Pro-Provost (Academic Planning): applications now open

Applications are currently open for a new position of Pro-Provost (Academic Planning).

Department: Office of the President & Provost
Location: Bloomsbury campus, London
President & Provost

Term: 18 months

0.5 FTE:  We would welcome applications from senior academics who would combine this role with existing responsibilities, with funding for backfill.


The Office of the President & Provost supports the President & Provost across the full range of his activities as the academic leader of the university. The Pro-Provost (Academic Planning) is an interim role to provide senior academic input into the development of the frameworks, systems and processes that will allow us to translate UCL’s strategy into an implementation framework. S/he will also act as an adviser to the President & Provost and his team during the development of the institutional strategy, and subsequently to the Vice-President (Strategy) to facilitate their induction.

Main purpose of the job

Working with the President & Provost, the academic leadership and wider community, the Pro-Provost (Academic Planning is a pivotal link between the academic community and UCL’s planning function. In the period ahead of the appointment of a Vice President (Strategy) the Pro- Provost will lead the planning team to shape the delivery of insight, business analysis and planning support for UCL. S/he will also act as a critical friend to the President & Provost and the team developing the institutional strategy to ensure that it responds to the academic context.

The Pro-Provost (Academic Planning) will develop strong and productive relationships with the university’s academic and professional services communities, the President & Provost’s office, the wider Senior Management Team, the Leadership Forum, Academic Board and Council. This appointment will be for a maximum of 18 months, working alongside the Vice-President (Strategy) as they are appointed and through their induction, to act as a senior academic partner and sounding board as they become familiar with UCL. The role is advertised as an internal secondment on a 0.5FTE basis, with funding for backfill for the successful applicant.

Duties and responsibilities

The overarching responsibility of the Pro-Provost (Academic Planning) is to provide academic leadership of UCL’s institutional planning processes, ensuring that these are developed and implemented in ways that facilitate the academic mission of the university.

Job description

a) Provide academic leadership of and input to institutional planning processes

  • To work closely with the President & Provost and then the Vice-President (Strategy) to ensure that institutional planning tools and frameworks respond effectively to the needs of academic units;
  • Act as a sounding board and critical friend to the the Planning Team and Finance, and subsequently the Vice-President (Strategy) to ensure that the various processes for budget setting and forward planning support effective strategic planning at faculty level;
  • Advise the President & Provost on the approach to engaging the academic community in questions of planning, prioritisation and strategic direction;
  • Chair working groups and customer insight groups as required to facilitate effective academic-led planning activity;
  • Lead consultation across academic units on significant changes of approach to planning and budgeting activity;

b) To ensure that the faculty experience is appropriately reflected in the development of UCL’s strategy process

  • Offer support and challenge to the President & Provost and the Vice-President (Strategy) in monitoring shifts in our academic portfolio and profile
  • Key member of the group leading the UCL strategy process, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that the operational impact on academic units is at the forefront of decisions about strategic priorities

c) Ahead of the appointment of a Vice- President (Strategy), to lead the Planning, Major Projects and Data and Insight teams to ensure the provision of robust analytics, data-driven planning support and guidance for faculties and departments.

  • Provide academic leadership to the Planning, Data and Insights and Major Projects Portfolio teams.
  • Drive efficiency and alignment in the UCL’s annual planning process.
  • Advance the data and insight capacity to ensure it can deliver the needs and ambitions of the university.
  • This job description reflects the present requirements of the post, and as duties and responsibilities change/develop, the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the post holder.

    The post holder will actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities policies and be expected to give consideration within their role as to how they can actively advance equality of opportunity and good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

    The post holder will maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.

    Person specification

    Essential criteria

    Qualifications, experience and knowledge

    • Significant experience of leading an academic unit within UCL
    • Record of success planning and delivering multi-faceted change initiatives that reflect business priorities;
    • Proven ability to deliver informed and innovative solutions for challenges and opportunities where precedent may not apply;
    • Record of leading impactful stakeholder engagement, including complex consultations and change management;
    • Broad understanding of the higher education landscape as it relates to UCL’s strategy and values;
    • Ability to contribute to the development of the UCL’s profile in the UK and internationally.

    Skills and abilities

    • Highly developed strategic mindset - able to facilitate strategic planning to anticipate and meet UCL’s ambitions;
    • Skilled analytical thinker - highly competent at using a range of sources of iintelligence to evaluate and solve complex strategic issues;
    • Outstanding relationship-building and communication skills - adept at building productive networks and delivering change through influence, collaboration and vision.

    Personal attributes

    • Trusted leader and advocate - demonstrating the highest standards of integrity, professional accountability and self-management;
    • Highly developed political acumen and learning agility;
    • Confident, credible and persuasive communicator;
    • Strategic, creative and analytical thinker and planner;
    • Vision, energy and passion for the UCL mission and values, including our commitment to equality and diversity.
    • Team player with a desire to collaborate and facilitate the success of others 

    Appointment process

    Applications should be in the form of a letter, together with a short CV, to Dr Michael Spence ( ) by 5pm on 21 April. Interviews will be held in early May. The decision on appointment to this role will be made by a panel including the Provost.


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