Sussex appoints new Chief Operating Officer

The university has appointed Dr Tim Westlake as COO

Reporting to Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickle, Dr Westlake will be responsible for the university’s administration, encompassing the entire estate and its professional services. 

Currently the Deputy Chair of UCAS Council and a board member of the Higher Education Careers Service Unit, he will begin his new position in mid-August. 

Coming from the University of Manchester, where he is currently the Director for the Student Experience, Dr Westlake spoke of his appointment: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12 years in Manchester, but there was a strong incentive to move to Sussex at a time when it is setting course on a new strategy that I will be able to contribute to and support in its delivery. 

“I was particularly attracted by the opportunity to work with the new Vice-Chancellor, delivering his ambitious and exciting plans for the University. Sussex has a strong reputation as a research-intensive university with a distinctive history, and I am delighted to be a part of its next chapter as a global leader in higher education.” 

Dr Westlake is no stranger to positions of power, as he currently manages a team of 600 staff in Manchester, and is responsible for all centrally delivered student services – including the university’s halls of residence and sports facilities.

Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickle said: “I am delighted that we will be welcoming Tim to the university in August. Tim is one of the most talented administrators in UK higher education and has an excellent track record in delivering transformative change.

“Throughout the recruitment process, we were consistently impressed with Tim’s grasp on how we need to evolve the university’s operations to ensure we are equipped for the future and able to offer the best experience possible for our students, staff and the wider community.

“He joins Sussex at a pivotal time, as we embark on a number of critical infrastructure projects and are looking to step change our education offering. Importantly, Tim’s value-led drive aligns with the very DNA of Sussex.” 

Dr Westlake has worked in higher education for more than 30 years, holding both senior management and academic positions at leading institutions in the UK. 

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