University of Sussex appoints Dr Tim Westlake as Chief Operating Officer

Dr Tim Westlake

The University of Sussex has appointed Dr Tim Westlake as Chief Operating Officer (COO), reporting to Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell.

Dr Westlake will be responsible for the University’s administration, encompassing the entire University estate and its professional services.

He joins Sussex from The University of Manchester, where he is currently the Director for the Student Experience, having started at the institution as Director of International Development in 2005.  In his current role, he manages a team of 600 staff with responsibility for all centrally delivered student services from initial enquiry through to graduation, including the University’s halls of residence and sports facilities.  Since he was appointed as the University’s first Director for the Student Experience, he has lead a broad range of transformational projects to significantly improve the experience of students.  Dr Westlake is currently the sponsor for a £175 million halls of residence redevelopment programme that will ultimately deliver 3,200 new bedrooms and is the business lead for a £25 million project to transform Manchester’s student information system. 

Commenting on the appointment Adam Tickell said: “I am delighted that we will be welcoming Tim to the University in August.  Tim is one of the most talented administrators in UK Higher Education and has an excellent track record in delivering transformative change.  Throughout the recruitment process we were consistently impressed with Tim’s grasp on how we need to evolve the University’s operations to ensure we are equipped for the future and able to offer the best experience possible for our students, staff and the wider community.  He joins Sussex at a pivotal time, as we embark on a number of critical infrastructure projects and are looking to step change our education offering. Importantly, Tim’s value-led drive aligns with the very DNA of Sussex.”

Dr Westlake said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12 years in Manchester, but there was a strong incentive to move to Sussex at a time when it is setting course on a new strategy that I will be able to contribute to and support in its delivery.  I was particularly attracted by the opportunity to work with the new Vice-Chancellor, delivering his ambitious and exciting plans for the University.  Sussex has a strong reputation as a research-intensive University with a distinctive history, and I am delighted to be a part of its next chapter as a global leader in higher education.”

Over a University career of more than 30 years, Dr Westlake has held both senior management and academic positions at leading UK universities.  At Cardiff University he held three roles, from 1995 – 2004, culminating in becoming the University’s Director of International Development.  Prior to this he was Senior Lecturer in Town Planning at Birmingham City University, having completed his doctorate at Cardiff. 

Dr Westlake plays an active role in the wider higher education community having held positions on a significant number of sector bodies.  He is currently Deputy Chair of UCAS Council and a board member of the Higher Education Careers Service Unit. 

Dr Westlake will take up his new position at Sussex in mid-August.






By: Benjamin Steele
Last updated: Friday, 26 May 2017