Join a University committee - your contribution needed

Firth

University committees are forums where you can discuss ideas and share expertise. They’re a way of exploring complex issues in detail, so that the University can make the most informed decisions possible. It’s challenging, stimulating work. And it’s not as time consuming as you might think.

The committee vacancies

  • Appeals Committee: Senior academic staff with experience of pastoral issues and an understanding of behavioural and academic misconduct issues.
  • Discipline Committee: Senior academic staff with considerable experience of pastoral, progression and professional issues.
  • Learning and Teaching Committee: Three current heads of department who are able to contribute to learning and teaching development and the management of quality and standards.
  • Research Ethics Committee: Two members of staff, one from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and one from the Professional Services.

Express your interest

The work of these committees influences the direction of the University. They make things fairer, more transparent and more efficient. They have a real impact on our students’ experience and on our working lives. The decisions they make, the principles they protect, and the changes they propose, are important.

Which is why your contribution is needed.

Dr Tony Strike, University Secretary, said: “Our University community is richly diverse. Our committees are one place where people with different views, experiences and skills come together with a shared purpose. Our committees are the University's internal governing bodies; they receive and test assurances, consider recommendations, make decisions and instigate actions. To be effective in these functions our committees must encompass the diversity of opinions, skills and backgrounds found in the University. Please take a few minutes to look at the positions available and consider whether you could contribute and help make a difference. We look forward to hearing from you.”

Committee members on their experiences

Professor Harm Askes, Professor of Computational Mechanics and Head of Engineering Interdisciplinary Programmes

"Being on the Learning and Teaching Committee, with members from all Faculties and the Professional Services, makes me remember what student life was like. Meeting people from different walks of life. Understanding drivers. Exploring (and occasionally trespassing) unknown territories of intellectual debate. All in all, an invaluable experience!"

Dr Richard Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Public Health

"Acting as a University committee member is a rewarding, interesting and varied role. I feel that it is important to support these activities, as they are key to the functioning of the university and upholding its standards. In the context of the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), I have been involved for several years and feel I contribute not only to maintaining high standards of research ethics involving human participants but also to the development of policy and procedures. The role also means that I work with staff from other faculties and departments and I value the opportunity this gives to understand what research and activities are undertaken elsewhere in the university. There are also many intellectual rewards in this role, and I feel that I am valued for my contributions, views and experiences."

Dr Katherine Linehan, Faculty Director EDI and Academic Lead for Human Anatomy (BMS)

"Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) has an impact on all members of the University community, whether staff or student. Contributing to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee allows me to play my part in ensuring that the University promotes a place of work and study which embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. Everyone’s story is personal and different and I really enjoy discovering about the experiences of individuals with relation to EDI and learning about both the challenges and best practices in TUoS through my role on the committee."

Professor Roel Vismans, Professor of Dutch Studies

"I have been a member of the Appeals and Discipline Committees for several years and found it an invaluable experience. There is a pool of colleagues to take part in these committees who are called upon as the need arises. This means that you can decide whether or not to take part in a specific meeting, according to the pressures of your own diary. Over the last three or four years I have taken part in on average two meetings a year, sometimes as a reserve member. You typically spend a half day investigating a specific case, talking to the parties concerned (the student, a representative of the relevant department and any other parties involved) and listening to their side of the story, and finally agreeing a decision. What I have learnt in these sessions is that you soon forget any preconceived ideas you may have, because there are always more facets to an issue than seems to be the case at first. The other thing I have valued, is working with colleagues and students from across the University, good people who always want the best for the student and for the institution. And in my experience common sense always prevails."


Further information on the committee vacancies

For general advice about serving on committees, contact Kathryn Clements in the University Secretary’s Office on extension 21716.

Appeals Committee

The panel meets two or three times a year to consider appeals made on behalf of students excluded from faculties.

Who we need: Senior academic staff with experience of pastoral issues and an understanding of behavioural and academic misconduct issues.

Discipline Committee

The panel meets several times a year to consider cases of alleged student misconduct.

Who we need: Senior academic staff with considerable experience of pastoral, progression and professional issues. Expressions of Interest are particularly welcomed from colleagues in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Learning and Teaching Committee

Members meet three times a year to enrich and promote the learning, teaching and assessment culture of the University.

Who we need: Three current heads of department who are able to contribute to learning and teaching development and the management of quality and standards.

Research Ethics Committee

Members meet up to four times a year. Their work informs the University’s approach. Members also do other work, which includes visits to departments and raising awareness of our ethics policy and review procedure.

Who we need: Two members of staff, one from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and one from the Professional Services.


Procedural note

Senate has approved a number of guiding principles regarding committee memberships, which are in the process of being implemented.

One of the guiding principles states that committees of the Senate will have ‘at least one member of the Senate as a representative of the Senate, with a view to transitioning to a position where all representatives of the Senate are members of the Senate’. Since the University is currently in the process of changing the composition of Senate, the membership for 2019-20 will not been known until the summer. The University has decided to proceed with the call for expressions of interest for the vacancies below, without requiring membership of Senate as a condition. It is anticipated that the new guiding principles will be fully implemented during the 2019-20 academic year, for committee memberships from 1 August 2020.