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Job id: 084246. Salary: £43,205 - £50,585 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 09 February 2024. Closing date: 10 March 2024.

Business unit: Executive Portfolios. Department: Business Support.

Contact details: Joe McAleer. joe.mcaleer@kcl.ac.uk

Location: Strand Campus. Category: Professional & Support Services.

Job description

The Vice Chancellor’s Office is seeking a proactive and highly professional Senior Executive Officer to support the work of the Senior Vice President (Academic) and team.

This key role will provide an effective and confidential executive service across a wide portfolio of responsibility. As well as extensive diary management and business support, the successful candidate will ensure that the SVP (Academic) has the information and material required to support their work. They will act as a conduit between the senior team and internal and external stakeholders, and will work collaboratively to ensure the functions of the Vice Chancellor’s Office, more broadly, are delivered to the highest quality.

This role presents an exciting opportunity to work at the centre of a leading global higher educational institution, with bold ambitions to make the world a better place through our excellence in teaching, research and service to society.  Our people are at the heart of King’s strategy, and we are building a thriving staff community by supporting our staff to develop their potential within a positive and inclusive culture.

This unique opportunity would suit a high performing individual with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to manage multiple competing priorities to challenging deadlines. A highly motivated self-starter, with significant executive experience supporting those at board-level or equivalent, you will have keen attention to detail and the ability to operate calmly and methodically in a complex and evolving environment.

This post will be offered on an indefinite contract.

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

Application Deadline

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and as a result the advert may close sooner than advertised.

Key responsibilities

  • Provide high level, professional executive support for the SVP (Academic), a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Team and their Chief of Staff. Ensure accurate, proactive and efficient inbox and diary management, anticipate upcoming commitments, manage complexities, resolve issues (referring upwards where required) and prioritise urgent matters for immediate attention.  
  • Triage a broad range of time sensitive and competing issues including SVP Academic and related email inboxes to help ensure swift resolution, the smooth flow of information and appropriate communications to update those involved.  
  • Plan and arrange complex national and international travel arrangements, associated itineraries and necessary travel documents, ensuring the most efficient use of time, while observing sustainable travel and procurement policies.  
  • Produce documents, presentations, and briefings as required in relation to the work undertaken by the SVP (Academic) including sourcing, interpreting, and appropriately responding to information from internal and external stakeholders in a timely fashion.  
  • Ensure that the SVP (Academic) is appropriately prepared for, and briefed on the status of their sponsored initiatives, including proactive preparation and collation of papers as required, following up on the status of actions and flagging any areas that require immediate focus.   
  • Facilitate information exchange and dissemination on behalf of the SVP (Academic) and broader team, using reasoned judgement, confidentially and sensitivity to the priorities of the SVP (Academic); furthermore, to assist with the management of correspondence, including e-mail and formal letters, drafting initial replies for review and seeking input from informed sources to contribute to responses. 
  • Act as a first point of contact for internal and external visitors to the SVP (Academic), receiving guests and responding to enquiries with a positive and professional demeanour and ensuring that matters conducted on behalf of the SVP (Academic) are done so with diplomacy, sensitivity, and tact. 
  • Build and evolve highly productive working relationships with the Chief of Staff, counterparts across the Vice-Chancellor’s office and the wider university to promote the agenda of the SVP (Academic) and ensure alignment with other initiatives. 
  • Provide high-quality clerking and executive committee support, capturing minutes, action tracking, collating and distributing papers and logistical arrangements for committees, both ongoing and ad hoc. 
  • Plan and execute events (including internal meetings, workshops, away days etc), and organise high-profile visits by senior external stakeholders, often requiring close liaison with a range of colleagues across the broader Senior Executive, Faculties and Directorates throughout the university. 
  • Co-ordinate key HR processes on behalf of the SVP (Academic); for example, Performance Development Reviews, ensuring appropriate levels of record keeping and confidentiality.  
  • Ensure direct reports and key roles have interaction with the SVP (Academic) at regular intervals. 
  • Support HR, Finance (processing expenses and raising purchase orders) and other business processes in line with King’s guidance and any appropriate regulations, understanding compliance and due process in relation to data, people processes, financial management and other internal policies and procedures. 
  • To undertake discrete areas of project work as required, delivering to agreed outputs.  
  • Work closely with colleagues to support the external profile and engagement of the SVP (Academic). 
  • To ensure the highest level of administrative and logistical support for the SVP (Academic) and their Chief of Staff in fulfilling their relevant academic, research and civic duties and acting as a gateway to them in order to protect their time and enable them to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. 
  • Provide guidance and have ownership of administrative processes and systems, to include expertise in certain enterprise systems, relative to the smooth and efficient functioning of the Vice Chancellor’s office and make suggestions and promote ideas that can help improve business support provision and ways of working. 
  • Maintain secure and robust record-keeping systems in line with university policy and GDPR.  
  • Participate in the efficient functioning of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, maintaining effective working relationships and working seamlessly within the team, providing cover and assistance with tasks when necessary to ensure a consistent high level of professional and continuous service, and contributing to initiatives in staff development, diversity, inclusion and sustainability. 
  • Keep appraised of wider university developments and understand how these might impact or benefit the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.  

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

  1. A first degree or equivalent experience.                
  2. Previous experience in an administrative and/or executive support role in a large complex organisation.  
  3. Strong organisational and IT skills, including Microsoft Office packages, particularly Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, Excel, and willingness to advance these skills. Exceptional written, verbal and presentation skills with high attention to detail. 
  4. Ability to thrive in a fast paced and dynamic environment, with strong problem-solving skills and the ability to foresee and proactively act on issues and challenges. 
  5. Impeccable interpersonal skills with an ability to remain cool and composed under pressure. 
  6. Professional and positive attitude with an aptitude for making others feel welcome and comfortable. 
  7. Proactive approach with the ability to work independently and flexibly, but also as part of a team. 
  8. Ability to work confidently and proactively across organisational boundaries and flex role to encompass new duties in an evolving environment.  
  9. Capacity to handle confidential matters with discretion. 

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience of a similar senior-level role in a higher education environment.  
  2. Knowledge of the requirements of a governance support function and the aptitude of an effective clerk. 
  3. Able to generate new ideas and support change management.  
  4. Experience of managing, mentoring, coaching or guiding others. 

Further Information

We pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming. We embrace diversity and want everyone to feel that they belong and are connected to others in our community.

We are committed to working with our staff and unions on these and other issues, to continue to support our people and to develop a diverse and inclusive culture at King's.

We ask all candidates to submit a copy of their CV, and a supporting statement, detailing how they meet the essential criteria listed in the advert. If we receive a strong field of candidates, we may use the desirable criteria to choose our final shortlist, so please include your evidence against these where possible.

To find out how our managers review your application, please take a look at our ‘How we Recruit’ pages.

This role does not meet the requirements of the Home Office and therefore we are not able to offer sponsorship for candidates who require the right to work in the UK.