Watt Club Council

Young man holding a loud speaker - Elections poster

The Watt Club Council – Election of Office Bearers and Ordinary Members  

Nominations will open on Friday 23 September for this year’s Watt Club Council elections. We are looking for nominations for a new President, Vice-President and four Ordinary members of our Watt Club Council. All positions are elected and the nomination process run from Friday 23 September until 17.00 (UK Time) on Friday 14 October. All members of the Watt Club will receive an email from the Students Union with instructions on how to take part – if you don’t see it in your inbox please check your junk mail.

The current President, Mike Ross, and Vice-President, Patrick Corbett, were elected at The Watt Club’s Annual General Meeting in October 2019 and their three year terms end on 31 December 2022. This is an exciting time to join the Watt Club Council as we embark on a significant period of change, re-aligning the purpose and impact of the Council, modernising its structure and making it more accessible to our alumni community. We want to encourage alumni around the world to consider nominating themselves or former classmates – this is your opportunity to make a real difference.

History of the Watt Club

Founded in 1854, The Watt Club is the oldest graduates’ association in the UK.  
With every student automatically becoming a member of The Watt Club on graduation, we now have over 150,000 global, specialist, innovative, expert, connected alumni scattered across more than 190 countries! 

The Watt Club Council is the voluntary, elected body of alumni representatives and is charged with working with the University through the Development and Alumni Office (DAO), to keep our alumni community engaged. The Watt Club Council provides support and guidance to the University, and crucially, is able to directly influence University strategy and activity.

Over the past three years, we’ve made great strides in modernising and revolutionising how we connect with our alumni community and deliver more of what they want. With over 49% of our alumni currently engaged with the University, we’re now examining and refreshing how we work together in order to increase the number of alumni we are connected to, improve the strength of those connections, and harness our combined power to positively impact the world.

Through the University’s Strategy 2025, we have a laser focus on working together to help deliver on one of the Strategy’s key themes – building flourishing communities – through a strong, energised and forward-looking Watt Club.

This is an exciting time to join the Watt Club Council as we embark on a significant period of change, re-aligning the purpose and impact of the Council, modernising its structure and making it more accessible to our alumni community. We want to encourage alumni around the world to consider nominating themselves or former classmates – this is your opportunity to make a real difference.

If elected, you will work closely with a variety of stakeholders and members of University Court, to high profile alumni and the Development and Alumni Office (DAO).  The three year terms will run from January 2023 until January 2026.

The nomination process opens Friday 23 September and will run until 17.00 (UK time) Friday 14 October 2022. 

Role of Council

The Watt Club Council meets four times a year and hosts a public Annual General Meeting, at which every alumnus is invited to participate and contribute.

Council duties include but are not limited to: 

  • ensuring that the Club is run in accordance with its mission and adhering to the Constitution whilst guiding the Club through any constitutional changes required to make the Club more effective in delivering the mission;
  • ensuring that the Club’s Branches are run in accordance with its mission and the Constitution; 
  • maintaining and administering the Club and its funding in a suitable manner, accountable to members and the Court; 
  • communicating and promoting the Club and its events; 
  • fostering a sense of belonging and positive opinion of graduates toward the University; 
  • maintaining and developing the Club; 
  • promoting the Club and its benefits to students; 
  • providing voluntary support to the University and acting as ambassadors of the University both internally and externally; 
  • representing the Club at graduation ceremonies and other University events; 
  • promoting and carrying on the noble objective “to sup in the memory of James Watt on his birthday”. 

Eligibility 

Please note these are three separate positions with vacancies. Eligible Members of The Watt Club can nominate for any position.

To be eligible to stand for election as President or Vice-President, you must meet at least one of the following qualifications: 

  • Be a graduate of Heriot-Watt University (including Honorary Graduates) 
  • Hold a Fellowship or an Associateship of Heriot-Watt College 
  • Hold a diploma or a certificate awarded by the University 

Candidates for Ordinary Members of Council may also be:  

  • An honorary graduate of the University; or 
  • Be a member of staff of the University, a former non-graduating student, or other person associated with the University who has been admitted to membership by the Council by application or invitation. 

Diversity in Heriot-Watt 

The University and The Watt Club encourages any graduate who is enthusiastic for the success of the University, motivated to achieve change, and who is keen to apply their skills and experience in ways that will add value to the work of the Council to consider standing for election. 

The University and The Watt Club are committed to achieving greater diversity across the membership of the Council, recognising, for example, that women are currently under-represented. We recognise that governance is enhanced through diversity of membership as this ensures that the knowledge and experience brought to the Council are broadly based. 

Forms and instructions  

You will receive instructions on how to nominate yourself or a classmate tomorrow. For a fuller understanding of The Watt Club’s governance, please go here.  

The Watt Club Council can be contacted at wattclub.council@hw.ac.uk

Governance

In 2015, The Watt Club and the University undertook a significant review and update of the club’s governance to provide a solid framework for the future success of the club. The core governance documents are given below:

Annual General Meeting

The president of The Watt Club is elected at the annual general meeting, for a non-renewable three-year term. For their period in office, the president is the senior graduate of the University.

Key information

Gavin Rennie

Adam Gillies