University of Southampton Invites Staff and Students to Participate in Vice-Chancellor Recruitment Survey


The University of Southampton has launched a survey asking for student and staff feedback on what they seek from the next Vice-Chancellor. The survey opened yesterday and will run until Friday 12th October.

As reported by Wessex Scene last month, current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, intends to retire in Spring 2019. Upon Professor Sir Christopher Snowden’s announcement, the University confirmed that the recruitment process for finding his successor ‘will begin immediately’.

In the internal SUSSED communication announcing the survey, the University invites staff and students to participate ‘to help define the key attributes for our next Vice-Chancellor’.  Among the short number of questions asked, the survey asks participants ‘What background and experience does our University need in a new VC and why?’ as well as the ‘attributes (values, behaviours, abilities)’ they believe a new Vice-Chancellor will need to ‘successfully deliver the established University strategy’.

According to the SUSSED announcement, all responses will be anonymous and ‘the key themes distilled into a number of attributes… [to] inform the person specification that we use in the search for our next leader’.

The University’s Chair of Council, Philip Greenish, states in the announcement that he expects the next Vice-Chancellor to continue the existing overall University strategy:

Our strategy and ambitions are clear, and we will ensure a smooth transition to [Sir Christopher’s] successor next year, who will continue our exciting transformation journey.

The University Council, the University’s highest decision-making body of which SUSU President Emily Dawes is a member, have formally approved the recruiting process for the next Vice-Chancellor.

Firstly, a Selection Committee (SC) will be created to search and select possible candidates.  The SUSSED announcement says that ‘a representative from the student community’ will be part of the panel, along with colleagues from the Senate, 3 members of the University Council and others.

The University will also look globally for the next Vice-Chancellor via ‘expressions of interest from Executive Search partners’.

Eventually, the SC will create a shortlist of candidates who will be asked ‘to undertake the formal selection process’. While the SC will recommend a candidate for approval, the final say on who will be appointed will lie with the University Council.


Editor 2018-19 | International Editor 2017/18. Final year Modern History and Politics student from Bedford. Drinks far too much tea for his own good.

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