Chief of Staff and Director of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office Ref: 86134

School/department: Vice-Chancellor's Office (VCO)
Hours: Full Time
Contract: Permanent 
Reference: 86134
Salary: Competitive
Placed on: 17 June 2022
Closing date: 15 July at 5pm BST
Expected interview date: 06 September 2022
Expected start date: TBC

Job description

The University of Sussex has challenged convention since its foundation in 1961. Its modernist campus, progressive academics and creative professional services staff inspire students who choose to learn and live there. With its expressions of radicalism, critical thinking and, at times, dissent, the University of Sussex has a long tradition of academic experimentation and innovation. This culture has made a real difference to the lives of many students, and those who benefit from its research and wider endeavours. Its research, ranked 27th in the UK for ‘Research Power’ and ‘Market Share’ in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, and 21st in the UK and joint 151st in the world in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, creates new agendas, contributes new knowledge, and provides new ideas and solutions that are helping to re-shape the world for the better. Research with Impact is one of the key pillars of the Sussex 2025 strategy, and the University is proud of the contribution it is making to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Sussex has recently appointed its ninth Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sasha Roseneil. Within this context, the Chief of Staff & Director of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office is a new post established to provide high level support for the Vice-Chancellor. The Chief of Staff serves as a senior advisor to the Vice-Chancellor and reports directly on a wide variety of executive duties in order to ensure that the outputs of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office are commensurate with a world-leading university. The Chief of Staff also coordinates the execution of institution-wide projects undertaken by the Vice-Chancellor as well as handling queries, concerns, issues, and requests on their behalf. Acting as a central point of contact they will communicate with, and help coordinate, University of Sussex’s Executive Group to address complex issues and move forward strategic priorities.

The successful candidate will have an exceptionally high degree of intellectual acuity and emotional intelligence, evidenced by a significant track record of making complex, independent judgments at a senior level. This experience will have been developed within large, complex organisations where an ability to engage with and influence a broad range of stakeholders has proven critical. Experience of handling confidential and sensitive materials and situations is essential and exposure to rapidly changing policy environments highly desirable. Strong problem-solving skills, an ability to juggle multiple competing priorities and a high degree of personal resilience are all key characteristics of the role, as is a flair for collaboration underpinned by a strong commitment to equity, accountability, and delivery.

This is an outstanding opportunity for an individual who is genuinely committed to the mission and ethos of the University of Sussex and the wider purpose and values of higher education to make a significant impact, at the most senior levels, within a truly world-leading, world-changing university.

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification Ref: 86134 [PDF 4.88MB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

Visa Sponsorship Queries:

This role has been assigned an eligible SOC code and meets the salary requirements for Skilled Worker Sponsorship if full time. Please consult our Skilled Worker Visa information page  for further information about Visa Sponsorship.

How to apply

For a confidential discussion regarding this position, please contact search advisor, Alex Albone, at Berwick Partners (an Odgers Berndtson company) via

Further information, including a candidate brochure, can be found at  

Applications should consist of a curriculum vitae detailing relevant qualifications and experience, full employment history and achievements. CVs should be accompanied by a covering letter describing briefing how you feel you meet the criteria outlined in the Job Specification, your achievements, why the appointment is of interest, and what you’d like to achieve in the role.

Download our terms and conditions summary for Administrative Staff and Other related faculty [PDF 12.54KB]

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