Appointment of the Chief Finance and Resources Officer

Welcome

Thank you for expressing an interest in joining the University of Bedfordshire as Chief Finance and Resources Officer.

I was appointed Vice-Chancellor in October 2020 and I have established a new senior team to take forward the transformation programme I have set in train. We are now seeking to appoint the Chief Finance and Resources Officer (CFRO) who will join the senior team and will be responsible for the leadership of the University’s financial and physical resources. It is a very exciting time for the University community and I very much hope you will wish to join me in making the changes necessary to enable our University to flourish.

We are a diverse community: around 70% of our students are mature and around 55% are from Black or ethnic minority backgrounds. This profile drives our new strategy and is deeply reflected in our values.

Since becoming Vice-Chancellor, I have been incredibly impressed by the commitment and energy of our staff and students. We are moving forward together as a community and we are committed to further developing our University to ensure that we can meet the needs of our diverse and highly engaged students, staff, partners and broader community.

The CRFO will lead a portfolio that comprises finance, estates and facilities, information and communications technology, health and safety and the University’s conference and events centre, Putteridge Bury. The CFRO will ensure that our financial and physical resources are aligned to support the University strategy, shape our long term financial strategy and lead the development of our estate and the security and enhancement of IT systems.

You will be a professionally qualified finance leader with experience of strategic and operational financial and resources planning. With a sharp eye for detail as well as a strong strategic orientation, you will be a proven contributor at executive team level. You will bring a track record of leading change within professional services, along with strong commercial instincts. A team player, you will be enterprising, dynamic, resilient and ambitious for our University and will be a passionate promoter of a diverse and inclusive working environment.

At a time of great change in our sector, this role offers the opportunity for the successful candidates to make a major, lasting contribution to the success of the University and all those it serves.

Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you. Their details can be found on this website.

I very much look forward to receiving your application.

Professor Rebecca Bunting
Vice-Chancellor

About us

We are proud to be an internationally recognised and award winning institution with a heritage of quality education going back more than 100 years.

We appear in the Times Higher Education World University rankings, ranked as one of the top 300 universities in the world under 50 years old in the Young University rankings.

In 2021 we were extremely proud to have received a first class award in the People and Planet University Green League, retaining our position of 8th place out of 154 UK institutions. In 2020 we launched our Target Zero campaign with the aim to become carbon neutral by 2050 and our commitment to sustainability has been recognised with an Eco Campus Platinum award for two years running.

In 2021, we were named in a report by the Sutton Trust as one of England’s Top 25 universities to have successfully contributed to an increase in social mobility amongst disadvantaged young people in England. We have also rated highest in the East of England for ‘access to education’ and are in the Top 10 of this category for the whole country – one of only two universities situated outside of London.

At Bedfordshire we have a vibrant and cosmopolitan student population that includes around 20,000  students from over 100 countries. We are a modern university that believes in nurturing our students to become educated, employable and entrepreneurial global citizens.

Studying at the University of Bedfordshire

We have two main campuses in Luton and Bedford, with a large health teaching provision in Aylesbury at the world renowned Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

We are also active in Milton Keynes, London and Birmingham, as well as globally, with a growing portfolio of international partnerships as far afield as Egypt, Vietnam, Oman and Mauritius.

We support our students in all aspects of their life and encourage through the excellent services we provide:

    • Superb, modern facilities across all our subject areas
    • Study skills development
    • Career and job-seeking guidance
    • Volunteer and work experience
    • Health and wellbeing services
    • Modern accommodation
    • Personal tutors
    • International education partners with opportunities to study overseas

 Why Bedfordshire?

  • Commended by the QAA for the high quality and standards of our higher education provision (QAA 2015)
  • Top 300 University under 50 years old (THE 2021)
  • One of 21 Business Schools awarded the Bronze Award for start-up and business growth advice (Small Business Charter)
  • 8th in the country in the University Green League (People and Planet 2021)
  • Eco Campus Platinum award (2021)
  • Continued investment in facilities for our students. Most significantly we opened a £40m STEM building at our Luton campus in 2019.

Our Research

Our pioneering research into child sexual exploitation was named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for its significant impact on people’s lives, as was our work on an international research project to develop the world’s first culturally aware robots.

Our Research Institutes work to tackle the real-world problems challenges faced by our communities providing an evidence base for changes to government legislation.

Some of our more recent projects include Home Office funding to undertake work on modern slavery, the policing of cyber-harassment, and research commissioned by the Children’s Society showing the impact of excluding separated migrant children from legal aid.

Over the past three years we have worked with over 1,500 organisations, including other universities, charities, Government organisations and local businesses on areas of research and knowledge exchange generating a 49% increase in research and knowledge exchange income since 2013.

Our Community

At the University of Bedfordshire we recognise our potential to make a real impact within our communities.

We contribute significantly to the financial and social regional economic growth, both locally and nationally (around £370m Gross Value Added from our core economic footprint).

In addition to our role as a large employer and educator, we are committed to working in partnership with our local area, boosting skills and productivity through knowledge exchange, skills provision, expertise in research and consultancy and also by associating ourselves with many community organisations, projects and initiatives.

We help to attract regeneration and development funding into the region and have grown this income by 25% in the past five years.

In 2021 we were named as one of the top universities in the UK for fostering start-ups. Using data collected by HESA and analysed by Tide business bank, we celebrated being ranked 4th out of 50 higher education institutions to have produced the most graduate start-ups since 2014/15 and, over the past seven years, Bedfordshire has helped to create 870 start-ups in and beyond the East of England region.

Our locations

Luton campus
The Luton campus is located in the town centre and has seen a dramatic transformation in recent years. A new building devoted to the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics opened in September 2019. Its cutting edge facilities provides four computer laboratories and workshops for subjects such as automotive engineering, cyber-security and robotics, along with three large teaching labs, and four specialist containment labs. The building also hosts a Science and Engineering Outreach Centre to promote the value of science and engineering to local schools and the wider Bedfordshire community.

The STEM building forms part of a five year investment to re-generate the University’s estates, totalling £180m. This included its Postgraduate and CPD centre on the Luton campus, and a stunning seven-floor library in Luton, which opened in 2016.

Bedford campus
The Bedford campus has academic roots that go back to the founding of Bedford Training College for Teachers in 1882 and Bedford Physical Training College in 1903.

The campus is now home to around 2,900 students and has excellent facilities, a friendly atmosphere and a proven track record of exceptional teaching and graduate employment.

The campus is located 20 minutes on foot from the town centre in a self-contained leafy setting and has undergone a major redevelopment programme which includes The Gateway, a new teaching and learning building which opened in 2014.

The Campus facilities includes two fully-equipped gymnasiums and state-of-the-art sports science labs.

There is a modern campus centre with a 280 seat theatre, catering facilities and social spaces for students. Comfortable and extensive student accommodation is conveniently located on campus.

Putteridge Bury
Putteridge Bury is a magnificent neo-Elizabethan country mansion set in thirty acres of landscaped gardens. The history of Putteridge Bury can be traced back to Edward the Confessor’s time and has links to the Domesday Book. It was built in the style of Chequers by architects Sir Ernest George and Alfred Yeats and completed in 1911, having undergone renovation and reconstruction over the centuries.

It is home to the postgraduate Business School and the University’s Conference Centre. Putteridge Bury Campus is located a few miles outside Luton town centre on the Hertfordshire-Bedfordshire border.

Milton Keynes campus
Our Milton Keynes campus is located in central Milton Keynes very close to the main shopping centre and local amenities.

It’s easy to get to if you live locally and the campus is very well connected, being within 35 minutes of London by fast train. Study locally and save money if you’re MK-based. For example, our foundation degrees offer you part-time and flexible learning study modes, so you can continue to work full-time and live at home whilst studying for your degree. Our with placement degrees also give you the opportunity to get real work experience as part of your studies.

We offer foundation degrees, Honours degrees, Master’s degrees and Doctorates, as well as Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Aylesbury Campus

Our  Aylesbury Campus opened in February 2020 in partnership with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT) at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, home to the world renowned National Spinal Injuries Centre.

Healthcare students are now able to undertake the classroom element of their course at Stoke Mandeville, while at the same time getting experience of life in an integrated Trust which provides a range of specialist, acute and community services.

The new three-storey building located on the hospital site provides a specialist skills lab, set out as a hospital ward with state-of-the-art audio visual technology. There is also a suite of six classrooms, a library, social learning spaces and computer study facilities.

To view the Senior Leadership Team organogram, please click here.

You can view our financial statements here.

To find out more about our University, please visit https://www.beds.ac.uk/

The role

Chief Finance and Resources Officer

Job reference:
AQ1359

Job Title: Chief Finance and Resources Officer
Department: Vice-Chancellor’s office
Job Reports to: Vice-Chancellor
Location: Luton (with travel to other campuses)

Context

The Chief Finance and Resources Officer is responsible for managing the financial and physical resources of the University. They will report to the Vice-Chancellor and will have strategic responsibility for finance, estates and facilities, information and communications technology, health and safety and the University’s conference and events centre, Putteridge Bury.

As a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s executive group, they will make a major contribution to the successful operation of the University.

Principal accountabilities

  1. Be responsible for the management of the University’s financial and physical resources, in line with the requirements of the University Strategy, Transforming Bedfordshire 2021-2026, and the delivery strategies and plans.
  2. Ensure that the departments in the portfolio are well-managed, have strategies that support the University’s priorities and deliver excellent services.
  3. Lead on financial planning, including annual and longer-term budgeting and forecasting and to work with budget holders to ensure that resources are well managed and aligned with priorities.
  4. Through the relevant departments, lead on the strategic development of the University’s estate and the security and enhancement of IT systems.
  5. Ensure effective plans are in place in relation to business continuity and risk management.
  6. Ensure the achievement of financial targets as agreed by the Board of Governors.
  7. Ensure compliance with statutory, regulatory and legal requirements in respect of the portfolio, including financial returns to external agencies.
  8. Provide financial and other management information to the senior team to support their objectives.
  9. Lead on the management of the external audit process and relevant internal audit processes to ensure compliance, effectiveness and efficiency.
  10. Liaise with members of the senior team to ensure shared understanding and common purpose.
  11. Be responsible for health and safety across all campuses and ensure compliance and best practice.
  12. Ensure a high quality of service provision to students and University staff.
  13. Communicate effectively across the University and be visible as a member of the senior team.
  14. Represent the University externally, building effective and productive relationships to promote the University’s interests with key stakeholders.
  15. Chair and be a member of committees and working groups relevant to the portfolio, including Governor committees, preparing and presenting papers as required.
  16. Undertake any other work is required by the Vice-Chancellor, commensurate with the level and responsibility of the post.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Qualifications

  • Degree or equivalent.
  • Professional accounting qualification.
  • Postgraduate qualification (desirable).

Knowledge

  • Knowledge of regulatory framework within Higher Education (desirable).
  • Knowledge of the Student Loans Company and its relationship with Higher Education institutions (desirable).

Experience

  • Successful track record of leadership and financial management at a senior level.
  • Successful management of a range of functions such as Facilities and Estates, ICT, Finance, Health and Safety, and Conferencing.
  • Successful track record of initiating and managing a significant change process.
  • Successful senior level experience of strategic planning.
  • Prior experience in Higher Education (desirable).
  • Track record in negotiating and securing additional sources of income (desirable).
  • Experience of the management of capital projects (desirable).

 Skills/ abilities/ competencies

  • Ability to delegate and empower line managers to deliver their own team objectives successfully.
  • Financial acumen and an ability to exercise strategic oversight of the budget setting, monitoring and review of large and complex budgets.
  • Comprehensive understanding of risk management and business continuity planning.
  • Ability to provide concise, comprehensive and analytic reports to Governors and the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group on all aspects of resource planning and management.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Effective leadership skills and an ability to motivate and inspire others.
  • Commercial awareness.
  • Experience of Agresso and other financial management systems (desirable).

Personal attributes

  • Ability to work corporately and strategically as a member of an executive team.
  • Open and transparent style and ability to build relationships with colleagues, managers, and staff in own team and other members of the University.
  • Ability to communicate the vision, values and beliefs embraced by the University in a persuasive and motivating way.
  • Sensitive to the differing management needs of each reporting department.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with people at all levels.
  • Enthusiasm, energy, drive and determination.
  • An entrepreneurial flair.

To view the Facilities and Estates organisation chart, please click here; for the Finance Department you can click here, and for the ICT Department, here.

Equality Statement
The University of Bedfordshire is fully committed to the principles of equality in all its actions. Members of the University’s community are expected to respect and value individuality, differences and diversity; and work with others in an inclusive and consultative manner. A commitment to equality of opportunity for all individuals irrespective of their age, belief, disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation is at the core of what we do and members of the community must actively promote a positive non-discriminatory work and learning environment for fellow staff and students. Employees should demonstrate an understanding of the University’s commitments to equality and diversity as an integral part of the university’s core values and be able to identify and challenge discrimination, harassment, prejudice and inappropriate behaviour.

Health & Safety Statement
All employees are required to ensure that all duties and responsibilities are discharged in accordance with the University’s Health and Safety (H&S) at Work Policy. They should take reasonable care for their own H&S and that of others who may be affected by what they do or do not do. Staff should correctly use work items provided by the University, including personal protective equipment in accordance with training or instructions.

Environmental Statement
Employees must make proper use of any equipment and systems of work provided and take all reasonable steps to ensure that control measures are properly used. Employees must work with their Line Managers to ensure that an inventory is retained of all hazardous substances in the office that could be released into the environment. Employees are expected to identify operations that use significant amounts of energy, with a view to reducing consumption. This includes identifying operations that use resources, such as paper, and review the need for the current level of consumption, identifying savings where possible. Employees are expected to identify waste streams with a view to recycling and reuse, minimising office energy use in heating and lighting.

Terms of appointment

We offer a competitive remuneration and benefits package comprising:

  • Six-figure salary, negotiable depending on experience.
  • Membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
  • Generous annual leave.
  • Other benefits including subsidised car parking, discounted gym membership, season (travel) ticket loans and Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to the University of Bedfordshire. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 2 pages) outlining how you meet the person specification.
  • Please include details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at www.andersonquigley.com/candidates using the reference number AQ1359.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 18 March 2022.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Sophie Rees on +44(0)7719 313 982, sophie@andersonquigley.com; or Elliott Rae on +44(0)7584 078 534, elliott@andersonquigley.com.

Timetable

Closing date: Friday 18 March
Longlisting: Tuesday 22 March
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 28 March
Shortlisting: Monday 11 April
Panel Interviews: Friday 29 April (on campus)