Oxford, Oxfordshire
Non remunerated
Job description

Oxford Students’ Union – Vacancy for External Trustee

Oxford SU is looking for a talented, committed and passionate finance professional to join our Board of Trustees as External Trustee. We need someone with the skills and experience that will help the organisation continue to grow and develop, and ultimately ensure we are best placed to improve the experience of current and future students at the University of Oxford.

Oxford SU is an organisation led by and run for students. We pride ourselves on ensuring our student members are at the heart of everything that we do and are looking for candidates who share this ethos.

Commitment Required

Attendance: Ability to attend and contribute to Board meetings which are held in Oxford. There are usually three or four each year, often with one being extended to include a team building element. Trustees will also be expected to contribute to committees, working groups, and email and other discussions outside of formal meetings. Trustees will also be expected to engage with one of the Sub Committees, in this case Finance and Risk, which meets usually three times a year.

In the current climate, it is worth noting that our meetings are taking place remotely for the time being.

Terms of Office: We are recruiting one external trustee to begin serving of the Board from May 2020. The period of office will be for negotiation with a maximum of four years. There is the possibility of a second term of up to four years (subject to re-election).

Training: We utilise support from existing trustees, the National Union of Students (NUS), the Charities Commission and other Students’ Unions to ensure trustees are fully informed of their responsibilities. External trustees also provide an important role in supporting our incoming sabbatical and student trustees, who change annually.


The role is a voluntary one, however we will provide the support you need to be an effective trustee including an induction and opportunities to attend external training. We hope that trustees will regard the role as an excellent opportunity to develop their own skills and experiences, as well as the reward inherent in knowing you are helping the Students’ Union in its work to improve the experience of the 22,000+ students we represent.

All reasonable expenses such as travel to board meetings will be reimbursed.



- An interest in the work of Students’ Unions / Higher Education and understanding of the context of HE

- Good communication and interpersonal skills

- Independent, effective and objective judgement

- Ability to work effectively as a member of a team

- A professional working manner

- Ability to adapt to the dynamic needs of a student-led organisation

- Understanding of liberation issues and commitment to equality and diversity

- A commitment to act in accordance with the Nolan principles for ethical conduct of public service

- An understanding of the role of a Board of Trustees for a charity and acceptance of the responsibilities and liabilities

- Commitment to Oxford SU and its core values


- An understanding of the University of Oxford

- An understanding of Students’ Unions / Oxford SU

- Experience in supporting the strategic development of an organisation

- Experience of working in a leadership or governance role (through work or voluntary experience)

- Experience in managing change

Specific Criteria

Candidates should be able to demonstrate that they can contribute:

o professional background in finance, from practice or commerce, with strong business skills

In addition, it would be desirable if candidates can demonstrate

o Commercial expertise;

o Skills in organisation building and change management.

o Experience of policy development

Oxford SU is committed to equality of opportunity for all. We welcome applications from individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, gender or disability status. We want to create a diverse and inclusive Board and are actively looking for people who share our approach.


Please send your CV and a cover letting telling us why you want to be a trustee at Oxford SU in confidence 

Further Information and Questions

For an informal conversation, further information or any questions about this opportunity, please contact Anisha Farouk President  or Jacqui Clements, Interim Chief Executive 


The appointment process is handled by the Nominations Committee – a subcommittee of the Board. The committee delegates to an interview panel who will conduct the shortlisting exercise based on your Application . If you are selected for interview you will be contacted to advise you of the date and time of the interview and the process thereafter. Candidates will be given a tour of the SU as part of their interview process.


We do ask External Trustees to provide details of two referees. We will not contact your referees until after the shortlisting process.

The Closing Date is Midday on 20th April 2020

Interviews will take place on 27th April 2020 - in the current circumstances it is likely that these will be conducted remotely.

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Posted on: 26 March 2020
Closing date: 20 April 2020
Job ref: Ext Trustees
Tags: Finance, Trustees

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