The General Council

Vacancy for General Council Secretary

Could you lead the graduate voice in University affairs?

The Secretary of the General Council, Professor Ann Smyth, is to retire on 30 June 2022, and the University is seeking an inspiring candidate to replace her for an initial term of four years.

The General Council

The General Council consists of graduates, certain academic staff and members of the supreme governing board of the University, the University Court.  It has a statutory right to comment on matters that affect the well-being and prosperity of the University, with the aim of ensuring that graduates have a continuing voice in the management of its affairs.

What does the Secretary do?

The Secretary takes the lead on the various initiatives undertaken by the General Council, and has overall responsibility for its general operations and communications.  The Secretary also acts as Secretary to the Business Committee of the General Council - the body that plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the views and concerns of graduates are effectively communicated to the University Court - providing support and advice, in particular to its Convener.

The Secretary is supported by the Assistant Secretary, a permanent, full-time member of University staff who also carries out the Council's general administration.

The role

The position is part time and honorary, making the Secretary an alumni volunteer.  In addition to their advisory role, the Secretary must ensure that all meetings and other events of both the General Council and the Business Committee are run appropriately.  They will interact with many parts of the University, especially in relation to its governance and administration.  There is also close liaison with Development and Alumni.

The post requires familiarity with working with committees, good organisational skills, and an ability to work successfully with a wide range of people.  The post holder needs to be able to see and keep in mind 'the big picture' while not being put off by the need to get the details right.  They will be an excellent listener and be able to influence others as well as offering sound guidance.  Experience of working within a large and complex organisation would be beneficial.

The work is both interesting and stimulating, as well as presenting exciting and highly rewarding challenges.  Ultimately, the role of the Secretary provides the post-holder with a special opportunity to contribute to the success of their alma mater.

More information

If you are interested in this unique position, a full role description is available on request.  

All enquiries or expressions of interest should be sent by email - together, in the latter case, with a brief biography or CV - to: by 5pm on Monday 18 October.  Interviews will be conducted during the morning of Friday 12 November.

Hard copies, marked confidential, can also be sent by post for the attention of:

The Convener of the Business Committee of the General Council

The University of Edinburgh

Charles Stewart House

9-16 Chambers Street