Lay Members

University of Leeds

Location: Leeds
Salary: Unremunerated
Closing Date: 15 November 2021
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All applicants must be based in the UK and confirm that they are able to prove their eligibility to work in the UK.

Job Description

Established in 1904, the University of Leeds is one of the UK’s largest, most prestigious, and diverse universities. Renowned globally for the quality of our teaching and the excellence of our research, we are a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, and one of the world’s top 100 universities (QS World University rankings). 

The University strives to achieve academic excellence within an ethical framework. What sets us apart from many other institutions is that we are highly focused on impact – the determination to make a positive difference in the world.  None of the challenges that the world faces can be solved without the research and evidence-based thinking and actions of universities.

With an annual turnover of some £790 million, more than 38,000 students and 8,700 staff, we are continuing to make significant investments in research and innovation, student education, and extending our international reach. We have more than 11,000 international students from over 170 countries and we strive to embed an international mindset across all aspects of our activity. 

The creation, dissemination and application of knowledge is at the heart of all that we do, and builds on the University’s history and traditions. We are active members of the main national institutes including the Alan Turing, Rosalind Franklin and Henry Royce Institutes, with leading nationally funded doctoral training centres. We are at the forefront of research across a breadth of disciplines, from data science through to climate change, and we are committed to playing a key role in tackling global challenges. 

The University of Leeds Is Seeking Four Lay Members to Join Its Council

The Council provides robust governance, counsel and insight in supporting the University to achieve its strategic ambitions. We are looking for passionate, committed and experienced Lay Members as we deliver our new strategy for 2020-2030: ‘Universal Values, Global Change’. The strategy is rooted in our place in the world and our desire to make a difference, and is built around the themes of community, culture and impact. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the life and work of one of the UK’s leading universities.

You will share our vision for an institution that is values-driven, and which harnesses the expertise, creativity and collaborative potential of staff and students to drive change to help create a more equitable and sustainable world.  

You will have a broad general understanding of, and belief in, the aims and values of higher education; a personal commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion; appreciation of, and commitment to, standards of good conduct in public life; sound and independent judgement and a belief in collective responsibility and decision making; and an understanding of, and respect for, the distinction between governance and management.

We are looking to appoint at least one member who has possession of specialist expertise and experience at an appropriately senior level in finance or accountancy and audit.  

Other areas of expertise we are looking for in candidates include: IT and cyber security; digital transformation; the forms and functions of the higher education sector; strategy development in higher education; and knowledge of the Leeds city region.

Other desirable areas include (but are not limited to) corporate leadership, pensions, sustainability, knowledge of estates and infrastructure, and HR and organisational change. Candidates without knowledge of any of these specific areas should not however be deterred from applying.

The University believes that a diverse range of perspectives at board level is essential for an organisation’s legitimacy, effectiveness and competitiveness, and therefore strongly encourages applications that will continue to strengthen the diversity of its governance.

We are seeking to make appointments to start in August 2022, for a period of up to three years which may be extended for up to two further terms of three years each. Whilst most Council members are resident in the Leeds region, this is not a prerequisite.  

The appointments do not carry any fees or other remuneration but travel and other costs incurred in connection with Council and other University business may be claimed.

How to Apply

Application is by submission of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter of application, addressing the job description and person specification, and including suitable daytime and evening telephone contact details.

Completed applications should be uploaded at quoting reference number 5398. The closing date for applications is 9:00am (GMT) on Monday 15th November. All telephone enquiries, in the first instance, should be directed to Fabrice Yala on +44 (0)20 3928 7347 and


For a conversation in confidence, please contact Fabrice Yala at 020 3928 7347 or 

Should you require access to these documents in alternative formats, please contact Lina Franzen on 

If you have comments that would support us to improve access to documentation, or our application processes more generally, please do not hesitate to contact us via 

Inclusion Statement

Perrett Laver believes that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. A broad range of perspectives, backgrounds and opinions amongst our global community of colleagues is crucial in maintaining our culture of openness, intellectual curiosity, and creativity. We take an active role in supporting under-represented communities and groups in becoming better and more fairly represented in the leadership of all organisations. We also know that diverse and inclusive teams have a positive impact on our ability to identify, engage and secure candidates from these groups.

Our commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, identity, and experience drives us every day – for clients, for candidate identification and in the recruitment, development and retention of colleagues. 

To ensure inclusion on the basis of age, disability, ethnic or national origin, family circumstance, gender, gender identity, marital status, nationality, political or religious beliefs, race, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, we would like to specifically invite applications from under-represented groups.

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As defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Perrett Laver is a Data Controller and a Data Processor, and our legal basis for processing your personal data is ‘Legitimate Interests’. You have the right to object to us processing your data in this way. For more information about this, your rights, and our approach to Data Protection and Privacy, please visit our website:


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