Author Archives: Wendy Raeside

Staff communications at Kent: Tell us what you think!

We’re looking for volunteers to tell us what they think about staff communications at Kent!

Focus groups will be taking place next month (April) at our Canterbury and Medway campuses to seek your views on internal communications – what do you currently send out and receive, and what changes would you like to see?

The research is being carried out as part of the Simplifying Kent Internal Communications Project, which is being managed by Wendy Raeside in Corporate Communications.

The Project is one of nine set up by the Simplifying Kent programme board in response to findings by the Kent Service Delivery Diagnostic review completed last year. That review found that while we devote a lot of time to internal communication, many staff are dissatisfied with the volume of information they receive, particularly via email.

The first phase of the Internal Communications Project will review current staff communications at Kent, explore best practice across the HE sector and beyond, and then come up with recommendations on how we could improve what we’re doing here.

We’d love to hear what you think – please join us if you can at one of the following focus groups:

  • Tuesday 11 April, 10.30-12.00 – Senate Committee Room 2, Canterbury campus
  • Tuesday 11 April, 14.00-15.30 – Senate Committee Room 2, Canterbury campus
  • Wednesday 12 April, 10.30-12.00 – Rochester Board Room, Medway campus

The focus sessions should last no more than 1.5 hours and will include refreshments – tea, coffee and cakes!

Email us at asap – by 31 March latest – if you’re able to join us. Please confirm which of the three focus groups you’d prefer to attend.

Further information about the Internal Communications Project and the other Simplifying Kent projects, on SharePoint.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Wendy Raeside and Etienne Donzelot
Corporate Communications

Joan Elmes

Condolences for Joan Elmes

The University is sad to report that Joan Elmes, who worked for the Electronic Engineering Laboratory (now the School of Engineering and Digital Arts), has passed away.

Mohammed Sobhy, Emeritus Professor of Electronics, writes: ‘Most of the present staff would not have met Joan, but of course there will be some who knew her very well.  Joan was the Director’s secretary for more than 15 years and, before that, she was in the ‘General Office’ for about five years.

‘Joan was the Director’s secretary throughout my period as Director and I feel privileged to have known her and worked with her. Her contribution in supporting the Director and the Department was substantial.’

Joan’s funeral takes place on 17 March at the Robin Hood crematorium in Solihull.


Molly Mahood

Condolences for Molly Mahood

The University is sad to report that Molly Mahood died last Tuesday, aged 97.

Molly was Professor of English Literature at the University of Kent from 1966 to 1979, having previously held professorships at the universities of Ibadan and Dar es Salaam. She was also Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her many books include Poetry and Humanism (1950), The Colonial Encounter (1977) and The Poet as Botanist (2008). She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Kent in 2010.

Her funeral will take place at 11.30 on Friday 3 March at Clayton Wood natural burial-ground, near Hassocks, Sussex. There will be wine afterwards, which Molly left for all who attend. She was much loved by her colleagues and students and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Medway short courses

Inspiring short courses at Medway campus

A series of inspiring lectures in association with Medway U3A will take place at the University’s Medway campus from March to May 2017.

You can explore a subject purely for interest in a friendly group, led by an expert tutor.

Lectures include:

  • The Black Death: plague, pestilence, and social disorder, Friday 17 March, 10.00-13.00, £15
    Julia Cruse PhD
  • A history of beer in Kent, Saturday 1 April, 10.00-13.00, £15
    Jeremy Kimmel BA PGDip
  • An Introduction to Modern Art, Saturday 1 April, 10.00-13.00, £15
    Katia Mai PhD
  • Manipulating monarchs: Tudor and Elizabethan Propaganda, Friday 12 May, 10.00-13.00, £15
    Julia Cruse PhD
  • The history of science (up to 20th century), Saturday 13 May, 10.00-13.00, £15
    Jeremy Kimmel BA PGDip
  • Art in Context, Saturday 13 May, 10.00-13.00, £15
    Katia Mai PhD

To find out more and to book your place see our Tonbridge webpages or telephone 01732 352316.

Staff Connect

Staff Connect – update on progress

The January update on Staff Connect explained the launch date had moved to March 2017 due to issues with the migration of data between the legacy and the new system. These issues have now successfully been resolved. This has been a substantial milestone towards the delivery of the project, and means we are still on track to launch Staff Connect in March.

The work undertaken by everyone involved, but especially the business who as well as completing their day job, are also having to duplicate their work in the new system, has resulted in significant progress and confidence in the planned March launch date.

Of course as with all complex projects, issues can arise at any time and therefore we will issue a further update nearer to the March pay day.

Meanwhile, if you would like to refresh your knowledge of Staff Connect, have a look at the project support site where you will find tutorials, guidance, FAQs and an online walk through of Staff Connect.

Katerina Flint-Nicol – Staff Connect Project Support Assistant

Court 2017

Meeting of the University Court 2017

The meeting of the University’s Court on Friday 3 February 2017 was very well-attended with the highest turnout in recent years.

Members of Court gathered for refreshments before the meeting started and it was pleasing to see so many members, including Emeritus Professors, former students and former members of the University Council, return to the University for the meeting.

Sir David Warren, Chair of the University Council, chaired Court; the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, gave a presentation on the Annual Review 2016 and Bob Scruton, Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee, presented the Financial Statements for 2015/2016.

Professor Jane Reeves, Co-Director of the Centre for Child Protection, gave a presentation on innovation in teaching and learning, and the success of the award-winning Centre for Child Protection, which was very well-received.

It was the Vice-Chancellor and President’s final meeting of Court before her retirement, scheduled for August 2017, and Sir Julian Brazier, MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, thanked her for her outstanding achievements and extremely successful period of leadership.

Student Success seminar 8 and 10 March 2017

Book your place now for the second Student Success mini-seminar, to be held on Medway and Canterbury campuses next month (March).

The seminar, which will provide an overview of the student experience activities at Kent Business School by Kayleigh Bliss and Caroline Hawkett, will take place on:

  • Wednesday 8 March 2017, Medway Campus, Sail and Colour Loft Building, Seminar Room 216, 13.00-14.00.
  • Friday 10 March 2017, Canterbury Campus, Marlowe Building, Lecture Theatre 2, 13.00-14.00.

The purpose of the event is to share details about student experience at Kent and to allow colleagues from across the University to meet and exchange ideas.

The seminar will provide an overview of the adaptations applied at Kent Business School Medway as part of the Student Success Project. We will discuss the School’s approach to the project and the four overarching issues that have driven our work to date; Expectations, Non-attendance, Engagement and LTA practices.

We will provide further detail on the adaptations that have proven most successful – including the introduction of peer mentoring, student report cards and the pilot of an Academic Skills Development Week for stage one students. We will also discuss where activities haven’t had the desired impact and explore reasons for this.

All staff are invited to attend. To register your attendance please email Elizabeth Buswell.

Student Success (EDI) Project bulletin

The latest Student Success (EDI) Project bulletin is now available on the staff-only section of the Student Success website.

This term’s bulletin provides a more detailed outline of the work being carried out in phase one schools. Please feel free to circulate to colleagues.


Easter concert: Nelson Mass

Haydn’s popular Nelson Mass will be performed in the Royal Dockyard Church, Chatham on Wednesday 29 March by the University of Kent Choir and Orchestra (Medway).

The Mass will be conducted by Dr Stelios Chatziiosifidis and the soprano will be School of Music and Fine Art alumna Philippa Hardiman. It will be preceded by a talk from Richard Holdsworth MBE about Nelson and the Historic Dockyard Chatham

In 1771, a 12 year-old Horatio Nelson arrived in Chatham to begin one of the most celebrated careers of all time. In a unique collaboration to celebrate these historic connections between Britain’s most celebrated naval figure and the award-winning Historic Dockyard Chatham, the School of Music and Fine Art (located on the Dockyard) and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust will present a performance of the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei of Haydn’s popular Nelson Mass.

The Nelson Mass is Haydn’s largest and his only minor-key mass, set in D minor at the opening, but leading to a victorious D major finale. It is also one of his most well-known and beloved choral works, and notable for the demands on the soprano soloist. Haydn later catalogued the Nelson Mass as Missa in Angustiis (mass for troubled times).

Tickets, priced £10, are available for purchase from the Gulbenkian webpages and the Historic Dockyard.

Volunteers wanted for July’s graduation ceremonies

We are looking for volunteers to assist with a variety of duties at this July’s graduation ceremonies.

The ceremony dates and times are available on the Congregations webpages.

This is a special day for all of our students and staff so any help you can offer at any of the ceremonies would be appreciated as we aim to make the day as memorable as possible for all our guests. We would not be able to achieve the success of Congregations without your help.

Any helpers who volunteer at two consecutive ceremonies in one day will be provided with refreshments.

We offer full training for your roles and members of our team will be there on the day to support you.

We have a variety of roles and if you’d like to help or need further information please email with the dates and times that you are able to assist.

If you have never volunteered at Congregations, then this year is your year!

Darren Ellis
Corporate Events Manager

Spend two weeks studying in Brussels or Paris this summer

You can now apply for our European Summer School Scholarships to spend two weeks at one of our specialist postgraduate centres in Brussels or Paris.

Scholarships are open to second and third year undergraduate students and will cover the cost of tuition, accommodation, lunches, travel around Paris or Brussels and a final dinner.

This is a fantastic opportunity to discover these wonderful cities while gaining skills and intercultural awareness which will be attractive to potential employers.

We also have a range of summer courses running at our Canterbury campus this year which current students are also able to apply for.

Find out more about the summer schools and how to apply on the Summer Schools webpages.