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Universities UK, Management Guidance for the appointment of Vice Chancellors


The effectiveness of the appointment of senior non-academic staff in higher education institutions is critical to the continuing world-class performance of this sector. The current guidance, published in 2004, has been to a large extent overtaken by events because of changes in the market. Additionally, its general nature limited its usefulness with a key part of the audience: the institution governors, who for the most part have little experience in higher education, yet are responsible for the appointment of the heads of institution.

Oakleigh was commissioned by a higher education consortium led by Universities UK to compile two new guidance documents. One is to be a general guide aimed at those appointing senior staff across the institution. The other is specifically focussed at governors to guide them through the key steps in appointing heads.


Our consultants interviewed a wide range of stakeholders to identify the important issues which would need to be addressed. We spoke to chairs of governors and senior university staff, including a number of institution heads, as well as various representative bodies in the sector and a number of search consultancies. Oakleigh’s extensive experience of the public sector allowed us to look at senior management appointments across the whole field.


Oakleigh has compiled the two guides and a background paper to set out a wider discussion of the issues which had arisen during the research. The guidance addresses, among other aspects, the concerns of the sector on issues such as the use of search consultants and the diversity of the available talent pool. It is due to be launched by the CUC in October 2009.

If you have any questions about the subjects covered in this white paper or you would like to find out more about how Oakleigh Consulting could help your organisation, please contact us on 0161 835 4100 or email us.


You may publish, quote or reproduce any white papers on this website on the condition that Oakleigh Consulting Ltd is notified, properly credited (and linked to) as the source, including our URL: www.oakleigh.co.uk.


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