This opportunity has now been filled

Director of Finance

About the role

The University of Dundee is an extraordinary university.  In 2017 we marked our 50th anniversary with plenty to celebrate.  We were:

  • Shortlisted as the University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards)
  • Ranked again as one of the world’s top 200 universities (Times Higher Education)
  • Given a Gold Award in the Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Once more ranked among the best places in the UK to be a student (National Student Survey)

Teaching and Research at the university is genuinely transforming lives, both here in Dundee and around the world.  The university has grown to be a richly diverse and international community, with around 150 countries represented amongst our staff, students and alumni.  In addition, the university has become a potent force for economic, social and cultural development in Dundee and the surrounding area, helping create new industries such as the biosciences sector and sparking the idea to bring the V&A to Dundee’s waterfront to establish the UK’s first Museum of Design outside London, due to open in September 2018.

Long established as a research-intensive university, Dundee punches well above its weight in research income and performance and has the fourth highest proportion of research grant income to total income of any UK university.  We have matched that world class research – which led to us being named among Europe’s ‘Most Innovative’ universities – with excellence in teaching.

Dundee is among the best universities in the UK for graduate employment and leads the way in widening access to ensure the doors of higher education are open to everyone, regardless of social or economic background.

Ambitions for the years to come are to become Scotland’s leading university and the strategy towards 2022, emphasises the fact that Dundee will be a high-performance community.

The Director of Finance is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the University’s finances and financial performance and will play a leading role in the delivery of our Strategy to 2022, through ensuring that our financial strategy is aligned to our strategic ambitions and by making a wider contribution to our future development as a key member of the University Executive Group.

An experienced leader with a sound understanding of the economy of higher education, you will report to the Principal & Vice-Chancellor in your capacity as de facto chief financial officer, while also being accountable to the University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer for delivering effective and efficient professional services through your leadership of the Finance & Procurement Directorate.

Key accountabilities include:

  • Providing clear and proactive financial leadership to the University, contributing to strategic developments, working with other leaders to seek out and exploit new opportunities and delivering our ambition of long-term financial sustainability
  • Ensuring the necessary financial strategies, resourcing models, systems and skills are in place and operating effectively to support the delivery of the University’s vision, mission and strategy
  • Developing a deep understanding of the complex economy and business drivers associated with an international, research-intensive University and using this to identify ways to enhance our financial performance, extract maximum value from our resources and positively incentivise behaviour
  • Ensuring strategies, systems and controls are in place in support of our learning & teaching, research & knowledge exchange, unregulated income growth and international activities
  • Facilitating growth in net unregulated income from fees and contracts, commercial opportunities and the exploitation of our Intellectual Property
  • Playing a full and influential part in the work of the University Executive Group in running the day-to-day business of the University, securing its longer-term development and ensuring its capacity to anticipate and respond effectively to changes in the external environment
  • Deepening the level of financial acumen of leaders and managers across the University, facilitating the development of a more entrepreneurial culture and a business partnering approach
  • Taking a lead role with senior colleagues in the University’s annual planning and budget-setting process
  • Ensuring the University complies with the statutory, contractual and financial monitoring requirements of the Scottish Funding Council, other funding bodies and commercial and public service partners
  • Guaranteeing the highest standards of financial stewardship, discipline, integrity and governance, ensuring that all financial reporting, financial management and financial accounting systems are fit for purpose
  • Creating a high-performance culture in which staff of the Finance & Procurement Directorate feel valued, operate effectively and have access to regular training and continuous professional development
  • Working together with the University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer, Service Directors and School Managers in ensuring the development, delivery and enhancement of high quality, effective and efficient services to students, staff and other stakeholders.

Having held a senior financial leadership role within a comparably large and complex organisation, and with a proven track record of delivery, you will be able to express a clear understanding of the financial and broader challenges facing higher education in a Scottish, UK and international context.

Your commercial and business-focused approach will be accompanied by demonstrable empathy for the University’s mission, core purpose and values driven culture.

In addition you will be required to demonstrate:

  • A proven track record of financial leadership, innovation and management in a complex organisation including the ability to think strategically and analyse difficult issues
  • Leadership skills based on integrity, high professional and ethical standards, a commitment to diversity and inclusion and an ability to motivate and develop high-performing individuals and teams
  • Experience of operating at governing body and/or senior management level within a dynamic environment
  • Evidence of successfully implementing strategies and plans and managing change
  • That you can be a strong voice in promoting sustainable ambition across the University, including having the courage and willingness to challenge constructively, take unpopular positions where necessary, make decisions, maintain focus and deliver even in the context of challenging circumstances
  • Outstanding communication, influencing and negotiating skills, including the ability to present complex financial information in an accessible way, both verbally and in writing
  • Evidence of a strong ‘service’ orientation and achievements in driving high levels of organisational performance and value for money
  • A willingness to work with others to find innovative solutions to complex problems
  • Energy, resilience, impact and drive
  • Experience of major strategic change management projects requiring high level influencing skills
  • Experience of overseeing major capital expenditure projects from a financial perspective
  • In addition, you will be educated to degree level with a professional accounting qualification and substantial post-qualification experience

You can download a full candidate brochure here.

To apply, please send your CV to Ailsa Sutherland at by Friday, 6th April 2018.