Chair of Council Ref: C181

School/department: The University Council 
Hours: Part time. It is expected 3 or 4 days per month, and will include both daytime and evening engagements. The Chair of Council should be contactable at all times.
Location: Meetings will take place either on campus outside Brighton or virtually.
Contract: Fixed term for 3 years and eligible for reappointment. 
Reference: C181
Placed on: 25 January 2023
Closing date: 20 March 2023. Applications must be received by noon of the closing date.
Expected interview date: 03 May 2023
Expected start date: It is hoped that the successful candidate will join Council from June 2023 as an observer, and then commence an initial three-year term as Chair of Council from 01 August 2023

Job description

The University of Sussex is 60 years young this year. From the very start, we were a new kind of university: challenging convention and fostering critical, at times dissenting, thinking through new interdisciplinary pathways. We remain true to our original purpose whilst relevant to the 21st Century.  

The University Council is the governing body of Sussex and is responsible for providing oversight for senior management in delivery of the strategy, safeguarding the success of the University and ensuring it continues to prosper. We are looking for a Chair of Council to provide exceptional leadership to our highly-engaged Council and to ensure that all members work together effectively. The incoming Chair will ensure that Council provides robust and constructive challenge and support to the executive, as they strive to reclaim our top 20 place in the league tables, drive forward the current strategic framework and work on developing its successor.  The Chair will work in close partnership with Professor Sasha Roseneil, our new and ambitious Vice-Chancellor, and will act as an excellent sounding-board and source of wise counsel. They will be a highly-respected member of the Sussex community, and will represent the University externally.  

We welcome expressions of interest from individuals with an outstanding track-record of success in their own field and who bring well-developed strategic and analytical abilities coupled with strong leadership qualities established through senior posts in organisations of comparable scale, diversity and complexity. Strong candidates will have prior non-executive experience and will be skilled at chairing meetings. The new Chair will bring commercial acumen, as well as tact and diplomatic skill. They will demonstrate sound and careful judgement, political awareness, sensitivity towards the potential conflicts that can arise within a complex organisation, and an alignment with the University’s culture. The Chair will demonstrate a strong commitment to the values of the University of Sussex and of higher education more broadly.  

This is an opportunity to play a leading role in the governance of this unique and special University and in the shaping of its future. 

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds particularly those from women, people from black and minority ethnic communities, the LGBT+ community and from disabled people.

Full details of the role and the search process can be found with our recruitment partners Miverna Search here.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification Ref C181 [PDF 938.77KB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

How to apply

please submit a CV and cover letter to

You might also be interested in: