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Executive Director Estates & Facilities

Shape our success

This is an exciting time to join the University of Southampton.

We are seeking a visionary Executive Director of Estates and Facilities who shares our commitment to deliver our University Strategy designed to enable our people to inspire excellence to achieve the remarkable and build an inclusive world.  We have just agreed our Estates Strategic Plan and are embarking on a major programme of new buildings and upgrades of our campus and facilities.  This includes major investment to improve our student sports facilities, the creation of a new Medical Health Research building, the centre-piece of our £100M Campaign for Southampton and supporting student growth areas including the Business School and Winchester School of Art.

The Executive Director of Estates and Facilities provides strategic leadership at the University’s Estates and Facilities directorate.  They will instil a culture of high performance, ensuring that we have a safe and engaging environment to work in. With people at the heart of the University’s strategy, we are committed to delivering an estate that provides a transformative student and staff experience.  Additionally, our aim is to ensure all our campuses can meet the future needs of our students and staff, with new and refurbished buildings, with accessibility and sustainability at their core, underpinning our plan to reach net-zero across our estate and operations by 2030.

This is a fantastic opportunity to take your career to new heights.

Reporting directly to the Vice-President (Operations) with strong links to the Senior Vice-President, you will have University-wide oversight of all activities relating to the delivery of the estates strategic plan and have regular interactions with the University Executive Board and governing body. As a member of the Professional Services Executive Group, you will represent the University externally to enhance our reputation and contribute to our development activities.

About you

We are currently number 78 of the world’s top 100 universities* and this post is key to advancing our position in these rankings.

You will provide visible and inspirational leadership for Estates and Facilities at all levels.  Ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of the physical infrastructure including maintenance, development and operational services.

You will lead on major projects, programmes and other building initiatives that have a significant impact across the University and play a pivotal role in the development and prioritisation of the University’s long-term estates strategic plan.

You will work closely with the University’s Executive Board to enable and support key strategies including the estates strategy and Capital Projects Programme, ensuring there are effective structures in place and a coherent approach taken to governance and management.  You will maximise visual and functional coherence across all campuses and infrastructure and ensure that the estates masterplan objectives are adhered to and reviewed over time to reflect growth and other changes.

With a deep understanding of providing estates services to demanding users requiring a high standard of service, you will be a proven leader with extensive experience of managing major estate programmes and have experience of managing substantial operational and project budgets.

As well as a proven ability to translate strategic vision into reality you will be able to develop frameworks which turn plans into actions. With excellent communication skills you will be able to influence at a senior level, building strong relationships and working collaboratively to deliver objectives and cultivate external networks with the wider community. Alongside your exceptional communication and influencing skills, you will have highly developed project management skills which enable you to direct and manage transformational projects supporting the University strategy.

What we can offer you

We support a flexible approach to work, as well as additional benefits that will make your life easier, such as a corporate healthcare scheme and generous holiday allowance. We will support your long-term future too, with access to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subsidised health and fitness facilities, and a range of discounts. Furthermore, Southampton is a fantastic place in which to live, work and socialise; regardless of what life stage you are at, you will find yourself in a dynamic and vibrant city that caters for all.

If you want to take your career to new heights and believe you have the skills, experience and drive to help shape the future of the University of Southampton, then we look forward to receiving your application.  We value diversity and it’s important to us that we find the right person, whatever their circumstances. This job can be constructed as a job share if desired and we will look to be as flexible as we can to accommodate the right candidate(s).

A global and diverse university

Southampton is aspiring to be a truly agile organisation, exemplified by our adaptations over the last 18 months. Our interim Bridging Strategy helped us navigate the impacts of COVID-19, enabling us to think smarter and approach challenges more flexibly. This smoothly transformed into our new University Strategy , which was launched in January this year. Our new Strategy encapsulates our Triple Helix of excellence that is research-education-enterprise, which makes the Southampton offer distinctive. It is against this backdrop that you will use your professional and personal life experiences to help us take the next steps.

We welcome students and staff from all walks of life, and we champion a uniquely diverse working environment in which every colleague can excel, regardless of their background or life choices. We invite like-minded people into our community: people who care about changing the world, and who share our passion and vision for creating an innovative and forward-thinking learning and research environment.

As a founding member of the prestigious Russell Group, we have a global reputation for delivering world-class education, research and enterprise that makes a real impact on society’s biggest challenges. These challenges are broad and complex, and with the impact of the pandemic to contend with, it is more important than ever that we work creatively to reaffirm what matters most to us as a diverse community.

We believe that we can only truly meet our objectives if we are reflective of society, so we are passionate about creating an environment in which you are free to bring your whole self to work. We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and are immensely proud to have been awarded an institutional Athena SWAN silver award, which underpins our pledge to improve equality for women. We work with our people to ensure their ideas are always heard, and we invite you to share your background and life experiences with us to help us create a truly unique working environment.


The closing date for receipt of applications is midnight (GMT) on Sunday 10th July 2022

Important dates 

An Engagement Day is scheduled to take place in-person on Thursday 28th July 2022

Virtual interviews are scheduled to take place on Tuesday 9th August 2022

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