Queen Margaret University Court is seeking to appoint a Chair to succeed Dr Frances Dow CBE in March 2020.

The Court plays a crucial role in the development of the University’s vision and strategic direction.  This appointment provides a significant opportunity for an experienced individual to lead the Court, and to work with the new Principal, Sir Paul Grice, on positioning the University’s future strategic direction.

The Chair of the Court is responsible for the leadership and effectiveness of the Court, and for ensuring that the University is well connected with its stakeholders, including its staff and students. The Chair leads the Court in observing the highest standards of corporate governance, including those set out in the Scottish Code for Higher Education Governance. 

To fulfil this important role, we are seeking an individual with a distinguished record of successful leadership at a senior and strategic level within a large and complex public, private or third sector organisation. Ideal candidates will be able to demonstrate excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, coupled with a strong commitment to, and affinity for, higher education.

Expressions of interest are invited from individuals with experience of chairing boards and committees responsible for managing strategic issues, with knowledge of the Scottish higher education sector, or with experience of key bodies relating to education in general.

If you share our values and vision, are able to subscribe to the commitments set out in the role specification, and consider you meet the person specification, we would like to hear from you.

Queen Margaret University is committed to ensuring that its Court represents the staff, students and community which it serves. As such, we would welcome applications that reflect the breadth and diversity of those communities, and that would further enhance the diversity of the Court. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The closing date for application is Friday, 22 November 2019 at 5pm GMT. 


Role Specification and Appointment Particulars

Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form

How to Apply / Appointment Process


Applications are invited in the form of:

  • A current CV or description of work and other relevant experience.
  • A supporting statement highlighting how your skills and experience match the role specification.
  • The names of two referees who may be contacted.

You are also asked complete and return an Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form. Please note that this form will be used purely for monitoring purposes. The form will be separated from your application and will not form part of the selection process.

The closing date for applications is Friday 22nd November at 5pm GMT.

The University has appointed Perrett Laver to assist in its search for this role. Applications may be uploaded at quoting reference number 4416.

The appointing committee of the University Court will review all applications and determine which of them appears to meet the criteria for appointment. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview. Interviews will take place in early January 2020.

Enquiries may be made directly to: Esther Mennen ( or telephone 0207 340 6289; or to

Irene Hynd, University Secretary, Queen Margaret University ( telephone 0131 474 0525.


Applicants invited for interview will meet with the appointment committee for a traditional interview which will explore each applicant’s qualities, attributes, knowledge and experience to determine whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated they fulfil the criteria for appointment to the position.

Shortlisted candidates will also be invited to meet with members of the senior executive, with groups of staff and with students. Each of these groups will provide comments to the appointing committee.

Candidates who satisfactorily demonstrate to the appointing committee that they meet the relevant criteria will be entitled to stand as a candidate in an election process.


The final stage of the process involves an election between those individuals declared as candidates following interview. An election will take place only in the event that there are two or more candidates that have confirmed an intention to stand as a candidate in the election. In the event that there is only one candidate, the election will be postponed until a new appointment process can be commenced. If there remains a candidate, she/he shall be entitled to stand as a candidate for election without further interview.

The Court will offer every candidate in the election reimbursement of reasonable expenses that are incurred by the candidate in campaigning in the election (up to the limit per candidate applying at the time of election and agreed by the appointing committee).

The electorate comprises students, staff and Court members of the University. The election will be managed by a third party. Candidates will have the opportunity to set out an election message that will be available to the electors as part of the voting process.

In the first-past-the-post election, the candidate who secures a simple majority of the total number of votes cast will be declared the winner and will be appointed Chair of Court. In the event of a tie between two or more candidates, the successful candidate will be determined by lot in a manner to be decided by the Returning Officer.

Terms of Appointment

The time commitment for the role will vary, but is likely to amount to not less than one day per week on average, with some additional time for reading. The Chair of Court must be available to provide informal support to the Principal and Vice Chancellor, the University Secretary and members of Court.

The position is available from March 2020. The appointment is for a period of three years. This period may be extended by the University Court for up to a further 3 years on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee.

An honorarium for the position is offered at the rate of £300 per day, to a maximum of £15k per annum (based on 50 days commitment annually).

Reasonable travel and subsistence expenses can be claimed for attendance at Court and Committee meetings or other duties carried out at the request of Court. The rates of expenses claimable are the same as for members of staff under the University’s Travel and Expenses Policy.

Please note that this position is not superannuable.

Chair of Court - Appointment

For informal enquiries, please use the contact details below

Show Contacts

Chair of Court - Appointment

Chair of Court (Informal Enquiries) Irene Hynd
0131 474 0525