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The Ashmolean Museum

Archived: Operations Director

The Person

You will have experience in leading from the front, will have personal integrity and sound judgment. You will be able to think laterally and creatively and have the intellectual capacity and strength of character to plan, manage and implement important, complex and difficult decisions.

The Museum

The Ashmolean Museum has been described as “unquestionably the finest university museum in the world” (The Times, October 29th, 2009). The Museum is a part of the Oxford University Museums Group and houses the University’s collections of art and archaeology together with objects and works owned by other private individuals and bodies and loaned to it. The collections themselves are of world significance. They range from archaeology to the fine and decorative arts of Europe and Asia and from coins to casts of classical sculpture. These are used for teaching and research purposes both within the University and in the worldwide academic and research communities. Above all, the Ashmolean is a great public Museum, open to all without charge.


Competitive salary.

Benefits – University

Relocation package, 38 days holidays including Bank Holidays, subsidised travel scheme, excellent pension scheme, comprehensive childcare service, flexible working.

Benefits – Ashmolean

Free entry to temporary exhibitions and tickets for friends and family, 20% discount in retail, 35% discount in the café.

Role Overview

Reporting to the Director (Head of Department) for the Ashmolean Museum this new position will have direct responsibility for the key areas that underpin the museum activities. You will build an integrated and cost effective approach to managing, maintaining and developing Museum operations, encompassing all aspects of the visitor experience, facilities and security to maximise public access, deliver an excellent and inclusive visitor experience and create a good working environment for staff.

You will lead a team of up to one hundred people comprising of Operations, HR and Finance Teams and have line management responsibility for five Heads of Departments. You will oversee the largest group of Museum staff, with responsibility for the areas which carry the greatest reputational risk, namely the security of Museum buildings and collections, the safety of staff and visitors and building maintenance. In addition you will manage all aspects of financial planning, human resources, health, safety and security, visitor services and facilities with responsibility for a budget in the region of £14 million of which £6.7 m are staff costs.  At times you may be asked to Deputise for the Director at meetings or events or during a period of absence.

In addition you will oversee project management staff to support capital projects including gallery refurbishments and work in close liaison with the GLAM Financial Controller, University Central IT, Estates & Security, Personnel Services and Development Teams.

This will require the ability to act independently in managing the teams delivering support to the Museum and will require you to work closely with GLAM and the wider University in shaping policy and strategy. You will ensure that Departmental procedures conform to relevant law and government legislation together with University statutes, regulations, policies and procedures.

Deadline: Friday 23 June 2017

Application Requirements

Please follow the link to the University Website ( and complete our online application form. You will be asked to attach a CV and submit a statement (2000 words or less) telling us the following:

  1. What attracted you to this role, and why do you believe you have the relevant experience?
  1. If you were successful in the role, what would your approach be in the short, medium and long term?


We expect to hold interviews for this position in July 2017.