August update

For those of us who work in universities, it’s always a surprise to meet people who assume that we are on holiday from the end of the Spring Term to the beginning of the next academic year. As we all know, nothing could be further from the truth but I do hope that you are managing to take some time to relax with family and friends during the summer period.

This month will see a number of colleagues leaving us under the Kent Voluntary Severance Scheme. Many of you have worked here for a long time, others not so long.  But whatever your length of service, whatever your role, one thing is certain – you will be missed. On behalf of us all, I would like to thank you for the contribution you have made to our university its staff and students and wish you all the best for the future. KVSS will also reopen for some staff at a later date as part of the re-organisation project – we will share the timeline for this later in the month.

There is no doubt we have a great deal of work to do as we continue with the changes that will help us deliver our ambitions in the years to come. While we wait to see what our student numbers will be for this coming year, we are in the early stages of implementing Organising for Success and are developing an appropriate governance framework to support its delivery.

As you will have seen from my recent emails, we are now working with a leadership consultancy to recruit the new Directors of Division and Divisional Directors of Operations for our seven new academic divisions. We are currently seeking expressions of interest in the interim DVC Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance and DVC Education and Student Experience roles. Details on changes to Professional Service Departments will also be available soon.

Alongside this, we are developing a comprehensive communications strategy to make sure you are aware of all the changes that will take place as part of Organising for Success, along with wider projects across the University. From mid-September onwards, I will be emailing all staff on a monthly basis with a regular update on our strategic direction. We will also be increasing our staff e-newsletter to a weekly, rather than fortnightly, circulation following feedback from staff.

To support this, we are expanding the Executive Group Blog to become a Leadership Blog, giving more colleagues the opportunity to let the wider community know about their areas of work. We will also be looking at ways to make it easier for staff to give feedback, including setting up a group of ‘critical friends’ from across the University to help us make sure our communications are working.

This is a key time for the University as we build on our previous successes and seek to raise our profile and reputation.

Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President