Department Manager

Durham, United Kingdom
£41,526 - £49,553 per annum
Friday, 2 October 2020
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term, Maternity Cover
Full Time

Durham Centre for Academic Development

Grade 8: - £41,526 - £49,553 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 31 August 2021
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 03-Nov-2020, 7:59:00 AM

This post is for maternity cover and we welcome applications for an internal secondment as well as those looking for a fixed term position

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.

OUR VALUES: We are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide a comprehensive service and deliver the efficient administration and governance of the University.

Overall family purpose

Deliver direct and indirect services to stakeholders.

  • Provide advice and answer queries as part of an enquiry-desk/help-desk function.
  • Respond to and manage requests for information and resources.
  • Deliver services to meet regulatory requirements and procedures.
  • Plan and deliver a joined-up approach to University business and people services.
  • Align business processes and services to meet operational and strategic policy objectives. 
  • Deliver business processes to ensure effective management, governance and the economic viability of the University.
  • Encourage, collaborate and participate in the development of productive cross-institution relationships and working.
  • Provide excellent professional services that meet strategic and operational goals and business needs.
  • Carry out monitoring, analysis, development and planning to design new services and service updates for continuous improvement whilst meeting changes in regulations.
  • Engage with specialist professionals, consultants, and suppliers to exchange knowledge and facilitate partnership working.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering Professional Services across the University;
  • A joined-up approach to University professional services, regardless of location or line management;
  • A culture and practice of continuous improvement;
  • Design services that meet business need;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

The Department and role purpose

DCAD is……a resource open to all students

Offering a wide range high quality educational programmes and opportunities to enhance learning, to ensure that all students, no matter what their need, have the opportunity to realise their full potential.

…an educational partner for life

Engaging learners at all points – pre-sessional, undergraduate, postgraduate and throughout their professional development – within a lifelong community. Because knowing how to learn, is knowing how to teach.

…an opportunity to develop pedagogic skills and new practice

Delivering professional development programmes for careers at all stages: from training for teaching practitioners in their early years, to supporting experienced practitioners to hone their craft. Pushing the boundaries of pedagogic practice and building bridges between scholarly research and teaching practice.

…a forum to share best practice

Providing regular scholarship events, conferences and networking opportunities. Designing platforms for educators, both new and experienced, to share and learn from each other.

The Department Manager role requires an excellent all-rounder with the ability to:

  • Work at a strategic level but with an operational focus to support the development and implementation of department strategy in learning and teaching and research.
  • Lead and manage the departmental professional services team both in business as usual and also in ensuring responsiveness to change, maximising administrative capacity to deliver departmental strategy.
  • Act as a key channel of communication between academic staff and professional services staff, both within the department and across all academic, College and other professional services departments.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide expert professional subject and/or managerial and leadership expertise.
  • Manage and develop service, infrastructure and people performance across the professional support team of the department, ensuring alignment with strategic priorities.
  • Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews.
  • Recruit, induct, train and develop new team members.
  • Help to shape the skills and expertise of future team members and design work structures to meet operational and strategic goals.
  • Handle the vast majority of welfare issues within a team, referring more complex welfare issues to appropriate support services/senior management.
  • Liaise with key stakeholders and engage in internal and external networks to inform service development.
  • Contribute to the implementation of strategic planning and development of the department across a range of activities, making recommendations to the Head of Department and Senior Management Team.
  • Within agreed University frameworks, lead on the design, implementation and monitoring of departmental policy and quality standards, procedures and systems to ensure effective working and continuous improvement.
  • Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments, providing high level advice.
  • Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development.
  • Monitor all activities and processes to ensure an effective level of service is maintained and all transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards.
  • Ensure all stakeholder-facing staff provide an accessible, friendly and professional service by shaping processes for inducting and developing staff.
  • Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data.
  • Take an active role in departmental and University business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service.
  • Effective administrative resource management to include allocating and monitoring financial budgets, staff and non-staff resources.
  • Analyse stakeholder feedback, implementing and reviewing service provision.

Role responsibilities:

  • Manage quality and regulatory audit process for student and staff services over-arching systems and procedures.
  • Work with team members and stakeholders to build and maintain excellent working relationships.
  • Provide professional guidance to stakeholders regarding welfare, employment and wellbeing.
  • Produce communications for promotion and reporting purposes, designing and structuring information and fact, applying creative and innovative principles to influence and engage.
  • Deliver professional expertise with investigative and service methodologies, make recommendations and identify priorities to achieve business outcomes and objectives.
  • Maintain an oversight of the service and performance metrics to provide analysis of management information and reports for higher level managers and committees, working in collaboration with the Faculty Office and Strategic Planning Office.
  • Represent the service and University at promotional events and contribute to the delivery of presentations at conferences.
  • Develop external relations, identify and develop opportunities for communities of practice, employers, alumni and donors via extra-curricular activities and increased levels of participation.
  • Manage administrative priorities and monitor their successful completion ensuring that the teaching, research and other activities of the department are effectively underpinned by appropriate support provision.
  • Develop strong relationships with other departments, in particular the Faculty Office and central administrative departments, with a view to forging an understanding of organisational policy and operational issues and developments.
  • Provide information, costings and analysis of statistics to make written recommendations to support strategic decision making.
  • Deputise for more senior managers as required.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  • Professional practitioner with specialist knowledge and expertise used to influence events and activities within the organisation.
  • Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines. 
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  • Ability to contribute to planning at operational and strategic levels.
  • Demonstrable people, leadership and management skills.
  • Experience of developing and leading significant organisational change.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.
  • Track record of management and development experience and/or an enhanced management qualification applied across a large service team or teams.

Realising Your Potential Approach


  • Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, demands and changing roles. Seeing change as an opportunity and being receptive to new ideas.
  • Adapting departmental plans to reflect changes in the wider environment
  • Creating a climate that encourages innovation and receptivity to change
  • Leading by example in supporting the University to break with traditional methods
  • Communicating upwards to influence policy formulation


  • To embrace diversity by promoting and maintaining an inclusive and supportive work and study environment that enables all members of our University community to achieve their full potential.
  • Being fair and objective when selecting staff and choosing on the basis of ability
  • Act responsibly by monitoring staff workloads to ensure fair work allocation
  • Respecting confidentiality and demonstrating sensitivity if a team member wishes to discuss an equality and diversity issue with you and then taking appropriate action
  • Ensuring communication with the team is regular, clear and consistent to create an open, transparent working environment
  • Developing awareness of the wellbeing of all members of the team and supporting them appropriately


  • Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically and with creativity to analyse problems and develop innovative and workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.
  • Being open to and applying good practice and fresh ideas from inside and outside the  University
  • Exercising judgement in line with University strategy and priorities
  • Identifying and pursuing opportunities to work in partnership with external organisations to generate and develop ideas


  • Planning and organising workloads to ensure that deadlines are met within resource constraints. Consistently meeting objectives and success criteria.
  • Critically evaluate the success of projects to disseminate lessons that can be learned
  • Being knowledgeable about key stakeholders and how they may influence the work of your department

Recruiting for this post:

In order to progress to the assessment stage of the recruitment process, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria for the role in the person specification above (including the Realising Your Potential Approach). It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider the desirable criteria but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered for those candidates who proceed to the assessment stage.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

Please ensure that you complete all of the criteria or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

How to Apply:

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What You Are Required to Submit:

  • A CV
  •  Examples of how you satisfy both the person specification and the Realising Your Potential Approach criteria. This may require completion of the 'Supporting Evidence' application section if specified by the recruiting manager. Please ensure you give detailed examples of how you meet these criteria if requested.
  • A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above

Interviews to take place on Friday 13 November 2020.

Contact Details: 

For further information please contact; Zoe Harrison - zoe.harrison@durham.ac.uk.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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