Meet Our Members: Andy Dodman, University of Sheffield

Andy Dodman recently joined the AHUA after taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer at the University of Sheffield. Prior to this he worked as the University’s Director of HR, and brings to the role a people-led approach to management, with particular expertise and interest in personal wellbeing, happiness, and engagement in the workplace.

I’m Andy Dodman, and I am the Chief Operating Officer at the University of Sheffield. I have responsibility for the University’s Corporate Services which includes HR, Marketing, Communications, Advancement, Development & Alumni, Events, International, Regional and City Partnerships and Engagement. These cognate services and activities are aligned closely to our President & Vice-Chancellor and primarily face outwards. I therefore consider the role to focus on, and be responsible for, the University’s people, place and reputation.

Much of my time is spent leading these professional services teams. However, the strong and dynamic relationship with the University’s Provost, and her Heads of Faculty is paramount. Our collective agenda to promote and grow our core research and academic purpose has set us off on a large-scale programme of change. Over the past few months we have already augmented many of our structures, operating arrangements and cross-cutting activities, with more to follow!

We’ve invariably taken the view that our success is dependent on the capability, confidence, engagement and ideas of our people from across the University. This of course relates well to my own background and experience – although only four months in the COO role, I’ve been at Sheffield since 2004 working in Human Resources. For the past five years, I’ve been the University’s Director of HR and have particularly emphasised the importance of personal wellbeing, happiness, and engagement in the workplace. I’m especially proud of our extant levels of staff engagement and very recently Sheffield was ranked by The Sunday Times as the 25th Best Not-for-Profit Company to Work For in the UK, the only HEI on the list.

I remain on that proverbial steep learning curve, but gain constant support and inspiration from the amazingly talented people that work in Higher Education. I consider it our responsibility, as University leaders, to enable individuals to utilise all of their richly diverse talents and experiences – the more difference and diversity generated within teams the more creative and innovative we become.

I’m currently in the process of stepping away from my external facing HR roles and responsibilities. I have chaired the Russell Group HR Directors Forum for the past two years and just this month have stepped down from the Universities HR (UHR) national executive. I remain a member of the LFHE Advisory Board and a Trustee Director of the University’s Pension Scheme.  I co-founded and chair Everyday Juice Limited, a subsidiary company of the University, providing commercial health and wellbeing solutions to business.

When not working or with the family, I’ll almost certainly be out running, cycling and swimming.

I’m really looking forward to getting more involved in AHUA and continuing to contribute to our remarkable (and idiosyncratic) sector.