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Dr Jane Rand, York St John University - Starter for 10

19 January 2018

Dr Jane Rand, York St John University - Starter for 10

Dr Jane Rand is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at York St John University, where she has oversight of educational quality and academic standards across the university. Jane's role is one of influencing change and innovation strategically through cross-institutional academic and professional leadership that promotes a culture of excellence, innovation, commitment to high performance and continuous improvement across the breadth of the University's academic activities.

Jane has worked in Further and Higher Education since 2003, joining the sector after a first career in NHS management. Her core research interests are epistemologies, qualitative methodologies, and applied pedagogical research. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and became a Chartered Manager in 2015.

Jane attended the Top Management Programme 40, which took place between April and September 2017.

Here is Jane's Starter for 10:

  1. What is the best piece of management/leadership advice you have ever been given?
    Aim for a [leadership] legacy that’s impactful on the institution, and not easily undone.
  2. Who would you have liked to have worked with/for?
    Marie Curie – a truly determined individual.
  3. What is the biggest change you have seen in management/leadership approaches?
    Successful leadership is becoming much more openly recognised as a collaborative endeavour, based on dialogue(s), partnership(s), and integrated practice(s).
  4. Who has inspired you most in your working life?
    Students; in particular a group that I worked with when I taught in Further Education in Scotland, who were seeking asylum/refuge in the UK. Many had no possessions beyond those that they wore. From them, and with them, I learned more about ambition, resilience and generosity than any other experience in my life to date.
  5. What comes naturally to you as a leader? And what do you feel you have to work on?
    Listening, and being attentive to others come naturally; aiming to understand the perspective of others is a key element of my leadership practice. Moving too quickly to action (according to some of my colleagues) is something I need to work on!
  6. Who would you choose to be stranded on a desert island with?
    Friends from the book club I joined when I moved to York – an inspiring, powerful, tenacious, insightful, caring, creative, critical, funny, and courageous group. Perfect companions!
  7. What will you remember most about Top Management Programme?
    An experience of working collectively and effectively with a brand new group of colleagues.  For me this was most evident, perhaps unusually, in the Week 2 International Assignment, when TMP 40 coordinated the presentation back to our Canadian hosts. An amazing experience of collegiality!
  8. What will be the most enduring learning point?
    Find a way to enable others; always aim for a strengths-based approach rather than a deficit-based model.
  9. Thinking about your career and experiences, what advice would you give your younger self?
    Be bolder, think bigger, be braver!
  10. What one thing would make your job easier?
    Fewer emails.
  11. What’s been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it?
    Probably myself. I can think of two specific occasions in the last four-five years where I ‘wrangled’ internally for longer than was sensible before taking action. One situation came good for colleagues in the end; the other, which impacted only myself, is a work in progress... 
  12. If you could get tickets to any event in the world what would it be?
    The Wienerphilharmoniker New Year’s concert.
  13. What can’t you live without?
    A sense of humour.
  14. What would you be if you weren’t a Pro Vice-Chancellor?
    A Board member in The Apprentice, preferably Claude Littner.
  15. What’s your favourite leadership book and why?
    Leadership under pressure: tactics from the front line by Colonel Bob Stewart.  I have lots of books on leadership; this is my ‘go to’ book when I can’t see the wood for the trees and need to re-calibrate. As well as reading his book I have also heard Bob speak – a genuine and authentic leader who has taken some truly difficult decisions in the interests of those he has led.
  16. What would be your priority activity if you were invisible for a day?
    To make people smile.

To find out more on the Top Management Programme, please click here.


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