Faculty Operations Director

2021, March 12
Faculty Operations Director 12th March 2021
Job TitleFaculty Operations Director
School/DepartmentFaculty based
Job Family and LevelUNNC Scale A level 5
Contract Status/

Appointment Duration

This position will be initially offered with an 18 months appointment based on the substantive contract. Extension of the appointment will be subject to satisfactory performance.


LocationUniversity of Nottingham Ningbo China
Hours of WorkRegular working hours
Responsible toFaculty Dean with a dotted reporting line to Chief Financial and Planning Officer

Purpose of role

This strategic post is responsible for directing and developing Faculty professional services operations in order to support the delivery of Faculty and University objectives. This role will conduct activity of strategic importance to the University. This involves the strategic and active management of resources, staff and infrastructure and the development of administrative and business functions. The Faculty Operations Director will influence and shape the available resources as appropriate to meet current and future needs of the University and will have a significant impact on the direction, strategy, objectives and results of the University.


The Faculty Operations Director is based in the Faculty but is expected to take a University-wide perspective in their work and demonstrate a broad corporate commitment. The Faculty Operations Director will contribute along with the other two Faculty Operations Directors to represent University-wide senior professional services in meetings focusing on a problem solving approach to sectoral and institutional issues and the implementation of strategy and operations which may be informed by faculty relevant information but ultimately determined on the basis of supporting University objectives. The Faculty Operations Director as a senior leader will be expected to support, advocate and implement decisions once taken. They will play a key role in ensuring effective partnership and collaborative working between academic and professional services staff in the faculty and in the University more broadly.


The Faculty Operations Director will be responsible for delivering the strategic plans for their faculty and will be accountable for ensuring that the University meets both internal and external requirements and benefits appropriately from “state of the art” developments in their faculty. The Faculty Operations Director will initiate and establish policy through appropriate consultation and negotiation, and advise other senior colleagues throughout the University.


This role reports formally to the Faculty Dean with responsibility to the Chief Financial and Planning Officer for University wide administrative, professional and managerial strategies.


Core elements of the role include:

  • Ensuring the effective operational management of the Faculty.
  • Leading strategic change management in the Faculty.
  • Implementing the Faculty strategic plan within the context of University strategy.
  • Working with the Dean and senior officers of the University to deliver University and Faculty objectives.
  • Co-ordination of faculty activity in relation to the business planning process as operated under the auspices of the Planning and Resources Committee.
  • Supporting the preparation of business cases.
  • Representing the Faculty at institutional level and beyond,
  • Ensuring the Faculty complies with University policies and strategy.
  • Contributing to development of policies and procedures at University and Faculty level in response to national initiatives.
  • Operating effectively as a senior administrative leader within the University.

Main responsibilities

(Primary accountabilities and responsibilities expected to fulfil the role)

% time

per year



§  To work with the Faculty Dean to develop and implement the strategic plans for the faculty and its schools/departments in accordance with the University strategic planning cycle and in support of the University’s Strategy. To lead on collating of faculty wide data to help inform strategic planning.

§  To manage the strategic planning process of the faculty. To ensure that the activities of the faculty remain under strategic review in the light of internal and external drivers; with specific focus on student numbers and the implications of change on an annual basis. To ensure that risks, strategic and operational, are identified and managed appropriately.

§  To ensure appropriate support for academic staff in the faculty as they pursue research and teaching strategies.

§  To serve as a member of the Faculty Executive or equivalent. To provide advice and support and to contribute to Faculty strategic plans and executive boards and to monitor the implementation of their decisions.





§  To lead the strategic and operational management of all administrative and technical processes in the Faculty, working with colleagues across central professional services to ensure that the University has a joined up, coherent, effective and efficient administration.

§  To lead and manage all professional services staff in the faculty and schools/departments within the faculty and take responsibility for their professional development. To manage all relevant HR processes, of all staff, across the faculty.

§  To work with Heads of School/Department, Associate Deans and Operations Managers to ensure the delivery of school/department-level strategic, resource and operation planning, policy development, policy implementation, monitoring, data and quality assurance management as appropriate.





§  To co-ordinate Faculty activity in relation to the business planning process as operated under the auspices of the Planning and Resources Committee. To support the preparation of any business cases required by the Faculty.

§  To ensure effective financial management in the Faculty, manage and review financial and associated risks and be accountable for ensuring that University financial regulations, policies and procedures are followed at all times within the Faculty, working with the Finance Director.

§  To manage the budgets and resources under their control as delegated by the Faculty Dean within the context of the Faculty’s medium term financial plan and seek opportunities for savings and efficiencies in line with University requirements.

§  To ensure that the Faculty’s infrastructure is effectively maintained and managed and that space is used efficiently. To ensure appropriate compliance with relevant policies including health and safety and IT.





§  To work closely with senior officers of the University (including Chief Financial and Planning Officer, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Director of Development) to ensure that the strategic needs of the Faculty are recognised and considered and that the Faculty complies with governance policy and statutory requirements.

§  To develop and maintain internal University relationships across key central professional services including HR, Finance, Strategy and Planning, Academic Services, IT and Research and Knowledge Exchange.

§  To support the development of institution-wide policies, including chairing and attending committees, and working groups, and sponsoring or managing special projects at local or institutional level in response to national initiatives.





§  To initiate, lead and manage change projects within the Faculty as might be required. To initiate, co-ordinate and manage activities related to Faculty-wide initiatives, e.g. marketing strategy; internationalisation; implementation of new projects with regard to teaching, research and administration. 




§  To supervise the dissemination of information and foster integration and communication across the Faculty.

§  To develop and maintain appropriate external relationships with funders, alumni, donors or other stakeholders and networks as may be needed in the delivery of the Faculty’s strategic goals.

§  To represent the Faculty at institutional level and beyond, and ensure the Faculty complies with University policies and strategy. To operate effectively as a senior administrative leader within the University.

§  To contribute to the development of policies and procedures at University and Faculty level in response to national initiatives.





Person specification

Skills§  Operational management, strategic and business planning skills.

§  Awareness of the HE sector, university decision making, structures and procedures.

§  Understanding of the implications of being a Faculty in a high quality research and teaching environment.

§  Proven leadership and change management skills.

§  Fluent in both English and Chinese; Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (including oral and written skills).

§  Proven ability to communicate effectively with staff at all levels and to work effectively and collaboratively with academic and administrative colleagues.

§  Proven ability to motivate, negotiate with and influence both individuals and teams.

§  Proven ability to handle sensitive and confidential issues and manage conflict effectively.

§  High degree of initiative, responsibility and self-motivation and a professional and proactive approach to problem solving.

§  Demonstrable ability to define priorities and work flexibly and effectively under pressure to meet demanding (and sometimes conflicting) deadlines.

Knowledge and experience§  Significant and extended experience of working in the HE sector, demonstrating expertise in the management of projects, people and resources.

§  Evidence of leadership, experience of managing staff, establishing new administrative systems and procedures, and managing resources.

§  Experience of working with and influencing senior management.

§  Experience of developing innovative solutions and practical implementations for strategic change.

§  Experience of managing and controlling budgets/resources/funding and an understanding of financial management procedures.

§  Experience of UK higher education


Qualifications, certification and training (relevant to role)§  Bachelor degree, plus extensive relevant managerial experience


§  Proven track record of relevant extensive work experience, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of a specialist field, management expertise and wide

§  Experience of international higher education, e.g attended a degree taught in English.
Statutory, legal or special requirements§  Understanding of relevant regulations and legislation and the implications of non-compliance by the University. 





Expectations and behaviours

The University has developed a clear set of core expectations and behaviours that our people should be demonstrating in their work, and as ambassadors of the University’s strategy, vision and values. The following are essential to the role:
Valuing peopleUnderstands that it is essential to provide a structure that people can thrive in. Knows how to communicate with people to create a healthy working environment and get the best out of people.
Taking ownershipCommunicates vision clearly, providing direction and focus. Knows how to create a productive environment where people are inspired and can work cross-departmentally in partnership.
Forward thinkingHas the ambition to be a pioneer in own area, anticipating the future change, needs and challenges. Knows how to innovate within their work context and champions others to be inspired to be part of this ambition
Professional prideKeeps up to date on latest thinking, trends and work practices. Supports team to be thought leaders; willing to challenge if obstacles get in the way.
Always inclusiveEstablishes far reaching partnerships, well beyond own area across a broad range of networks. Understand role to pay due regard to the needs of the whole community.

Key relationships with others

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