Harper & Keele - Director of Operations

Leadership Appointment of Director of Operations


Introduction from the Vice-Chancellors


A Vet School for a changing industry


A diverse profession for a diverse world


Combined resources


Harper Adams University


Keele University


Living and Working at Harper Adams


Living and Working at Keele


The Role


Person Specification


Informal enquiries and how to Apply


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion



Introduction from the Vice-Chancellors

Thank you for your interest in this post

As the potential Director of Operations for the Harper and Keele Veterinary School you will be an outstanding leader, and will play a pivotal role in the establishment and smooth running of the joint vet school. You will be jointly appointed by both institutions and be the most senior professional services staff member within the School, reporting directly to the Head of School. Working closely with the Head of School you will support the development of the newly established joint School, working across our two campuses to recruit key staff and implement the curriculum in preparation for the first cohort of undergraduates due to arrive in September 2020.

A unique partnership between two outstanding universities, the Harper and Keele Veterinary School brings together two distinctive institutions with a track record of excellence in teaching and student experience, to provide an exciting new opportunity for veterinary education. The Harper and Keele initiative will provide the UK with its first joint vet school at a time when the political landscape for higher education demands institutions to deliver the most accessible, effective, efficient and high quality student experience possible. The School’s exciting new programme will educate a new generation of graduates ready to enter the modern veterinary profession. Students will follow an integrated curriculum which has been developed by teaching teams from both institutions. Each cohort will have access to facilities and staff at both campuses with a single brand identity. Students will be accepted on to the programme in 2020/21 with an initial intake of 72 in the first year and thereafter 110 students per annum at steady state, which will build to a total of 500 students. The Harper and Keele Veterinary School aims to produce graduates who are ready for work, who are acknowledged as excellent practitioners and who benefit from the close involvement of industry from day one to ensure a sound understanding of the commercial and client-focused aspects of veterinary businesses. It is also our ambition to create a more diverse cohort of future vets in terms of gender, ethnicity, social background and motivation. Both universities have a strong reputation for widening participation in higher education and providing opportunities for all. Finally, research is integral to the continuing advancement of the profession and the establishment of the joint vet school will enable both institutions to deepen and extend their externally funded research in cognate areas. The School’s ambition is to provide the right environment for original research that is valued by businesses, governments and communities, aligned with each institution’s research priorities. Once again, thank you for the time you will have taken to consider this post. We hope that you feel inspired by the prospect of helping to shape the future of the Harper and Keele Veterinary School and we look forward to receiving your application.

Professor Trevor McMillan

Dr David Llewellyn


Vice Chancellor - Keele University

Vice Chancellor - Harper Adams University

A Vet School for a changing industry

The world of veterinary medicine is undergoing a period of exciting but challenging change. Advances in animal medicine mean that the possibilities for ground- breaking new treatments in small animal, farm animal and equine practices are constantly growing. The use of new precision farming technologies such as robotic dairies and “big data” is transforming the role of the farm practice vet - placing a greater emphasis on disease prevention. What is more, the options for non- clinical careers in the sector are increasingly strong – with new jobs opening up in education, business and innovation. These changes demand that veterinary graduates possess not only strong clinical and animal welfare skills, but also competencies in communication, business, law, ethics and academic practice. The Harper and Keele Veterinary School is committed to rising to this challenge from its foundation with a focus on broadening vet competencies in veterinary public health, professional skills, communication, ethics, well-being and business practice, as well as on core clinical skills

Both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association have highlighted the need for higher education to respond to a changing industry.

The curriculum at the Harper and Keele Vet School is constructed in such a way as to enhance the confidence, capability and resilience of the veterinary graduate. A team teaching approach means that a core of permanent Harper and Keele Vet School staff will be enhanced by practising vets from industry to ensure that graduates are “job-ready” – able to hit the ground running and practise immediately in a first opinion practice. All of the modules taught in the new school have been designed specifically with the modern vet in mind and are bespoke to the course .

A diverse profession for a diverse world

As part of rising to the challenge of producing vets with rounded skills able to thrive in a dynamic and varied industry, the Harper and Keele Veterinary School is committed to encouraging a more diverse cohort of people to take up veterinary degrees. Both universities are proud of their track records in breaking down the barriers to enter higher education and are well equipped to provide the necessary support for aspiring vets, whatever their background and circumstances. We are looking for the most committed and able vets of the future and we recognise that identifying and supporting these individuals requires a more flexible and broad approach. Both Universities will be offering a limited number of places on an integrated “year 0” or “foundation route” into the Harper and Keele Veterinary School. We also recognise that studying veterinary medicine is demanding and therefore students need the best support available to help them complete their studies successfully. In terms of teaching, both universities are in the top tier of UK universities – with Gold awards in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Both universities are also well recognised for the happiness of their students. Keele is currently the Number 1 broad-based UK university for Student Satisfaction as measured in the National Student Survey (Harper is joint 7th) and Harper Adams has been voted the No 1 university for Student Support in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards for the 4th year running.


Combined resources

The Harper and Keele Veterinary School is unique in that it provides students with access to resources from two universities.

Harper Adams University:

A 635 hectare farm All students at the Vet School will have access to Harper’s working farm, which includes all key livestock – beef, dairy, poultry, pigs and sheep – allowing students easy access to the commercial livestock facilities, which offer extensive support for learning, teaching and research. Centre for Animal Well-being will be ‘home’ for Harper and Keele Veterinary School staff and students on the Harper campus. The Centre will seek to highlight the importance of animal well-being through the delivery of high quality UG, PG and CPD courses; through interaction with industry partners and the wider veterinary and agricultural sectors; and through the engagement of relevant disciplines including engineering, business management, precision agriculture, economics and data analytics. The Veterinary Services Centre is a purpose-built facility available for teaching and research purposes, with an additional commercial component in some areas. The facility comprises a reception area and offices (for 12 members of staff), eight consulting rooms, and the hydrotherapy suite. The hydrotherapy suite is a state-of- the-art room with the benefit of both a pool and a canine underwater treadmill. The treadmill has glass sides allowing viewing from all angles. This enables students to observe movement patterns underwater that would otherwise not be visible. The suite is open to referral cases from the local area. The Companion Animal House with a wide range of small companion mammal and exotic species. This facility is due to be expanded with an extension to the current building going up in 2019 prior to the first cohort of Vet School students arriving in 2020. The new Companion Animal House will include a nocturnal species room, an isolated hospital room, and modern indoor/outdoor rabbit housing. Multiple animals of each species allow demonstration and practice of a range of management systems and husbandry techniques. The Anatomy Laboratory is a ‘wet lab’ for animal anatomy and physiology dissection classes. It has stainless steel dissection tables and a range of anatomical models. It is fully functional for formalin dissection and is positioned such that comparison with the live animal in one practical class is possible The Agri-Epi Dairy research facility In addition to Harper’s main dairy unit, the University also operates a robotic dairy unit on behalf of Agri-Epi (one of the UK agri-tech innovation centres). This has a herd of 60 Holstein/Friesian dairy cows milked through a single DeLaval robotic milking unit involved in ongoing research into animal welfare and productivity. Research environment Harper Adams has created an environment where students, staff and industry work together on research with real-world impact, improving animal welfare, tackling food scarcity, and developing new farming technologies. In 2014, the Research Excellence Framework results saw all of its work considered of international quality, and more than half world leading or internationally excellent.


Veterinary School Hub Vet students will have access to brand new facilities being developed on the Keele campus next to the existing medical school; these will include a new hub for vet students, a lecture theatre and seminar rooms, informal learning spaces, laboratories and a clinical skills lab. The Veterinary School hub will be the ‘home’ for Harper and Keele Veterinary School staff and students on the Keele campus. These facilities will be located adjacent to a new small animal first opinion practice and referral hospital independently operated by CVS Group plc, opening in autumn 2020. The new veterinary hospital will be one of a number of placement providers for veterinary students. Central Science Laboratory (CSL) This state-of-the-art building provides a student focused learning environment designed to offer new ways to learn and collaborate. This £34m investment, opening in 2019, will contain ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ labs as well as IT labs. The new facilities enable students to undertake pre-laboratory preparation so they are familiar with the theoretical concepts and practical techniques before completing experiments in the laboratory so they can maximise their learning capacity. Huxley laboratories These laboratories which have recently been expanded with an £11m investment, form the heart of the life and biomedical teaching and research accommodation at Keele and will provide a first-class environment for laboratory teaching of vet students. Keele School of Medicine Students of the Vet School will gain access to facilities within the highly regarded School of Medicine. This includes state-of-the-art anatomy facilities, lecture theatre and seminar rooms, an enhanced IT suite, resource room and multi-user laboratories. Research at Keele Keele is helping to change the world for the better by engaging in cutting-edge research. 97% of Keele University research is deemed to be world- leading, or of international importance (REF 2014). . The Harper and Keele Veterinary School is unique in that it provides students with access to resources from two universities.


Set on a 635 hectare farm in stunning Shropshire, Harper Adams is the UK’s leading specialist university tackling the future development of the world’s food production, animal sciences, engineering, land management and sustainable business. Harper Adams has been delivering animal health higher education for nearly 30 years, with Veterinary Nursing, Bioveterinary Science and Animal Behaviour and Welfare programmes proving both popular and successful. More recent additions include postgraduate and undergraduate degrees in Veterinary Physiotherapy and, new from 2018, a suite of Applied Zoology programmes. Students have access to cutting edge facilities such as the Agricultural Engineering Innovation Centre, where the future of farming is being pioneered with agricultural robots; the Elizabeth Creak Science Laboratories; a new robotic dairy, university farm, the Veterinary Services Centre; and the Regional Food Academy.

Applied research is at the heart of the university’s activity, with the work of a thriving academic community underpinning both teaching and work with the industries allied to Harper.

Harper Adams University has achieved:

for Student Support for Course and Lecturers for Job Prospects 2018 WhatUni Student Choice Awards



Best Modern University Times and Sunday Times Good Universities Guide

Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2018 for innovations in the pursuit of UK and global food security


Teaching Excellence Framework Gold 2017 and 2018

97.2% Graduate employability (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 survey)

100% of research considered of international quality, and more than half world leading or internationally excellent (REF, 2014)

Joint 7th of all UK universities for Student Satisfaction 2018 National Student Survey


Keele University was founded nearly 70 years ago on the belief that it meets the demands of a new kind of society, economy and world; principles that resonate now more than ever. Keele is a broad-based research-intensive university located in the heart of England and boasts the largest single university campus in the country. With the benefits of a rural green campus but with Stoke-on-Trent and its associated towns on the doorstep, this is a lovely environment in which to live, study and work. The campus is also home to a Keele’s highly rated Medical School which has extensive facilities on campus as well as partnerships with local NHS Trusts. Keele excels in both high quality education and research. Keele is world-renowned for the breadth of its teaching and proud of our close knit campus community. In 2018, Keele achieved Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework and was joint first in England for Student Satisfaction with Course in the Guardian University League Table (2019). The University also has an outstanding record in the National Student Survey (NSS), coming 1st of broad based universities in England in 2018 and holding this position for four out of the last five years. Keele has always taken an innovative approach to its programme development, with an emphasis on providing students with a broad-based education which develops a wide range of academic and practical skills. This approach has been very much at the heart of the development of this new programme.

Keele University has also achieved:

in England for Student Satisfaction with Course (Guardian University League Table 2019)

1st 1st

in England for overall student satisfaction 2018 National Student Survey (NSS) of broad-based public universities


1st for affordability (Marbles.com, 2016)

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold

96% Graduate employability (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education, 2017)

97% of research world leading, or of national importance (REF, 2014)


Living and Working at Harper Adams

Situated on a single campus in rural and scenic Shropshire, the University, and its surrounding area, provide an excellent working and living environment for staff and students alike, yet the University campus is only one hour from the city of Birmingham. The University was founded in 1901 following a bequest by Thomas Harper Adams. The purpose-built college was built on the original farmland of the Harper Adams estate. The University estate includes amenity areas, woodland, and a commercial farm. Harper Adams is within easy reach of Birmingham and Manchester, either by road or rail. Both cities have international airports from which many major destinations can be reached. The local town is the lively market town of Newport which has three excellent secondary schools, including a boys’ selective school and a girls’ selective high school, both of which perform exceptionally in the national schools league tables. Telford and Shrewsbury, as well as other surrounding towns and cities provide opportunities for employment for relocating partners. Birmingham is also within commuting distance from Telford railway station. The wider county has many attractions, including the World Heritage Site at Ironbridge, just to the south of Telford; Ludlow, with its famous food and arts festivals; and a wide range of agricultural events that take place during the summer season. Outdoor activities are just on the doorstep and extend to many places to visit, just over the border in Wales.

For further details about the University, please visit: www.harper-adams.ac.uk

Living and Working at Keele

Nestled in 242 hectares of countryside in the heart of the UK, many of our students and a number of our staff live, as well as study and work here: boasting a big campus but a small and cosmopolitan community. Close to rural Cheshire, Shropshire, and Derbyshire, the University is located in an ideal position, less than an hour from Manchester, Birmingham and Chester and within 1.5 hours of London on the train. The historic market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme is Keele’s nearest municipality, surrounded by a number of charming villages and hamlets. The vibrant and multicultural city of Stoke-on-Trent is less than 6 miles away from campus, providing cultural and social entertainment in the midst of its prestigious potteries heritage. In recognition of its engaging cultural scene, Stoke-on-Trent was submitted as one of the nominations for the City of Culture 2021. Within a short distance of campus, there are activities and opportunities to suit all ages and interests. From monkey forests to theme parks, boutique shops to high- street brands, entertainment complexes to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK; our location suits all individuals. For families we can boast some excellent Schools and Colleges in our vicinity, an exceptional hospital and healthcare service and many vibrant sporting and community social opportunities. On campus there is a truly international flavour, as the Keele community is drawn from over 100 countries and a wide variety of cultures.

For further details about the University, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/aboutus/aboutthearea


The Role

School/RI/Directorate: Responsible to: Responsible for:

Harper and Keele Veterinary School

Head of School

School Office Professional services staff Keele Grade 9 £51,630 - £61,618 pa


Incremental Scale:


Hours: Full time This is a pivotal role for the new Veterinary School, which is run jointly by Harper Adams University and Keele University. The post-holder who will be jointly appointed by both institutions, is the most senior professional services staff member within the School and not only has responsibility for the smooth running of the School to support the delivery of its undergraduate degree, but will need to manage the interface between two organisations and take responsibility for management of the School’s budgets and forecasts working under the direction of the Head of School. The post-holder will be based at both campuses, in order to ensure that the school is managed across the sites in a cohesive way to reflect the needs of both universities and underlines the joint nature of the programme. You will be expected to work across both campuses and manage a team of School office staff which will be based across both sites.

You will ensure the smooth running of the School taking responsibility for the organisation and operation of the School reporting directly to the Head of School.

In particular, you will ensure oversight and responsibility for the following:

a) Staff planning and recruitment, HR processes and procedures relating to all staff in the School and the interface between the two organisations

b) Administrative responsibility for Vet School budgets and forecasts making decisions on expenditure in line with the agreed business plan and financial model agreed between the two universities and within defined parameters as set by the management group and the Head of School c) Managing the school interface with departments in both institutions, and taking responsibility for the annual cycle of requirements and reporting both internal to each university and external requirements placed upon the joint Veterinary School d) Ensuring adequate provision for academic quality management functions within the School, including in relation to placements, working with the Academic Lead for Placements. e) Delivering an excellent student experience is delivered to students on both campuses utilising professional support services in both institutions and ensuring information and advice is provided and clearly signposted to students and staff within the School


Main Duties and Reponsibilities:

Work Processes and results

Finance & Facilities

• Work closely with finance staff to ensure careful monitoring of expenditure, and implementation of systems to enable full and transparent accounting for the Veterinary School • Take full responsibility for the administration of school budgets, making decisions on expenditure within agreed parameters as defined by the Joint Management Group (and in consultation with the Head of School who has ultimate authority for allocated resource deployment)

• Budget planning and reporting to the Joint Management Group

• Ensure estates, facilities and information services within the estates that primarily support the school are fit for purpose to support the successful delivery of the joint programme and both the staff and student experience, in liaison with the relevant professional service providers

Professional Services Management

• Establish and manage school office bases across both sites ensuring leadership and development of Professional Services Staff.

• Ensure student facing services are professional, responsive and fully trained

• In the initial establishment period, contribute to the development of the operational handbook and crate and maintain bespoke school material information requirements

• Work closely with admissions staff and the Head of School to facilitate the selection arrangements for applicants on to the joint programme

• Ensure all functional areas within the school (e.g. induction, timetabling, exam scheduling, inter-campus transport) are covered, working closely with professional services staff and academic staff within both institutions

• Lead on recruitment of professional services and academic staff for the new school, as directed by the Head of School

• Overseeing an excellent service to support the management of placements through a team located within the school or drawing upon wider provision at either institution, under the management of an Academic Lead for Placements • Following policies and procedures agreed for the school as outlined in the operational handbook, including the need to ensure that both universities’ registration requirements with the Office for Students are met through the effective operations of the school • To put forward recommendations for improvement of services to students to the management group, this will include report writing and the production of business cases


• To support the monitoring of School strategy and performance, including establishing and managing effective monitoring processes such as KPIs so that progress can be measured.

• Report items to the management group concerning matters of management of the school

• Provide efficient and effective governance support to the school, including relevant School committees and the provision of secretarial support to the Joint Academic Board

• To ensure that the School complies with all relevant policies and procedures as defined within the operational handbook

• To represent and act as an Ambassador for the School at regional and national events


• To support the Head of School in developing and guiding the School through its first years of operation and clearly articulating a strong vision for the School.

• Ensure provision of information for School Executive Group and Management Board meetings, contributing to strategic discussions and delivering presentations where appropriate.

• To draft customised procedures and policies for the School and joint programme for approval by the relevant bodies.

• To lead (where appropriate) and contribute to policy development and project delivery, including developing procedures for managing and delivering School projects.

• To communicate effectively across a wide range of audiences

• To ensure clear communication channels are in place between staff across both sites

• To liaise, establish and maintain positive links with external agencies and providers

• To adhere to regulations and procedures relating to data protection and information security


Main Duties and Reponsibilities:


• A key part of development of the School and its undergraduate degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery will be accreditation by the RCVS. The post-holder will be expected to manage the logistics of any accreditation visits and events and pull together the paperwork for such events, liaising closely with academic colleagues.

Partnership Development/working

• To work with commercial partners in relation to sharing of facilities, contribution to the curriculum and teaching and provision of services for students

• To ensure effective working relationships with commercial partners and other key national organisations such as the RCVS

• To oversee the smooth running of the large number of external partnerships that will be essential for the delivery of a successful School. These include industry providers as well as the relationship with RCVS and other veterinary bodies.

Personal Development / Performance

• Demonstrate a commitment to continuing Personal/Professional Development.

• Ability to observe and define priorities and timetables in the achievement of strategic and operational objectives

• Adhere to the Universities’ environmental policies and procedures and seek to promote environmental sustainability within areas of responsibility.

Equality, Diversity, Health and Safety and Strategy

• To have a strong commitment to the principles and practice of equality and diversity

• To have a thorough understanding and application of the Dignity and Respect Framework

• To take reasonable care of the Health and Safety of yourself and that of any other person who may be affected by your acts or omissions at work.

• To co-operate with both universities in ensuring as far as is necessary, that Statutory Requirements, Codes of Practice, University Policies and School/ Departmental health and safety arrangements are complied with.

This is not intended as an exhaustive list of duties or a restrictive definition of the post but rather should be read as a guide to the main priorities and typical areas of activity of the post-holder. These activities are subject to amendment over time as priorities and requirements evolve and as such it may be amended at any time by the line manager following discussion with the post holder. This post is unlikely to meet the relevant criteria to allow the University to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship. Applications from candidates who require a Certificate of Sponsorship to work in the UK will be considered against the requirements stated in the recruitment documentation. Recruitment decisions will be made in accordance with the UK Visas and Immigration guidance.


You are asked to provide details of two referees (three if you are applying for an academic or research post), including your current or most recent employer, on your application form. Referees should be able to comment on your work and/or educational background and may be approached before interview. In providing these details you are giving the University permission to request personal information about you from your referees, which may include confirmation of your previous salary, disciplinary and work history. Harper Adams University and Keele University are committed to taking positive steps to employ, keep and develop the abilities of disabled staff and has been awarded the disability symbol. We undertake to offer all applicants with a disability and who meet the minimum essential criteria an interview. If you wish to be considered under this scheme, please indicate this by selecting ‘Yes’ in the Guaranteed Interview Scheme Section of your application. You can also provide specific information of any requirements/adjustments you may require to assist you during the recruitment process within this section. The information you provide on your application will be forwarded to the recruiting area so that they may consider whether they can facilitate your requested adjustments. Please note that if you do not indicate that you wish to be considered under the Disability Confident scheme in your application, you will not be considered under this Scheme. Disability Confident


Person Specification

Criteria Headings


Qualifications/ Education/ Training

Honours degree or equivalent Leadership, management or coaching qualification equivalent management experience)

Postgraduate qualification or equivalent experience


Experience in a Higher Education environment.

Significant experience of planning and managing staffing, finances and other reso

Experience of applying IT/management information systems to administration and

Experience of working in liaison with colleagues from other institutions or partner

Experience of managing change or playing a significant part in a change process

Skills/ Aptitudes/ Competences/

An understanding of HE structures, concepts and practices

Strong networking skills and the ability to broker solutions across groups or indivi priorities

Ability to act as an ambassador for the School

Highly organised

Excellent inter-personal skills


Excellent written skills, including experience of preparing policies, procedures, pro cases.

Ability to use initiative to deal with complex situations, manage conflict and provi

An appreciation or familiarity of the complexities of multiple site working

An understanding of the nature of academic teaching and research

Calm under pressure

Sound understanding and experience of financial management


Commitment to personal development

Ability to meet the travel requirements of the post

Evidenced by


Evidenced by

e.g. ILM Level 3 or



A, I

Experience in a leadership and management role in Higher Education

A, I


A, I

Experience of working

A, I


A, I


A, I

A, I

A, I, P

Strong Data analysis skills

A, I

uals with different

A, I

Ability to manage staff in disparate locations

A, I

A, I

A, I

A, I, P

A, I

osals and business

A, I

e creative solutions

A, I

A, I

A, I, P

A, I, P

A, I

A, I

A, I


Informal enquiries and how to apply:

Informal enquiries should be made to our recruitment partners Sian Gardiner (sian.gardiner@mrgpeople. co.uk) and Ben Duffill (ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk) of The Management Recruitment Group on 0208 892 0115.

Applications should consist of a letter of application together with a curriculum vitae and should be sent to sian.gardiner@mrgpeople.co.uk and ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk.

The closing date for applications is 16 June 2019.

Interviews are scheduled to take place on 11 and 12 July 2019.

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