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Views on a new VC

Published: 23rd March, 2019

On Wednesday (March 20) representatives from Leicester UCU, along with reps from Unison and Unite, the other two unions that represent University of Leicester employees, attended a meeting entitled ‘Selecting our next Vice-Chancellor: we want your views’. The meeting was facilitated by Fiona Carruthers of ‘international executive search firm’ Perrett Laver – which has been engaged by the University Leadership to headhunt a new VC.

Leicester UCU’s core views on the qualities and experience we think essential for the next vice chancellor are as follows. We explained these to Ms Carruthers on Wednesday and we have also put them Dave Hall (Registrar and Chief Operating Officer), Edmund Burke (acting VC), Bridget Towle (outgoing chair of Council) and Gary Dixon (incoming chair of Council).

Track record of good industrial relations

Evidence of standing up for terms and conditions, pay, pensions, etc.

Evidence of having involved staff in decision making (recognising importance of staff)

Track record of transparency

Evidence of when/where they have introduced transparency in a process

Evidence of taking responsibility for flawed decisions and leads the process of making amends for their consequences.

Commitment to engagement with staff

Regular attendance at meetings between ULT and staff (e.g. JNCC)

Demonstrates proper visibility (e.g. tours campus, meets staff, chats with staff…)

Respects and accepts the diversity and heterogeneity of staff and their working practices and benchmarks of success.

Recognises and values staff as the foundations of the University and the basis of its success

Not a VC with their own vision, rather a VC that meets UoL’s current vision

Commits time to getting to know UoL and the city, observing and seeking to understand how things work

Recognises University of Leicester’s values and unique attraction (diversity, multicultural, history of a university that came out of the country’s darkest hour, links with and provides benefits to local community, pockets of excellence in specific areas…)

Commits to re-establishing / developing links with the city’s community (e.g. question: How do they see their relations with the city of Leicester)

VC pay

VC pay ratio – e.g. no more than 10 times more than the lowest earner

VC not to sit on their own remuneration committee!

Abolish VC bonuses

We have requested that Leicester UCU remains involved in the recruitment process over the coming months. We have, for example, asked to meet potential candidates and to be involved on the selection panel.

Regardless of the response of the ULT and Council to these requests, we will be initiating a wider discussion amongst all members of the University of Leicester (students as well as staff), along with other ‘stakeholders’, to explore the future of our university.