Appointment of the Director of IT

Welcome

Dear Candidate

Thank you for expressing an interest in joining Leeds Beckett University as our new Director of IT. The University is committed to making a positive and decisive difference to people, organisations and communities through excellent education and research. We are ambitious and aim to be recognised globally as an inclusive anchor for the Leeds City Region, and as an outstanding university that supports its diverse student community to achieve excellent outcomes, and that generates research of impact and significance.

Our new Director of IT will have a powerful opportunity to deliver a transformational digital strategy for the University. They will build on recently concluded consultancy work that has engaged the University community in scoping a digital vision that comprises significant data, infrastructure and digital developments. The new Director will further shape and lead this strategy, operating across the University and building relationships with senior leaders as well as other key colleagues.

We are seeking an effective and inspirational individual, with proven experience of leading successful, transformational change at scale, who can ensure the University’s future IT developments will help deliver its strategic outcomes for our students, staff, and partners.  You will be adept at making the complex appear simple and accessible to non-IT proficient decision makers.

You will be strategically focused; have proven change delivery experience and outstanding interpersonal skills. You will be passionate about higher education and supporting the development of a stronger digital culture within the University.

The role reports to me and will play a full role in the leadership of the University through the Resources Group and engagement with the Senior Management Group and our academic Deans.  Being able to shift easily from leader to team player and collaborator, from the formal to the informal, and relishing change that delivers improvements will all be qualities that are important in this role.

If you are excited by this opportunity and ready to make a significant contribution to our University community then we would be delighted to hear from you. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you in confidence and their details can be found on this site.

Tracey Lancaster
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Resources, Leeds Beckett University

About us

Leeds Beckett is a modern, professional university with a dedicated, diverse community. Our vision is to be an excellent, accessible, globally-engaged university contributing positively to a thriving northern economy. Our mission is to ensure we use our knowledge and resources to make a positive and decisive difference to people, communities and organisations.

We are a community of around 28,000 students from over 140 countries and 2,800 staff, and our history dates back to the founding of Leeds Mechanics Institute in 1824. We are a major organisation in our region and the University contributes around £500m to the economy each year.

Leeds Beckett has:

  • A bold, industrious spirit: We foster innovative thinking to create great graduates, exceptional employees, dynamic citizens and enterprising leaders.
  • An environment enriched by research: Our world-leading and internationally-excellent research informs our curriculum and our students’ experience in all areas.
  • A community dedicated to success: Our community is made up of people from a diverse mix of cultural and social backgrounds, brought together in a world-class learning environment.
  • Excellent corporate services: Students and colleagues can access a range of professional services within our University, specifically designed to support the effective delivery of our academic provision.
  • Safe and supportive networks: Our network of colleague and student groups provides safe and supportive environments in which to discuss issues relating to equality and inclusion.

Leeds is a vibrant, modern city with a rich industrial past and on the doorstep of natural beauty. It is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of West Yorkshire and has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK’s employment centres. Leeds is, and always will be, open for business and talent.

Teaching
Working in partnership with our students and the Students’ Union, we have transformed our undergraduate student experience and our students’ learning through exceptional and innovative academic practice and personalised support to our large and diverse student community.

Our teaching activity is organised into 10 Schools creating communities of committed staff and students who are passionate about their subject areas. Our courses feature collaborative, creative and practical learning in modern facilities that enable our students to develop themselves as enterprising citizens whose future contribution has a positive impact.

Research
Our research institutes and centres sustain outstanding research which informs our curriculum and our students’ experience in all areas. This research provides an enriched environment for an excellent research and teaching culture for all aspects of our students’ learning.

The REF 2021 results showed that 53% of the university’s submission was rated 3* and 4* and therefore considered internationally excellent or world-leading. Results were particularly strong in sport and exercise science, leisure and tourism where 89% of the submission was rated 4* or 3*. In the allied health and nursing unit, 80% of the submission was rated 4* and 3*. The results reflect the breadth of our research in these areas which includes improving gender equality in sports coachingtackling obesitysupporting women with cancer with fertility decisions and improving the training of people working with those suffering from dementia.

Our REF 2021 submission included 352 research staff across 15 units of assessment, double the number of staff included in REF 2014. It included research driving up energy efficiency standards in homes, and understanding and supporting the role of civilian peacekeeping.

Corporate services
Students and colleagues can access a range of professional services within the University designed and operating to support the effective delivery of our academic provision.

Services for students include Libraries & Learning Innovation, Sport & Active Lifestyles, Student Services, Careers & Employability and Campuses & Residential Services.

Departments including Finance, Estates, Marketing & Communication, Information and Technology Services and Human Resources ensure the University runs efficiently, that colleagues get the support and advice they need, and services for students are accessible and focused on meeting their needs.

Our Schools
Our 10 Schools are:

Our campuses
We provide creative and contemporary learning environments packed with the latest technology, creating a focal point for new and innovative thinking.

City Campus: City Campus is in the heart of Leeds, ideally placed to connect with hundreds of businesses and organisations that offer work placements and employment opportunities to many of our students. The City Campus puts students and staff at the centre of a dynamic business community in a city with a thriving job market. Our award-winning buildings, the Rose Bowl and Broadcasting Place, are located at the City Campus, along with our new state-of-the-art Leeds School of Arts which opened in 2020.

Headingley Campus: Headingley campus, about two miles away from the city centre, is set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland with historic buildings dating from 1752. The rich history and parkland setting coexists with modern sport science laboratories, animation and music studios and the latest computing labs. Our main sports facilities are based in Headingley alongside our iconic new Carnegie School of Sport. Plans are also in development for a new Carnegie School of Education on the Headingley campus.

Equality and Inclusion
Equality and inclusion are essential to our academic and business strengths. We ensure our University community is a place where everyone feels respected, valued and supported to achieve excellence.

We are committed to providing a vibrant, ethical and sustainable working and learning environment that values equality and inclusion and recognises the contribution everyone brings to our University community.

Our network of colleague and student groups help us to help others get the information and support they need. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss issues relating to equality and inclusion, as well as provide support and networking and share best practice.

You can read more about our approach to equality and inclusion here.

University Executive Team structure

Further information
You can read much more about Leeds Beckett University on our website here.

Our DDI vision

You can view our Data, Digital and Infrastructure vision here.

Overview of the technology landscape

You can view our Current Technology and Business Services Landscape here.

The role

Director of IT

Job reference:
AQ1527

School/Service: Resources Group
Section: IT Services
Post Designation: Director of IT
Grade: Senior Staff Grade
Post to which directly responsible: DVC Resources

PURPOSE OF JOB

  • The transformational delivery of our new Data, Digital and Infrastructure (DDI) strategy, as well as close working with the University to articulate the long-term IT agenda.
  • Investment planning for the University’s IT to deliver the university strategy.
  • Systems, practices and monitoring to ensure consistently high levels of cyber security.
  • Effective leadership and development of the IT team, establishing and maintaining good working relations throughout the University.
  • Effective management of third-party services and providers to the benefit of the University.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Strategic leadership

  • Accountable for the development and delivery of the University’s data, digital and infrastructure strategy: ensuring that it is aligned with, and supports, the University’s strategic priorities and objectives
  • Establishing an operational plan to deliver the DDI strategy, drawing on previous experience and knowledge of best practice.
  • Development of team as necessary.
  • Providing leadership and guidance on delivery methodology, governance, supplier management approach and assurance for the wider University as well as the IT team.
  • Capable of communicating an accessible vision for IT throughout the University.
  • From a thorough understanding of the work of the University, providing thought leadership on how digital solutions can achieve institutional goals and objectives.

Stakeholder management and business partnering

  • Working in close collaboration with our Director of Strategic Insight and Business Analysis to deliver an IT infrastructure that supports our data, digital and wider analysis ambitions.
  • Maintaining excellent relationships with senior leadership (including Board of Governors, University Executive Team, Deans and Directors of Service).
  • Responsible for external business and stakeholder relationships and any application owners, to benefit the University.

Building organisational capability

  • Defining the capabilities and capacity to deliver the IT/DDI operational plan, and to develop and deliver new approaches both within IT team and across the wider university.
  • Providing leadership, clear direction, coaching and support to the team.
  • Working with Human Resources, ensuring colleagues across the institution have access to the training and development they need to have the skills required to use technology to the best advantage in their work.
  • Leading and developing exemplary cyber security practices and policies.

Delivering change and improvement

  • Evaluating IT service quality, and working with business stakeholders to develop a roadmap for improvement.
  • Taking action to improve areas any areas that fall below performance expectations.
  • Managing high level investment planning.
  • Taking a highly visible role in driving cultural change within the University to adopt relevant digital technology and to deliver the new DDI strategy. Working at the highest levels within the organisation.

You can view the IT Services structure chart here.

EMPLOYEE SPECIFICATION

Qualifications, Skills, Experience & Knowledge

  • Strategic leadership and planning skills with relevant recent experience working in a complex business with multiple stakeholders.
  • Strong knowledge of technology and digital good practice, Software as a Service (SaaS) implementations and industry standards.
  • Experience in the higher education sector (desirable).
  • Educated to at least first-degree level and / or with significant experience operating at a senior level.

PERFORMANCE ATTRIBUTES

Please note that all the following criteria are essential.

Planning & organisation

  • Experience of successful project leadership and delivery (ideally with both waterfall and agile/dev ops).
  • Effective management and deployment of resources (finance, people, infrastructure).

Service delivery

  • Strong third party and contract management expertise and experience.
  • Experience leading IT operational/service teams.

Teamwork

  • Excellent collaboration and networking skills, able to form trusted and productive working relationships both internally and externally, both with those who are IT literate and those who are not.

Communication

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, able to influence, and build confidence with non-IT specialist senior colleagues.

Creativity & innovation

  • Demonstrable experience migrating from stand-alone systems to integrated SaaS solutions, including alignment of IT operating model to meet changed technology and business needs.

Learning & development

  • Current knowledge of digital innovation and technological trends.

Terms of appointment

Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions of Service are as determined by the Vice-Chancellor for senior staff (within a framework set by the Board of Governors.)

Salary is competitive.

Annual leave entitlement is 38 days.

Equal Opportunities

We are committed to providing a non-discriminatory and harassment-free working environment for our employees. All our employees are expected to have due regard for those policies when carrying out their duties.

Safety, Health and Wellbeing

You will maintain a positive attitude to Safety, Health and Wellbeing in carrying out personal responsibilities and co-operate with policy/local rules/codes of practice.

Physical Conditions

Flexible working (with some time on campus and homeworking, subject to negotiation).  You will have a base at Headingley campus.

Probationary Period

Appointment to this position may be subject to a probationary period of up to 6 months, in line with our probationary policy.  A copy of our probationary policy is available on our website or on request from HR.

Pre-employment Health Assessment

Our University aims to ensure that all employees are placed in a job that is compatible with their health and physical abilities.  In accordance with the Equality Act, questions relating to health are asked following an offer of appointment.  All offers of appointment are subject to pre-employment health assessment.

Qualifications

In accordance with our pre-employment processes, it is University policy to verify qualifications for successful candidates.  We will need evidence of those qualifications required by the employee specification and claimed on the application form.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment 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 either role in strict confidence, please contact Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534 or elliott@andersonquigley.com or Elyse Turner-Pearce on +44 (0)7808 647 559 or elyse@andersonquigley.com.

The closing date for applications is noon Friday 26th August 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining how you meet the points under the role profile.
  • Please include details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach 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 AQ1527.

Timetable

Closing date: noon on Friday 26 August
Longlisting: Thursday 15 September
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: Friday 16 – Wednesday 21 September
Shortlisting: Tuesday 27 September
Final Interviews: Tuesday 4 October