Sandra Heidinger is UHR's new Chair

Director of HR at the University of Strathclyde takes on key role

UHR has announced that Sandra Heidinger is stepping up to the role of chair from 1 October. Sandra has previously served as vice chairand takes over from Kim Frost. Sandra is the director of human resources at the University of Strathclyde, and has played a crucial role in improving performance and driving culture change at the institution. With over25 years of professional experience, she previously convened UHR Scotland. Sandra writes, “My personal passion is working out how HR can have a real impact on organisational performance. I always look for things that will take my institution places. HR people need to look at where their organisation is going, and offer creative solutions to any potential barriers to getting them there. HR can ensure that people in an organisation are all facing in the right direction. There are many issues and challenges facing the sector. There’s the Teaching Excellence Framework, the Apprenticeships Levy, and discovering what Brexit might mean for global talent retention and attraction. But there’s never been a better time for HR to lead. It’s time for us to step up to the plate. We want HR professionals to look for the transformational strategies and initiatives that they can initiate to support organisations to enhance performance. Some ideas might suit some, but not others. But you’ve got to be a sponge for ideas, and UHR can facilitate that.”

In her time as Director of HR, Sandra has created a Knowledge Exchange career pathway for Strathclyde staff working with industry, which won the 2015 Universities HR award for business impact. Strathclyde also won the equivalent UHR award in 2016, and a 2016 Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award, for their unique approach to staff engagement through business improvement. She will be in the role for a year in the first instance.

UHR is delighted that Sandra becomes chair at a time when the people management challenges for HR staff in universities have never been greater. UHR Executive Officer, Helen Scott says: “The continuing need to deliver efficiencies, attract and retain talented staff, and shape a workforce that is equipped to meet the needs of students, funders and government, coupled with the uncertainty around Brexit means that Sandra, and UHR have an important role to play in leading and representing the HR profession.”