Monthly Archives: July 2019

Professor Karen Cox

Interim DVCs: appointment process

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Recent announcements stated that we would be seeking to make interim appointments to cover two DVC positions until the outcome of open recruitment processes.

We are looking at external and internal options for these roles in this period and I am now writing to invite colleagues who may have the relevant skills and experience to make formal expressions of interest in the following interim roles:

DVC Academic Strategy, Planning & Performance

This will be a new role with the post holder providing leadership on, and implementing structural frameworks for, a broad range of institutional planning and horizon scanning activities. This will help ensure that Kent is well-placed to respond to sectoral changes and provide an outstanding student-centred experience.

The DVC Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance will also develop frameworks to support the delivery of academic and research excellence in our new school groupings. The key accountable areas for this role will include strategy and planning, as well as academic leadership, working closely with the emerging school groups and their leadership teams, to ensure that Kent maintains a competitive offering to students.

A full job description is available here

DVC Education & Student Experience

The post holder will be responsible for the University’s continued excellence in student experience and will be accountable for developing and delivering further innovations in educational programmes.

The interim DVC Education and Student Experience will work across the University to implement new strategies and impact our education offer alongside student support.  The role holder will ensure that our educational programmes are relevant for the graduates of the future, and of an excellent standard; that student needs are met both curricular and co-curricular dimensions and that we are working towards our ambition of offering one of the best student experiences in the UK.

A full job description is available here

Both positions will be interim until appointments are made following open recruitment processes and offer an excellent opportunity to step up into a more senior role and take on a new challenge which will play a key part in shaping these roles for the future.

Should you wish to express interest in either or both of these interim appointments please provide an up-to-date CV, together with a covering letter setting out how you feel you would contribute in the role to

Please note that the closing date is 12 noon on Friday 30 August 2019.  Interviews will be held on Tuesday 10 September (DVC Education and Student Experience) and Friday 13 September (DVC Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance).

If you would like to have an informal, confidential conversation about either post, then please feel free to email me or Ruth Johnson, so that a suitable date / time can be arranged.

Newton and Declerq

New episode of Newton Talks podcast

The latest instalment of Newton Talks, a podcast project by Dr James Newton, Lecturer in Media Studies, has just been published. The episode features Dr Dieter Declerq, Lecturer in Film and Media Studies in the School of Arts.

In the podcast series, James discusses topics (mostly) related to cinema, television, and culture.

In this episode, James and Dieter discuss Dieter’s research on satire, and how his interest in the topic began by watching The Simpsons whilst growing up in Belgium. James and Dieter discuss satire’s limitations and paradoxes, as well as the distinctions between satire and mockery. The podcast also covers Dieter’s new research on satire and mental health.

‘[The Simpsons] was television about television. It was mocking other television; it was quite clever about being different from other kinds of television’, says Dieter. ‘I think, for a lot of reasons it’s an important television show. For me it’s because of the satirical worldview, going against the establishment at the time. I think for a teenager who’s in a Catholic school in Belgium, not having a very good time, that was really important’.

To listen to the episode, and others in the series, please see the page here.


Free preview of the play Talk by Mark Wilson

Kasia Senyszyn, who is studying for a PhD in Drama by Research in the School of Arts, supported by the Alumni Postgraduate Research Scholarship, has organised as special free preview of the play Talk, to be performed in the Lumley Studio at 7.30pm on Wednesday 31 July 2019.

Talk, by Mark Wilson, is a moving, brutal look at the introduction of psychotherapy in the early 20th century. It is a tale about the importance of being able to tell your story, and of empathy, kindness and humanity. The team thought that this was the perfect platform to raise issues of accessibility and communication.

The performance has been developed as project, ‘Talk on Tour’, which has included adapting the play, working with the playwright alongside access practitioners and D/deaf and visually impaired members of the local community to develop the accessible strategies.

The production is funded by a Kickstarter campaign, and contributions are welcomed. For more details, please see the page here, where you can see a video of Kasia talking about the project.

The resulting performance will run at the Edinburgh Festival from Sunday 11 August until Saturday 17 August, with prices varying from £5.50 to £9.50.

For details of the Edinburgh performances, please see the page here. 

For details of the Kent preview, please see the page here.

The preview is free; please email to reserve tickets.

Disability Confident Employer logo

We are a disability confident employer

Learning & Organisational Development are pleased to announce that the University has achieved Level 2 of the Disability Confident Grading Scheme and we are now accredited with ‘Disability Confident Employer’.

Through Disability Confident, we will work to ensure that disabled people and those with long-term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. Recognition of this scheme will help us to recruit and retain the widest possible pool of talent and help develop our valuable skills and experience.

As a Level 2 Disability Confident Employer, we have committed to all elements of Level 1 and also commit to:

  • getting the right people for our business
  • keeping and developing our people

Disability Confident Employers are recognised as going the extra mile to make sure disabled people get a fair chance.

The certification is valid for two years and we can now display the Disability Confident Employer badge on University stationery, correspondence and websites.

Please review where and how you can use this badge within your own processes.

Over the next two years, we will continue to review the criteria for the Level 2 certification ‘Disability Confident Employer’ to improve services and the experience for all employees. We will also review the next level of the Disability confident scheme ‘Disability Confident Leader’ and understand requirements to move forward.

HIVAN ARVIZU @soyhivan

Kent students network with City professionals

Kent students who are currently taking part in Success Accelerator, an alumni mentoring scheme for first year undergraduates looking to enter a City career, had a fantastic opportunity to network with city professionals during a networking event in London.

Students from the School of Economics, Law and Mathematics, Actuarial Science and Statistics, took part in a how-to-network session, delivered by the Careers and Employability Service and Jayne Instone from Kent Law School. Here they received tips on how to network, as well as opportunities to practice their elevator pitches and initiate conversations. This was a great chance for the mentees to overcome any worries in networking, before heading over to a networking event at Radical Company.

The students connected with mentors on the programme, along with other business professionals, keen to share their advice and expertise. This included partaking in some ice breaker exercises, which enabled the students to meet with professionals from a range of career backgrounds, including those within Fund Management, Financial Analytics and Actuarial Consultancy. This was a great opportunity for the students to generate professional contacts and build their confidence when networking. We would like to thank the Kent Opportunity Fund for contributing towards the funding of this programme, and enabling us to host incredibly valuable events such as this.

We look forward to seeing what activities our mentees will be involved in over the summer and autumn term!

Van vehichels Volkswagen

American cinema; Nostalgia podcast with Peter Stanfield

In the latest episode of the Nostalgia podcast series, Dr Chris Deacy, Reader in Theology and Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, speaks to Peter Stanfield, Professor of Film and Media in the School of Arts.

Peter works in American popular cinema from the 1930s through to the 1970s, and we learn why it was that the 50s resonated in the way it did in later films, including the rise of Teddy Boys in the early 70s.

The pair also discuss: singing cowboys; American popular cinema; photographs and memories; growing up in Hemel Hempstead; New Musical Express; seeing Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin on stage; the emerging punk scene; sitting next to Nick Cave at the cinema; how there is no separation between being a fan and being a researcher; why Peter doesn’t have a longing to return to his teenage years; the relationship between nostalgia and repetition; and why Peter has never had the ambition to be a filmmaker.


Futureproof event with people sat at tables the Oasis Graden

Sustainability celebrations at Kent Community Oasis Garden

Last week, sustainability champions from across the University celebrated the first year anniversary of the FutureProof project at a garden party held at the Kent Community Oasis Garden.

FutureProof is the University of Kent’s response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides a framework, challenging and supporting each University department to review their impacts against the SDGs and working to create positive change.

FutureProof, which launched in June 2018, aims to inspire individuals, departments and the whole University community to take action in ensuring that our estate, our curriculum and our students are ready for the future.

The Sustainability Champions are key to the project’s success as they act as catalysts for change in their departments and conduits for sustainability information across the University. As part of their role as champions they lead on their own projects and the celebration event was the sustainability’s team way of saying thank you to them for all their hard work.

The event highlighted case studies from the year, which can be read in full in the Futureproof report

Projects have included a tripling of recycling rates in Biosciences, education for sustainable development projects at the Business School and a wellbeing project at the Medway campus.

To celebrate, the sun came out for a delicious vegan BBQ prepared by chef Ben Elsbury (from Kent Hospitality), games with prizes to be won, and a refreshing mocktail bar with fresh herbs from the garden.

In its first year FutureProof has held 6 workshops at both the Canterbury and Medway campuses with an overall attendance across them of 124, recruited 65 sustainability champions from 43 different departments, and supported 20 sustainability projects from across the University.

For more information about FutureProof please visit or email

Garrett Gorman and Rich Payne with their bikes in front of the Eiffel Tower

Finance colleagues take part in Paris cycle challenge

Garrett Gorman and Rich Payne from our Finance Department have completed a 220-mile cycle ride to Paris, and raised nearly £2,400 for charity.

Garrett and Rich joined 70 students (seven from Kent) for the Breast Cancer Now London to Paris from 5 to 7 July. They were keen to support Breast Cancer Now as they have both had family members and friends affected by the disease.

Garrett said: ‘We wanted to do something to support a charity that is actively researching a cure for this disease. More recently, myself and Rich have had a very close friend and work colleague fighting this disease – she was especially in our thoughts as we completed this challenge and we wish her the very best as she gets through this.’

The three-day cycle, which raised a total of over £90,000, started in Waltham upon Thames and stopped off at Portsmouth, Caen and Evreux en route to Paris.

Garrett said: ‘Emotions were running high as we came around the road under the Eiffel Tower. There was family, friends and strangers cheering us on and cars tooting their horns in encouragement for the final stretch. Both of us appreciated just how much our family and our work colleagues did to support us – without them, we don’t believe we would have managed to raise the full amount.’

Breast Cancer Now cyclists

In an extra boost to their fundraising, Garrett and Rich held a raffle and cake sale on campus during March ahead of the cycle ride.

There’s still time to support them by clicking on Garrett’s sponsorship page or Rich’s sponsorship page.

View of new Co-op shop at Park Wood.

Park Wood Co-op opening Thursday 25 July

The new Kent Union Co-op located in Park Wood is opening Thursday 25 July at 10.00.

Students, staff and visitors are welcome to attend the opening. There will be free samples given out, and you can search for the Golden Tickets across campus to win gift cards on the day!

Students with an NUS Totem card will receive 10% off Co-op branded products, plus another 5% off if they become a Co-op member (only £1 to join).