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Members of Council for University of Salford

University of SalfordThe University of Salford prides itself on being a contemporary and enterprising university committed to providing the finest education and outstanding student experience.  A vibrant, pioneering organisation, with ambitious plans for the future, Salford has over 19,000 students, including 2,000 international students from over 160 countries and an annual turnover of circa £180 million. 

Wickland Westcott was chosen to assist the University in the search to identify three new independent Members for the University Council. The University Council is the supreme governing body of the University, overseeing its activities and ensuring delivery of the strategic plan, and Members are effectively Non-Executive Directors.  In line with the University’s strong reputation for forging commercial and business partnerships across industry, the specification required talented individuals with board level, strategic leadership experience and commercial expertise gained within large, complex organisations.  The functional requirement covered three specific areas: HR (including remuneration), Marketing and IT.

The challenge of this search was to identify talented individuals capable of transferring their strategic and commercial expertise into a higher education setting. The unremunerated nature of the roles also meant that potential candidates needed to be firmly convinced of the value that they, and their existing organisations, would derive from giving up their time to join the Council.  In addition there was a practical consideration - the requirement was to appoint all three Members in a single final Panel day, so only candidates of the highest calibre could be allowed to take a place on the shortlist.  
Wickland Westcott undertook a far-reaching search extending across private and public sector organisations, both in the region and beyond. Utilising the access afforded by our existing, extensive board-level connections, combined with market-mapping of key individuals within leading organisations, we identified a comprehensive target list. The ‘sell’ to potential candidates was the unique opportunity to become involved with a leading University at a time of significant change, drawing upon the skills they had gained in other sectors to help Salford achieve its strategic goals. The search resulted in the successful appointment of three high-profile individuals representing significant organisations in the North West, who not only offered the required skills, but also demonstrated a clear affinity with the values, aims and objectives of the University of Salford.

Mark Rollinson, University Secretary, commented of Wickland Westcott: 

“Wickland Westcott, through Mike Spurr and colleagues, demonstrated a clear understanding of our requirements from the outset and were responsive and highly professional throughout the recruitment process. Their search produced a strong long list and, in turn, a high calibre short list of candidates who were interviewed on a single, final Panel Day. We are very pleased with the appointments made and anticipate all candidates making a strong contribution to the governance of the University”.