A series of all staff events took place on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 to launch the Corporate Plan for 2016 – 2021 and provide further details on the next steps in the Staff Survey.
The presentation by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston and Brian Parkes, HR Director, is available here.
As part of the sessions, a Question and Answer discussion took place with members of the Senior Leadership Team from across the University. High-level themes from the Question and Answer discussions are summarised below:
Themes from Question and Answer Sessions
- Staff Survey – Timescales for Implementation
- 80% of agreed actions are at local, Faculty or Directorate level and many have already been implemented.
- The remaining 20% are institutional actions that will be taken forward with a task and finish approach.
- The staff survey is an ongoing process that will continue through to the next survey in 2019 and beyond.
- The Staff Survey website will provide regular updates on progress.
- Staff Survey – Key Actions at Local Level
- Communication – create a balance between sharing information electronically and face to face contact.
- A need to address career progression for professional services staff.
- Faculty Workload Allocation Model (WAM) guidelines being reviewed.
- Informal coffee sessions – an opportunity for staff to meet with senior managers and teams from other areas.
- Transformation to a Digital University
- There has already been significant investment (£1.5million) in creating a wireless campus and staff should already be experiencing the benefits of this.
- The University is also investing in a digital literacy programme and planning to procure a new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform in 2017, with roll-out scheduled over the next 18 month period.
- Distance learning courses will also be developed. These have successfully ran as pilots and demonstrate the potential for global reach and strategic partnerships.
- Academic Standards
- Academic Standards play an important role in setting clear performance expectations, appropriate to disciplinary context and career stage, for the academic community. At an institutional level, the effective implementation of standards is critical to delivering our ambition to become a world-class institution, with global reputation for excellence in research, education and knowledge exchange.
- The Listening Exercise has indicated that greater clarity is required in how Academic Standards should be interpreted, applied and updated. This will now be actioned through a dedicated work stream, which will tackle these issues and ensure greater understanding and ownership of standards within Schools.
- Equality of Gender and Diversity
- We have targeted an increase in women in leadership roles, an increase in the number of female professors and in the number of positions on FEBs held by women. We would like to see a broader representation of diverse communities in all areas of the University. The University will continue to show leadership by partnering with other institutions on gender equality. We will seek to address the gender pay gap within the Professoriate and this is currently being looked at by a project group jointly chaired by Professor Yvonne Galligan and Professor Tom Millar.
- We will be submitting our application for an Institutional Gold Athena Swan award at the end of April.
- Global Research Institutes
- The strength of the GRIs has been that they address global challenges and encourage Faculties to adopt a cross-disciplinary approach. The GRIs also have a central role in terms of talent development and influencing policy.
- Diversification of income
- The University is in investment mode and the Governing Body has approved significant investment to support the achievement of the strategic priorities in the Corporate Plan.
- Recruitment of International Staff
- There are 100 academic vacancies across the University at present and Faculties are exploring various approaches to identifying and securing high quality candidates. There is no doubt that the impact of Brexit, coupled with the location of the University, may impact on international staff recruitment but there are many ways to overcome these challenges. Academic advocacy, efficient processes and dedicated resources will all contribute to attracting the best global talent to Queen’s.