University of Oxford - Director of Estates

Director of Estates


Executive Summary Welcome to the University of Oxford. We aim to lead the world in research and education for the benefit of society both in the UK and globally. Oxford’s researchers engage with academic, commercial and cultural partners across the world to stimulate high-quality research and enable innovation through a broad range of social, policy and economic impacts. We believe our strengths lie both in empowering individuals and teams to address fundamental questions of global significance, while providing all our staff with a welcoming and inclusive workplace that enables everyone to develop and do their best work. Recognising that diversity is our strength, vital for innovation and creativity, we aspire to build a truly diverse community which values and respects every individual’s unique contribution. While we have long traditions of scholarship, we are also forward looking, creative and cutting-edge. Oxford is one of Europe’s most entrepreneurial universities and we rank first in the UK for university spin- outs, and in recent years we have spun out 15-20 new companies every year. We are also recognised as leaders in support for social enterprise. The University’s buildings and estate are not only necessary for our academic work; they also contribute to Oxford’s reputation as a city of learning, heritage and culture. They form a vital part of the rich architecture of the city and provide a beautiful environment for visitors and Oxford residents, as well as University staff and students. Join us and you will find a unique, democratic and international community, a great range of staff benefits and access to a vibrant array of cultural activities in the beautiful city of Oxford. Gill Aitken Registrar

About the University of Oxford

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26,000 23,000 68% 46% 160

Ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2017 to 2024. A record eight consecutive years.

Students come to Oxford from more than 160 countries and territories (as of 1 December 2022).

Of our total student body is made of International students - around 12,075 students.

Of UK students admitted in 2022 were from the UK school state sector, making the majority of undergraduate students.

People applied to Oxford in 2022 with only 3,300 places available. Entry to undergraduate courses at Oxford continues to be competitive.

There are more than 26,000 students at Oxford, including 12,470 undergraduates and 13,920 postgraduates.

Building for the Future

Oxford is famous for its historic buildings, which attract millions of tourists every year, and perhaps less well known for the cutting-edge design of our most recent buildings. Conservation and excellence in design are central to our work, in order to preserve and develop the University’s estate and ensure that we provide world-leading teaching and research facilities for our staff and students. We own and manage 67 listed buildings, out of a portfolio of around 235 buildings used for teaching, research and administration. We also own 140 commercial properties including offices and land. Everything we do is guided by the need to reduce our environmental impact and make best use of space in a very compact city where opportunities to expand are limited. The oldest building that we own and manage is the 15th century Duke Humfrey’s Library (the oldest part of the Bodleian Library), which contrasts with one of the most recent – the Blavatnik School of Government.

Further background on our world class buildings can be viewed here.

We are always seeking to improve our existing facilities and accommodate the need for new space for teaching and research. To ensure we make the most effective use of the space available to us we have masterplans for a number of areas across the estate.

Background on our masterplan can be viewed here.

Recent and Current Building Projects can be viewed here.

Our Strategic Plan can be viewed here.

Our Estate The University’s estate, comprising buildings for research, teaching, learning, and administration, has been growing at around 5% a year for the last 15 years. Today there are around 260 buildings across 13 sites in and around Oxford. We aim to provide our staff and students with state-of-the-art facilities within an inspiring and historic setting, to improve opportunities for interdisciplinary working, and to minimise our environmental impact. We invest in the estate to enable new or improved ways of working; this includes the decommissioning and transformation of inappropriate spaces. How we manage and develop the estate is underpinned by our environmental policies. To support this investment, we have on average of 80 building and refurbishment projects ongoing at any one time, with an annual expenditure in excess of £100m. This cost is met through a combination of University funds, Government grants and initiatives, and donations.

Click on the pack to view our ambitious Estate Strategy.

A virtual tour of the estate can be viewed here.

The Role

Responsibilities Strategic Leadership and Contribution: • Advise on and lead the development and implementation of the University’s longer term strategic plans for estate management. • Develop and implement an agreed-upon Estates Services operational delivery plan that covers various aspects, including capital projects, minor works, repairs and maintenance, and student housing for the wider University portfolio, across Divisions and Departments. • Lead the University’s overall relationship management of the Estates supply chain. Quality and Efficiency: • Lead the University’s approach to delivering high- quality and cost-effective estate services. • Develop and deliver a rolling strategic development plan for Estates Services in collaboration with internal stakeholders. Team Management and Engagement: • Lead Estates Services by ensuring staff have a clear agenda of client focused service provisions. • Foster commitment, engagement, and professional development among team members. Continuous Improvement: • Cultivate a culture of continuous review in terms of regulations, processes development that aligns with the University’s strategic goals. • Contribute to the overall success of the University managing a wide portfolio of real estate assets.

Financial Accountability: • Be accountable for budget forecasting and management in delivering Estates Services. • Closely collaborate with the Finance Division on the Estates Budget. Capital Projects and Sustainability: • Lead or oversee relevant capital projects across the University in collaboration with Divisions, departments and external stakeholders. • Drive environmental sustainability and carbon management initiatives and policy provisions. Health and Safety Culture: • Promote and enhance the health and safety culture within Estates Services. • Promote and lead best practice approach in health and safety across the University. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: • Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements (GDPR, Health and Safety Act, ISO) across all services delivered by Estates Services. Additional security pre-employment checks This job includes the following duties which will require additional security pre-employment checks: Dealing with highly confidential University information Visiting high security buildings

The Director of Estates is a senior officer and holds a pivotal position, providing strategic leadership and overseeing the efficiency, effectiveness, growth and success of the University’s Estates Management services. The Director actively participates in decision-making related to estate planning and management in the University’s governance structure. The Director of Estates will report to the Registrar, and will work closely and in collaboration with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) and the Chair of the Building and Estates Sub- Committee. The Director will engage with a diverse range of stakeholders, both internal and external to the University and will lead the University’s overall relationship management of the Estates supply chain. The Director will be responsible for the development and implementation of the University’s Estate Strategy in line with the broader institutional strategy including the University’s sustainability agenda.

Candidates should possess appropriate professional qualifications and substantial experience at a senior management level in the field of building and/or estate management within a large and complex organisation. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate the following attributes: Person Specification 1. Excellent Managerial and Financial Skills: The ability to efficiently coordinate business operations and manage the Estates Services Department. 2. Strategic Leadership: A capacity to lead and support the strategic direction of the University, including the ongoing development and implementation of an estate strategy. 3. Leadership Experience: Previous senior leadership roles overseeing appropriately sized teams, with demonstrated ability to motivate and influence colleagues. 4. Strategic Alignment: The capability to align departmental operations with the overall objectives of the University, balancing strategic goals with the delivery of high-quality services. 5. Stakeholder Management: Experience in developing and managing relationships with external contractors and stakeholders to ensure cost-effective and timely outcomes for the University. 6. Procurement and Risk Management: Familiarity with various procurement methods and the ability to identify and mitigate financial risks for successful building project delivery. 7. Track Record of Successful Capital Projects: Demonstrated success in delivering major capital projects. 8. Sustainability Expertise: Proven experience in developing and delivering sustainability strategies across diverse estates. 9. Management Information Development: Ability to create and utilize management information to support departmental operations and meet external reporting requirements 10. Resource Prioritisation: Skill in assessing priorities for competing claims with limited resources. 11. Political Insight and Diplomacy: Sensitivity and influencing skills to navigate academic complexities.

How to Apply

The University of Oxford has engaged the services of the Management Recruitment Group, to whom applications should be sent.

To apply, please submit a comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV) along with a short covering letter that sets out your interest in the role and highlights any pertinent experience/expertise that you would bring to the position. For a confidential conversation about this opportunity, please contact: Michael Hewlett Ben Duffill

Please email your application to

Recruitment Programme Closing date for applications is Sunday 2nd June 2024. MRG preliminary interviews are scheduled for w/c 10th June. The 1st stage interviews at the university will be held on Friday 28th June 2024 followed by the 2nd Stage interviews on Monday 1st July 2024.

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