Executive Recruitment


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Harper Adams University
Closing date:
22nd March
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Closing date
22nd March 2021
Long listing
30th March 2021
Preliminary interviews
12th - 16th April 2021
Short listing
20th April 2021
Campus Visits
w/c 26th April 2021
Final panel
Tuesday 11th May 2021

Associated documents


Harper Adams University specialises in teaching, research and knowledge transfer in the agricultural, food, land-based, veterinary and environmental disciplines and is the largest higher education institution of its kind in the UK. As the UK’s top rated modern university and the only post-92 institution to ever make the Times Top 30, more than half of our research is considered “world leading or internationally excellent”. We also have an outstanding record of achievement in graduate employability and teaching quality, recognised through a TEF gold award and 90% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

Following Dr David Llewellyn’s decision to retire as Vice-Chancellor, Harper Adams is now seeking to appoint his successor. You will inherit a high-performing institution on an upward trajectory, well positioned to tackle some of the biggest current and future global challenges, including the need to feed a growing world population by maintaining growth in agricultural productivity in the face of a climate emergency.

As Vice-Chancellor and head of institution, you will have the strategic vision, intellectual credibility, and organisational capability to deliver an ambitious strategy, while maintaining our strong profile and delivering high quality academic activities. Committed to creating a culture of belonging and furthering the drive towards inclusion and diversity, you will be an engaging and inspiring leader, with well-developed interpersonal skills, able to harness and galvanise the entire university community. You will also contribute to national developments within the higher education sector and maintain and grow the University’s links with the industries with which we work.

You will have a track record of delivering innovation and successful change within a higher education setting and you may hold a higher degree in a relevant discipline, but this is not essential. You will demonstrate significant experience of leading multidisciplinary teams engaged in teaching & learning, research & knowledge exchange and the delivery of academic resources and will have a thorough understanding of the wider higher education landscape. You will be able to balance priorities, whilst acting both strategically and delivering operationally, but most importantly you will have a passion for Harper Adams’s mission to provide world leading higher education and research for the delivery of sustainable food chains and the protection of rural resources for future generations.

Application procedure:

If you would like to know more about this exciting opportunity, for an informal and confidential conversation, please contact our advising consultants at GatenbySanderson: Alison Elton or Ross Highfield on ross.highfield@gatenbysanderson.com 07891 138 886

Full details of the application process are available on the website.

Closing date for receipt of applications: Midnight on 22nd March 2021

This post may meet the relevant criteria to allow the University to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to non-EEA nationals who wish to  apply to work in the UK through Tier 2 of the Points Based Immigration System.  For information on the sponsorship system, please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration. You are advised to assess your circumstances against the criteria set out in the UKVI policy guidance, available at https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration. UK NARIC provides advice and guidance on international qualifications at UK NARIC Visas and Nationality

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How To Apply

There are three elements to this application: 

1. Please submit an up-to-date CV no longer than 4 pages 

2. Please answer the following competency questions within your supporting statement

  • Why would you like to join Harper Adams as our next VC and what is your vision for our future 

  • Please give us an example of how you have developed and delivered a strategy that has transformed your organisation? 

  • What are the biggest challenges facing higher education and how has your previous experience equipped you to lead a university during this time of change? 

  • Please describe your core leadership qualities and provide examples of how you integrate these into your overall leadership style? 

  • How have you effectively worked within the wider higher education community to shape policy at a national level?

3. Once you have submitted your CV and supporting statement, you will receive an email inviting you to record a two-minute video which addresses why the Selection Committee should consider you for this position.  


The following consultants are managing this role and will be happy to answer any questions that are not covered in the person specification on the next webpage.

Ross Highfield
0121 644 5712
Continue to full details and application

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