at both Board level and at senior executive level.
  3. An ability to understand legislation and to operate within a legal/compliance framework.
  4. Clear organisational skills, the ability to coordinate business, to establish agendas and supporting papers to strict deadlines, to ensure that minutes and papers are produced according to clear timetables in accordance with Board policy.
  5. Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.  Excellent inter-personal skills, the ability to deal with a wide range of people inside and outside the University, such as professional advisors, lawyers and auditors etc.
  6. An ability to analyse practices, identify opportunities for improvement and engage people to enable improvement.
  7. Good conceptual ability.

Desirable

  1. Understanding of higher education sector and governance.
  2. Personal drive continuously to scan governance practice generally, identify relevance to the University and propose improvement opportunities.

Terms of appointment

Benefits at UELPS Ltd

At UEL Professional Services Ltd we are committed to promoting the values of equality, inclusivity and diversity throughout our community of staff and the students that we serve. In keeping with this, we have developed a wide range of benefits making UEL Professional Services Ltd an attractive place to work. These include family-friendly policies, access to nursery facilities, competitive salary and pension arrangements, a commitment to staff development and a host of other benefits.

Salary

A competitive salary will be negotiated with the preferred candidate.

Annual leave

This role is entitled to 30 days’ annual leave plus public holidays.

Pension schemes

UEL Professional Services Ltd offers a generous defined contribution scheme, the UEL Retirement and Savings Plan, which employees automatically join on commencing employment (unless they choose to opt out). The Plan offers a 10% employer contribution without employee contribution, matching employee contributions on a ratio of 1.5 : 1 up to a maximum additional employer contribution of 6%, and generous ill health salary protection and death in service benefits.

Family-friendly policies

For staff with children between the ages of two and six years, there is a state-of-the-art nursery at Docklands, while at Stratford we can offer places at local, privately-run nurseries. We have a flexible working policy and generous maternity, adoption and parental leave policies.

Travel

The University campuses offer easy access to public transport and are just 30 minutes from Central London. The Stratford campus is just a few minutes’ walk from Stratford Station, a major transport hub. Docklands Campus has its own Docklands Light Railway Station, Cyprus. In addition, interest-free season-ticket loans and bicycle loans are offered to all staff, and there is also car parking available subject to application for a parking permit.

Staff development

We are strongly committed to developing the skills and careers of all our staff. Annual staff development reviews and personal action plans are designed to enable staff to develop their careers, and are supported by an extensive range of courses and events to enhance management, teaching and learning, IT and personal development skills. We also encourage our staff to obtain a degree or higher level qualification on one of our programmes by part-time study, with fees met by UEL Professional Services Ltd.

Other benefits include:

  • Eye care vouchers
  • Occupational health service
  • Prayer rooms
  • Wide range of catering facilities
  • Salary sacrifice scheme – professional subscriptions, bicycle loans, childcare vouchers

All of the terms and conditions of service and the employment policies are on the UEL website, please visit.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to the University of East London. 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 consultant at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534 or Sophie Rees on +44(0)7719 313 982.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 14th February 2020.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV including your educational and professional qualifications, full employment history, latest remuneration, details of relevant achievements and contact details.
  • A covering letter stating how you meet the criteria in the Person Specification and outlining your motivation for applying for this role. Your covering letter should be a maximum of two sides of A4.
  • Details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please follow the link to complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at www.andersonquigley.com/candidates using the reference AQ907.

Closing date: Noon on Friday 14th February
Longlisting: Thursday 27th February
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 2nd March
Shortlisting: Tuesday 10th March
Final Panel Interviews: Tuesday 24th March