SOAS University of London

Trustee Recruitment

Lay member of the Board of Trustees

Current vacancy
Independent Pay Expert 

We would like to invite expressions of interest from individuals with substantial senior experience in pay and reward to work in a voluntary capacity in support of the School’s Senior Staff Remuneration Committee. 

Fair and appropriate remuneration is key to the development of Higher Education, operating as it does in an intensely competitive global environment. To support members of governing bodies, the Higher Education Senior Staff Remuneration Code has been developed and provides a framework for ensuring fair and appropriate remuneration supported by full and relevant transparency and accountability.

The Independent Pay Expert will be a full member of the School’s Senior Staff Remuneration Committee, working alongside lay members of the Board of Trustees and the Director of Human Resources. 

You should have recent or current senior-level experience in pay and reward and have experience in, or an understanding of, Higher education. You will have the opportunity to engage with wider Board members and the executive on matters of pay and reward and your enthusiasm and commitment to the sector will make a direct impact on the work of the School. 

SOAS encourages, supports and values equality and diversity, and welcome expressions of interest from all sections of the community. 

Skills and Experience 
  • Established expert in pay and reward
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to bring insights from experience to the management and governance of senior pay within the School.
  • Board level experience and/or have had a prominent or senior position within current or recent profession.
  • Substantial, senior level experience of guiding and influencing senior officers through complex reward decisions and in the context of significant internal and external pressures.
  • Strong personal commitment to higher education and the values, aims and objectives of the School.
  • Ability to exercise governance responsibilities with drive, enthusiasm, initiative, creativity, commitment and discretion, and in accordance with the Nolan Principles on Standards in Public Life.
  • Ability to absorb and analyse complex information quickly and accurately.
  • Ability to work as part of a team with other Trustees, the senior management of the School, and with external stakeholders in ensuring pay and reward supports the broader strategic interests of the School and is seen to be fair. 
Duties and Time Commitment 

Senior Staff Remuneration Committee is chaired by a lay member of the Board of Trustees and reports direct to the Board of Trustees. 

Senior Staff Remuneration Committee decides upon the remuneration and terms and conditions of service for the School’s Executive post holders and provides oversight and monitoring of the remuneration of the School’s Senior post holders. 

The Committee decides upon any severance payment for individuals who earn more than £100,000 and on the terms of School-wide severance schemes. It monitors pay levels for executive and senior managers, based on gender and ethnicity and reviews equal pay gaps across these groups

The Senior Staff Remuneration Committee operates in accordance with SOAS Remuneration and Severance Frameworks and all related regulatory codes. 

The Committee meets twice yearly although there are also a number of more informal meetings of the Board of Trustees which are held to enable members to discuss particular issues in detail.

You will be expected to play a role in ensuring that the necessary business of the Senior Staff Remuneration Committee is carried out efficiently, effectively, and in a manner appropriate to the proper conduct of public business. You will be able to make constructive contributions to debate and be prepared to make your knowledge and expertise available to the Committee and where appropriate to the wider Board. 

We would welcome your input as an ‘ambassador’ of the School, to help in areas such as fundraising, and to attend events as appropriate. 

It is essential that you are able to commit sufficient time to attend and undertake the work related to Senior Staff Remuneration Committee. 

Members are normally appointed for a period of four years, although this will be adjusted if your appointment starts part way through an academic session. 

For more information please see School Governance.


This is a voluntary position, which is not remunerated. However, reasonable travel and subsistence costs will be reimbursed. 

How to Express Interest 

Please send a letter (maximum 2 sides of A4) setting out why you wish to be considered for this role, and how  you consider you would contribute to pay and remuneration at SOAS.

The letter must also include details of two referees. Please indicate if you do not wish these referees to be contacted immediately. 

Please send this letter, marked confidential together with your CV to:

Sally Priddle
Head of Governance
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG 

Or email  

Please include in the documents an e-mail address and a telephone number on which you can be reached. 

Please note that your application must be received by noon on Friday 09 November 2018. 

SOAS University of London 

SOAS University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. For the last 100 years we have grown and developed to take our place as a global university, teaching and researching across a range of social science and humanities subjects, rooted in the culture and languages of the regions in which we specialise. 

The School is home to some of the world’s leading experts and researchers in these regions who are regularly interviewed by the world’s media including the BBC, ITN, Reuters and CNN. They act as advisors, commentators and consultants to government departments and non- governmental organisations, as well as the private sector and multinational companies. As such, the School has gained a global reputation as a leading institution for the study of these regions, which is reflected in the diverse nature of its staff and student community. 

The library is one of just five National Research Libraries (NRLs) in the country and houses the world’s largest concentration of scholarly works on Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It has many treasures including a 9th century Tibetan prayer book, priceless Japanese scrolls, original maps of Africa drawn by 19th century explorer David Livingstone and the first-known writings in the Aboriginal language.

Approximately 5,800 students from 130 countries study at undergraduate and postgraduate level, 50 per cent of whom are from outside the UK. There is a well-established and active alumni community in more than 180 countries who are involved in hosting events around the world each year. SOAS has many high-profile alumni including world leaders, human rights lawyers, politicians, ambassadors, diplomats, journalists, philosophers and writers, many of whom have helped bring about change to improve the world in which we live. 

Further information about SOAS can be obtained from our website at  

SOAS Mission Statement 

SOAS provides resources and knowledge about Africa, Asia and the Middle East to equip people for a global economy and a multicultural Britain. 

The School’s purpose is: 

  • To advance through teaching and research the knowledge and understanding of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
  • To contribute to the development of the School’s academic disciplines.
  • To provide high quality education so that our students achieve excellence in their chosen subject or subjects and develop their intellectual and other core skills.
  • To promote and lead global public education in our areas of specialist expertise concerning Africa, Asia and the Middle East, both in the United Kingdom and around the world. 

For further information on SOAS’s vision, purposes and values see: SOAS Vision and Strategy