Let me make one thing very clear, I'm not looking for a new job.*
It started with a random tweet from Wonkhe - the UK's premier site for higher education policy, politics, and analysis. The tweet mentioned a London-based higher education search firm called Minerva. As I am always in an always learning mindset with all things related to UK higher education, I took a look at their website.
Scrolling down, I noticed the last listing on their site was for a position at the University of Lincoln. Wanting to know more about the "Director of Digital Engagement" job (just in case the original posting gets removed, here's the listing on LinkedIn), I immediately clicked through for more information.
Here's where things got interesting. Most of the time, a job with "digital" and "engagement" in the title is going to be housed within a marketing/communications role within a university. Except at the University of Lincoln, where something remarkable is apparently happening...this role reports to the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Development.
It’s a chance to join us in a brand new role – with an open-ended brief. You’ll bring a fundamental transformation, by encouraging digital innovation. Your goal? To enhance University life for students and staff alike. Working closely with the Vice-Chancellor, you’ll make changes on multiple levels. For example, you’ll set out a plan for digital literacy; support the development of mobile learning; and use digital means to improve business practices and interaction. You’ll also consult with students to ensure we’re making the most of digital platforms. To succeed, you’ll need to stay close to developments in your field and devise new opportunities to use technology to the full.
This is a role for an experienced digital strategist and potential thought leader. Enthusiastic and articulate, you’ll have the vision to drive fresh thinking across the University and wider Higher Education sector.
The Director of Digital Engagement role at the University of Lincoln sounds like an entirely new kind of position...blending staff development, student engagement, digital literacy, employability, and organizational change into a single job. In a sense, they are looking for a champion for their digital champions.
We are looking for someone who is deeply engaged with the digital world, alive to its possibilities and connected with new thinking and looking for an opportunity to bring a large and capable community into this space and to equip them to thrive there. This is a change project, and we need someone who has a track record of effecting change in complicated and multi-facetted organisations. It is a challenge at a range of scales from strategic planning to local creating and making, so we are looking for a talented enthusiast who can engage and influence at any level within the organisation. It is an open ended brief, so we are looking for someone who is self motivated, sensitive to culture and context, and able to work autonomously and in an exploratory and reflective manner.
Here's hoping that the future of UK higher education includes more positions like the Director of Digital Engagement. The leadership team at the University of Lincoln clearly understands the importance of the student experience and the need for universities to "get digital."
This role is about nurturing, growing and embedding the digital culture right across the organisation. If you enjoy teamwork and challenges, you could transform an entire University’s approach to digital tools and social media.
My apologies that I didn't post this sooner...I literally found out about this position this week. The closing date for applications is today, 22 January.
* I can't remember being more excited about a position listing at a university. I'm going to be living in London for the foreseeable future...however, if a London-based university comes out with a similar position, I might just be tempted to apply.
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