Role of College Consul (2020)
Hear from our current and former Consuls about the role of Consul
Becoming a College Consul (2020)
For academic’s considering becoming a College Consul
The Ordinance D6 - the Definition, Election and Responsibilities of College Consuls is availabe on the Central Secretariat website.
Who are Consuls
Consuls are existing professors who act as a conduit for academic opinion, complementing existing management structures.
The consuls for 2021-22 are:
- Senior Consul: Professor Richard Jardine
- Faculty of Engineering and the Business School: Professor Martyn Boutelle
- Faculty of Engineering and the Business School: Professor Ann Muggeridge
- Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Education Office: Professor Martin McCall
- Faculty of Medicine: Professor Dorian Haskard
- Faculty of Medicine: Professor Liz Lightstone
The Proconsuls for 2021-22 are:
- Professor Jonathan Mestel, Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Natural Sciences
- Professor Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine in the National Heart and Lung Institute, Faculty of Medicine
- Professor Terry Tetley, Professor of Lung Cell Biology in the National Heart and Lung Institute, Faculty of Medicine
- Professor Xiao Yun Xu, Professor of Biofluid Mechanics in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
- Professor John Seddon, Professor of Chemical Physics in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences
What do consuls do?
The consuls help to ensure integrity and honesty in all academic matters, and fairness in the treatment of both staff and students at Imperial. They work with (but not for) the senior management of the College and represent the values of the academic community. They are able to bring the concerns of the academic staff to the attention of the senior management of the College. They are also available to members of staff for confidential and independent advice.
Consuls report directly to the Provost. They have a non-executive role taking soundings of academic views, providing advice and in representing academic opinion. Consuls may be called upon to bring an independent balanced perspective from a senior member of academic staff to the discussion of a particular issue by leading or participating in reviews and investigations of complaints from members of the College.
In addition, consuls have a number of specific responsibilities:
- The consuls work with the Assistant Provost (Academic Promotions) to assure parity of treatment and equivalence of standards in the promotions process across the College.
- Consuls play an important role in the recruitment of new academic staff at all levels. All appointment panels include a consul.
- Consuls have a strong interest in the quality of the education and support offered to students. They are present on all committees that appoint staff at levels 5 or 6 of the teaching family, and on committees that oversee and enhance educational quality.
- The consuls participate in or chair disciplinary and appeal panels. Clinical consuls chair General Medical Council (GMC) student Fitness to Practice hearings.
How are consuls selected?
They are elected by senior academic staff who vote for candidates based on the candidate’s statements. Consuls are appointed for a period of three years. The senior consul (a current or former consul) is chosen annually by the six consuls, with a maximum term of 3 years.
Do consuls keep their academic roles?
Consuls are 50% FTE (Full-time equivalent) appointments, retaining 50% FTE positions in their own departments. Departments are compensated by provision of funds to support replacement of the departmental role.
Proconsuls - who they are and what they do?
The College has created the position of Proconsul to extend and support the work of the College Consuls, in line with the revised Ordinance D6. Proconsuls are Professors of the College who, having served as Consuls, provide additional support for the full range work of the Consuls as delegated by the Senior Consul.
In respect to their work as Proconsuls, they report directly to the Provost and Senior Consul. There can be up to five Proconsuls at any one time.
The Consuls and Proconsuls work out of the Office of the Provost, but may be called upon by the President, the Provost, the College Secretary, the Director of Human Resources, the Head of Employment Relations, Registry, or Faculty Deans to perform specific cross-College tasks.
College Consuls have specific roles as recorded in College policy documents. These include serving on appointment and promotion committees across the College to facilitate alignment of standards. In addition, the Consuls and Proconsuls may serve as Chairs of disciplinary, grievance, appeals or other panels. Clinical Consuls serve as Chair of Fitness to Practice panels for medical students who face disciplinary procedures according to the rules and guidelines of the General Medical Council.
Proconsuls are expected to be available to contribute up to 20 working days per year to undertake specific work in addition to their full-time Departmental work.