AboutWhen you enrol at the University of Hertfordshire you don't just join the uni, you also become a member of Hertfordshire Students' Union. That's us! We're here to support you on your student journey and make sure it's the best it can be. The Students' Union is led by the Elected Officers and underpinned by a passionate team of staff. We are a registered charity, completely independent from the University. Your free membership with Herts SU gives you access to all of our services. This means you can benefit from academic representation, advice & support, events, opportunities and a world class entertainments venue. Whatever you're studying, wherever you are, your SU has something for you.
Job Title: Chair of the Board of Trustees – Voluntary
Duration Maximum of two term (six years)
Purpose: To sit on the governing body of the Students’ Union to ensure the Union is run well, meeting it’s charitable aims and working within the legal and constitutional framework.
The Role: The role will develop key understandings of our students at Hertfordshire and play a vital part in the Union’s development.
This is a voluntary role, with no remuneration, however expenses associated with fulfilling the role will be covered. The University of Hertfordshire itself is an exciting and diverse university, supporting students to transform their lives through education, and Hertfordshire Students’ Union is a separate charitable organisation providing services, opportunities and campaigns for the rights of UH’s vibrant student population. The Union is focused on ensuring it represents views of all of the students at the University and we are proud to be awarded Students’ Union of the year by the National Centre for Diversity in 2021.
We are looking for an individual who truly wants to make a difference and is passionate about helping students fully benefit, grow and develop through their university experiences. We are particularly interested in speaking with you if you have knowledge, skills or experience that you may have gained in any of the following areas:
· Human Resources
· Chairing meetings
· Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
· Strategy development
· Marketing and communications
· Financial management
Vision: Our vision at Hertfordshire Students’ Union is to help students love Herts.
Values: We are a truly values-led organisation. As such, our Trustees must demonstrate our everyday values of innovation, collaboration, critical thinking and friendliness whilst ensuring Hertfordshire Students’ Union is truly representative of students. We encourage our team to have fun at work while never losing sight of our vision.
Service Excellence: We go above and beyond for our students and each other – we’re committed to providing excellent service across the board and we support each other to prioritise this every day.
Equal Opportunities: We encourage applications from individuals from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences to reflect the current student population. We welcome all applications regardless of a persons’ race, sex, disability, religion/beliefs, sexual orientation or age.
Our trustees are instrumental in shaping the direction of the Union, ensuring we are always representing the views of our students, maintaining stable finances, and consistently supporting our student experience in ever changing times. We have four external trustees who work collectively to ensure our charitable objectives are achieved and we operate ethically and within guidelines. Our trustees are active members of our board and you will support our elected officers during their tenure.
Key Role Requirements:
1. Keep in regular contact by email and/or phone with other members of the Board and provide feedback and input on issues as they arise.
2. Being friendly and respectful of others in order to maintain a safe and considerate workplace in line with our values of being Helpful, Empowering, Representative, Transparent and Student-focused.
3. Being honest, open and supportive of others, empowering others to be fulfilled in their role.
4. Being fair, valuing equality, diversity, ethics and the environment.
5. The Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for the affairs of Hertfordshire Students’ Union. In line with Charity Law, they ensure that HSU conducts its affairs in line with its charitable objects and delivers it’s objectives for its members.
6. External Trustees bring additional experience and skills to the Board from outside HSU and the University.
7. Time commitment of the role is attendance at six Board meetings (usually held from 4-6pm) plus other sub-committee meetings as agreed or required.
8. Maximum expectation of the post is for a total commitment of 2 days per month. External Trustees are appointed for a term of 3 years and may serve a maximum of 2 terms which may be consecutive or non-consecutive.
9. Whilst the position of Trustee is a voluntary one, although out of pocket expenses for attending meetings etc. are paid.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Attend six meetings a year, as well one or more training session/s.
2. Prepare for Board meetings by reading through materials and Board papers beforehand.
3. To ensure HSU complies with its governance, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
4. Along with the other Trustees, help to steer the strategy and finances of the Union.
5. To ensure that HSU has a clear strategic direction that meets the needs of its members, clearly outlined goals and performance indicators and is focused on achieving these.
6. Providing expertise, experience and support to the Board to ensure that the Students’ Union will be able to deliver positive change for its members.
7. Help HSU achieve its objectives and improves the lives of its members.
8. Work with other Trustees to ensure the Union complies with all relevant legislation and regulations, including relevant Charities Acts and Education Acts, and related regulatory requirements.
9. Add value and actively contribute to the Board of Trustees, offer a considered and reasonable perspective on matters at hand and be unafraid to challenge appropriately.
10. To provide support for the Chief Executive and members of the senior team in protecting and managing the assets of the Union, ensuring they are used exclusively in pursuance of the agreed objectives.
11. To contribute actively to the Board of Trustees, using any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve, but is not limited to:
· Scrutinising board papers
· Leading discussions
· Providing guidance on new initiatives
· Hearing specific HR and/or membership discipline cases
· Other issues in which the trustee has special expertise
12. To undertake appropriate training and personal development as required for the role.
13. To ensure that any and all conflicts of interest that may arise are declared.
14. To adhere to all relevant HSU policy with particular reference to staffing and health and safety.
The Board of the Trustees
The Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for the oversight of the administration of HSU.
The Board is made up of 11 members:
· Four full-time Sabbatical Officers of the Union (students elected to a full-time one-year position)
· Two Student Trustees (current students appointed by the Chair and the President)
· Four External/Lay Trustees (individuals appointed to bring wider expertise, experience and skills to the Board)
· One University Trustee
In addition, the Chief Executive and the senior team of HSU attends all meetings of the Board. There are usually 4 6 meetings of the Board per year, with sub-committee meetings organised ahead of each meeting. Meetings are currently being held virtually, but there is a desire to return to face-to-face meetings as soon as practically possible. It is possible we will move to Hybrid meeting. An annual Trustee planning Day is held in August/September each year, aligned with the introduction of new Officer Trustees, in order to support the collective relationship and responsibility of the Board.
There are several sub-committees of the Board identified in the governing documents:
Remuneration and Appointments Committee
Finance and Audit Committee
Election Review Working Party
Each sub-committee is made up of one to two External Trustees, one of whom will act as Chair of the committee, along with one-three Student or Officer Trustees and the CEO plus appropriate senior staff supporting and informing the committee.
Herts SU is an incorporated charity.