Simpson King Staff Achievement Award

To recognise staff members that have lived the values of and contributed to the wider student movement.

Ian King served the student movement for over forty years, initially as an active member of Stirling University Students’ Association and then in a series of senior staff positions within students’ unions. In 1976 he was appointed General Manager of Ripon and York St. John SU two years later he took on the same role at the Polytechnic of Wales. In the early eighties he moved to Manchester Polytechnic and then in 1987 he was appointed General Manager at Birmingham Guild. From here he joined NUS Services as CEO, significantly strengthening the organisation and its responsiveness to members. Sadly Ian died in 2012, he is fondly remembered for the advice, support and guidance he gave to generations of student officers, developing their leadership skills and demonstrating his commitment to genuinely student led students’ unions.

Both Jon and Ian were a driving force behind SUSOC which evolved into the Association of Managers in Students’ Unions (AMSU) and they also pioneered and developed our links with the Association of College Unions International with both hosting ACUI events in the UK. They both encouraged the UK student movement to learn from counterparts in the US particularly in the areas of space management and volunteer development.

In the late sixties Jon Simpson became the President of Poplar Technical College SU and went on in 1973 to serve as President of Loughborough University of Technology SU, followed in 1975 by a term as the elected Convenor of Leicester Area Committee of NUS. campaigning hard on greater access to discretionary awards. In 1976 he was appointed NUS Field Officer for the East Midlands, where he developed a widely used accounting system for small colleges. He became the Director of Development and Training at NUS in 1980 and in 1982 moved on to become the Permanent Secretary of Warwick University Students’ Union and Company Secretary of Warwick SU Services. Along with Ian he pioneered collective purchasing within the student movement serving as the Convenor of the Bars Working Party and was part of the team that oversaw the creation of NUS services. His strong commitment to staff development led to the creation of the SUSOC training programme. In 1997 he relocated to Australia where he served as CEO of the University of South Wales Union, was Secretary and President of the Australian Campus Managers Association and once again established a collective purchasing organisation.

1. Describe the background to and context to your submission.


2. Describe what actions were taken and the challenges that arose.

  • How have they contributed to the wider student movement?
  • How have they fostered collaboration? 

3. What changes have been achieved? 

  • How has their work impacted the wider student movement?
  • How do they demonstrate leadership and inclusivity?
  • Why is this person an inspiration?