Hear from Jonathan Mestel, current professorial staff member on Council

I am a professor in the Mathematics department and have been the elected staff member on Council for the last two years. An election to determine my successor is currently taking place. Three other staff Council members are also being sought – one will be a non-professor academic and two will hail from the PTO job families. 

Council is where oversight of the running of the University takes place . It doesn't focus on the day-to-day functioning of the institution, but deals with longer-term topics, such as financial sustainabilty.  It is rare that an issue arises which directly affects staff in the short term. 

There are two parts to being a staff member of Council: you are a representative, but you’re also a trustee. As a representative you can be the voice of the staff community and give honest insight into how the community is feeling and as a trustee you must always have the greater long-term good of Imperial and the achievement of its purpose in mind.   

One of the benefits of being part of Council is meeting impressive and interesting people whose paths you might not otherwise have crossed. The other trustees include academics and professionals from other institutions, both within and outside Higher Education.   

Council meetings happen at least four times during the academic year. You get confidential insight and advance notice of what is coming up across Imperial. There are often presentations from other colleagues across the organisation about the great work they are doing.    

Council is seeking to increase the diversity of its membership and so to hear opinions from Imperial’s diverse community. All opinions are valued and respected. The role of staff representative would suit someone who isn’t afraid to speak up when appropriate.  

As Senior Consul, an entirely separate role I hold in addition to being a staff representative on Council, I have been asked to chair the panel which is going to appoint the three new representatives (one academic and two PTO staff). Council is adamant that every staff member should be welcome to apply. The panel will form a shortlist from the applicants and interview them over the summer. 

I am very happy to talk to anyone who is interested in applying for the role. If you have any questions please do get in touch with me on j.mestel@imperial.ac.uk .