Appointment of Governors
Thank you for your interest in York St John University.
Founded in 1841, the institution has retained the core values
of its foundation and is progressive, transforming, relevant and
The role of Governor provides an important opportunity to
contribute to the shape and development of the University
at an exciting time for higher education, in particular with
significant changes in student funding.
The University’s vision is for exceptional learning and teaching,
an exceptional student experience and exceptional graduates.
To deliver this vision, the University has an ambitious strategic
plan to 2015. Our vision and key strategic aims can be found
The Governing Body currently comprises 18 members from
different walks of life
charitable-status.aspx) who together bring their skills and
knowledge to bear on the challenges and opportunities facing
the University. There will be a small number of vacancies
during 2012-13, as we refresh our membership and seek to
ensure that we have a diverse Governing Body with the skills to
meet the needs of the University in the future.
At this time, we are particularly
interested to hear from those who
have specific skills and experience
in finance, accounting and risk
management and/or estates
development and management.
Other areas of expertise that
would be of particular value
include sustainability, data
compliance and health and safety.
If you share our values and vision, and have time and
enthusiasm to contribute, we would like to hear from you.
To arrange an informal discussion with the Vice Chancellor or
the Chairman about the role, please contact Julie Cowans at
E: email@example.com or T: 01904 876601.
Professor David Fleming, Vice Chancellor
Ann Green CBE, Chairman of the Governing Body
Governor Role description
a) Governors are expected to play an appropriate part in
ensuring that the necessary business of the Governing Body is
carried on efficiently, effectively, and in a manner appropriate
for the proper conduct of public business. They are expected
to make rational and constructive contributions to debate
and to make their knowledge and expertise available to the
Governing Body as opportunity arises.
b) Governors have a responsibility for ensuring that the
Governing Body acts in accordance with the instruments of
governance of the University and with the University’s internal
rules and regulations, and should seek advice from the
Secretary in any case of uncertainty.
c) Governors are required to accept collective responsibility
for the decisions reached by the Governing Body. Governors
elected, nominated or appointed by particular constituencies
may not act as if delegated by the group they represent, and
may not be bound in any way by mandates given to them by
d) The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
sets out the general responsibilities of members of governing
bodies of higher education institutions in annex I of its
financial memorandum with higher education institutions
Committed Governors are crucial to the University’s current
and ongoing success. Governors are drawn from a range of
backgrounds and include both staff and student members.
Further information is available on the University’s website
The University adopted a new constitution in July 2011 and is a
company limited by guarantee (Company Number: 4498683)
and an exempt charity (regulated by the Higher Education
Funding Council for England). Governors are consequently
Directors and also Charitable Trustees.
Governors are appointed for a three-year term of office. The
maximum period of office is three terms of three years each.
a) Governors have a responsibility for ensuring that the
Governing Body conducts itself in accordance with accepted
standards of behaviour in public life, embracing selflessness,
integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and
leadership. They must at all times regulate their personal
conduct as Governors in accordance with these standards.
b) Governors must make a full and timely disclosure of
personal interests to the Secretary in accordance with the
procedures approved by the Governing Body. They must as
soon as practicable disclose any interest which they have in
any matter under discussion and accept the ruling of the Chair
in relation to the management of that situation, in order that
the integrity of the business of the Governing Body and its
Committees may be and may be seen to be maintained.
c) Governors have particular legal responsibilities for the
University which is a company limited by guarantee and an
exempt charity. Governors’ responsibilities as Directors and
Charitable Trustees are reflected in the Governing Body’s
Statement of Primary Responsibilities available at:
3. The Business of the University
a) Governors have a responsibility for ensuring that the
Governing Body exercises control over the strategic direction
of the University, through an effective planning process,
and that the performance of the University is adequately
assessed against the objectives which the Governing Body has
b) Governors should endeavour to establish constructive and
supportive but challenging working relationships with the
University employees with whom they come into contact, but
must recognise the proper separation between governance
and executive management, and avoid involvement in the
day-to-day executive management of the University.
c) Governors will be appointed by the Governing Body to at
least one Committee of the Governing Body and are expected
to play a full part in the business of all Committees to which
they are appointed. The expected time commitments for
Governors are set out below.
d) Arrangements are in place for designated Governors to act
as formal signatories for certain (usually financial) transactions.
Governors will be briefed on any such role separately.
4. The External Role
a) Governors may be asked to represent the Governing Body
and the University externally, and will be fully briefed by the
University to enable them to carry out this role effectively.
• Knowledge of developments in the Higher Education sector
• Experience as a member of committees/boards
b) Governors may be asked to use personal influence and
networking skills on behalf of the University.
• Experience of operating at a strategic level in a
c) Governors may be asked to play a role in liaising between
key stakeholders and the University, or in fund-raising. They
will be fully briefed by the University to enable them to carry
out this role effectively. However, this role in particular must be
exercised in a carefully co-ordinated fashion with other senior
officers and staff of the University.
a) Governors must participate in procedures established by
the Governing Body for the regular appraisal/review of the
performance of individual Governors. Governors should attend
any induction activities arranged by the University and should
participate in appropriate training events.
b) The likely overall time commitment required of Governors is
12-20 days per year.
c) Governors are not remunerated, but are encouraged to
reclaim all travelling and similar expenses incurred in the
course of University business via the Secretary. Directors and
Officers Liability Insurance is in place.
d) Governors are appointed for a period of three years. The
maximum period of office is three terms of three years each.
Exceptionally, the Governing Body may remove a Governor
if s/he is not able to meet the expectations set out in this
role description and/or the legal requirements of the role of
Director or Trustee.
Governor appointments will take account of personal skills
and experience, in the context of the overall composition of
the Governing Body. At the present time we are particularly
interested to hear from those who have specific skills and
experience in finance, accounting and risk management
and/or estates development and management. Other
fields of expertise that would be of particular value include
sustainability, data compliance and health and safety.
Knowledge and Experience
• Strong, personal commitment to Higher Education, its
governance and the values, aims and objectives of
• Demonstrable involvement in striving towards
• Experience of professional networking on a national and/or
Skills and Abilities
• Ability to act fairly and impartially in the interests of the
University as a whole, using independent judgement and
maintaining confidentiality as appropriate
• Ability to evaluate and monitor the work of the University
in a constructively critical fashion without breaching
the boundaries between governance and operational
• Ability to be an ambassador and represent the University
to the wider community
• Ability to operate as a member of a team
• Excellent communicator with appropriate negotiation,
presentation and influencing skills
• Supportive of the University’s ethos, mission, values
• Enthusiasm for, and commitment to, the role
• Commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity
Governors are expected to attend all meetings of the
Governing Body and of committees of which they are a
member, or give timely apologies if absence is unavoidable.
The role often entails access to confidential or privileged
information which must be treated sensitively.
The commitments of Governors have been divided into two main categories – those that are required and those that are desired,
depending on the time available.
The total expected commitment is approximately 12 to 20 days per annum.
Governing Body Meetings
Governing Body Away Days
Meetings with the Chairman/Deputy Chairman
There is background reading associated with the above meetings.
Three per year
Two per year – one involving an overnight stay
Once or Twice per year
Three or four per year
(regional events, celebrations, Foundation Day, public lectures)
(attendance at a ceremony and associated lunch)
Once per year (November)
How to Apply
Applications are invited in the form of:
• A current brief CV or description of work and other relevant
• A statement on no more than two sides of A4 summarising
your motivation for applying to be a Governor at York St
John University and addressing how you would contribute
to the work of the Governing Body in the light of the Role
Description, the range of skills, knowledge and experience
required and the other information provided.
• Completed Personal Details Form and Equal Opportunities
Monitoring Form (available from the University website
By post to: Alison Kennell, Registrar and Secretary to the
Governing Body, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk,
York, YO31 7EX
By e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
At any stage, please feel free to contact Alison Kennell,
Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Body for further
governance information. To arrange an informal discussion
about the role, please contact Julie Cowans at
E: email@example.com or T: 01904 876601.
We are currently seeking applications for Governor vacancies
Mission Key Strategic Aims 2012-15
York St John is committed to the provision of excellent, open
and progressive higher education that embraces difference,
challenges prejudice and promotes justice, and is shaped by
York St John’s Church foundation.
Building on this foundation, it aims to:
• provide widely-accessible opportunities for lifelong
learning, underpinned by scholarship and research
• extend and deepen the University’s external
contribution regionally, nationally and globally
• foster a supportive, creative, critical and reflective
community which promotes personal and
professional development for both students and
York St John has at its core a set of brand values which inform
the work that it undertakes, the image it wishes to project and
the way in which it would like others to view the institution.
These values are:
• Progressive – in the way in which the University
has evolved, the investment in its campus and how
it engages with others through teaching,
scholarship and partnerships
• Transforming – not only of individuals but also of
their chances in life, so that they feel empowered,
enabled and transformed by their experience at
York St John
• Relevant – in its educational provision, research
activities, and within its region
• Approachable – expressed through its personality,
staff, students and also the University’s location;
• Inclusive – the way in which the institution works
with others collaboratively
The following key strategic aims have been developed in
support of the University’s Mission:
1. Develop innovative, inclusive and high quality teaching,
learning and assessment practices that actively engage
students and lead to an exceptional learning experience for
students and staff.
2. Develop a strong, vibrant and sustainable research culture
that informs our teaching, inspires our students and staff,
enables research excellence, and enhances our academic
3. Build our reputation in the international community so that
we are recognised as a quality University that develops staff
and produces graduates with skills for life and work in the
4. Provide opportunities for all students to develop the
employability and enterprise skills they need to achieve their
5. Achieve University recruitment and widening participation
6. Provide high quality, integrated and evidence-based student
7. Enhance the communication of the brand and profile of
the University, increasing our reputation for exceptionality in
learning and teaching, the student experience and for quality
8. Provide an inclusive environment that promotes equality
and embraces diversity.
9. Provide inspiring and sustainable environments and facilities
that enhance the student and staff experience.
10. Become an exemplar of best practice within the sector
and City by reducing our environmental impact.
11. Ensure that our financial strategy underpins our corporate
aspirations, aligns resources to our strategic plan and
enhances financial sustainability.
12. Be a good employer that values, develops and motivates
13. Provide accessible and resilient ICT and Library services that
enhance communication, business systems and information
discovery of students and staff.
Teaching and learning and the student
York St John has a growing reputation for its partnership work,
regional engagement and provision, commitment to widening
participation and delivery of a positive transforming student
Across its faculties and business school the quality of the
University’s academic staff delivery has been recognised with a
number of awards of National Teaching Fellowships.
Applications for undergraduate programmes are up by 11% for
2012 entry; an excellent figure when set against the national
picture which shows applications have dropped by an average
of 7.4%. International applications are also up by over 25% this
The overall National Student Survey score has improved from
74% in 2006 to 81% in 2010. The quality and relevance of
York St John’s delivery is also demonstrated in its destination
figures. A very high proportion, at 91% of our full-time first
degree graduates, are in work or continuing to study within
the first six months of graduation.
In recent years York St John has developed its research
capacity in Allied Health Professions & Studies; Psychology;
Education; Sports-related studies; English Language &
Literature; Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies; and Drama,
Dance & Performing Arts. In the last Research Assessment
Exercise in 2008 the growing research excellence was
rewarded with a 518% increase in funding (against an 8%
courses. There is a strategic university drive to build upon our
international recruitment over the next three years.
The Internationalisation agenda is also focused on a range
of other developments to benefit student and academic
engagement at an international level. This work is articulated
in York St John’s Internationalisation Strategy. The University
is actively forging a range of academic partnerships,
joint projects, international conferences and exchange
opportunities. There are long existing links with Japan, China
and USA and strengthening relationships in a number of
countries, including Pakistan, Bahrain, Kenya, and South Korea.
This agenda also incorporates the way in which the University
integrates the international dimension into curricula and
opportunities for students to engage in overseas visits,
projects and exchanges.
Nearly 40% of research submitted for assessment by the
University was rated as of international importance, with some
classified as internationally excellent and world leading. A
further 40% of research outputs were found to be of national
York St John has ambitions for the achievement of research
degree awarding powers and is positioning itself to be ready
for an application by 2012.
York St John University has a tradition of welcoming
international students. Around 1,000 international students
come to the University each year on full-time and short
Community, partnership and professional engagement
York St John University is strongly rooted within its region,
with a large proportion of students drawn from the Yorkshire
and Humber area. It also works actively with local and regional
businesses to add to the wealth, skills and welfare of its
community. Listed below are some of York St John’s areas of
community, partnership and professional activity.
York St John University is part of the Higher York Lifelong
Learning Network along with York College, Askham
Bryan College and the University of York. The network was
awarded Economic Challenge Investment Funding by Hefce
of £300,000, to establish and deliver a range of business
development and individual support initiatives to enhance
business resilience in the region.
Knowledge Transfer Officers based in the University’s faculties
and supported centrally by the Pro Vice Chancellor’s external
community engagement work.
The University works with more than 550 schools each year.
More than 500 heads of schools and teachers in Yorkshire and
Humber were professionally trained at York St John University.
The Phoenix Centre, successfully launched at York St John in
2009, is a pioneering initiative led by Science City York which
provides a city centre business incubator. It provides very low
cost accommodation, mentoring and skills development for
graduate start-up creative and digital businesses in York and
attracts talented entrepreneurs into the city.
The University is actively involved with different areas of the
public sector, including the NHS Institute for Improvement
and Innovation, a number of other health professional bodies
and schools and colleges. Much of this work is supported by
York St John works with over 200 businesses and professional
service providers each year delivering a range of training and
The Faculties, School and other services
Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts has over 50 staff generating £8m of
income per annum. It offers taught and research based
programmes of study in subjects including history; film
and media studies; literature; American studies; dance and
choreography; music and music technology; theatre; theatre
directing and visual performance; fine arts; design; film and
TV production, documentary film-making and short film
production. The Faculty has recently launched a range of
new courses to add to its portfolio, including creative writing,
product design and cultural history.
The Faculty has formal partnership arrangements with the
York Theatre Royal and with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park
and an expanding range of international partnerships in Italy
and America. In addition to this activity the University and
Faculty has extensive professional links and has engaged in
partnership project delivery with a number of organisations
including York Museums and Galleries Trust and the Arts
and Culture Directorate at City of York Council.
The faculty is home to Creative Business which supports
business start-ups and fledgling businesses.
Faculty of Education & Theology
The Faculty of Education & Theology delivers undergraduate
and postgraduate programmes in teacher education,
education studies, theology & religious studies, theology &
ministry and evangelism studies.
The faculty has a strong range of school, council, youth and
learning partnerships to enable it to deliver both initial teacher
training and ongoing professional development for the sector.
A number of emerging teacher development programmes
overseas have been established in recent years, including in
Bahrain, Kenya and Rwanda.
Theology & Religious Studies provision and research is thriving
There are excellent links with a range of dioceses and other
partners, including international partnerships in South Korea.
The faculty is home to the David Hope RE Centre, and the
Centre for Church School Education.
The faculty recently launched a new school Governors training
collaboration between York St John University, York Minster
and York Institute for Community Theology, The Order
of Carmelites and the Churches Regional Commission for
Yorkshire and the Humber. It attracts a range of eminent
speakers each year. Previous speakers have included the
Archbishop of Canterbury; Robert Peston, leading business
journalist for the BBC and Tony Benn.
Faculty of Health & Life Sciences
The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences has a long standing
reputation for providing student-centred, innovative
programmes of education in sports, health related areas,
psychology and counselling.
Almost all of the degree programmes are accredited by the
relevant professional bodies with excellent links with employers
to support placements and other work-based learning
opportunities. In addition, all programmes are underpinned by
significant practical study either in laboratories or in the field
The faculty actively contributes to a wide variety of
multidisciplinary research groups and projects across Sport,
Health, Counselling and Psychology. Innovation is reflected
in the award of Centre of Excellence Status for the Faculty’s
Professional Placement Learning in Health and Social Care.
Practical elements of the health courses are based in the new
clinical skills facilities within De Grey Court. These resources
complement the excellent sport science laboratories and
sports hall located in Foss building.
The Faculty of Health & Life Sciences works closely with health
care professionals, NHS trusts and their representative bodies
through a number of initiatives. These include the Centre for
Enabling Environments and Assistive Technology (CEEAT)
and the Research Centre for Occupational & Mental
York St John Business School
York St John Business School works closely with partners
to deliver high quality business development training and
consultancy in areas including leadership, management,
mentoring and coaching. Recent initiatives include the
European Social Fund supported Top Teams Workshops and
Learning Through Business Leaders programme.
The faculty organises the Ebor Lecture series which is in
its fifth season and represents an enormously successful
The school offers staff expertise in business management and
leadership, with specialisms at undergraduate level in human
resources, finance, information technology, marketing and
tourism. At postgraduate level the school has specialisms in
leadership, management, innovation and change and recently
launched a suite of internationally focused postgraduate
provision including an MBA. It is also home to a languages and
linguistics centre, which runs a range of programmes ranging
from short language courses to postgraduate provision and
We have recently acquired 57 acres of sports fields and
recreational facilities and the 350 seat Joseph Rowntree
Theatre from Nestle. These new facilities will bring significant
benefits to the whole student community. We will also be
able to further enhance our strong record for involvement in
volunteering, partnership, club and society activity
Work has started on a £12 million development which will
provide state-of-the-art accommodation for students starting
in September 2013.
The school is home to the Acorn Programme, an established
scheme for new businesses, providing practical support to
new entrepreneurs in the first year or so of their venture. The
programme has seen the launch of a number of successful
Other departments and functions
The work of the University is facilitated through a number of
other departments and directorates including:
• Admissions & Marketing
• Human Resources
• Information Learning Services
• Sustainable Partnerships & Community Engagement
• York St John International
The campus is centrally located by the historic medieval walls
of the city and has an impressive mix of historic Victorian
and modern buildings, set in award winning gardens. The
University has benefited from over £80 million of strategic
investment in new facilities over the past ten years to develop
a well resourced city centre campus. This development has
enabled us to provide an up to date teaching and learning
environment and to host partners such as the Yorkshire Film
Archive, Science City Phoenix Centre and the York Hospitals
Facts & Figures
Turnover in 2010-11 £44 million
Top 20 university for teaching quality
(National Student Survey 2011)
Highest % increase in undergraduate applications for 2012
entry in the north of England
Student profile (at 1 May 2012)
Full-time undergraduate 4058
Part-time undergraduate 832
Full-time postgraduate 315
Part-time postgraduate 625
We also have around 700 students each year from the UK
and overseas who study on a range of short courses and
continuing professional development programmes
The student body
Male:Female split = 34%:66%
Mature students = 40%
Students from the Yorkshire and Humber region = 57%
Students of minority ethnicity = 11%
International students = 11%
Numbers of students by Faculty
Business School 941
Education & Theology 1622
Health & Life Sciences 1251
Joint Honours 493
York St John is a significant employer in the City and the North
Yorkshire region with 650 staff covering a broad range of
professions. Our biennial staff survey demonstrates very high
levels of overall satisfaction at 94%.
York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York YO31 7EX