2020 applicants
New vacancy - Director of People and Culture

Background to the role

Who are we?

The work of the People and Culture section covers employee relations and reward, organisational development and health, safety and wellbeing. It is home to around 85 members of staff.

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The University’s Strategy

People are at the heart of the University’s Strategy.

Our purpose, as set out in the University Charter, is “to advance education, scholarship, knowledge and understanding by teaching and research, for the benefit of individuals and society at large”. Our first priority is to inspire, empower and support all students and staff across academic departments and professional services sections to fulfil their potential in contributing to the University’s vision and ambitions for 2019-25.

‘We looked for people who would work together, and who were in sympathy with the University programme and determined to see it through.’ (Albert Sloman, Reith Lectures)

Our ability to improve people’s lives through excellence in education and research is built on the talents and capabilities of our people. In the period 2019-25, we will recruit students and staff who are committed to contributing to our mission of excellence in education and research for the benefit of people and communities. Our first priority will be to develop and enable every student and every staff member to realise the full potential of their Essex Spirit. The work of the People and Culture Section is central to this aim.

The People and Culture Section

The University of Essex has been challenging conventions since its establishment in 1964. Our staff and students today remain committed to pushing at the frontiers of knowledge, asking difficult questions and not being satisfied with easy answers. As an employer, the University of Essex wants to harness this critical spirit as a basis for the development of an outstandingly creative, fulfilling and successful community of staff and students, working together to deliver excellence in education and excellence in research.

Our University has ambitious plans. We know that in order to achieve them, we need HR systems, policies and practices that are promoting actively our commitment to excellence. We have embarked on this journey and made significant progress, but we know there is further that we need to travel. As our new Director of People and Culture, you will play a lead role in creating the environment in which the University’s staff can have the most profoundly positive impact on both our students’ development and on the creation of new ideas and knowledge for the benefit of society more widely.

The remit of the People and Culture Section of the University is wide. The dedicated teams that work here look after our human resources functions, such as employee relations and reward, and also play a central role in developing our organisation, through the provision of tailored and innovative learning and training opportunities for our staff and in supporting our academics to provide technology-enhanced learning for our 16,000 students. The Section is also home to our Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing team, which provides occupational health services to our 4,000 employees and which also manages our Health and Safety Advisory Service. The Section covers all three of our campuses, in Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

The work of the People and Culture is at the heart of the University’s life, giving us the power, through our focused and creative workforce, to deliver excellent teaching and research and the inspiration to continue to change.

The University – Purpose and Vision

The purpose of our University is to contribute to society through excellence in education and research, for the benefit of individuals and communities. Achieving excellence in both education and research and ensuring that all our activities support these two equal priorities, lie at the heart of all that we do here.

Our commitment is to offer our students a transformational educational experience, encompassing both academic and extra-curricular activities, and providing them with the opportunity to fulfil their potential as individuals. We believe that our students are members of our living and learning community, with a licence to shape what goes on around them at the University and a responsibility for their own development as learners and globally engaged citizens. Our staff are committed to achieving excellence in education by providing intellectually stimulating, research-led programmes of study, based on creative approaches to learning and teaching and reflective of our commitment to innovation in curriculum design and delivery.

Our commitment to research with global impact also informs all that we do. Our broad-based research across our three faculties (Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science and Health) encompasses both deep subject expertise as well as peaks of interdisciplinary excellence. Researchers from across the University contribute to our ground-breaking work in human rights, quantitative social science, and data analytics.

We are also proud of our track record of business engagement. Our commitment to this area has been consolidated by a £50m investment in our science and research park, the Knowledge Gateway, which covers 43 acres of parkland and is an integral part of our Colchester Campus. Building on our world leading expertise in data science, we are making significant investments in business-focused data analytics, having created an Institute of Analytics and Data Science, which is based on the Knowledge Gateway.

Wivenhoe Park aerial view image
Ready for the challenge?

Apply today for the chance to join the University of Essex and become the new Director of People and Culture

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Telephone: 01206 876559