Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Staff Profile

Jill Golightly

Director of Faculty Operations (Science, Agriculture & Engineering Faculty)



I have been in the role of Director of Faculty Operations for the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) since July 2012.


I am senior leader with over 25 years’ experience in leading and managing in the UK HE environment. I have a substantial and successful track record in senior roles running a complex range of operations in a matrix organisation from the directing the operations for a faculty comprising over 1200 staff , contributing to and implementing strategies for growth and excellence in teaching, research and engagement to supporting research strategy and policy at an institutional level as Head of the Research Office. I am a clear strategic thinker and enjoy identifying challenges and finding innovative solutions. This links to strength and tenacity in the delivery of projects, in particular those that require organisational change and I love working collaboratively on the bridge between academic and professional services to facilitate the best possible support to achieve the vision of the institution.  My first post following graduation was as an Executive Officer for the Metropolitan Police working out of various stations in London. I moved to the North East in 1993 to take up my first post in HE in the Law Department of Northumbria University followed by a number of posts in the Faculty of Health, Social Work and Education.

I moved to Newcastle University in 1998 (see previous positions below).

Current role and responsibilities

In 2012 I took up the post of Director of Faculty Operations for the Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering as the senior professional services manager responsible for the provision of high quality and effective infrastructure, administrative, technical, and support services to underpin excellent research, learning & teaching and student experience. In 2019-20 academic year, the Faculty managed a devolved budget of £150m, had over 8000 registered students, and earned research income of £31m.  There are 1200 staff (academic, research, and professional services) across 4 schools, housed in 24 buildings with activities based in Singapore.

The role is wide-ranging and fast-paced across numerous areas to support an excellent staff and student experience - financial, infrastructure and estates, strategic and operational planning, staff and performance management and responsibility for directing, managing and delivering multi-faceted projects.   I am particularly passionate about development of staff to provide a facilitative, pragmatic and fit-for-purpose professional service to meet the ever-growing and complex needs of the institution.  I have extensive experience of developing staff via training, mentoring and coaching to achieve their potential.


BA International Relations (1989)
MBA (2001)

Advanced Diploma in Leadership Development and Coaching (2015)

Previous Positions

At Newcastle University:
GP Administrator, Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Dentistry (1998-2000)

Faculty Assistant Registrar for Education (2000-2001)

School Manager, Education, Communication & Language Sciences (2001-2005)

Head of University Research Office (2005-2012)

External Roles

Governor, Seaton Valley Federation, 2020 -

Trustee, YouthFocus, 2020-

Girls' Network Mentor, 2019-