Executive Assistant

Corporate Services and Infrastructure (CSI)

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 28th May 2021
  • Salary: £25,941.00 - £33,797.00 per annum
  • REF: 8545
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £25,941.00 – £33,797.00per annum

Closing Date:10 June2021

The Role

To provide high level administrative and project support for the University’s senior management team based in King’s Gate. This will include providing specific day-to-day support for one or more senior managers, at least one of whom will be a member of Executive Board.

To support the University’s governance arrangements and provide professional committee support.

You may be called upon to provide support wherever it is required in the office, to ensure full cover for the senior management team on a day-to-day basis.

Key Accountabilities

• Provide the first point of contact for internal and external telephone and electronic contacts, enquiries, and personal visitors, for the senior management team. You will representthe public face of the senior management team and of the University in this respect

• Deal with highly confidential issues with discretion, recognising the sensitivity of such matters and ensuring appropriate liaison with managers and other internal and external colleagues

• Be responsible for the effective management of the flow of business in and out of the office, including effective diary management, typing/drafting of reports, letters, etc, formatting and typing papers for publication, and preparing presentations. This requires detailed knowledge of the senior managers’ portfolios, of University policies and procedures, and an awareness of the sensitivities and local and wider politics of situations. A large proportion of this business will be handled directly by the post holder, such that considerable judgement needs to be exercised to decide on the actions required.

• Manage diaries and exercise judgement in arranging meetings to ensure that urgent and important matters are prioritised. This involves checking diaries against the University Business Diary, checking minutes of meetings on receipt to identify dates of future meetings, maintaining an awareness of dates of relevant conferences, etc. and organising appropriate cover for meetings in the case of senior staff absences. Understanding the requirements of the senior managers, and through this understanding, decide which scheduled events or meetings are most appropriate for allocation of the senior managers’ time

• Set up and/or co-ordinate business meetings both internally and externally, including preparation of agendas, distribution of minutes and papers, progressing actions and making the administrative arrangements such as travel, accommodation, etc.

• Manage the e-mail account of the senior manager in their absence. Alerting any urgent emails to other senior members of the team

• Ensure that managers are fully prepared and briefed for meetings, reviewing background information and producing drafts of documents or briefing papers to save the manager’s time. This will include scanning websites or printed documentation for relevant information and presenting this information in an appropriate format

• Ensure that travel arrangements are made to make the best use of manager’s time and that the most cost effective bookings are made, with value for money and environmental sustainability as key considerations

• Ensure that critical issues are referred to the relevant member of the senior management team along with any relevant background information or paperwork and assisting by prioritising tasks and keeping track of important deadlines in a detailed task management system. This includes identifying, devising and implementing effective office procedures to support the work of the office

• Make decisions on less regular issues where necessary in the absence of the managers (e.g. accepting or declining external invitations to events; agreeing to deadline changes; providing information in response to requests, etc)

• Act as proxy for senior managers, occasionally representing them in internal meetings or communications and acting on any operational issues arising in the absence of that manager

• Work on specific projects being led by the senior managers. This may involve carrying out background research, attendance at formal and informal meetings, contributing to the discussion, taking the minutes and ensuring that the action points are completed

• Provide high level support for the University’s governance arrangements as required. These activities will vary from time to time, depending on the needs of the business Examples include arrangements and support for the annual meeting of graduates of the University (Convocation), and sub-committees of Executive Board

• Be responsible, normally without direct supervision, for some University level exercises that are critical to the effective operation of the organisation. Examples include the production of the University’s Business Diary and support for the appointment of official representatives on outside bodies. The production of the Business Diary is a highly complex exercise, involving liaison with all areas of the university to ensure that major events and committee meetings are scheduled in the most effective way

• Be responsible for the organisation and support for a variety of events where the VC and/or other members of the senior management team are involved. Examples include Honorary Degrees ceremonies, Celebrating Success events, Away Days, overseas trips undertaken by members of the senior management team, engagement activities, etc. This will involve working alongside the relevant staff in Corporate Affairs to ensure that the appropriate standards are met for the delivery of such events

• Contribute pro-actively to a team-working environment; sharing ideas and showing a willingness to cross-train colleagues and shadow colleagues when appropriate. Ensure joined-up thinking and shared processes within the Executive Office team and with partner teams across Corporate Affairs

• Be encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions in order to benefit the organisation and work of the Executive Office in particular, and Corporate Affairs in general

The Person (Essential unless stated)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

• Substantial experience of working with Microsoft Office software
• Knowledge of the work practices and procedures relevant to the role of an assistant to a senior manager in a large organisation
• Proficiency in Outlook (calendar and e-mail), Word, Excel, PowerPoint and publishing on the web
• A good level of numeracy
• Experience of providing high level support for, and active participation inan HE governance environment (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

• Multi-tasks appropriately and effectively
• Is detail-oriented
• Communicates effectively, both verbally and in writing
• Consistently displays a positive attitude
• Works collaboratively with other department administrative staff to ensure consistency in process
• Works calmly and efficiently under pressure and deadlines
• Interacts professionally and confidently with all levels of the organisation
• Takes a high level of initiative
• Demonstrates an ability to identify and recommend business improvements
• Plays a positive role in teams, and works to build cross-functional networks while also working independently and with minimal direction
• High levels of discretion and political awareness


• Hold an HND/C or equivalent, possibly in Business Administration, or have substantial vocational experience working in similar role

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Requisition ID: 8545

Employer Achievements:

company award