Appointment of the Director, Business School


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

With a strong track record of innovation and creativity, Solent University Southampton has grown to become one of the leading new universities, with strong local roots as well as a renowned international reputation. We have embedded ties in the city, Solent region and beyond, and strive to make a significant contribution to the communities we serve, while putting our students at the heart of everything we do.

We will be further developing both our University Strategy and our enabling plans over the next three months to reflect new opportunities, the Solent Future Ready Initiative and the external context, and this post holder will be a key contributor to this critical exercise. However, our commitment to ensuring that the University adds value to the local community, engaging with local FE partners to enhance our reputation and build relationships will not change, it’s who we are. We are proud that we have around 70% of students coming to us as the first-generation in their family to go to university and we are committed to ensuring social mobility and excellent onward outcomes for our graduates.

There are of course sector challenges, but we are excited about the future and are giving our Business School a sharper, dedicated focus. As part of a wider faculty restructure it is having other academic disciplines removed from its portfolio to focus on exclusively delivering business education, research and enterprise.  We want you to work with us to recast what our Business should be, it is a huge opportunity for a senior leader to apply their creativity and expertise in developing this important School.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Professor Karen Stanton



Following a data driven portfolio review the University is moving from 5 schools to 3 faculties (Arts; Computing, Media and Business; and Health and Sciences) from 1st August 2020. For the last four years Business provision has sat within The School of Business Law and Communications, attracting approximately 150 undergraduate students a year across Business, Tourism, Events, Festivals Management, PR, Advertising and Marketing.  The current provision includes a healthy post graduate suite including a Global MBA that attracts international students, a well-established partnership with QAHE a private provider and a substantial apprenticeship offer.

The courses are well served by professional accreditations and the School has been awarded the Small Business Charter. The creation of a discrete Business School, sitting administratively within the Faculty of Computing Media and Business, with its own Director and with a new high profile space on campus, recognises the potential for growth and for raising the academic profile of the University through enhancing its research and knowledge exchange (unfortunately it won’t be entered into REF2021).

Journalism, English and Criminology, previously in this School will move, creating an opportunity to launch a new Business School alongside a School of Law, with its own Director. The new Business School will form a central pillar of the University’s new strategic plan and ambitions for growth.

Across Business and Law, there are currently 124 academic staff and 1,600 students, including a management team made up of a Head of Subject for Business, Finance and Accountancy, Head of Subject for Management, Tourism and Events, Head of Subject for Marketing, Journalism and Communications and a Head of Subject for Law and Criminology.



Respect: Respecting each other, recognising others’ strengths and celebrating our diversity so that everyone can give their best.

Ownership: Owning and being accountable for delivering a welcoming and professional service and working with pace and commitment to deliver objectives and support strategic priorities.

Inclusivity: Ensuring through our teaching, support and work that we are inclusive, underpinning all the work we do at the University.

Engagement: Engage with focus, drive and enthusiasm to deliver excellent teaching, new initiatives and objectives, setting an example and motivating others to engage as appropriate.

Integrity: Act with professionalism and honesty in all our dealings with each other, our students, suppliers and partners of the University.

Teamwork: Working effectively and collaboratively and being united in delivering the priorities of the University in everything we do.

Life in Southampton

Southampton is a city with something for everyone. From the hustle and bustle of the city centre to the laid back atmosphere of Ocean Village, Southampton’s variety makes it a thriving University environment.

The city is home to many great live entertainment venues, and is a regular stop on nationwide concert and theatre tours. The city centre features several museums, ranging from the city’s involvement in pivotal sea and air conflicts to its rich medieval history.

Southampton’s residents also enjoy access to a range of sporting venues, art galleries and spas and the city itself is only a short distance from some of the best countryside the South has to offer.

The city is also conveniently located only 75 miles away from London and has excellent transport links, with Southampton Airport and Southampton Central Station only a few minutes away.

The role

Director, Business School

Job reference:

Title: Director, Business School
Reports to: Deputy Vice-Chancellor


The Director of the Business School is a critical academic leadership role within the University. The Director will provide vision and clear strategic direction to the future development and growth of a new Business School. We will be further developing both our University Strategy (2015-2020) and our enabling plans over the next 3 months to reflect new opportunities, the Solent Future Ready Initiative and the external context, and the post holder will be a key contributor to this critical exercise. With a strong track-record in leadership you will be able to command the respect of the University’s academic community and effect change. This will be enhanced with your experience of working with industry and /or Government and a commitment to University values and an appreciation of the mutually reinforcing relationship that exists between research, teaching and knowledge exchange activities. The post will be focused on change management and growth and the strengths, skills and attributes of the postholder will be of greater importance than their specific subject knowledge and expertise.

Building on progress to date, the post holder will play the leading role in launching the Business School and re-positioning the Solent offer as a high quality academically vibrant institution that meets economic, social and industrial needs bringing together teams to address global and regional challenges in thematic areas.  You will be responsible for creating the business plan for the School as part of the 2025 Strategic Plan, working in partnership with external bodies, academics and our specialist teams to increase income from external sources and create a high quality student experience, an exciting culture and increased impact. With responsibility for a team of academics, you will build on a successful track record in business leadership and/or academic senior leadership in higher education. You will also develop productive and influential relationships with the local business community, national regulatory bodies, other higher education institutions, Government agencies and industry.


Strategic Leadership

As part of the Faculty’s Senior Management Team:

  • Actively contribute to the development and success of the University assuring the achievement of strategic targets including KPIs and operational goals; and
  • Ensuring the School and University are correctly positioned in the market place for the short and longer term with an appropriate portfolio including UG and PG courses, apprenticeships and research.

Academic Leadership

  • Lead and develop a strong leadership team for the School;
  • Lead the academic and curriculum development for the School, identifying trends in student demand and anticipating emerging requirements;
  • Ensure that the academic curriculum inspires and challenges our students, is fit for the future through innovative methods of delivery and meets the highest quality standards and the offer is ambitious, attractive and sector leading;
  • Ensure compliance with institutional performance expectations within the HE sector e.g. the OfS, Designated Quality Body;
  • Embed the University’s core values with specific emphasis on academic quality and inclusivity;
  • Develop and foster academic research and scholarship within the School to inform the curriculum as well as appropriate knowledge transfer activities to enhance the standing of the School’s discipline areas, build a vibrant research culture and deliver strong research outcomes to feed into REF;
  • Ensure that the work of the School has measurable external impact outside of the University enriching the cultural value and impact across a number of contexts on a regional, national and international basis; and
  • Take responsibility for all collaborative partnerships linked to the School.


  • Provide a collaborative leadership approach which is inclusive of professional services, University values and cross discipline working;
  • Ensure that there is effective communication with staff across the School and there are appropriate mechanisms to enable this;
  • Agree and achieve School targets, budgets and objectives, utilising management information and active performance management;
  • Provide strong leadership to create a positive team spirit and maximise people potential and staff engagement;
  • Ensure the School sets and achieves realistic student recruitment targets; and
  • Ensure the allocation of appropriate workloads within the School.

General Duties

  • Deputise for others as required;
  • Contribute fully to the Faculty management structure;
  • Represent the School on cross-University and Faculty business activity;
  • Develop and foster strong and appropriate links externally;
  • Contribute in a flexible and constructive manner to other responsibilities that may be assigned from time to time;
  • Undertake as appropriate some personal scholarship and research in a relevant field of endeavour;
  • Occasional evening and weekend working;
  • Overseas / overnight business travel;
  • Demonstrate the University’s values of respect, ownership, integrity, engagement, inclusivity and teamwork;
  • Ensuring accurate input of data into university systems including the appropriate handling of data in accordance with established University policies and procedures to safeguard the integrity of data; and
  • To undertake other duties commensurate with this post as required.




  • A doctorate is desirable or alternatively sufficient professional experience to be academically credible at professorial level;
  • Evidence of Continuing Professional Development;
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) with aim of achieving Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy within 3 years of commencement date in post (if not already SF-HEA); and
  • Relevant professional qualification/ membership of a professional body appropriate for the Business School.


  • Significant management experience in an HE institution of a similar or larger size;
  • Successful experience of using effective leadership and management competencies to create a high performing team that delivers growth;
  • Delivery of outstanding learning, teaching and assessment practice, that is reflected in metrics and rankings such as TEF;
  • Knowledge and utilisation of quality assurance and enhancement policies and procedures especially in relation to external partnerships;
  • Experience of building capacity and capability of staff in relation to scholarship and research;
  • Evidence of sustained personal track-record of curriculum transformation or research and scholarship; and
  • Experience in business or commercial context outside of HE.

Skills, Knowledge & Abilities 

  • Highly regarded academic and people leader;
  • Successful experience of performance management, monitoring against agreed targets in a supportive environment;
  • Self-confident and resilient with well-developed influencing and persuasion skills;
  • Enhanced negotiation skills;
  • Well-developed verbal and written communication skills, including report writing;
  • Strong business skills and commercial acumen and ability to manage budgets and grow student numbers;
  • Good analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Ability to enable and gain commitment to organisational change;
  • Flexible and adaptable, entrepreneurial, willing to challenge, innovate and change the orthodox; and
  • A commitment to live and promote the University values and leadership behaviours.

Terms of appointment

A competitive salary will be negotiated with the successful candidate. Professorial appointment (including via teaching and learning practice) will be offered on satisfaction of criteria.

We offer a range of workplace benefits, including:

  • competitive holiday entitlement, plus statutory bank holidays;
  • a contributory pension scheme;
  • annual performance and development reviews;
  • a relocation scheme for staff who live more than 50 miles away from the University (subject to eligibility);
  • interest-free travel loans;
  • on-site gym, sporting facilities and a range of wellbeing initiatives; and
  • discounts on a range of services including healthcare, insurance, mortgages and independent financial / legal advice.

Equality & Diversity

At Solent, we don’t just accept difference, we celebrate it and support it, for the benefit of our people, our students, staff and our community.

The University’s equality objectives are integral in promoting and achieving fair treatment and equality for all and as part of this, we aim to foster a community with a culture of transparency, mutual trust and respect devoid of hatred and intolerance.

University staff can join our LGBT+ staff network – a supportive social group for employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, or are questioning their sexuality or gender identity. This group also supports many events both on-campus and in the local community, including the Human Library and Southampton Pride.

Solent also has a well-established Equality and Wellbeing committee, made up of students and staff, to proactively assist us in providing an excellent people experience underpinned by our values, and our genuine commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity, irrespective of personal or protected characteristics.

This committee plays a key role in ensuring equality and diversity across the University, and leads on wellbeing initiatives, such as the introduction of our Mental Health and Wellbeing vision for both staff and students, launched earlier this year.

We believe that all our people should be treated fairly, regardless of their age, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender. As part of this, Solent University is committed to continuing to work on closing the gender pay gap and is in the process of creating an updated action plan to determine the necessary steps to make this happen.

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 Elyse Turner-Pearce on +44(0)7808 648 559.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 10 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 AQ953.