Appointment of the Chief Information Officer

Welcome

Thank you for your interest in joining St Mary’s University as our new Chief Information Officer (CIO).

At St Mary’s, we are dedicated to preparing our students for flourishing lives and successful careers within a community of mutual respect. We aspire to enable every student to achieve their full potential, through outstanding support for their learning and giving them a broad and rich experience.

We pride ourselves on being an academic community which values positive human relationships, promoting belonging and supporting individuals to be the best version of themselves.

In challenging times, we continue to thrive, achieving real progress and success in student satisfaction and community impact. We recently climbed to our highest ever position in the 2022 Good University Guide while ranking 18th nationally for overall satisfaction in the 2021 National Student Survey. Our community is characterised by trust among staff and students, and our core values of respect, inclusion, generosity of spirit and excellence.

We are now seeking to appoint our new CIO to lead the delivery of strategies that ensure technology serves as a strategic asset to achieving St Mary’s Vision 2030 goals. Responsible for a team of c.50 staff across Technology Services, Application Services, Library and Digital Support and IT Projects, the CIO and will be responsible for the ongoing development and delivery of our strategies for technology transformation and digital learning.

The CIO will champion, mobilise and measure business process improvements across the University by leveraging the potential of technology to streamline activities and enhance efficiency and will be responsible for leading a wide range of technology-led change programmes and projects.

We are seeking to appoint a candidate with experience of strategic leadership and management of Information Services and experience of developing and implementing technology enhanced learning. Our successful candidate will have experience of leading and motivating diverse teams and will be a strong communicator, able to convey complex and technical information and ideas to non-technical people.

We are at an exciting point in the development of our digital transformation strategy and the University continues to take significant strides forward on all fronts. If you are excited about the prospect of joining St Mary’s, then we do hope you will express an interest in the CIO role.

You can find out more about the University and the role of CIO on this site and our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you.

Jo Blunden
Chief Operating Officer

About us

Established in 1850 and with a deep heritage in education, St Mary’s University, Twickenham has a strong reputation for teaching excellence and a student-centred approach. Our aim is to prepare students for flourishing lives, successful careers and social commitment through excellent, research-enriched teaching in a community of mutual respect based on our Catholic ethos and values.

Developing and enhancing partnerships is important and we work with other universities at home and abroad, dioceses and institutions, local FE colleges and many schools across the UK. With nearly 5,000 students, 700 staff, and a turnover of £52 million, the University makes significant contributions to our local community and wider society, empowering our community to have a positive impact on the world.

Key Achievements and highlights

  • Top Ten in UK for Teaching Quality 2022 Good University Guide
  • Top 5 in UK for Student Experience 2022 Good University Guide
  • 2nd in London for student satisfaction 2021 NSS
  • Highest ever position in the Good University Guide, sitting in top half for first time
  • 98% of graduates are in employment, vocation or further study within 15 months (HESA 2020)
  • 6% ahead of sector average for student experience 2021 NSS
  • Ofsted Outstanding assessment of our Primary and Secondary ITE provision for over ten years

Mission
We are an inclusive Catholic university seeking to develop the whole person and empower our community to have a positive impact on the world.

Vision
Our students and staff are at the heart of everything we do. We are an inclusive university, open to those of all faiths and none, and a local institution in a global city, serving a growing and richly diverse student community in locations both real and virtual.

Values
Rooted in our Catholic Foundation, with the value of the human person at its heart, our values set us apart, shape our behaviour and inform all our decisions in a university that responds to the demands of today.

Inclusiveness
We celebrate differences and welcome diversity, recognising that everyone is born with a unique identity. St Mary’s is a place where all students and staff can reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to society.

Generosity of Spirit
Across the University there’s a strong sense of encouragement, collegiality, empathy, helpfulness, and service to others.

Respect
We respect all and treat everyone as we ourselves would want to be treated.

Excellence
We strive to be the best at everything we do. We set high standards and seek continuous improvement in all our practices and work.

Please see the following link for the University management structure.

Vision 2030: The Future of St Mary’s

St Mary’s is committed to providing our students with a transformational experience. Offering strong support and challenging goals whilst they study with us and opportunities to be part of the wider St Mary’s community beyond their time here, we want our students to be highly skilled, informed and civically engaged. Vision 2030 sets out how we will do this, building on the successes of the past and setting our direction for the coming years.

To achieve our Vision, we have identified five Pillars that will support our strategy.

  1. Achieving Student Success: With a rich history in education, St Mary’s is committed to high quality delivery in education, research and the wider student experience. We will continue to provide an outstanding academic, sporting and social experience, to ensure our students flourish while they are with us, and beyond.
  2. Developing our People: We seek to empower our staff to reach their full potential by developing a supportive, inclusive, collaborative and inspiring working environment. We want our staff and leadership to reflect and encompass the diversity of our student body and the wider community.
  3. Driving Growth: Through growth we can reach more students, employers and communities, and ensure the University’s sustainable future. We will expand our applied and professional programmes and offer more flexible ways to learn.
  4. Developing Partnerships: We will identify organisations with whom we can work with to deliver shared goals. We will share our knowledge and expertise with other universities, further education colleges, and civic and sporting organisations at home and abroad.
  5. Enhancing our sense of Place: We treasure our historic campus and will continue to develop it as a safe space and to guard it for future generations. We will open up our work to the public and strive to have a positive impact in our local community. We will play a dynamic role in the educational, cultural, sporting, and economic life of south-west London.

Foundations to success

In order to achieve our Vision, we need to ensure that we adopt key strategies and develop new processes to provide the essential foundations for our success.

We will continuously improve our operations to ensure a sustainable future by:

Financial Sustainability: Our long-term financial plan has created, and will continue to provide, a stable foundation for our strategic objectives. In order to release funds for investment we will continue to pursue this plan.

Integrated Strategic Planning: an evidence-based planning process will bring together strategic aims, staffing plans and budget needs, in the context of a medium-term planning horizon.

We will enhance the staff and student experience through digital transformation:

Better Systems and Processes: building on investment in technology we need to ensure that our data is joined up, and that we streamline processes for staff to free up time for delivering core teaching activities.

Digital Teaching and Learning: We will continue to develop our capacity and approach, ensuring that our offer is driven by student need and preference.

We will improve efficiency across the University:

Bureaucracy is frustrating for everyone. We’ve made some useful changes to internal governance, but we will work with staff to identify more opportunities. We will also improve communication and collaboration to enhance the staff and student experience. We’ll turn to our Board of Governors, Development Board and advisory boards for insights into best practice.

You can read more about our Vision 2030 here.

About the CIO role

St Mary’s is on an exciting journey of transformation and growth, to benefit students, staff and the wider St Mary’s community. As the University builds on its proud heritage, it is looking for exceptional people to help shape its progressive future.  The University is an inclusive academic community, where everybody is welcomed.

Library and Information Technology Services provides support, advice and guidance to all those who teach our students, to ensure all learning opportunities are of a high quality. Our services have been developed to help colleagues contribute effectively to the University’s strategic approach to learning enhancement and thereby promote student engagement and success.

We have recently implemented the SITS student records management system and we are continuing to work to deliver the benefits of our investment in this software.

The CIO lead a team of c.50 staff across Technology Services, Application Services, Library and Digital Support, and IT Projects.

In 2020, we developed our ‘Go Digital!’, our digital transformation strategy, which proposed modernising St Mary’s digital capability such that our teaching, learning, management and administration are taken into the 21st century and beyond. The approach will ensure staff and students are fully benefiting from the capability of modern technology, particularly at a time where technology is increasingly relied upon to minimise the challenges of teaching and learning remotely.

The key themes of Go Digital! include:

  1. Enabling St Mary’s objectives – Being responsive to the evolving needs of the university through adopting a responsive service development approach, co-building services with staff and students, shaping service development around institutional priorities of improved student experience, reduced attrition, partnership expansion, financial sustainability and increased international and PG students.
  2. Self-service – Using technology to put information, data and knowledge directly into the hands of the end user, where they are, using whatever device they choose to use.
  3. Humanising of technology – Favouring technology that is more ‘human’ in design, and hence requires less tech skills to master, thus it adds more value.
  4. Solutions-based approaches – Designing technology to solve real problems the staff and students have.
  5. Who, not where – Technology provides access to one of our most precious assets based on who we are, not where we’re requesting it from. Hence St Mary’s technology, digital services and information should be made available based on who the person is, not where they are.
  6. Fun – Technology should be enjoyable to use. Or, at a minimum it shouldn’t make you groan. Ideally, using technology should bring a smile to your face.
  7. Doing more, and quicker – Good technology allows you to do more, and know more, quickly and easily. Example: spreadsheets, and databases, and knowledgebases enable the user to do way more than they could if limited by their own brain power. Good technology allows service staff to answer questions they wouldn’t normally be able to. And it does this by putting a range of information at their fingertips in an easy to access way.
  8. Maximise value through enablement – Technology is a major investment and staff and students should be enabled to reap the full value of it. This is typically achieved through a tailored training and support programme that recognises both the complexity of the tools and end user capability.

We have begun delivering the strategy and our new CIO will be responsible for ensuring that we continue to deliver the key themes and ensure that our approach is contemporary and service led.

Please see the following link for the CIO Organogram.

The role

Chief Information Officer

Job reference:
AQ1317

Job Title: Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Department: Library and Information Technology Services (LTIS)
Reports To: Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Hours: Full-time
Term: Permanent

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Leadership

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the University’s vision and objectives and be responsible for the development and implementation of Information and Technology related strategies.
  • Provide a visible and effective senior management presence at St Mary’s through, for example, membership of the University Executive Committee, representing senior management at staff and student forums and contributing to the setting of key University priorities and KPIs.
  • Lead the creation and delivery of strategies that ensure technology serves as a strategic asset to achieving St Mary’s Vision 2030 goals.
  • Provide strategic and operational leadership to the functions and teams under the LITS umbrella including, but not limited to, Library Resources, Technology Enhanced Learning, Network Management, Infrastructure and Customer Services.
  • Champion, mobilise and measure business process improvements across the University by leveraging the potential of technology to streamline activities and enhance efficiency.
  • Be responsible for leading any change programmes and/or major projects within LITS and for any change programmes/major projects which have an Information and/or Technology agenda, take a lead in supporting these with appropriate project management processes.
  • Develop and maintain a forward-thinking team with the appropriate mix of business knowledge, technical skills and competencies that balance the strategic agenda and ensuring the core services are reliable, stable and efficient.

Service development

  • Responsible for ensuring a strong understanding of staff and student demands and requirements (current and future) in order to ensure the services provided are relevant and appropriate.
  • Work collaboratively with academic leads as the technical lead to enhance existing technology, enhance learning capability and enable student success.
  • Work collaboratively with academic leads as the technical lead to enhance existing Technology Enhanced Learning capability and enable student success in line with Vision 2030.
  • Act as university Data Custodian, responsible for the safe custody, storage and retention of all University data.
  • Oversee the specification, procurement and implementation of  new major systems, ensuring that these are delivered on budget (in terms of time and finances) and delivers a substantially enhanced user experience.
  • Collaborate with academic departments to ensure the University’s books and digital collections are relevant and appropriately balanced, promoting access to and best use of Library collections and resources.
  • Engage with appropriate external bodies (JISC, UCISA and others), keeping abreast of external developments in order to promote new/innovative uses of technology and other resources in order to support/enhance learning, teaching, research and enterprise activities.
  • Ensure the University has an effective approach to records management and archiving through the development of appropriate policies, procedures and support.
  • Ensure the University has suitable mitigations and continuity plans in place to deal with any security or cyber threats.

Performance management

  • Flexibly manage the resources within LITS, providing effective and customer-centric services, achieving high levels of staff and student satisfaction.
  • Develop and implement relevant industry/sector key performance indicators/benchmarks against which all services are managed.
  • Responsible for ensuring that strategies, policies, procedures and processes are relevant, consistent, up to date and conform with best practice.
  • Responsible for ensuring that Library, network, internet and other services are robust (in terms of availability, security, and compliance), with responsibility for all aspects of IT and related security, disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

Other

  • Support the Data Governance Group and collaborate with Strategic Planning to enable effective use of data to drive University level decision-making.
  • Act as the University level sponsor for information security and cyber threat awareness.
  • Act as the Virtual Place SME for all disaster Recovery and BCP activity.
  • Position the University, appropriately, in terms of new developments such as Open Access, research (and other) data management, digital learning, technology innovation, bibliometrics, citation data etc.
  • Work closely with HR, Finance, Marketing, Enterprise, Sport St. Mary’s and others to ensure that appropriate technology solutions are selected and implemented for non-LITS departments with Information and Technology system needs.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Knowledge and qualifications 

  1. Undergraduate degree or equivalent experience.
  2. Professional IT / IT&S qualification.
  3. Evidence of significant strategic leadership and operational management of Information Services in a dynamic and complex environment.
  4. Demonstrable experience of developing and implementing Technology Enhanced Learning.
  5. Demonstrable experience of implementing major technology projects.
  6. Experience of leading, managing and motivating large and diverse teams.
  7. Experience of successfully leading major change management programmes.
  8. Project management qualification (desirable).
  9. ITIL qualification (desirable).

 Skills and competencies

  1. Able to conceptualise and analyse problems and to synthesize complex sets of information and ideas.
  2. Able to communicate complex and technical information and ideas to non-technical people.
  3. High level of competence in strategic and business planning, with the ability to drive, articulate and deliver a clear strategic vision.
  4. Proven capacity to understand and interpret trends and development in information technology and to apply these within a specific industry setting.
  5. Understanding of the issues and challenges facing the higher education sector and the implications of these for the use and application of information and supporting technology.

University Policies and Procedures

All staff are expected to undertake their work in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful manner, particular consideration should be given to the University values.

St Mary’s University reserves the right to change and amend this Job description/Person Specification in accordance with the changing requirements of the organisation.

Location

St Mary’s University is located in Twickenham, which is just half an hour by train from the heart of London. This gives both staff and students access to the best of both worlds: a dynamic, bustling city and a tranquil, riverside suburb, with excellent schools and facilities. Many staff and students choose to work and study at St Mary’s because of its prime location.

 A snapshot of the local area

A leafy, suburban neighbourhood, Twickenham is a mixture of period houses, formal gardens and parks surrounding King Street, the town’s centre. Twickenham offers many traditional pubs and restaurants, with many diverse cuisines. Church Street runs adjacent to the river and comprises cafés, boutiques, small bookshops, and a church.

The lively riverside towns of Kingston and Richmond are a short bus ride away from the University. Throughout the day, the towns attract visitors who come to enjoy the shopping centres, cinemas, restaurants, live music venues, bars, and theatres. Teddington, just along the road from the University, was recently named “the best place to live in London” by the Sunday Times.

Outdoor spaces

Marble Hill Park in East Twickenham is a charming local park and the setting of Marble Hill House, a Venetian villa built for a mistress of George II and now a local landmark. Just a short stroll along a peaceful riverside road into secluded woodland gardens is Orleans House Gallery, a stunning 18th century house and gardens which now serves as an art gallery, hosting regular exhibitions and workshops.

St Mary’s is close to two of London’s eight royal parks. Both Richmond Park and Bushy Park, where Parkrun started, offer staff and students hundreds of acres of beautiful, secluded woodland for get-away-from-it-all walks, as well as space for cycling and running.

Twickenham and the adjacent River Thames also provide lots of opportunities for outdoor activities.

Culture, history and heritage

Flood Lane and Church Lane lead down to the river where you can enjoy a drink in one of the riverside pubs or cross the bridge on to Eel Pie Island. Many musicians began their careers or played sets at the Eel Pie Island Hotel and recorded material at Eel Pie Studios.

In 2017, St Mary’s became the proud operator of The Exchange in Twickenham – a newly built community venue that boasts a 300-seat theatre, six studio rooms, a café and a bar. St Mary’s students benefit from teaching and training at the site, with drama students staging performances in the theatre.

The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, museums, galleries and other historic houses open to the public are also among unique features of the local area. On St Mary’s campus itself is Strawberry Hill House, Horace Walpole’s Gothic Revival villa.

Sport

The rugby capital of the world, Twickenham Stadium is the home of the Rugby Football Union. Seating 82,000, it is the 5th largest stadium in Europe and hosts the Six Nations matches and the Rugby World Cup, as well as the annual varsity match between rival universities Oxford and Cambridge. The prestigious matches attract fans from around the globe who celebrate in Twickenham’s pubs and bars, creating an unrivalled atmosphere. The area is also home to Harlequins and London Irish rugby clubs.

The stadium has a state-of-the-art fitness centre attached, as well as a world-renowned rugby museum. The stadium is also regularly used as a venue for concerts.

Find out more at www.stmarys.ac.uk/location

Terms of appointment

The salary is dependent on experience and will be negotiated with the preferred candidate.

Holiday entitlement is 30 days annual leave, with the option to purchase an additional five days per annum, plus public holidays and University closure days between Christmas and New Year.

The successful candidate will be eligible to join the St Mary’s University Pension Plan and Group Life Assurance with Aviva.

St Mary’s offer a range of additional benefits including the Cycle2Work scheme, season ticket loan and on-site gym and sports facilities at a discounted rate.

More information on employee benefits can be found at http://www.stmarys.ac.uk/jobs/benefits.htm

We promote applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of background, belief or identity, recognising the benefits that a diverse organisation can bring and particularly encourage applications from groups which are underrepresented in the University workforce.

We recognise the benefits and importance of an environment that supports flexible working and are open to conversations about this throughout the application process.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to St Mary’s 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 our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534, or Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944.

The closing date for applications is noon on Thursday 10 February 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 2 pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the knowledge and qualifications criteria 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 www.andersonquigley.com/candidates using the reference AQ1317

Timetable 

Closing date: noon on Thursday 10 February
Longlisting: Tuesday 22 February
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: 24 February – 3 March
Shortlisting: Friday 11 March
Panel Interviews: Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 March (TBC)