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The University of Southampton
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Appointing our new Vice-Chancellor

Our current President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, retires from the University on 8 March 2019. We have now begun our process to find his successor.

We want to make sure that our wide community of stakeholders is involved in the recruitment of the next Vice-Chancellor. This page details the recruitment timeline, so you can see the process being followed in the search to find the best candidate.

As the project progresses we will update the information on this page. Staff and students can also find updates from the Academic Lead for the recruitment process, Professor Mandy Fader, on SUSSED and a dedicated Searching for our next Vice-Chancellor intranet site.

The Vice-Chancellor Role and Profile

The extensive input from our staff, students and other stakeholders has enabled us to develop a strong set of attributes that we will be looking for in our next Vice-Chancellor, as well as presenting a rich view of the personality and priorities for our University. We have drawn these together to create a recruitment pack.

Our UoS initials in large cut out

Vice-Chancellor Recruitment Pack

Download the Vice-Chancellor Recruitment Pack to learn more.

Download now

Engaging with our community

In October 2018 we received 744 responses to the online survey in which staff and students provided their feedback on what they consider to be the challenges that a Vice-Chancellor must be able to deal with and the attributes that person should have.

To give staff and students additional opportunities to provide feedback seven, open, drop-in sessions were held between 29 October and 7 November. Alex Acland (lead consultant for our search partner, Odgers Berndtson), held drop-in sessions on Highfield Campus over two days, while Professor Mandy Fader held a further five sessions on our campuses at the National Oceanographic Centre Southampton, Winchester School of Art, Avenue and University Hospital Southampton. There were no presentations during these sessions; they were simply another chance for staff and students to provide their input.

For those unable to make the drop-in sessions we created a dedicated email inbox. To enable our alumni to provide their input we promoted this to them through the Southampton Connects Alumni magazine.

Students were also provided with opportunities to provide informal input via a physical message board promoted by the Students’ Union in a number of venues.

Our search partners held meetings and listened to feedback from a range of stakeholders including: the three recognised trade unions; the Vice-Presidents; the faculty Deans; Southampton City Council leadership; SUSU sabbatical officers; the Professional Services Leadership Team and colleagues at the Malaysian campus.

The three Senate representatives on the Selection Committee also ran informal engagement so that Senators could provide individual input into the consultation.

The recruitment timeline

October 2018
November – December - January - February - March

Targeted global search by Odgers Berndtson creates a candidate long list.

The Selection Committee decide upon a short list of candidates and formal interviews and assessment follow.

April 2019

We hope to be able to announce our new Vice-Chancellor following approval from Council.

Interim Vice-Chancellor

If there is a need for an interim Vice-Chancellor for the intervening period between Sir Christopher Snowden’s retirement and the appointment of his successor, the University will operate in accordance with its Ordinances. See Offices of the University and the Faculties 1.6.4, which state: “One of the Vice-Presidents shall act for the Vice-Chancellor during his or her absence or during a vacancy in that office.”

We will provide public information on the appointment of an interim Vice-Chancellor on 8 March 2019.


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