AMOSSHE elects a new Chair and Executive team

13 July 2016 11:28 | Anonymous

In 2016 six roles became available on the AMOSSHE Executive Committee, to serve for a period of two years from 1 September 2016 to 31 August 2018.

15 AMOSSHE members nominated for these roles, and the new Chair and Executive Member roles were decided by a membership ballot. There was no competition for the available Vice Chair role, so this appointment didn't require a membership vote.

At the 2016 AMOSSHE annual general meeting in Glasgow on 6 July, Nicole Redman (Vice Chair Operations) announced the names of the people who were elected. The new committee members will take up their roles from 1 September 2016.

Find out more:

Find out more about the AMOSSHE Executive Committee.

Newly elected Executive members for 2016-18

Here are the people who join the AMOSSHE Executive Committee for the 2016-18 term of office.

Ben Bailey (Director of Student Services at the University of Birmingham) takes the role of AMOSSHE Chair.

Fay Sherrington (Director of Student Services at Edge Hill University) takes the role of AMOSSHE Vice Chair.

The nominees elected to the four Executive Member roles are:

  • Nicola Barden (Director of Student Services, University of Winchester).
  • Mandi Barron (Head of Student Services, Bournemouth University).
  • Helen McNeely (Head of Student Affairs, Queen's University Belfast).
  • Chris Shelley (Director of Student Services, King's College London).

In addition, because Ben Bailey is taking the Chair role, his Executive Member role becomes vacant for one year. So Peter Quinn (Director of Student Support, University of York) takes this place for one year.

Congratulations and welcome to all the new Executive members! Here are the nomination statements from all the new members of the Executive Committee: nomination statements.

Many thanks to Ben Lewis (Director, Student Support & Wellbeing Division, Cardiff University), Brian Hipkin, and Maria Lorenzini (Director of Student Experience, Bangor University), who leave the Executive Committee at the end of August.


Nomination statements

Here are the nomination statements from everyone who joins the AMOSSHE Executive for the 2016-18 term of office:

Find out more about the the Executive Member roles.

Ben Bailey

Ben Bailey is Director of Student Services at the University of Birmingham. Here's Ben’s nomination statement:

I have been an institutional lead member of AMOSSHE for 13 years, and contributed to the Executive Committee for the last five years.

Recently serving AMOSSHE on the Executive, I have made my contribution in a range of areas of work. I have led on our exchange arrangements with NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), supported the National Office with the membership survey, represented us in national forums relating to disability, Prevent and mental health with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), Student Loans Company and Universities UK. I have also co-ordinated a continuing professional development event and am currently involved in supporting the development of a new website for the association.

My contributions continue to be motivated by my belief that AMOSSHE is a key part of supporting colleagues in Student Services. Supporting them to deliver important outcomes for students and also therefore, our institutions. Whether about national policy, professional development or sharing and advancing best practice and ideas, AMOSSHE’s work and member networks can be invaluable.

The ongoing challenge will include ensuring that:

  • We achieve high quality outputs to support members.
  • We make further real advances in understanding of the delivery of excellent Student Services through research.
  • Our focus is on learning both domestically and internationally.

I remain committed to ensuring that as a member-led organisation AMOSSHE continues to consult on and address the needs of members. This is vital in guiding the development of AMOSSHE’s services and to be able to act in a representative way as part of an Executive.

I am passionate about seeking to continue to support AMOSSHE’s work and feel ready to do this as Chair, and would be grateful for your support in being able to do that.

AMOSSHE continues to go from strength to strength. Our membership has grown; profile has increased; activity, reach and influence have grown; and National Office team is strong.

Looking forward, I see AMOSSHE needing to:

  • Consolidate on the progress made, ensuring we can sustain this level of high quality activity.
  • Develop further mechanisms to engage members, make the most of your contributions and understand what activity will deliver the most impact.
  • Identify and pursue priority themes of work, integrating them across our core activity to accelerate our understanding and sector contribution in those areas.
  • Support a targeted approach to member research in our priority themes, supporting the evidence base for practice and growing our influence.
  • Focus on our representation work to impact on the changing higher education policy landscape.

Having developed my leadership in Student Services with the support of the AMOSSHE family I believe I now have the skills and experience to make a contribution as Chair. I aim to adopt a style that is inspiring, supportive and inclusive and seek to lead with integrity and authenticity, driven by core values. I look to facilitate positive dialogue, the generation of ideas and high levels of professional commitment.


Fay Sherrington

Fay Sherrington is Director of Student Services at Edge Hill University. Here's Fay's nomination statement:

I am currently the Director of Student Services at Edge Hill University, and having worked in Student Services for 10 years at three very different higher education providers, I have developed a range of skills and experience across a number of specialist areas. I feel that I continue to have a lot to offer to the Executive and would love the opportunity to do a further term, this time in a Vice Chair role.

Being an Executive member of AMOSSHE has provided me with new experiences and skills that have been invaluable in my roles both past and present, and in my career development. I have given a great deal of time and enthusiasm to AMOSSHE and feel I have been able to contribute to the development of our sector. I am very keen to build on the progress made by the current Executive and National Office teams and to seize the opportunity to play a more significant role in the future of AMOSSHE as a Vice Chair.

For me, the biggest contribution I was able to make to AMOSSHE over my time on the Executive was to co-lead the organisation of the annual conferences in Manchester (2014) and Newcastle (2015).

I have also represented AMOSSHE on a number of boards and meetings, chaired Futures events, led continuing professional development (CPD) events and organised many regional meetings.

I was very pleased to lead the organisation of the leadership CPD event this year. The AMOSSHE survey results from 2015 showed that ‘management and leadership’ was one of the top three topics that members wanted to see in future CPD events. I was committed to ensuring that this new event was unique and that there was a focus on Student Services to make it relevant and also of high quality.

My previous four years’ experience of serving on the Executive puts me in a good position to provide consistency and bring existing knowledge to the Vice Chair role.

My priorities in the role are underpinned by AMOSSHE’s values and strategy and shaped by the role and tasks of the Vice Chair. Working alongside the Chair, Vice Chairs and wider Executive I would prioritise taking forward projects that can deliver benefit to the whole membership. Specifically, priorities would include developing new and appropriate income streams that can be put forward for approval by the ethics board. Equally important is the ongoing work to enhance membership communication and engagement through improvements to the website.

My leadership style is one of influencing, persuading, gaining consensus and working collaboratively. As a volunteer member of the Executive surrounded by senior colleagues and working with outside organisations, I have found this style to be hugely beneficial. I have built up a good working relationship with the staff in the National Office and my colleagues on the Executive, and believe I have the qualities to be a strong Vice Chair.


Nicola Barden

Nicola Barden is Director of Student Services at the University of Winchester). Here's Nicola’s nomination statement:

I have been a member of AMOSSHE for many years, currently as Director of Student Services at Winchester University, and initially when managing Counselling and Mental Health Services at the University of Portsmouth. I have attended AMOSSHE conferences and regional meetings, and in 2013 completed one of the first Insight projects, ‘Mental Health Risk Assessment Across Services: Good practice and pitfalls’.

I have experience of committee work through BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), as Chair of the Association and of various committees within it. Part of the role was to listen to and represent the views of members and to link those with a strategic direction that met the overall goals of the organisation, which is experience I would bring to the role of being on the AMOSSHE Executive.

I have clear interest in mental health issues, and am a member of the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Working Group (MWBHE), which provides consultation, runs conferences for the sector, and in 2015 published, with Universities UK, the Student Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Good Practice Guide. I represent MWBHE / Universities UK on the newly formed Advisory Board for the National Union of Students Alcohol Impact Initiative. I would hope to contribute this to the Executive as an area of special interest.

Winchester is a new university with a traditionally shaped Student Services department. Its smaller size (circa 8,000 students) means I am involved with a wide range of activities on a number of levels, from delivering the access agreement to managing the choirs that sing at graduation. I have been heavily involved in preparing for the changes to the Disabled Students’ Allowance and with other issues of equality and diversity. This variety is part of the pleasure of working in Student Services and is also part of the broader picture that would inform my ability to contribute to AMOSSHE if elected.


Mandi Barron

Mandi Barron is Head of Student Services at Bournemouth University. Here's Mandi’s nomination statement:

I was elected as a member of the AMOSSHE Executive in 2014 and have enjoyed the experience so much that I have decided to stand again. During my term of office I have been involved, with my fellow Executive members, in reviewing the AMOSSHE strategy and establishing an ethics committee to help with future partnerships. I was a shadow member of the planning team for the All Change conference in 2015.

I have taken the opportunity to promote AMOSSHE beyond our normal Student Services boundaries by presenting at conferences run by USHA (the University Safety and Health Association) and CNOUS / Deutsches Studentenwerk (our French and German counterpart organisations) as well as our more traditional partners such as Access to Education.

I have also represented AMOSSHE on the Prevent Reference Group, working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), Universities UK and LFHE (Leadership Foundation for Higher Education) to develop the LFHE Prevent training package, and chaired the AMOSSHE round table session on duty of care. If re-elected I will continue to raise the profile of AMOSSHE through local, regional and national collaborations.

I am committed to the advancement of Student Services in higher education and believe that we do need to approach things differently to keep abreast of the changing challenges that our students and institutes are facing. I have a particular interest in how we support non-specialist staff to deal with challenging student issues.

I believe my experience on the AMOSSHE Executive over the last two years, coupled with my institutional experience of all aspects of student life, has offered me excellent insight into the skills and attributes required for the role of an AMOSSHE Executive Member, and I would consider it a privilege if I were to be elected for a second term.


Helen McNeely

Helen McNeely is Head of Student Affairs at Queen's University Belfast. Here's Helen’s nomination statement:

Having just completed a two year term of office on the AMOSSHE Executive I would love the opportunity to continue for another two years to see through some of the work I have had the chance to be part of on behalf of the organisation. As a Head of Service at a regional university, I understand the importance and value of our connectedness as a body. I hope I have been able to support greater connectedness and sharing of good practice through my work helping to organise this year’s Winter Conference on duty of care, an issue of mutual concern to a large number of us. I also have the privilege of being part of the National Conference organising team for the summer conference 2016, helping us think through how to break boundaries in supporting students.

If the membership re-elected me I would be interested in assisting with future continuing professional development events, the benefits of which are across our whole membership. My current portfolio at Queen’s includes not only traditional Student Support Services but also Academic Affairs – the merging of these two functions has allowed my teams to work closely together with our academic colleagues to promote student wellbeing at every stage of the curriculum. I see this is an growing theme in the work of Student Support Services and would like to see what we can do as an organisation to explore this more fully.

Finally, in an increasingly diverse and regionally devolved sector I think it is important for voices from every area of the UK sector to have an active role in AMOSSHE. Hopefully returning to the Executive would allow me to continue to feed in to the national conversation from a regional perspective.


Peter Quinn

Peter Quinn is Director of Student Support at the University of York. Here's Peter’s nomination statement:

I’ve been at the University of York three years in June and am now interested in becoming more involved with AMOSSHE as an Executive Member. At York I have responsibility for a wide variety of Student Support areas and, like many of us, am experiencing institutional changes, re-structures and other significant challenges. I am continuing to learn from these experiences and have always enjoyed sharing these and learning from others in a really collaborative way.

I believe my recent and previous experience would be an asset to AMOSSHE. I take my work very seriously; myself less seriously and with a balance of effort, energy and enthusiasm I would be pleased to have the opportunity to help contribute to the progress AMOSSHE has made to date.

AMOSSHE undoubtedly has a role to play in the constantly evolving development of Student Services. I believe we can continue to provide networking, advice and continuing professional development opportunities that enable all of us to benefit from our collective experience in terms of local, regional and national challenges.

I have previously been a board member of NADP (National Association of Disability Practitioners) for several years and made a positive, collaborative and dynamic contribution there. I've also been Chair of a charity (KEEN) whilst at the University of Oxford and can bring this experience to the AMOSSHE board, benefiting the membership as a whole.

I still contribute financially to a school I taught at in Tanzania in the 90s and have been maintaining consultancy links with the Hong Kong Institute of Education over the last few years focussing on disability support structures. My family occupies most of my free time but when not spending time doing Dad stuff, listening to Greg Proops or playing ‘Words with Friends’ I can be found taking part in York Park Run, reading or enjoying Dim Sum.


Chris Shelley

Chris Shelley is Director of Student Services at King's College London. Here's Chris’s nomination statement:

When I took on the role of Director of Student Services at King’s, one of my first actions was to join AMOSSHE and extend the number of named members at King’s too. I am a great believer in the power of a national body that brings us together and maximises our collective knowledge, experience and ideas to help us become more than the sum of our parts. While we toil away at our respective institutions the power of AMOSSHE is always behind us, and for that reason I am keen to play my part in helping it continue to grow and strengthen.

I believe I have much to offer in both energy and experience. Since I took on my role the remit has more than doubled in size, now incorporating Academic Services such as timetabling, exams, graduation ceremonies, conduct and appeals, and visa compliance, alongside the ‘traditional’ welfare services. Like you, I have dealt with major institutional crises and individual emergencies as well as the daily challenges of developing services to meet increasing demand. As Prevent Lead at an institution in the spotlight I have more experience than I would like in handling the pressures that the duty has brought to us all, and I produced one of the modules for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s suite of materials as a result.

I previously worked at the National Union of Students, supporting Students’ Unions across the UK and developing their processes around member engagement, elections, charity governance and campaigning. This gives me a broad knowledge of the sector and the challenges faced by institutions large and small, and I would like to bring this perspective to the AMOSSHE Executive.

I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to AMOSSHE as an Executive Member and I hope you will give me your support to do so.


What's the AMOSSHE Executive and why are there elections?

AMOSSHE is directed by 12 Executive officers, who are Student Services professionals and AMOSSHE members. The Executive, who include AMOSSHE's Chair and Vice Chairs, are elected by the members and volunteer their time to ensure that AMOSSHE works in the best way to support our members, the sector and the student experience.

Executive roles last for two academic years, and every year half of the roles become vacant. All named AMOSSHE members have the opportunity to join the Executive by nominating themselves for a role.

If there's more than one nominee for a role, AMOSSHE members vote for the nominee they want to elect.

AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.
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