Appointment of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Finance and Operations

Welcome

Thank you for your interest in this new leadership role at Richmond, The American International University in London.  We are looking for someone to work alongside me and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic to lead the University at a time of change and growth.

Richmond is a unique institution, global in outlook and in practice, diverse and cosmopolitan in its cultures. A leading private not-for-profit institution, we are accredited in the United States by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and registered with the Office for Students in the UK, with taught degree awarding powers. Awarding both UK and US degrees, we bring together the best of British and American higher education and are the first university to have met the highest benchmarks of two of the world’s leading educational systems and therefore occupy a unique standing in global education. This remarkable achievement recognises the excellent quality and standards of the higher education provided by Richmond. This excellence is further underlined by the partnerships we have developed with leading American, European and Asian universities.

Operating in London since 1972, the university is true to its vision of being a leading liberal arts university, and of delivering its mission to educate and inform future generations by providing them with the knowledge and support to think critically, the freedom to challenge assumptions and the skills to work with others. We are also pleased to have signed a significant partnership agreement with the China Education Group (CEG) in 2020, enabling us to grow and flourish as we approach our 50th anniversary. Our Anniversary will also see Richmond move from its current home to a new campus building within the innovative and award-winning Chiswick Park in west London. The move to this new location during our 50th year will offer the University significant opportunities, allowing us to develop new relationships with both local businesses and the community and reimagine our future as the UK’s pioneering liberal arts university.

The new Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Finance and Operations (DVC) will play an instrumental role in delivering our ambitions. A member of the senior Executive, reporting to the President and Vice-Chancellor, the DVC will provide leadership of the University’s Finance strategy and function, together with oversight of Student Services, Marketing and Recruitment, HR, Estates & Facilities, IT, and International Programmes.

You will be an inspiring and energetic individual with a track record of successful strategic leadership, finance and operational management and service transformation across a diverse and complex organisation. You will demonstrate the capacity to translate your professional experience effectively into our academic environment and work collaboratively with colleagues to deliver a cohesive and agile service. Above all, we are seeking a highly motivated professional who shares a deep commitment to our values and will be a positive catalyst for change.

If you have any queries regarding the role or Richmond University, our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to have a conversation with you and their details can be found in this microsite.

I look forward to receiving your application.

Professor Phil Deans
President and Vice Chancellor

About us

From the University’s inception almost 50 years ago, more than 15,000 students from over 100 countries have graduated from Richmond, creating a vibrant global network of alumni.

Our graduates are highly employable. Richmond students not only achieve a qualification, but leave the University equipped with life-changing skills. We ensure our students graduate as confident and career-ready individuals prepared to make a difference in their chosen field.

Ever since Richmond was established as a community with ‘a scholarly yet social purpose’, the University has offered an international experience and a global outlook. This is more important now than ever.

Students who come to Richmond become part of a vibrant and diverse international student community, where students are encouraged and supported to flourish in a mix of diverse cultures, backgrounds and perspectives.

Richmond aims to educate and inform future generations, be a leading Liberal Arts university and provide the best UK & US education to all our students.

Vision

To be a leading liberal arts university.

Mission

Our mission is to educate and inform future generations by providing them with the knowledge and support to think critically, the freedom to challenge assumptions and the skills to work with others.

Values

The University is committed to:

  1. Building an academic partnership in which students and staff work together as a team in pursuit of knowledge.
  2. Providing the best of US and UK higher education by offering the breadth of the liberal arts with the focus of single subject degrees. We are the only US University where all degrees are UK awards; we are the only UK University where all undergraduate degrees are taught in an accredited liberal arts framework.
  3. Creating an environment of academic enquiry and challenge, where students are encouraged to engage, work with and participate in a vibrant academic community where interdisciplinary teaching and learning is key to the curriculum.
  4. Ensuring dedicated student support so that all students can meet their academic and personal challenges no matter their background or educational need.
  5. Fostering a culture of responsibility, so that students engage with the world around them to take on responsibilities while at University and pursue roles that seek to make a positive contribution after graduation.
  6. Recognising diversity in our population and in ways of thinking, teaching and considering the world. Richmond is committed to living by the motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’ – we aspire to understand, accept and celebrate what makes us different from each other.
  7. Supporting academic research and professional engagement, for its value in innovation and creativity and to inform best practices in teaching and learning.

A new home

From September 2022, Richmond’s undergraduates will be based in a new campus building within the innovative and award-winning Chiswick Park in west London.

Everything about this state of the art campus building in a beautiful parkland location has been designed with students in mind. It is set in a vibrant community offering a gym, cafes, bars and restaurants, with easy access to everything the world’s number one student city can offer – learning and employment opportunities, shops, museums, attractions and sporting and cultural events.

Masters students will continue to be based at our Kensington facility in the heart of London, a vibrant location which is home to some of the capital’s most famous free museums, two Royal Parks and a huge range of shops, cafes and restaurants.

For more details on the new Chiswick Park campus, please visit: https://www.richmond.ac.uk/about-richmond/a-new-home/

Stategic plan 2021 – 2026

Our Strategic Plan 2021-2026 sets out our ambitions and intentions, focusing on three themes of:

  • Building community and inclusivity
  • Ensuring sustainability
  • Delivering quality

You can read and download our Strategic Plan here.

The role

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Finance and Operations

Job reference:
AQ1307

Reports to: President and Vice-Chancellor
Expected direct reports:

  • Vice-President/Pro VC, Student Affairs
  • Vice-President/Pro VC, International
  • Director of HR
  • Director of Marketing and Recruitment
  • Deputy Director, Finance
  • Facilities Manager
  • IT Manager

Purpose

Complementing the academic leadership and working as part of University’s senior management, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Finance and Operations (DVC) provides leadership to the finance function and all professional services within the University.

At a time of significant change and opportunity for the University, driven by our Strategic Plan and a relocation to a new state of the art campus, our new DVC will create a professional services vision, establishing new standards and driving service delivery. With a primary focus on finance (and being financially qualified) the DVC will drive a high-performance culture to maximise the strengths and expertise of the variety of teams within the newly established portfolio.

As a small university all senior executives are expected to play a central role in the whole of university leadership and be supportive of each other; and be exemplars of our values.

Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the President and the Provost (Senior Vice President/Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic) to deliver the strategy of the University, ensuring that in the context of financial and operational stability it is fully and effectively implemented;
  • Take direct responsibility for the leadership and management of the Finance Department and the University’s core finance functions, including the production of statutory and regulatory financial returns;
  • Ensure the Board of Trustees, University Board and senior managers have accurate financial and operational performance data supported by contextual information;
  • Lead on the delivery of specified strategic objectives and the overall monitoring and reporting of the operational areas of the University’s 2021- 2026 Strategy;
  • Deliver a high performance, inclusive, values-based culture across the University that recognises and embraces diversity, innovation, constructive challenge, collaborative decision-making and the successful delivery of objectives;
  • Identify and bring to fruition commercially viable and sustainable opportunities to enable the diversification of income streams across the University;
  • In conjunction with other members of the University Board, ensure the University is strategically appraised of relevant external political, regulatory and economic risks and opportunities;
  • Enable the continued development of innovative, effective and values-driven professional services, with a focus on exemplary customer service and continuous improvement to meet the changing demands and aspirations of all students, staff and partners;
  • Lead Richmond’s management of financial and operational risk, business continuity, compliance, health and safety, and equality and diversity;
  • Ensure effective structures and systems are in place to satisfy Richmond’s objectives, legislative and statutory obligations, and recognised codes of practice. To ensure such systems enable the timely and effective monitoring and reporting of any arising risks in these areas;
  • Develop and maintain effective internal relationships with key stakeholders including the President and Vice-Chancellor, the Provost, members of the University Board and its key committees, and the Board of Trustees;
  • Develop and maintain effective external relationships with key partners, regulators and professional bodies, including the UK Department for Education and the Office for Students (OfS), the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the University’s strategic partner China Education Group – Hong Kong (CEG), and relevant sector bodies such as the British Universities Finance Director’s Group (BUFDG) and Independent HE (IHE);
  • Chair key committees and working groups; and
  • Any other duties commensurate with the role as directed by the President and Vice-Chancellor.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Qualifications and experience

  • A recognised professional accounting qualification (CCAB or non-UK direct equivalent). Knowledge or experience of US standards would be desirable;
  • Proven track record of executive and strategic level financial management in a complex organisation, with knowledge of UK and international higher education being an advantage;
  • Experience of successfully leading some or all of the functional areas reporting to this post with the ability to articulate a clear vision and motivate colleagues at all levels;
  • A leadership style that demonstrates integrity, transparency, collegiality and confidence;
  • Experience of successfully leading and managing the inter-relationships between different teams to achieve overall corporate objectives;
  • Experience of leading and managing major change programmes;
  • Experience of advising non-executive / board members;
  • Experience in engaging and influencing regulatory bodies, stakeholders and professional advisers; and
  • The values of the University are strongly international, so experience of living or working outside the UK and/or experience of working in diverse contexts will be an advantage.

Able to demonstrate

  • Strategic thinking with a willingness to engage with detailed operational requirements where needed;
  • A commercial mind set and ability to constructively challenge the status quo;
  • Empathy to the mission, vision and values and the charitable purpose of the University, whilst recognising the range of stakeholders to whom the University is accountable;
  • Credibility and authority to work effectively and liaise internally with senior staff and externally with the Board and other stakeholders; and
  • Strong communication skills including effective report writing and presentation skills. Diplomacy and political astuteness and the ability to navigate complex organisational structures and operate effectively within both the formal and informal networks of the University.

Terms of appointment

The expected salary will be circa £150,000 and the University offers a generous benefits package including USS pension, BUPA and family study discounts.

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 07980 817 927 or ed@andersonquigley.com.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 14 February 

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 3 pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the experience section of the person specification.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at https://andersonquigley.com/candidates/ using the reference AQ1307

Timetable

Closing date: Monday 14 February
Longlisting: Tuesday 22 February
Preliminary interviews with AQ: w/c 28 February
Shortlisting: Monday 7 March
Panel Interviews: Thursday 17 March (in-person, on campus)