Chief Academic Officer

Hereford, County of Herefordshire
19 Dec 2019
End of advertisement period
19 Jan 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

NMiTE is working towards becoming a new higher education provider in Hereford. Engineering- and teaching-focussed, it will enable its future students to learn by undertaking real-world engineering and technical projects provided by employers and community groups. NMiTE hopes to break the mould in existing higher education provision – to be a disruptive game-changer in every facet of its operations and programmes. Supported by government, industry and the profession our first intake will join us as soon as we have completed the validation process. Who, what and how we teach will all be radically different to traditional engineering degrees.   

We recognise that future engineers need technical knowledge, but also that creativity, problem-solving ability, and understanding of humanities, arts, business and many other areas are all required to succeed, as well as the ability to use this knowledge in current and future professional contexts.  For these reasons our planned programmes will be open to all with the creativity, imagination and the determination to solve society’s challenges, not just those with A-level maths and physics.   Our teaching will be studio-based, problem-led, and deeply connected to industrial and social partners. 

We are now seeking to make a key strategic appointment –  Chief Academic Officer.   

The Chief Academic Officer will champion innovation in learning and education from a strategic standpoint throughout the organisation.  S/he must seamlessly support the CEO, executing a visionary institutional strategy. As CAO they will: 

  • Detail academic priorities and drive curriculum development; 
  • With the Senior Leadership Team, ensure the internal allocation of resources and services best meet the immediate needs and long-term ambitions of the institution; 
  • Work very closely with the Academic Registrar and the Head of Student Experience to ensure successful implementation of NMiTE’s vision and strategic activities relating to academic and student administration, student recruitment and admissions, student records,  student wellbeing and support, and responsibility for overall end-to-end student experience, and work in close conjunction with the leads in Digital, Culture and Infrastructure Development.

Reporting to: Chief Executive Officer

The post-holder will be expected to embody the philosophy and values of NMiTE in all aspects of their work and act as a role model and ambassador for our ground-breaking approach to higher education for the engineers of tomorrow. They will champion inclusivity, innovation and new ways of working to develop and improve the services offered to our learners and staff, with particular emphasis on cross-collaboration, collegiality, and multi-functional teamwork. A ‘can do’ attitude is essential.

S/he will work in partnership across NMiTE, developing appropriate, innovative and robust academic quality and  standards; taking responsibility for the regular review, monitoring and evaluation of key academic activities; and making a significant contribution to ensuring a positive and productive student experience that will enable NMiTE learners to become highly-skilled, highly-employable and highly-respected engineers.  The CAO will also be responsible for developing the connectivity between NMiTE and national bodies involved in higher education.  S/he will be expected to maintain a watching brief on sector-wide developments in quality enhancement and quality enhancement  in engineering and technical entrepreneurial education, and to represent NMiTE in relevant national fora.

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Recruit and induct engineering and liberal (non-engineering) educators
  • Lead, motivate & inspire the learning team – educators, technicians & support staff
  • Monitor and manage the educators’ performance programme
  • Define and implement the professional educators’ training /development programme to ensure appropriate skills
  • Facilitate a culture of exceptional performance standards and continuous improvement and ensure NMiTE constantly aspires to be agile in all it does.
  • Oversee the development and updating of educational programmes for:
    • Undergraduate
    • Degree Apprenticeships
    • Postgraduate
    • CPD
  • Ensure compliance with both internal and external academic quality standards
  • Ensure compliance with the academic requirements of validation and accreditation partners
  • Lead on the definition and monitoring of the overall student academic experience
  • Effectively manage academic relationships with partners
  • Ensure the integration of the academic staff and collaboration with all other teams at NMiTE
  • Collaborate with the CEO, other SLT members and NMiTE Board to deliver success
  • Ensure that the budget(s) relating to this area of operations are managed prudently, with spending authority to be agreed with the CEO in the budgetary cycle preceding the accountable financial year
  • Promote and support innovation in educating and learning
  • Planning, implementing and monitoring key academic initiatives
  • Advance NMiTE’s academic activities related to community engagement
  • Coordinate international academic partnerships
  • Chair the Academic Council
  • Any other duties and responsibilities commensurate with the level of responsibility of the role

Qualifications & Experience

  • A first degree or equivalent experience within an engineering discipline (E)
  • PhD qualification or equivalent (E)
  • A learning and teaching professional qualification (D)
  • Experienced senior-level practitioner with a significant background in programme development and enhancement in the UK higher education sector (E)
  • Strong strategic understanding and knowledge of the UK higher education sector and issues relating to academic and student administration (including student recruitment and admissions; student support and welfare, etc. (D)
  • Proven experience of successful senior-level leadership and management (E)
  • Experience of leading and managing directly or indirectly a diverse range of people (E)
  • Proven ability to provide strong and inspiring leadership and act as an effective member of a team, with the ability to effectively engage others beyond the confines of departmental boundaries (E)
  • Experience of managing budgets, including the successful implementation of cost savings and service efficiencies (E)
  • Strong communication, political and influencing skills, with the ability to positively engage across the range of internal and external stakeholders and members of the public (D)

(E= Essential; D= Desirable)

Cultural Alignment

  • Equality focused
  • Inclusive
  • Respectful
  • Creative
  • Honest

Our offer 

We offer a competitive benefits package, including pension scheme, life assurance, 30 days holidays (plus bank holidays & closure days), ongoing training & development. Most importantly, NMiTE offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something new.  Working at our campus in the historic city of Hereford, you will be instrumental in developing a new way of educating engineers for the 21st century. We offer you the opportunity to be the change that you want to see. 

Location: Hereford

You are encouraged to contact the Head of HR, Samantha Lewis (email: to discuss the role further.  

To Apply

To apply, please email a full academic CV and a two-minute video to explaining why you want the role and why you think you are suitable for the role  

Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in engineering education.   

The opening date for applications is Friday 20th December 2019. The closing date for completed applications is Sunday 19th January 2020.