Appointment of the Chief Information Officer


Thank you very much for expressing an interest in City, University of London.  As a recent arrival myself to this wonderful institution I am aware how exciting embarking on a senior job application can be.

Founded in 1894 City, University of London is a global university committed to academic excellence, with a focus on business and the professions and an enviable central London location. We attract around 20,000 students (over 40% at postgraduate level), from more than 150 countries and staff from over 75 countries. In the last decade, City has almost tripled the proportion of its total academic staff producing world-leading or internationally excellent research.  During this period, City has made significant investments in its academic staff, its estate and its infrastructure and continues to work towards realising its vision of being a leading global university.

City’s President, Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein, is leading City’s Senior Leadership Team to devise and deliver a fresh strategy for the University as a distinctive, self-confident and aligned organisation, this is a period of exciting change and transformation.

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is a key member of the senior team we are building at City to deliver our new Strategy (endorsed by Council in April 2022 prior to formal approval later in 2022). This strategy will have at its heart delivering an excellent educational experience for our students supported by a digital transformation programme and the delivery of outstanding professional services.

We believe that over the next 10 years Higher Education will be radically disrupted by digital technologies – transforming our delivery, services and student experience. City aims to take advantage of this disruption and to be a digital leader. We are oriented to digital innovation.

The postholder will be part of my Professional Services Leadership Group, and will work closely with colleagues across professional services and the Schools. They will be responsible for ensuring an effective IT infrastructure to deliver against the University’s key priorities. They will collaborate closely with the Vice President (Digital and Student Experience) on the creation and implementation of the University’s new digital strategy.

We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups and communities to apply, including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and/or with characteristics protected under the Equalities Act including race, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and religion & belief.

Helen Watson
Chief Operating Officer

About us

We are building a new strategy and positioning. The exciting aspect of this role is that you will play a key role in shaping it.

These are some indicative strategic guide-rails that reflect current thinking and are subject to revision. They are directed towards City as a whole and are framed as ‘aiming points’.

  • City is comprised of strong professional Schools with distinctive brands, profiles, networks and capabilities. Each is recognised as a leader in its area.
  • City is oriented to communities of practice and to building and disrupting professions. It is a vocational institution in the highest sense of that term.
  • City educates to meet the aspirations of students. It gives them the skills, and the intellectual and social capital to be successful.
  • City undertakes impactful research at the edge of practice.
  • City is deeply engaged with London, a global city with incredible resources, not least the community of Londoners. City is a committed part of the University of London and has a special relationship with the City of London as a home of business, trades and professions.
  • City is self-confident, comfortable in its own skin, setting its own direction and destiny, and unafraid to take risks.
  • City exhibits ‘alignment’. Education, research, engagement and development strategies cohere and are directed to common aims.
  • City shares values and builds internal communities.
  • City faces outwards and is open and porous; boundaries and structures are flexible; individuals are judged by their contributions not their formal roles.
  • City is agile and fast-moving, continuously learning and innovative.

Senior Leadership Team

For a full profile of current Senior Leadership Team members, please visit:

City’s Governance and Executive structures are detailed here:

Key facts

  • City’s annual turnover is around £250M and the most recent statement of accounts can be found here:
  • Approximately 800 staff are employed within the Professional Services Directorates.
  • Budget for Professional Services Directorates comprises £41M for staff costs and £28M on non-pay spend.
  • Rated 3rd in London in the most recent National Student Survey.
  • Rated 1st in London and 5th in the UK for sustainability.
  • 75% of the research outputs submitted to the Research Excellence Framework exercise in 2014 were rated world-leading.
  • Of our 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, 55% are from a black or minority ethnic background, 58% are women and 46% are
    mature students (aged 25 or over).
  • Of our 2,200 salaried staff, 26% are from a black or minority ethnic background and 52% are women
  • The IT Services team comprises 140 people and has an operational budget of £13.8M. It offers five core services:
    • Support services (in person and telephone support to students and staff, technical support of the technology estate)
    • Infrastructure and Operations (including specialist AV support and specialist Schools equipment)
    • Business systems (management and training of the University’s core business systems)
    • Projects and Relationship Management (management of the IT investment plan and portfolio of strategic projects)
    • Solution Architecture and Information Security

The role

Chief Information Officer

Job reference:

Post: Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Department: Information Technology Services
Grade: 9
Tenure: Permanent
Responsible to: Chief Operating Officer

Job purpose

The technologies which underpin the University’s digital infrastructure are key to ensuring that our staff and students have the best possible environment in which to work and study, that our systems and processes are efficient and effective and that our data and information is protected.

The CIO will lead the University’s Information Services Department to ensure the University’s strategic objectives are supported by an innovative approach to digital technologies, effective use of technology, excellent customer service and proactive stakeholder engagement.

The postholder will advise the University’s senior leadership on the strategic implications for our IT systems, digital technologies and staff capabilities of the University’s strategic plan. The postholder will establish a vision for the provision of digital and IT service for the University which will:

  • Drive transformational change through innovative thinking.
  • Build strong collaborative relationships across the University.
  • Deliver high-quality IT services across the University.
  • Ensure the delivery of effective and appropriate digital platforms for online learning and teaching products.

Main responsibilities

Develop, lead and execute the University’s approach to digital transformation and IT delivery, in partnership with key stakeholders, that is financially well-planned and aligned to the University’s Strategy.

Work with the Vice-President (Digital and Student Experience) to promote opportunities for innovative digital pedagogy and develop and support the delivery of online academic content.

Lead the University’s IT Services to deliver highly effective, robust and reliable IT and digital products and services, and a physical, digital and technical infrastructure that delivers the highest level of experience for staff and students.

Maintain overall responsibility and oversight for the IT Service operational budget (£13.8) and staffing (140) and allocate resources within agreed envelopes for the planning, development and delivery of all information systems services and products.

Steward the University’s IT capital investment, working in close collaboration with senior colleagues to develop plans and priorities for institutional investment, developing the University’s digital infrastructure as a strategic asset, while ensuring legislative and compliance requirements are met.

Ensure the IT Services team is structured, staffed and developed appropriately to meet needs and continually improve service quality, and that staff are inspired, motivated and led to deliver customer-oriented, effective and relevant services.

Ensure the development, maintenance and implementation of IT policies and procedures including hardware and software procurement, enterprise infrastructure, disaster recovery, information and cyber security, data safeguarding and management and IT architecture principles, to ensure all services operate within the University’s risk appetite.

Set strategy for monitoring and managing the performance of IT-related systems and services and actively manage the set of strategic, business continuity and operational risks associated with the University’s reliance upon IT and associated technology.

Apply commercial acumen to partner with and manage third party suppliers to deliver efficiencies and value for money in relation to the purchase of digital and technological solutions and services.

Ensure IT governance structures across the University support the future development of IT services in line with the objectives of the University.

Provide leadership and expert advice for major projects and initiatives which have a significant impact across the University, ensuring appropriate oversight and governance.

Serve as a member of appropriate governance boards and other cross-University groups.

Build supportive relationships and internal networks with stakeholders across Schools, Professional Services, and with student representatives, drawing upon and sharing knowledge gained through such engagement to support and enhance the staff and student experience and ensure the improvement and development of systems, services and processes.

Foster a spirit of proactive, cross-boundary and collaborative working to continuously improve working practices and standards and create a culture of flexibility and customer service.

Build and contribute to external networks, to build institutional reputation, benchmark services, and ensure that City learns from and builds on best practice within the sector.

Additional information

  • The post holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to City, University of London’s Equal Opportunities Statement.
  • The post holder must accept responsibility for ensuring that the policies and procedures relating to Health and Safety in the workplace are adhered to at all times.
  • The post holder must respect the confidentiality of data stored electronically and by other means in line with General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • The post holder must carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the non-smoking environment of City, University of London.
  • During the academic year 2021/2022, City, University of London is running a pilot of hybrid working for relevant Professional Services roles, involving a mixture of working on campus and at home each week. City’s vision for hybrid working is:

“To provide a framework for developing and implementing working practices that will enable staff to work efficiently and seamlessly, in a way that maintains a high-quality service to students and other stakeholders, and that brings some additional flexibility for staff.  Hybrid working gives us the opportunity to enhance our culture and reduce our environmental impact by maximising collaboration, modernising how we use the workplace, and reviewing the way we work”. 

The pilot will provide the opportunity to review the way we work, learn, develop, collaborate and use the campus as a workplace in the most effective way to support staff, whilst ensuring that the excellent services and outcomes delivered in support of our students, colleagues and other stakeholders are maintained.

Where a hybrid working arrangement can be accommodated, specific details will be discussed and agreed with the postholder.  Regardless of where colleagues are working, City, University of London’s premises will be their primary and contractual place of work.

Sustainable development

City, University of London is committed to a policy of best practice to assist in building a sustainable way of life by taking a positive, solutions-orientated approach. All post holders are encouraged to contribute through their roles to improving the environment for City and the wider community.

Details of policy, information and staff development supporting the policy on the environment and sustainability can be found at

The above list is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post. All members of staff are required to be professional, co-operative and flexible in line with the needs of the post, Department, School and City, University of London.

Job descriptions should be regularly reviewed and at least prior to the annual appraisal, if applicable or on a regular basis to ensure they are an accurate representation of the post.

Equality, diversity and inclusion statement (EDI)

City, University of London is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all its activities, processes, and culture, for our whole community, including staff, students and visitors.

We welcome applications regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or social class. For more information on our approaches to encouraging an inclusive environment, please see our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Pages.



Qualifications and knowledge 

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent.
  • Postgraduate qualification and/or professional qualification such as ITIL, MSP, PRINCE2, TOGAF (desirable).
  • An excellent understanding of contemporary digital technologies and trends and their potential application in a Higher Education or similarly complex environment.
  • An excellent understanding of the significance and importance of systems and processes that support research, Open Access, data management, and scholarly communications.
  • An understanding of Government policy and strategy on Higher Education and the consequent implications for data capture and the reporting of management information held within a university.
  • Knowledge of specific standards associated with the IT practitioner’s role such as health and safety standards, departmental programming and accessibility standards, organisational network performance standards, service desk procedures, corporate quality and change management processes, information governance.
  • Significant knowledge of Cyber Security technologies and information security legislation and their application in open environments such as universities.
  • Knowledge of EU procurement procedures and commercial acumen.
  • Specific knowledge of services technologies, systems, applications, and infrastructure which support teaching, learning and research in a multi- disciplinary academic environment (desirable).


  • Substantial experience of delivering change and improved customer service in a senior management position in a large, complex organisation, including extensive experience of leading technology and information services and managing highly specialised operational teams.
  • A demonstrable track record of programme delivery including:
    • Large-scale digital transformation projects
    • Significant infrastructure development
    • Enterprise applications and business process improvement initiatives
    • Data management and integration technology development
  • Demonstrable experience of contributing to the development of strategy and policy at the highest level, with particular reference to the digital infrastructure.
  • Demonstrable experience of managing and stewarding significant operational and capital investment budgets.
  • Experience and understanding of the Higher Education sector.
  • Experience of working in collaboration with students and their representative bodies to improve the student experience in relation to their use of IT (desirable).

Skills and abilities

  • Excellent and effective communication skills appropriate to operating at a senior level; including the ability to convey important messages, deliver a vision and fully engage senior colleagues.
  • The necessary interpersonal skills to lead and motivate teams to deliver innovative services across the portfolio.
  • Proven negotiating and influencing skills and the ability to represent the University’s interests externally.
  • Ability to build constructive relationships with colleagues, stakeholders and student bodies.
  • Advocate for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity in their role and in the wider University context, with demonstrable evidence of their personal influence in implementing positive EDI related change.
  • Organisation and planning skills appropriate to managing the planning, compliance, governance and annual operational requirements of a university.
  • A demonstrable record of contemporary and inclusive style of decision-making.
  • Strong coaching skills and ability to develop teams and individuals in a constantly changing environment.

Terms of appointment

The salary is commensurate with the market, the seniority of the post and the calibre of the appointed candidate. It will be agreed in negotiation with the successful candidate.

The appointee will qualify for membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and a comprehensive relocation package is available where relevant.

City offers a variety of other benefits, including excellent staff development and career development opportunities; access to its student and staff fitness, study and social facilities; discounted courses; a season ticket loan scheme; and an excellent working environment.

The appointment will be made subject to satisfactory references.

City, University of London is committed to equal opportunities in all its activities and all posts at City are subject to reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010.

Appointment process

The appointment of the CIO will be determined by an Appointment Panel chaired by the President. A search exercise is being undertaken by Anderson Quigley who will support the Appointment Panel to identify the widest possible field of qualified candidates and to assist the Panel in its assessment.

The closing date for applications is noon, Monday 6 June 2022.

Initial interviews will take place in mid-June with shortlisted candidates invited to visit City w/c 27 June for informal meetings and w/c 4 July for the formal, panel interview. All dates are to be confirmed.

How to apply

Applications should consist of:

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

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1455.

The closing date for applications is noon, Monday 6 June 2022.

For a confidential conversation please contact:

  • Phil Entwistle on or +44(0)7596 954 387
  • Ed Pritchard on or +44(0)7980 817 927