Reporter 407, 6 October 1997

‘Priveleged’ to join University says new personnel chief

Coming from a background in the private, public and voluntary sectors, Matthew Knight is to take over as the University’s Director of Human Resources on 1 December. He replaces Sally Wheeler, who retired in September (see page 6).

Mr Knight is currently Director of Human Resources and Patient Administration at the York Health Services Trust, where his responsibilities include local pay bargaining, industrial relations, training and development. He has been with the Trust for six years.

Before moving to the health service, Mr Knight spent four years at York City Council, first as Recruitment and Training Manager, then as Director of Human Resources. His achievements included a complete overhaul of human resource management and the introduction of staff appraisal systems throughout the organisation.

Matthew Knight began his career as an economist with the UK Atomic Energy Authority in the 1970s, having gained a Masters degree in economics at Cambridge. However, after just nine months he took advantage of a secondment opportunity to switch to industrial relations work. Almost 20 years later he has no desire to return to economics.

Following his spell with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Mr Knight went on to hold senior industrial relations and personnel positions with the Esso Petroleum Company and Voluntary Service Overseas. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development.

Clearly relishing the challenge of switching to the higher education sector, Mr Knight told the Reporter: “It is a tremendous privilege to have the opportunity to join the University at such an important time of change and development. I have much to learn, and my early priority will be to meet as many people as possible and seek their views about possibilities, problems and opportunities.”

“I think that human resource professionals can play a vital role in bridging staff aspirations with organisational needs, and I look forward greatly to getting started in December.”

An enthusiast of tennis and theatre, Matthew Knight lives with his wife and two teenage children in York.

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