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DSU CEO role

Chief Executive – De Montfort Students’ Union

Salary circa £70k (potentially more for an exceptional candidate)

This is a great opportunity to join this growing and influential students’ union; a registered charity that represents over 27,000 students and employs around 80 staff.

Our new Chief Executive will be joining at an exciting time for DSU.  We have lots going on –  from a new building development to ever expanding services. We always focus on having a positive impact on our members’ lives.

Higher Education in the UK is changing.  This new marketplace, including a prominent international market within HE, has led to different expectations and services from those even 10 years ago.  These changes demand more flexible, more professional and more effective Students’ Unions.  Our members expect top class education from DMU and the support and services from DSU which will enhance their student lives. They are our customers and understandably expect a return from their University life now and in the future.

The demographics of students is continually changing and we must anticipate their needs. To deliver to this aim a new Strategic Plan will be developed in 2016/17 which will guide the next phase of our development. We already have a redesigned building which we will return to in late 2016/early 2017, capable teams, expanding support services, capable trustees and a stable, cohesive elected leadership with secure finances. We have the core ingredients to reach our goals.

The new Chief Executive will have some key short and long term tasks. They will have to develop the new strategic plan. Whilst we have historically good relationships with DMU, a key partner and funder, these need to be shaped and developed further in order to secure continued buy-in and resources. We have new facilities in our building and need to ensure we quickly maximise the use of the space, resources and people, enhancing our reputation and showing a return for the investment.

We need to maintain good processes – with astute decision making, commercial awareness, financial monitoring and business planning, supporting our trustees so they in turn exercise good judgement and governance.  We want to continue with an open, transparent and empowered culture focussed on high performance, quality outcomes and high levels of engagement with our members.  We wish to work with pace and drive, consistently raising our performance to meet and anticipate the increasing demands of our members.

Reporting to a Board of Trustees, working with a full time officer team of 5 and managing a staff team of 80 (pt and ft) the CEO will ensure we are a relevant, capable, high quality and professional organisation that pushes the boundaries for itself and others.

So who are you?

You will bring a successful track record as Chief Executive, Director or senior manager in a relevant and comparable organisation that delivers services to customers or members. You can come from any sector but you will be able to develop an understanding of our sector.  Your values and behaviour must show that you can help to shape strategy and delivery in a student-led, democratic organisation with a trustee board and an annual election cycle.

You will be experienced in leading and managing a departmental team or organisation where you have managed continual change, having shaped strategic direction, managed performance, resources and risk, developed positive organisational culture, built effective relationships and developed services which generate a return. You will have good commercial instincts, insight into managing risk and the judgement needed to lead an improving and learning organisation. If you are stepping up into a CEO role, you will be able to show you are capable of this move with a positive track record of impact in work and also the credibility and gravitas to operate at the most senior levels.

This role requires someone who will positively embrace the way in which students’ unions operate.  You must value the talent, insight, drive, passion and contribution of elected student officers.  Some experience of working in organisations that are either member-led or have trustee boards will be an advantage but is not essential. You will be able to support and guide the student leaders, while leading and managing high performing teams.

Please have a good look around the information on this website to understand more about DSU and view the details of the role in the Job Description. The Person Specification will give further details on the type of person we are looking for.

We’re excited by this opportunity.  If you think you can share and harness this excitement to lead our development, we look forward to meeting you.