Executive Recruitment

Chief Operating Officer

Share this role

Royal Agricultural University
Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Closing date:
25th October
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Closing Date
Sunday 25th October

Associated documents


The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is celebrating its 175th Anniversary, the milestone being a point of institutional reflection focussed upon 'what we do and how we do it'.   We have recently undertaken an externally led review of our professional services, as a result of which we are moving to a unified structure reporting to a single Chief Operating Officer. The review took place in the context of the sector wide challenges post-Brexit and post Covid-19 and we are excited about the opportunity to use the outcomes of the review as the platform for reimagining how our professional services are delivered and how our staff can be supported to grow and develop as professionally respected partners at RAU.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a key role in the University’s senior leadership team, working with the Vice-Chancellor in the leadership, management and effective operation of the University. The COO will be responsible for the University’s governance and assurance framework and in their role as University Secretary will ensure the effective operation of the Governing Council.  The COO will drive, and make significant contributions to, strategy and decision-making which enhances academic and business-related performance across the University, ensuring that the University is competitive in terms of resources, efficiency, and quality of service provision.  The COO shares responsibility with the Vice-Chancellor's wider leadership team for promoting the University and enhancing its reputation.

The COO is primarily responsible for direct service delivery of all the professional services at the University and for working with the Chief Finance Officer to co-ordinate the University's financial planning and strategy delivery.  As such, the COO plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the strategy and operations of professional services are effectively and efficiently aligned to support academic excellence and the highest quality student experience.  Together with the Vice-Chancellor, the COO role provides an important interface between the University Executive and the Governing Council and as such, the successful candidate will be someone with the confidence and gravitas to provide robust and clear support to both as we make progress towards our vision which is a world where all communities thrive In harmony with nature. 

For further information about the role please get in touch with Ross Highfield – ross.highfield@gatenbysanderson.com or 07891 138 886.


The closing date for applications is Sunday 25th October 2020.

To view the job description and person specification, please scroll to the bottom of the page, tick to agree to the privacy policy, then click 'Continue to full details'.

How To Apply

To apply for this role, please submit an up to date copy of your CV, along with a Supporting Statement that addresses the criteria set out in the person specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements. Please provide your home, work, mobile and email contact details and let us know of any dates when you are not available or where you may have difficulty with the indicative timetable. You should also provide the names, positions, organisations and contact details for two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. If you do not wish us to approach your referees without your prior permission, please state this clearly.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email to confirm that you have applied. If you do not receive this email, please make contact with GatenbySanderson.

Continue to full details and application

Before continuing please read and accept our Privacy Policy