Director of Business School Operations - Birmingham Business School

7 days left

University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Apr 02, 2021
Apr 18, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

Birmingham Business School

College of Social Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Salary - Competitive

Grade 10

Full Time


Closing date - 18 April 2021

Job Summary

This is a senior leadership role within the Business School (effectively the chief operating officer for the School) and wider College in which the post holder will work closely with, and act as Deputy for, the College Director of Operations (DoOp).

The post holder will work with the Dean of the Business School as a key member of the Strategy and Management Team in developing and delivering the School Strategy, ensuring the School has the resources - financial, operational and human to be successful. This will involve identifying new ways of working in order to support the delivery of the strategy, in an exciting period of strategic change for the School.

The post holder will take responsibility for the strategic deployment of, and effective and efficient delivery of, professional services within the School, via professional services managers and staff working directly in the School and also through staff working in University Professional Services and the College's Hub. The post holder is a member of the College and University's key leadership forums and will have the opportunity to lead on College and University level projects and initiatives.

Job Context

At Birmingham Business School we deliver world-class research and teaching that provides the insight, ambition and skills to shape advanced and sustainable business strategies. The School's vision is to promote curiosity and thought leadership for responsible business. The School has been a major player in business education for more than a century and it continues to invest in its academic staff and facilities as it works towards its ambition of becoming a Top Ten UK and internationally recognised Business School. The School currently comprises six departments and employs over 240 academic staff, around 80 professional services staff and teaches over 6000 students. The School has an ambitious strategic agenda in terms of growing international research profile and quality in the educational portfolio and teaches students across Birmingham, Dubai, and Singapore.

The College of Social Sciences comprises four Schools; the Birmingham Business School together with the Schools of Education, Government, and Social Policy. The College academic vision is driven by the University's enduring purpose as the UK's first civic university, undertaking education and research that transforms the lives of our students and our communities.

The post holder will work closely with the College Director of Operations and Deputy Director of Operations (Education) to support the Operational Management Committee which shadows the College Board and takes a proactive approach in helping the College and wider University to realise its strategic aims through the development of professional services which best meet the needs of the College, taking into account best practice from across the University as well as the wider HE sector. This will require excellent leadership and management capabilities together with highly developed interpersonal and collaborative working skills.

The post holder joins the College and University at an exciting time of development of change as with the University about to launch the Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework building on our previous success and enabling us to face new challenges in changing external environment.

Main Duties

  • Make a major contribution to the development of the School's Strategy, working with the Dean and Strategy and Management team as appropriate;
  • Play a leading role in the School's accreditation activities, including maintaining the triple crown accreditation.
  • Develop and manage an annual process for reviewing the School's Strategy ensuring that it remains up-to-date and relevant taking into account external factors, relevant management information and any changes in College and/or University strategic ambitions;
  • Develop and implement a professional services strategy within the School which is compliant with College and University policies and procedures and which provides the appropriate underpinning services to ensure the successful delivery of the strategic ambitions of the School;
  • Ensure the School periodically reviews strategic and operational risk and keeps a risk register and that the risk register is taken account of in strategic and operational planning;
  • Participate in strategic planning initiatives at both College and University level as required by the DoOp.

  • Work on a series of Cross-College or University projects and initiatives, as directed by the Director of Operations
  • Provide professional services leadership for key thematic area e.g. internationalisation
  • Work collaboratively across the College and University to maximise service delivery and the provision of professional services across the School and College of Social Sciences, promoting the Birmingham Professional agenda and sharing best practise as appropriate;
  • Build and maintain excellent collaborative relationships with all stakeholders, both within College of Social Sciences and externally;
  • Network with fellow professionals in the wider community to ensure currency of professional knowledge and awareness of the UK HE agenda;
  • Act as Deputy for the College Director of Operations when required.
  • Contribute to development and execution of the College Strategy through College Board and the Operations Management Committee

  • Support the Dean in ensuring that the School has robust governance and decision making structures that are fully aligned with those at College and University level;
  • Ensure that the School has an excellent secretariat to support the School's committee structure with an appropriate internal communication strategy to ensure that decisions and other relevant information is communicated and followed up as appropriate;
  • Act as Secretary to the School's executive body and the Advisory Board (supported by other teams within the School as appropriate);
  • Take the lead on ensuring that the School complies with University Regulations, all other University policies, procedures and guidelines, relevant legislation and that appropriate guidance and training is disseminated in the School as appropriate.


  • To support the Dean in developing annual operating plans, including setting the School budget, designed to deliver the School's Strategy;
  • To play a major role in the accreditation processes that the School engages with and the ongoing response to requests from accreditation bodies
  • To lead on projects designed to deliver aspects of the operating plans as appropriate and to ensure the School has appropriate project management and reporting processes in place to ensure projects arising from the operating plans are delivered on time and on budget.

Human resources
  • Ensure that professional services in the School are deployed in line with the School's strategic objectives and functional co-ordination;
  • Ensure the School has the appropriate professional services staff and structures in place to ensure delivery of the School Strategy and operating plans;
  • Ensure appropriate HR strategies and procedures are in place for academic and professional services staff to include induction, workload planning and modelling, succession planning, training and development, performance management and review and reward mechanisms, working with College HR staff as appropriate to ensure compliance with University policy and procedures and relevant legislation;
  • Ensure that appropriate processes are in place in relation to HR matters in the School, to include sickness and leave monitoring, recruitment process management and maintaining up-to-date and relevant staff records;
  • Support the Dean in managing change in the School, leading on change initiatives as appropriate.

  • Support the Dean in the effective management of the School's budget, being responsible for budgetary control in the School; ensuring that there are appropriate internal financial systems and procedures set up in the School that conform to the University's Manual of Financial Rules and Procedures in the area of budgetary management, including procurement, financial reporting, trading activities, work load planning, research grant reporting and inventory management.

  • Manage all professional services staff within the Business School through intermediate managers as appropriate, and act as a senior member of the College's Professional Services Senior Management Team working closely with College and University Colleagues;
  • Ensure that all processes and procedures in the School (and College, in collaboration with the senior team) are fit for purpose, efficient and effective;
  • Promote the 'Birmingham Professional' agenda in the School and College.

Teaching and Research Support
  • Work with the Deputy Director of Operations (Education) to ensure the School has appropriate staff and processes and procedures in place, to support the delivery of the School's portfolio of academic programmes and the broader aspects of the School's Education Strategy including policies and procedures relating to quality assurance and that these support the delivery of continuous quality enhancement;
  • Ensure that the School provides first class services and support to students, including ensuring there are processes in place for obtaining and responding to student feedback, dealing promptly with student queries and complaints and ensuring students are aware of the full range of services available to them in the School, in CoSS and in the wider University;
  • Ensure the School has a robust framework in place to ensure compliance with the requirements of its accreditors and to manage accreditation processes as and when required;
  • Working with the College Head of Function for Research and Knowledge Transfer, ensure the School has the appropriate staff and structures in place to deliver the School's research strategy.

Facilities and Services
  • Working with the College Head of Facilities, ensure the School has appropriate facilities to support the School's Strategy and that are fit for purpose for a global business School;
  • Responsible for ensuring all Health and Safety (supported by the College Head of Facilities) policies and procedures are in place as required.

External Relations
  • To work with the External Relations Committee, CoSS Marketing and Communications teams and external relations staff in Corporate Services as appropriate, to ensure that the School and College develop and deliver strategy and activities to support the development of its global reputation;
  • Ensure, working with the University's admissions team as appropriate, that the School has recruitment appropriate recruitment strategies to achieve its recruitment targets;
  • Support the Dean in managing relationships with all its external stakeholders effectively in order to deliver the School's External Relations Strategy including managing the School's Advisory Board and supporting a wide range of events and activities with corporate and other partners.

Person Specification

  • Formal education to degree level (or equivalent).
  • Significant experience, proven expertise in delivering on the following:
    • Strategic planning and translating strategy into operational plans with measurable outcomes
    • Working with and influencing senior managers
    • Managing operational teams in a people and service-driven environment
    • External engagement
    • Implementing and managing change
  • Significant experience of leading and managing a varied group of staff and the development of high performance team.
  • Ability to focus on excellence and continuous service improvement.
  • Membership of relevant professional body and evidence of a strong external network.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to produce a variety of documentation including strategies, operational plans, business cases, minutes and other reports
  • Ability to work under pressure, manage competing priorities and work to tight deadlines.
  • Ability to be politically astute in working with senior managers across the university and colleagues both within the professional services teams and with academic staff.
  • Ability to successfully co-operate and collaborate with colleagues.

Personal attributes
  • Collaborative and creative, with the ability to think strategically
  • Comfortable and credible operating at senior management level
  • An effective communicator with outstanding interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to the highest levels of service delivery
  • Able to uphold the University's values and culture and lead by example

  • Knowledge of the Higher Education environment and its business requirements
  • Knowledge of running a business school and/or working in a social sciences environment

Information Enquiries - Yvonne Hackforth-Williams (Director of Operations), or Professor Catherine Cassell (Dean of the Business School)

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community'

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