Policy Advisor/Director of Policy to the Vice-Chancellor


27th October 2017

Role purpose:

Working directly to the Vice-Chancellor, you will be responsible for providing pro-active executive support across communications, policy, operational and strategic matters to the Vice Chancellor, alongside the University’s senior managers.

You will be responsible for leading the University’s external relations and events operation, coordinating and delivering policy and parliamentary affairs output, Vice Chancellor communications (including speeches), high-level research, policy briefings, corporate message development and branding, stakeholder management, consultation responses and presentations for internal & external audiences.

You will supervise and manage the work of the Policy & Events Assistant and External Relations Officer alongside the Events & Sponsorships Manager, supporting the delivery of team duties and responsibilities in the Vice Chancellor’s Office. You will work closely with the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Assistant in co-ordinating and managing the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

You will maintain and develop strong relationships and networks across the senior leadership of the University, with the communications team in particular, and with key University partners locally, nationally and internationally.
Main Duties & Responsibilities

1. Brief and advise the Vice Chancellor and his senior team on matters relating to the higher education policy, funding and regulatory environment, and across other relevant parliamentary and government business.

2. Research, analyse and present information in a suitable format to be used in reports, presentations or as background materials – this will include the drafting of regular reports to the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group (VCEG), Board of Governors, Academic Board and other internal and external audiences.

3. As lead speechwriter for the Vice Chancellor (and other senior staff as appropriate), you will prepare speeches and presentations to the highest-standard for internal and external events, academic conferences, policy seminars, University staff meetings, and graduation ceremonies.

4. Oversee arrangements and support for VIP events and visits of dignitaries to the University, as may be required. Lead and coordinate key events as required including public lectures held by the Vice Chancellor and ensuring arrangements and support is in place for external speakers.

5. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with members of the VCEG, Board of Governors, VIPs, representatives of national and local agencies and academic and professional staff within the University.

6. Contribute to the strategic development of the University, and assist the Vice Chancellor on the identification of key strategic challenges and opportunities facing the sector and the University, through membership of the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group, Corporate Management Team and Strategic Leadership Team.

7. Work with other key senior staff to develop and manage external stakeholder relationships and establish strategic and long-term links with key influencers that support the University’s strategic ambitions, across policy, development, research and communications.

8. Oversee any crisis communication management plans and activities as appropriate, working with senior VCEG colleagues and the Director of MARC and Head of Communications.

9. Lead seminars and briefings for staff, students and governors on issues of higher education politics and policy. Chair the University’s monthly Strategic Leadership Team meetings, working with the Vice Chancellor to set the agenda for these meetings, including liaison with external speakers.

10. Liaise with the Students’ Union on matters of partnership with the University, in particular the role of the President of BedsSU as a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group.

11. Support (and represent) the Vice Chancellor at the University’s key events, public events and on other important occasions, as required. This may involve some out of hours working and overseas travel.

12. Responsible for any policy or communications staff assigned to the Vice Chancellor’s Office either on a permanent or temporary basis.

13. Facilitate and drive community engagement through proactive interaction with key community leaders and encouraging widening participation, public engagement and partnerships with local businesses.

14. Leadership of projects and activities assigned from time to time, including chairing project boards and working groups on behalf of the Vice Chancellor as required.

15. Liaise with the Vice-Chancellor’s Personal Assistants responsible for the day-to-day management of the Vice-Chancellor’s diary supporting prioritisation of event/time allocation in line with the University’s corporate agenda. Handling urgent responses for the Vice-Chancellor and ensuring that appropriate action is taken.

16. Actively support the Vice-Chancellor in maintaining and raising the profile of the University and its mission.


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