Vote for the new Vice-Chair

Amanda Oliver FAUA
Director of College Operations | Brunel University London

Election Statement 

My support and commitment to the AUA has been unwavering and longstanding. I have been an AUA member for over 20 years, a Fellow for over 10 years, and have been integral to the development and success of the AUA Post graduate Certificate for 17 years. My involvement with the PG Cert spans many roles, firstly as an Assessor and then as a Moderator. I have been a member of the Board of Studies for over 10 years as Assessor rep, Fellow Rep, Vice Chair and Chair for the past three years. During this time the PG Cert has evolved and is now in the second year of delivery as an innovative programme that has seen in excess of 350 Graduates. It is now a successful programme with an embedded and collegiate partnership with the validating university (Nottingham Trent University).

In addition to my involvement with the PG Certificate I Chair the Mark of Excellence (MoE) panel and am a member of the Professional Development Group which provides direction and support to the professional development portfolio of the AUA. I have been a member of the Board of Trustees since August 2016. My commitment to supporting professional development activities extends beyond my AUA roles. In my current and previous institutions, as a member of the University’s Senior Team and leader of Professional Services staff, I have actively supported the professional development of my colleagues. At an institutional level have been an advocate of the AUA CPD Framework, embedding it in all aspects of recruitment, development, and progression of Professional Services colleagues long before MoE was launched.

In my 35 years of education sector experience I have witnessed many significant changes, challenges and opportunities. The sector is unrecognisable from when I first joined but for me the opportunities have always surpassed the challenges, in particular in relation to opportunities for professional development. This informs my longstanding association with the AUA and my various roles within HEIs to support the professional development of the leaders of the future.

With a refresh of the AUA strategy (October 2019) the AUA has a unique opportunity, with its effective operational support from the AUA office, to be a more prominent influencer and deliverer of professional development across Professional Services in the sector. An influencer with a strong voice for advocating the experience and knowledge that the membership has and how this can be harnessed in making a difference to institutional effectiveness and the student experience. Alongside this I believe that challenges for the AUA will include maintaining and building on its currency and relevance in the sector as the professional association for its members; and gaining traction on how the AUA can reach out to the circa 220,000 professional support staff in HEIs (HESA) as a supporting voice for Professional Services colleagues, thus increasing the membership.  I envisage that there are more opportunities to reach out to the Regions and to strengthen connections with existing and potential new members. There are opportunities to be prominent in the delivery of professional development and training to HEIs, with senior university leaders engaging with the AUA as a key provider in their professional development agenda. And there are further opportunities to be a prominent voice in the sector utilising the extensive knowledge and experience that our members have.

I welcome the opportunity to be considered as Vice Chair (Chair-elect) and if successful to serve as Chair in the future, taking forward with the Board of Trustees a strategic vision that builds on the AUAs success and underpins its future as a successful Association built on the strength of its membership.

Sam Bayley FAUA
Department Manager | University of York

My vision for the AUA
After five years as an active member of the AUA Board of Trustees, I would love to have the chance to lead the organisation that has catalysed my career. I joined to begin my PGCert back in 2012, and have since seen the AUA grow and thrive, building upon its excellent range of events, professional qualifications and publications, to branch out into exciting new areas such as AUA Consultancy and the Mark of Excellence.

For me, however, the real value of the AUA lies in the strength of its networks – both formal and informal – and the huge efforts that our volunteers put into grassroots activity all year round. Having held a number of voluntary roles for the AUA, I know first-hand that we need to do more to support and develop our volunteers, ensuring it is as easy as possible for them to deliver their activities. It is no exaggeration to say that we couldn’t do it without them, and if I were elected Chair, they would be at the centre of my vision for the organisation.

That being said, relying on volunteers remains a risk; we owe it to all of our members to deliver a consistently excellent service. We must help the AUA Office (which is full of dedicated, outstanding individuals) to provide a level of service that meets members’ needs – wherever they are based and however they want to engage. Deploying our office resources to meet this goal should be a strategic priority; this would in turn further my vision of engaging our volunteer networks and helping them best meet our member needs.

The AUA needs to become a more compelling voice in advocating for the sector’s professional services staff. We have the ability to do this through our expert members, who already contribute so much to our blogs and publications. We must do more to help this voice be heard, because recognition for the AUA means better recognition for all of our members.
Compared to recent AUA Chair candidates I am at a slightly earlier stage of my career – but I hope to demonstrate to our relatively junior members just what is possible if they engage with and make the most of our opportunities. I hope you will support me in realising my vision as your Chair.

My AUA experience
• Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2014)
• Member of the Professional Development Group (since 2019)
• Member of the Board of Studies (2012 – 2014)
• Network Coordinator – Yorkshire & North East (2014 – 2017)
• Branch Advocate – York (2014)
• Fellow of the AUA (since 2013)
• Successfully completed the AUA PGCert (2012-2014)
• Workshop delivery at multiple AUA Annual Conferences
• Multiple articles published in Newslink and the AUA blog

Other relevant experience
• Elected member of University of York Council [governing body] (since 2017)
• Various administrative, junior and middle management roles within higher education (since 2011)
• Trustee (sabbatical officer) of University of York Students’ Union (2007-2008)
• Chair of York City & District Referees’ Association (2016 – 2019)

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