CHEAD operates in accordance with the objects enshrined in its Constitution. Any changes to the Constitution are put before the membership for approval.
The Executive Committee is charged with the strategic and operational management of the association on behalf of the membership. This committee comprises the Chair, who is also the Chair of CHEAD; the Vice Chair; the Honorary Treasurer; the Executive Secretary ex officio; six elected members and up to four co-opted members. The term of appointment for officers and members is normally for three years.
Members of the Executive Committee give their time to CHEAD free of charge and remuneration and meet six times yearly.
To ensure continuity, elections and terms of office of elected members are arranged so that only one elected officer shall stand for election in any one year. Retiring members of the Executive Committee are eligible for re-election but should not stand for more than two terms of appointment consecutively. Candidates for membership of the Executive may self-nominate; where positions are to be contested, election is by secret postal ballot. The Executive Committee has the power to co-opt up to four Ordinary Members to the Committee to serve for a term of up to three years. This power is normally used to ensure that work on key issues can be effectively and efficiently carried out by the Executive. Such key issues have included, for example, HE Art and Design’s interface with Further Education and preparations for the Research Assessment Exercise.
CHEAD employs a full time Executive Secretary, who is located in a rented office in Woburn Buildings, Tavistock Square, London, premises occupied by Universities UK, Guild HE and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, amongst others. The role of the Executive Secretary can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Executive Secretary’s responsibilities include producing key organisational documents (e.g. agendas and minutes of meetings), overseeing the production of essential administrative and financial documents, reports and returns, and being the first line of contact for all CHEAD matters. From time to time, CHEAD employs other staff on fixed term contracts, for example as funded project workers, as administrative assistants at the Annual Conference or for the seminar programme, and as financial administrative assistants. CHEAD’s annual accounts are produced under the aegis of the Executive Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer and are externally audited.
Full meetings of the membership are held three times yearly, and usually follow the format of a Business Meeting dealing with CHEAD matters and a Forum, normally addressed by one or more externally-sourced speakers. An annual conference is held each Spring: in recent times this has alternated between mainland UK locations and locations overseas.
From time to time, CHEAD appoints and supports working groups either to oversee project work or to address matters of strategic importance on behalf of the membership and Executive. Wherever possible, CHEAD looks to include at least ‘second tier’ manager in art and design to such groups in accordance with its commitment to management development and succession planning. Often CHEAD is invited to nominate representatives to serve on bodies and working groups set up by other organisations. It takes a broad view on identifying such nominees, looking beyond the immediate, named membership if necessary.
Communication with members is maintained in many ways, through formal Business Meetings and Fora, by letter and email communication, through occasional structured postal and electronic surveys and, from Autumn 2007, through a re-designed website. Position papers and reports from seminars and conferences are also circulated to the membership. In general terms, CHEAD is not an overly-bureaucratic organisation. Members respect the fact that members of the Executive operate voluntarily and professionally on behalf of the organisation and in the best interests of the membership, with the result that a high level of mutual trust characterises the modus operandi. The Executive Committee recognises that one of the benefits of membership is the opportunity provided for members to carry out professional networking, and events and meetings are designed with this in mind.
Constitutionally, CHEAD aims, to inter alia,
To achieve this, named members of the Executive are designated as contacts for other, key organisations such as the Arts Council and Crafts Council. An annual round of informed meetings has been initiated to include bodies like the Design Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In addition, the CHEAD Links Group provides further opportunity to work closely with such organisations, and this is complemented by CHEAD’s round of meetings with a number of the Subject Associations in Art and Design and relevant disciplines. Among the various organisations consulted in these ways are the Arts, Crafts, and Design Councils; GLAD, the Group for Leading in Art and Design; the HEA Art, Design and Media Subject Centre; National Association of Fine Art Educators (NAFAE); Interiors Educators; Assocation for Photography in Higher Education (APHE); National Assocation for Higher Education in the Moving Image (NAHEMI); the Art History Association; the Design History Society; Assocation of Fashion and Textile Courses (FTC); and many other bodies.
CHEAD will both initiate consultation with government bodies and statutory organisations, and will respond to matters on behalf of its membership that are initiated by public bodies. A great deal of lobbying, opinion forming and influencing of policy is channelled through the Executive in the ways outlined above.
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