I would like to tell you about three new senior Professional Services posts which are being established.

  • Deputy Registrar - Education and Research
  • Deputy Registrar - Infrastructure and Environments
  • Deputy University Secretary

These new roles will strengthen our senior leadership capacity and make the Professional Services leadership structure more suitable for our current size and future growth. The current structure was established in the early 2000’s, when we had 10,000 students, fewer than 1400 Professional Services staff and fewer than 500 academic staff with research responsibilities. We are now approaching 17,000 students and 2253 Professional Services staff and 843 academic staff with research responsibilities. 

Our strategic plan and supporting strategies outline our ambitions for Essex – and additional senior leadership in Professional Services will play an important role in ensuring we are able to achieve these. Our focus on performance, customer service, and managing change will be central to our ability to do so – and these roles will ensure we build both the resilience and capacity we need to thrive. 


The new roles are not just needed to help manage our growth in numbers of students and staff - the pandemic and recovery provide us with challenges and opportunities. We need to ensure we are able to move at pace, respond to the changes in the external environment, to seize the opportunities presented to us and deliver a transformational education for our students.  

Our Professional Services underpin our education and research mission and it is important that they are fit for the future.  Council has asked us to ensure we have the senior capacity and resilience we need in Professional Services to drive our plans forward in light of all of these factors. 

During October, we will be commencing the process of filling these new roles, in line with the University’s recruitment policy. We will be looking for people with the ambition and Essex Spirit to help drive us forward and who match our passion for excellence in research and education. 

The new structure

The new structure involves the creation of clusters of Professional Services activities to support more integrated approaches to supporting our academic activities, the digital and physical environments in which we work and learn and the compliance and regulatory obligations that we need to meet.  In order to establish this clustered approach, three new senior leadership roles within the Professional Services leadership team are being created. 

  • Deputy Registrar - Education and Research
  • Deputy Registrar - Infrastructure and Environments
  • Deputy University Secretary 

More about the new roles 

Deputy Registrars

Five of the current Professional Services sections will be grouped into two new areas, each under the leadership of two new Deputy Registrar posts, these are:  

Deputy Registrar Education and Research

  • Academic Section;
  • Library & Cultural Services
  • REO;
  • and to include, liaison with the Students’ Union. 

Deputy Registrar Infrastructure and Environments

  • Estates
  • Campus Services;
  • Digital Innovation and Technology Services 

Other sections in Professional Services - People and Culture; Communications and External Relations; and Finance, Planning and Data Insight will continue to report to the Registrar and Secretary.  

Deputy University Secretary

This role will draw together responsibility for a range of compliance and regulatory obligations that the University is obliged to meet, as well as supporting our own governance processes that enable us to fulfil our institutional responsibilities.  

These will include sourcing legal advice, regulatory compliance, information governance and University committee management.

We will update colleagues on appointments as they are made.