Vice-Chancellor’s Monthly Update – January 2020

This is always a time to look ahead and, for us, 2020 will be a year of change, challenge and opportunity as we prepare to fully launch our new academic divisions in September and progress plans for our Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries, the opening of the Kent & Medway Medical School and the launch of our Signature Research Themes.

With this will come opportunities for new ways to work together as a University. Early in the year I will begin to meet with all schools and departments to hear updates from each area and get feedback from you on the issues you would like to see the University working collectively on. We will also be introducing new tools for collaboration and communication across teams through Office 365, supported by our colleagues in IS.

In my last message I outlined the financial challenges the university is facing and what we were doing to address these, as well as briefing senior leaders and JSNCC before Christmas. SLF have been asked to brief their teams on this, and the JSNCC minutes will provide more detail on the scale of changes we need to make. We have a further set of Council meetings over the next week where we will finalise our accounts for the past year and review and sign off the recovery plan associated with returning us to a sustainable position over the next 3-4 years. I will provide a further update on all this post these Council discussions but encourage you to familiarise yourself with the issues and our planned response in the meantime. HR are also currently planning a series of ‘town hall’ meetings in January and February so that managers can be briefed to play a bigger role in our communications as we go forward.

While this work has included planning for a range of scenarios, and we have difficult choices ahead, we know that the best way to address our challenges is to work together to show the university we can be – making Kent a top choice for prospective students by demonstrating how we transform lives through the opportunities we create; the positive change we bring through working with our communities; and the global impact of our discoveries.

I look forward to working on this with all of you, and thank you once again for your talent and dedication as we look ahead to 2020.