AboutSheffield Students' Union exists to represent, support and enhance the lives of the students at the University of Sheffield. We are an independent charity and work closely with the University to achieve a world-class student experience. The Students’ Union is more than just an impressive building: we remain accessible through our website as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and many activities happen around the city, country and world. We’ve been rated the best Students’ Union in the UK by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for nine years running.
Sheffield Students’ Union is seeking new trustees to lead the organisation in its next exciting stage of development. If you feel you can contribute to a democratic, values-driven, large charity with an ambitious strategic plan and a commitment to transforming lives, we will be delighted to hear from you.
It is important that our Board of Trustees reflect the great diversity of our student membership. We are aware that currently, this is less well represented amongst our external trustees than our student members of the board. With the aim of embedding diversity into the Board, we particularly welcome external applicants from marginalised and minority backgrounds.
About Sheffield Students’ Union:
Sheffield Students’ Union is an incorporated charitable company that works closely with the University of Sheffield to achieve a world-class student experience for its 30,000 students. Our purpose is to represent, support and enhance the lives of our student members, many of whom are directly involved in running the organisation and its activities.
We’ve been rated the best Students’ Union in the UK in various HE awards for over 12 years running, most recently in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022, Student Crowd University Awards 2022 and National Societies & Volunteering Awards 2022. We have an annual turnover of some £11m and employ upwards of 600 people, with thousands more involved as student leaders and volunteers.
There are many reasons for this success. In addition to our fantastic staff, we have a vibrant modern building featuring cafes, shops and bars. We have a dedicated activities and sports zone where students can join over 400 clubs and societies. There are committees to reflect and support our diverse student membership, including LGBT+, BME, disabled and international students. We run an expert advice centre and a popular nursery. There’s something different happening in the SU every day: from club nights to film screenings, markets to live music, theatrical performances and fascinating talks, for students and led by students.
Our annual report provides more information about us and what we do.
About the role:
The Board of Trustees is an vital and valued part of the Students’ Union, carrying the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the Students’ Union delivers its purpose across all areas of activity. As part of the Board, you will work collectively with the other trustees to provide strategic oversight, direction and leadership to the organisation.
Board membership includes current students, elected Student Officers and external trustees. This rich mix of experience, skills and knowledge is an important part of the Students’ Union’s sustainability and success.
Being a trustee in a Students’ Union is extremely rewarding. The role involves debate, constructive challenge, thoughtful problem solving and ambitious vision. You work with a wide range of equally committed people, including student leaders, staff at all levels of the organisation and colleagues from the University of Sheffield.
As some of our current trustees approach the end of their term of office, we are seeking to appoint new trustees to the Board. Although previous experience as a trustee is welcome, it is by no means essential.
Our Board of Trustees has identified particular opportunities for new trustees with professional or personal experience in one of the following areas:
- Higher Education policy
- Students’ Unions strategy and campaigns
- Commercial operations and income generation
Whatever your relevant experience, you will also bring to the role:
- Commitment to the mission of Sheffield Students’ Union
- Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to the role
- Ability to think strategically
- Good, independent judgement
- Willingness to speak your mind and engage in constructive debate
- An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team
- Commitment to the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
Support and training:
All our trustees receive induction and training to be successful in their roles. Ongoing trustee support is provided by the Students’ Union’s Strategy & Governance team.
Terms of Office:
The Trustee Board meets 4-5 times a year. All trustees also have a place on one of the specialist Board Committees. Meetings are held in person in the Students’ Union, although remote attendance can also be accommodated.
External trustees are eligible to serve for a term of four years, with the option to serve for a further four year term subject to a review by Nominations and Board Effectiveness Committee and approval by the Trustee Board. Trustees must agree to abide by the Trustees’ Code of Conduct and the Nolan Principles of public service.
This is an unpaid volunteer role. Reasonable expenses are reimbursed.
If you have any questions about this role please contact [email protected]
Closing Date: 31 March 2023
Interviews: Mid-late April 2023
Start Date: 01 July 2023