The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) Board of Directors has appointed Dame Suzi Leather as Chair from 1 October 2016. Dame Suzi will succeed Ram Gidoomal CBE, whose term of office expires in the autumn.
The OIA Board oversees the strategic direction, performance and effectiveness of the OIA, sets the level of subscriptions paid by higher education providers and approves the rules and procedures for the operation of the OIA Scheme. The Chair and Board are not involved in the adjudication of cases.
Andrew Purkis, Deputy Chair of the Board, who led the recruitment, welcomed the appointment:
“Suzi Leather was a quite outstanding candidate in a very strong field. She combines rich experience in chairing important public sector and charitable organisations, with a sharp eye for strategy and detail, a proven commitment to higher education and the student experience, and strong values attuned to OIA's mission. I am confident that with Suzi as Chair and Judy Clements as Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive we are in an excellent position to build further on the OIA's reputation for independence and quality.”
Dame Suzi is a former Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and of the Charity Commission. Commenting on her appointment, she said:
“I am very pleased to be joining the OIA, especially at this time. The challenges for the higher education sector demand an OIA that can continue to serve students and providers and help to maintain, protect and advance our HE sector’s worldwide reputation for quality.”
Judy Clements, the Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive, said:
“As Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive I warmly congratulate Dame Suzi Leather on her appointment as Chair of the OIA Board. I am very much looking forward to working with her as we take forward the important work of the OIA at a time of significant change and development in the higher education sector.”