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Video Message from the Vice-Chancellor: New Leadership Structure

A video message from President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer, setting out the University's new leadership structure.


President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer:

Over the last few months, I have been engaging with staff in Schools, Directorates and Faculties, in a variety of settings, from ‘town hall’ events to meetings with Senior Managers and trade union representatives. 

This engagement allowed me to hear your views on the steps we need to take to ensure that Queen’s is ideally positioned to deliver on our aims and ambitions of Strategy 2030. 

I also engaged with the University’s Senate and its Committees, including the Standing Committee, Planning and Finance Committee, Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee. 

Input from this extensive engagement allowed us to shape the proposals for a new leadership team structure to optimally align strategy with operational delivery, and reduce the administrative load on academic and professional services staff, so making Queen’s more agile and more able to achieve our ambition. 

Many issues were highlighted in the course of this engagement. These included the need for better alignment between academic structures and professional services, so avoiding duplication; and providing a one university approach – an approach that is unified and focused on improving delivery. There is also a need to focus on staff welfare and our institutional culture; and to better coordinate communications across the University, as well as enhancing our reputation with external engagement locally, nationally and internationally. 

Following yesterday’s approval by Senate, I am now pleased to outline to you our new leadership approach that will allow us to implement Strategy 2030 and achieve our agreed goals.  

Firstly, we will combine the University Executive Board, with its focus on strategy, with the University Operating Board, with its focus on delivery.  

This will create a new University Management Board. This removes one whole layer of process and brings strategy oversight and delivery together.  

We will establish a University Senior Leaders Forum to share views and information as part of our ongoing engagement and delivery of the new strategy. I intend to invite the President of the Student’s Union and one representative of each Trade Union to the forum.  

We will create a Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor role. This will support me in the overall leadership of the University and enhance our capacity for external engagement and partnerships.  

As well as coordinating operational academic work, the Provost will also lead on specific priorities, such as strategy implementation, Queen’s projects in the Belfast Region City Deal, Sustainability, and also act as a senior champion for Equality, Inclusion and Diversity.  

Specifically, the Provost will lead a University Strategy Delivery Group to drive the operational implementation of Strategy 2030 and ensure that there is good coordination across the institution, ensuring that we achieve our targets.  

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation will be renamed Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement. This better reflects how the University’s international strategy for student recruitment and reputation aligns with our regional and national approach. 

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise will be responsible for the Research and Enterprise Directorate in line with best practice in many other institutions.  

The role of Registrar and Chief Operating Officer will not be directly replaced. Rather, we are distributing the very large number of reports and responsibilities across Vice President/Chief Officer positions, who will be responsible for cognate areas. 

A Vice-President and Chief People Officer will replace the Director of People and Culture and will assume all the current responsibilities of that role, with a remit to focus on staff wellbeing and enhancing our capacity for recruitment, including the investment in 100 new academic posts.  

A Vice-President and Chief Financial and Resources Officer will be responsible for three directorates – Finance, Estates (renamed Estates and Infrastructure) and Digital Delivery and ICS (previously ICS).  

A Vice-President for Student and Corporate Services will have responsibility for the three operational student-facing directorates: Academic and Student Affairs; Student Plus, to be renamed Student Life; and Marketing, Communications, Internationalisation and Recruitment, which will be renamed Global Marketing, Admissions and Recruitment. 

This role will be strongly aligned to both the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement. 

A review of Communications is also underway to ensure that the many communications functions across many directorates and Faculties are integrated across the University, with the view of establishing a stronger construct to manage our communications. 

A review of the organisational position of the Graduate School is also underway.  

I will update you on the progress of these reviews in due course. 

A Vice-President for Strategic Engagement and External Affairs will have responsibility for three operational areas: the Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility Directorate; Development and Alumni Relations (now Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy) Office; and a new Strategic Communications function. 

Finally, the legal, governance and regulatory functions of the Registrar role will be delivered by a University Secretary.  

This includes acting as Secretary to Senate, and Secretary to the University Management Board.  

We will also restructure the current Registrar’s Office into a new Legal and Governance Unit, while the Vice-Chancellor’s Office will become a new Executive Support Unit.  

All of the positions described above will be filled competitively as soon as possible with the aim of having a substantive management structure in place by the end of this academic year.  

This new reporting structure will better equip us to deliver our ambitions of Strategy 2030.  

I have really appreciated your support and engagement as we have worked through these changes.  

These changes will take us forward, building on our success – success evidenced by the University climbing the rankings to be 198th in the world, and delivering even greater economic impact with a value of over £3 Billion per annum – a 45% increase over the last five years.   -

This success reflects the excellence of your work, work with impact that resonates from Northern Ireland across the globe.  

You should be immensely proud of your success, and proud of our university.  

Thank you for your continued hard work and support. 

View an organogram of the leadership structure.