Appointment of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dean of the Faculty of Technology Design and Environment


Thank you for your interest in this important appointment for Oxford Brookes University. Our Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment is a highly successful part of the University, with a reputation for excellence, innovation and an ambitious desire to be recognised as one of the most exciting places to study in the world.

We are seeking an outstanding individual with relevant academic leadership experience to build on the strong foundations left by the departing PVC Dean, Paul Inman. In addition, the new PVC Dean will be a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group, leading on a cross-University strategic theme they will play a pivotal role in the leadership of the University.

We value diversity and inclusivity and our thriving University is a living example of our ideals and aspirations. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to equality and inclusion by recruiting and supporting a diverse staff and student body, where everyone has the same opportunity to achieve their full potential and can contribute to making Brookes the best it can be. We warmly welcome applications from candidates underrepresented at this level particularly from the BAME community.

Despite the current challenges, we are confident about future opportunities, Oxford Brookes is at an exciting phase of development and is an ambitious community which welcomes talented leaders who share our ambition. I look forward to engaging with you as part of the recruitment process.

Professor Alistair Fitt




Oxford Brookes is a very popular choice for prospective students from all backgrounds, both in the UK and around the world. There are approximately 17,000 students: 83% are from the UK and 17% are from the EU and overseas. Central to our strategy is delivering an outstanding student experience. We do this by providing the highest standards of learning and teaching, and actively involving students in shaping their own futures.

Our students and graduates are known for their employability. They benefit from the strong links we have with businesses and employers both locally and internationally, from local schools and hospitals to organisations such as Oxfam, BMW, KPMG, Ferrari and Microsoft.


High-quality teaching lies at the heart of Oxford Brookes. The University was ranked second in the UK for teaching in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2019.

We are also home to 12 National Teaching Fellows – the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching.

Oxford Brookes holds a Silver award in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the first nationwide ranking for teaching excellence in UK universities and colleges.

The Silver rating reflects the high standard of our teaching which consistently goes beyond the rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.


We aim to continue providing our students with a stimulating learning experience, including opportunities to develop skills both inside and outside their studies, with co-curricular projects to fuel their enthusiasm and hone their abilities.

The University is continually looking to the future needs of students. This includes embracing new ways of learning, for instance we have introduced several degree apprenticeships.

Research & global partnerships


Research at Oxford Brookes enjoys an international reputation, attracting high-quality staff and students.

Our strategy for research and knowledge exchange sets out the University’s future ambitions in the higher education sector including developing our recognised research portfolio across the faculties whilst nurturing our emerging strengths and fostering greater international collaboration.

We were successful in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), which showed 94% of Brookes research to be internationally recognised and 59% judged ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. We were in the top ten universities for increase in research power since REF 2014.

Investing in individuals and groups of researchers at every stage of their career is central to our success.

  • Oxford Brookes has committed a Central Research Fund to support individuals and research groups including for example Collaborative Travel Awards, Bridging Funds, Research Fellowships and PhD scholarships.
  • We have retained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission for seven years, which recognises our commitment to supporting research staff.
  • Our Research Excellence and Impact Awards support research-active academics with funding towards research leave, employment of a research assistant or project travel costs.
  • We introduced Vice-Chancellor Fellowships in 2017 across our faculties, offering an excellent opportunity for researchers who want to develop their careers, with funding and startup support tailored to discipline needs.

Oxford Brookes received a total of £5.5m in research grants for 2018/19.

Major funding comes from research councils, charitable trusts, industry and government. UK Research & Innovation, the national funding agency, has provided funding through the Global Challenges Research Fund. This enables our researchers to work with colleagues in developing countries to tackle significant challenges facing people in these areas.

Our income from intellectual property (IP) was more than £4m in 2018/19.

Through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), we have produced significant benefits for our partner businesses. We have a strong record of award-winning KTPs with industry including Sony Entertainment and Inter-Continental Hotels. The latest projects are looking at solving problems of overheating in care homes and the design of buildings for flood resilience.


Oxford Brookes is a university with an international outlook and reach. We already have a number of successful international partnerships and we are looking to deepen and strengthen these, as well as seek out new opportunities. We believe a key to success is to forge university-level, multi-dimensional strategic partnerships across a range of disciplines and are currently in negotiations to develop this arrangement in China, Australia and Malaysia.

Staff & culture

We recognise that our staff are key to our continuing success. We are committed to creating a vibrant and inclusive working environment which supports colleagues to flourish and enjoy what they do. We want colleagues to feel valued, empowered, challenged, stimulated, involved, appreciated and trusted.

We provide comprehensive and progressive employment conditions, including flexible working, opportunities for staff development and career progression, and a commitment to enhanching the staff experience, underpinned by our Guiding Principles.

Our HR Strategy sets out how we will continue to provide a stimulating and rewarding work experience for all our staff, at all stages of their careers at Oxford Brookes.

Our staff experience strategy and action plan aim to ensure that the University provides the best possible working environment for colleagues, improving staff wellbeing, creating a sense of community in the workplace, and encouraging discussion and open communication amongst colleagues at all levels of the institution.

Other initiatives include our Brookes People Awards which recognise outstanding colleagues who exemplify our Guiding Principles, the annual Feel Good Festival, and Brookes Active.

Consultation and participation are important attributes of staff relations with colleagues contributing to key decisions and senior staff appointments. We have comprehensive internal communications, including interactive Talk to Vice-Chancellor’s Group sessions about university direction and policy, staff newsletters, a staff Twitter stream and internal digital screens.


In the development and nurturing of intellectual and enterprising creativity, we make our highest contribution to society. Social responsibility demands that all aspects of our activity should be sustainable. Equality, inclusivity and the celebration of diversity must be the foundation for all we do. We will never be content with anything other than a wholehearted commitment to the quality of the student experience. We will continue to enhance the value – and the perception of value – of our social as well as educational mission.


These are defined as:

Generosity of spirit
We believe people flourish in a culture of respect and support, where we celebrate difference and thrive on each other’s success. Our students manifest a generosity of spirit as they progress in the world.

We have confidence in our staff and students, and we know that we prepare our graduates well for a fulfilling and valuable life. Through their success, we continue to earn our outstanding reputation.

Our academic excellence is underpinned by a history of learning by doing. Our connections and our Oxford roots are fundamental to our students’ experiences and our successful future.

Enterprising creativity
We’re adaptable and flexible, and consider a fresh approach in everything we do – because we know our sustainability depends on a pioneering spirit.


The Vice-Chancellor reports to the Board of Governors and is supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Group which comprises:

  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student and Staff Experience)
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Global Partnerships)
  • Registrar and Chief Operating Officer
  • Director of Finance and Legal Services
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor/Deans of the faculties (four)

The faculty

Currently based across our campuses in Headington, Headington Hill and Wheatley, the Faculty is home to four Schools providing specialist and interdisciplinary teaching, research and knowledge transfer across a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in purpose-built facilities in Oxford. Because over a quarter of our students are from other countries, we have strong international links and friendships with individuals and institutions all across the world. International aspiration marks everything we engage in. Our Schools are:

  • School of Arts
  • School of Architecture
  • School of the Built Environment
  • School of Engineering, Computing and Maths

The role

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Design & Environment

Job reference:

Principal location of work: Headington Campus
Immediate line manager: Vice-Chancellor
Staff managed: Heads of School (Arts, Architecture, Built Environment, and Engineering, Computing & Maths), Faculty Executive Team (including Associate Deans for Student Experience, Strategy and Development, and Research and Knowledge Exchange; Head of Operations; and Head of Finance), and Personal Assistant

Overall purpose of the role

The University’s Strategy guides its development to 2035. The central objectives involve a commitment to the highest standards of excellence in learning and teaching, the student experience, and ensuring the best possible outcome in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF); building on the success of the most recent Research Excellence Frameworks (REFs) in 2014 and 2021 to create an environment that fosters and promotes research excellence; and developing local, national and global partnerships with an enhanced emphasis on knowledge exchange activities that make significant impacts on the wider world.

To deliver these objectives the University is organised into four faculties in order to place academics at the heart of decision-making. The faculties are:

  1. Health and Life Sciences
  2. Humanities and Social Sciences
  3. Technology, Design and Environment
  4. Oxford Brookes Business

Four Pro Vice-Chancellor/Deans lead these faculties and are members of the Vice- Chancellor’s Group. They provide strategic leadership for their faculty as well as taking responsibility for specific aspects of the University’s corporate strategy and activity (see ‘PVC portfolios’). The responsibility for such activities is exercised in close, co-operative working with colleagues in the professional services directorates.

The PVC/Dean will be expected to offer an influential and authoritative voice for the University externally, as well as strong, substantial leadership of the academic community internally. S/he will work closely with other members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and with the faculties and directorates to ensure that the University’s strategic goals are delivered.

Main duties:

  1. Strategic leadership, driving the implementation of the University’s strategy at the faculty level, as well as across the whole University, working closely with the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and faculty colleagues.
  2. Accountability for the development and delivery of academic, operational and financial plans and targets.
  3. Regular review of the academic portfolio and developments in learning, teaching and research.
  4. The definition and implementation of strong monitoring and reporting mechanisms in the faculty and across the University.
  5. Ensuring that the University’s corporate financial, human resource, equality, and health and safety strategies are implemented.
  6. Working closely with the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar & Chief Operating Officer, PVC (Research and Global Partnerships) and PVC (Student and Staff Experience) to promote cross-institutional structures and systems.
  7. Playing an active role in VCG, taking a visible and resourceful lead in specific areas of corporate activity and taking collective responsibility for VCG decisions.
  8. Representing the University, as required, at a local, national and international level.
  9. Fostering an inclusive culture and an environment of transparency and trust in the faculty and across the University.

Vice-Chancellor’s Group

The Pro Vice-Chancellor/Deans report to the Vice-Chancellor and play a full part in the working of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group (VCG), as well as leading in their own area of responsibility. The VCG consists of the Vice-Chancellor, the four PVC/Deans, PVC Student and Staff Experience, PVC Research and Global Partnerships, Registrar & Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance and Legal Services, and Director of HR. The VCG meets on Monday afternoons each week, and members of the VCG have regular interactions with the governors on strategic matters.

PVC portfolios

Each PVC Dean holds a University-wide portfolio for a particular strategic activity. These are currently: marketing, international student recruitment, staff experience, and alumni relations and development. The focus of the portfolios is reviewed from time to time to ensure they align with University priorities. The allocation of portfolios to individual PVC Deans is discussed and agreed between the PVC Dean and the Vice-Chancellor.

Professorial title

The title of professor will be conferred on candidates who meet the University’s criteria for promotion to professor.




  • A doctorate

Relevant experience

  • A track record of significant academic achievement in teaching and research.
  • Substantial leadership and management achievement in an academic/research context or demonstrable potential to do this at faculty-level.
  • Ability to provide credible academic leadership.
  • An understanding of the contemporary policy issues in HE.
  • A track record of successfully managing significant budgets and staff.
  • An understanding of and empathy for the disciplines in the Faculty and any relevant professional bodies.
  • Experience of successfully implementing change.
  • Able to foster an entrepreneurial culture (desirable).
  • Experience of research grant capture (desirable).

Relevant skills/aptitudes

  • Excellent interpersonal skills: an assured and confident communicator.
  • The ability to operate effectively as part of VCG.
  • An inspirational and authoritative leadership style which motivates colleagues and gains their trust and respect.
  • Sound judgement and practical problem-solving skills.
  • The ability and willingness to maintain focus, take difficult decisions, and to deliver.
  • Energy, flair and high levels of personal motivation and resilience, diplomacy and tact.
  • Strong intellectual resources.
  • A commitment to the University’s values, aims and objectives, and an enthusiasm for what it is seeking to achieve.

Special requirements

  • Willing to attend evening and weekend events, and to travel overseas where required.

Terms of appointment

A competitive salary will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

Oxford Brookes offers a wide range of benefits to enhance the staff experience.

Annual Leave: 30 days

Additional Annual Leave: staff may purchase up to five additional days leave per year (pro rata for part-time staff) via a deduction from salary spread throughout the leave year.

Pension: we offer the Local Government Pension Scheme for professional services staff and the Teachers’ Pension Scheme for most academic staff. Staff who join Brookes and are in active membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) can continue membership of this scheme.

Relocation: we will reimburse up to £5,000 inclusive of VAT for expenses necessarily incurred in relocating to a job at Brookes, and may make a contribution to immigration costs.

Travel to Work: Car parking at Brookes is limited and daily charges apply. To support your journey to work and as part of our sustainability agenda, Brookes links with Cyclescheme to provide a cost-effective way of purchasing a bicycle. There are showers for cyclists (and walkers) at all three main campuses, and cycle training courses can be arranged for new or nervous cyclists. We also have a car share website and offer season ticket loans.

Catering facilities: there are varied catering options on all campuses.

Nursery: the Brookes nursery, located at Headington, is rated by Ofsted as Good, and caters for children aged four months to five years.

Onsite dentist: Studental is an NHS dentist situated on the Headington Campus and can be used by staff.

Brookes Sports: extensive sports facilities for staff including fitness suites and classes, Oxfordshire’s premier climbing wall (Headington Campus), swimming pool (Harcourt Hill Campus) and a brand new gym (Wheatley Campus).

Green spaces for recreation: all campuses have landscaped gardens and quiet areas for recreation; and there are maps of ‘health walks’ (these are short routes through attractive surroundings close to all three campuses).

Occupational Health Service: the University is committed to the health and welfare of its staff. The Occupational Health Service provides work-based support for illness and disability, and can refer staff for confidential counselling if necessary.

Eye test and glasses reimbursement: all staff who use VDU’s are entitled to a subsidised eye test while they work at Brookes and contribution to the cost of glasses.

Maternity, Adoption and Family Leave: we offer generous maternity leave with qualifying staff entitled to 63 weeks leave (both paid and unpaid). We offer the same leave for Adoption and Shared Parental Leave.

Flexible working: we support work-life balance for all staff, including career breaks, job sharing, flexible hours, etc.

Library: all staff are welcome to use our libraries. Staff may borrow up to 30 books or other items from our lending stock. There is full access to both print and online resources including e-books, e-journals and databases.

How to apply

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

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Ed Pritchard on +44(0)7980 817 927 or Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 27th July 2020.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the experience criteria in the person specification.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees in either your CV or covering letter. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ967


Closing date: Noon on Monday 27th July
Longlisting: Wednesday 5th August
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 10th August
Shortlisting: Thursday 20th August
Final Panel Interviews: Thursday 3rd September