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Operations Manager

Requisition ID:  22939

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  12-Sep-2022


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Salary: £32,348 to £34,308 with progression to £42,155 per annum


Closing Date: 11 October 2022


The Role


The Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering is seeking an experienced and highly motivated Operations Manager to join the Professional Services team. This is an exciting and challenging role, and you will be responsible for leading the development of strategies and plans to successfully meet objectives and targets for all operational activity within the School of Mathematics and Statistics. 
You will inspire, lead and develop both the team and individuals responsible for the administration, planning and coordination of operational activity across the School including estate planning, transactional processing in relation to finance and purchasing, and support to strategic planning activity.  You will also be the professional services lead for several areas including Health and Safety management, and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.  You will work closely with the School Manager and Education Manager to ensure that all operational activity is robust and effectively supports our day to day activity while allowing the School to deliver against strategic goals.  Developing effective working relationships and network/sharing good practice with the other Operations Managers within the Faculty will be required.


You will be a proactive, innovative and highly organised individual, with evidence of successful development and implementation of policy, procedure, and change processes. You will have a strong commitment to sharing best practice in a culture of continuous improvement, in addition to excellent interpersonal skills.  You will have demonstrable experience of building effective working relationships with academic and professional service stakeholders and senior management. You will be a graduate (or equivalent) with significant experience of working in an education or similar large and complex environment.  


For more information about the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, please click here.


We’re celebrating 150 years of Science, Agriculture and Engineering. Although a huge amount has changed over the last 150 years, one thing has stayed the same: our commitment to making a difference. We’re educating the next generation of experts and tackling the biggest challenges facing our planet. Our innovative work has always focused on making a difference to people’s lives and you can be part of it. 


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.


The appointment is a permanent role and is available immediately, offered on a 0.8FTE to full-time basis.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples.


For informal queries regarding either the role or the project, please contact Mrs Christine Wright, School Manager – Mathematics, Statistics and Physics (


Key Accountabilities

  • Take overall responsibility for ensuring that all the School’s activities relating to management services are carried out effectively and with a commitment to enhanced efficiency and quality, identifying and implementing innovative changes where appropriate
  • Lead and develop a multi-functional team responsible for the management of operations in the School including people transactions, colleague development, estates, purchasing, finance, planning, school executive support and governance
  • Provide strategic, and operational support to the Head of School, School Manager and School Executive in the delivery of the School’s strategic plan. To be responsible for the development and implementation of the school’s operational plan to manage the process of workload allocation, working closely with the Deputy Head of School
  • Lead on the strategic analysis and presentation of relevant management information for the School with a view to identifying key trends, opportunities, and challenges, and recommending the appropriate action to address these. To lead on development of KPIs and agreed targets for the School
  • Take an active part, working alongside the Head of School/School Manager, in the management of budgets, having input to the planning process to ensure that finances are appropriately and efficiently managed
  • Take an active part in the development of the School Strategic Estate Plan and other capital plans, working with the School Manager and Deputy Head of School. Specifically, on the development of a detailed 5-year space plan with a 10-year horizon outline projection for the School to feed into the Faculty and University’s Estate Strategic Plan
  • Ensure support for the development and implementation of a strategy for engagement, employability, and enterprise between the school and major partners, working with the NU Solve Manager
  • Hold senior administrative responsibility for the global development of the School, developing emerging and existing links with key global partners and to explore and lead the development of academic initiatives. To work closely with the Deputy Director of Operations to ensure that School and Faculty global priorities are aligned and to gain maximum potential from these relationships
  • Be the administrative lead on the development of a culture of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) in the School, including the development of the school strategy for EDI, Athena SWAN and other external charter mark submissions and provision of data relating to EDI for internal monitoring and review purposes and external requirements
  • Lead on the development and implementation of policies relating to Health and Safety within the School for all desk-based operation/activity working closely with the designated Safety Officer for lab activity, as appropriate.  Developing/delivering student/staff briefings/induction and ensuring appropriate monitoring systems are in place.  Developing an appropriate action plan for relevant areas of the recent HASMAP audit report.  Ensuring appropriate links with other building users through the Herschel Building User Group
  • Lead and deliver School and Faculty projects.  To design and develop new and innovative projects and ideas, to request and closely monitor resources to ensure successful project completion
  • Any other duties within the scope and general nature of the grade which may be required


The Person 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Knowledge of the wider HE environment and sector bodies 
  • Knowledge of HE planning activity and management information
  • Knowledge of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion practice and policies
  • Excellent numeracy and IT skills, together with a high level of competency and confidence in handling and manipulating data from a diverse range of sources
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including negotiating influencing and relationship building and developing and working as part of a team
  • Evidence of a proactive, creative and flexible approach to problem-solving. A ‘can-do’ approach
  • Experience of issues relating to Higher Education in a research-intensive University
  • Evidence of the ability to contribute effectively and creatively to the development, communication and implementation of policy
  • Experience of strategic analysis, such as scenario analysis
  • Performance against target, benchmarking, comparator analysis and analysis of League Tables and similar to identify high level implications
  • Proven experience and skills in staff management & leadership, the ability to motivate and develop members of a multi-functional team, and a demonstrated ability to lead by example


  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of the University’s Policies, Procedures and Regulations

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Acts in a collaborative, inclusive, transparent and open manner, acting with integrity and able to build high levels of trust
  • Has the ability to see the “big picture”, to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues
  • Understands and makes sense of complex or conflicting data and different perspectives of stakeholders and University areas/faculties/etc
  • Uses clear, concise and accurate communication, tailoring the approach accordingly and encouraging a two-way communication process
  • Encourages and supports a free flow of communication and information across own area, and the wider University where appropriate
  • Sets own priorities in conjunction with team and area objectives and has the ability to quickly identify what is important and act accordingly
  • Uses systems and tools to ensure records and audit trails are clear and up to date



  • Degree or equivalent level qualification plus experience in a similar role or significant vocational experience, demonstrating development through progressively more demanding, relevant roles



The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 22939