Monthly Archives: June 2020

Coronavirus

Condolences for Dr Arthur Keaveney

It was with great sadness that the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies learned of the death of Dr Arthur Keaveney, our dear friend and colleague for many years, who passed away on Tuesday 23 June after a short illness.

Arthur Keaveney

Arthur began his teaching and research career at the University of Kent in 1979, developing a distinguished reputation as an Ancient Historian. He was an immensely popular teacher and published frequently, this interest covering wide themes in the history of the Classical World and extending as far as Elizabethan political thought. He retired as Reader in Ancient History in 2014 but remained fully committed to promoting his subject, and primarily assisting and enthusing students and all these who came to share in the fascination of exploring the ancient past.

Steve Willis, Head of Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies writes:

‘Arthur was a cornerstone of our teaching in Ancient History for many years. His style of delivery and guidance was invariably popular with our student cohorts year on year. He had a rich hinterland of interests, with stories and anecdotes to accompany his observations on the human condition. There was something of the old-style political Radical to him. Well-travelled, often to less commonly visited locations, I recall that at the end of three terms of very full teaching and marking, culminating in long Exams Board meetings, he delighted in the prospect of his imminent departure on a Caribbean holiday: to Cuba’.

 

A bowl of food with chopsticks

Rutherford Dining Hall – open all summer to staff

To those of you already working on the Canterbury campus and others preparing to return, we are delighted to inform you know that Rutherford Dining Hall will be open throughout the summer 12.00 – 18.00, Monday to Sunday.

– All staff have been given access to Rutherford College via their KentOne card (staff ID card)

– The Wok bar is serving daily with other special menu items such as breaded haddock, curried duck leg, all day brunch, chicken katsu, roast dinner, fresh salad and veg options and more

– Check out Twitter for the daily menus.

Please note we are only accepting card/contactless payment and currently it is takeaway only, however from 5 July this may change to some socially distanced seating within Rutherford Dining Hall.

For further information or queries, please contact catering@kent.ac.uk

Kent Student WebChat – What to Expect in September

The Kent Student WebChat took place last Friday where current students were joined by DVC Education and Student Experience – Richard Reece and other senior staff from across the University.

The subject was ‘What to Expect in September’ where Richard and colleagues shared plans for the new academic year.

There were 150 attendees who had the chance to submit questions in advance and during the WebChat.

You can listen to the recording here.

JSNCC Papers now available

Staff representation on the JSNCC

The Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JSNCC) is one of the most important committees in the University, with a remit that covers consultation on topics such as the University’s plans and proposals as well as negotiation on pay and staff terms and conditions.

At present, the JSNCC is consulting and negotiating with the aim of reaching agreement on a new reward strategy and will shortly begin consultations on a proposed pay freeze.  If agreements are reached, the proposals will be implemented and staff contracts will be varied automatically without the need for staff to agree individually.

It is therefore vitally important that staff are properly and fully represented on the JSNCC.  In addition to elected representatives of our recognised trade unions, there are also four seats on JSNCC for elected representatives of staff who are not trade union members: two representing the professional services and research support staff in grades 1 to 6; and two representing the academic, research and professional services staff in grades 7+.

One of the two grade 7+ staff representatives, Denise Twomey, will be leaving the University at the end of July 2020.  Denise has been an active and committed representative and has played a full role in the work of the JSNCC over the past few years.  Two candidates have been nominated to replace Denise and to act as grade 7+ staff representative alongside Jon King.  The two candidates are:

  • Mita Mondal – School Administration Manager from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, who has been nominated by Farzin Deravi and Melissa Mulhall
  • Charlotte Ransom – School Administration Manager from the School of Computing, who has been nominated by Andrea Peett and Alison Webster

Details of how to vote will shortly be emailed to all staff in grade 7 and above along with a link to the two candidates’ election statements.  Please take a few minutes to read the candidates’ statements and to cast your vote – it is very easy to do and totally confidential.

Coronavirus

Statement of support for trans colleagues

The University is committed to ensuring we provide an inclusive and welcoming community where all staff and students are enabled to meet their full potential and are treated as individuals. This includes providing support and understanding to those who wish to take, or have taken, steps to present themselves in a gender different to their birth gender.

We are aware that the impact of Covid-19 is particularly acute for trans and non-binary colleagues, and that their situation is compounded by the uncertainties surrounding the implementation of proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004.The proposals would make it more straightforward for trans people to get legal recognition of their gender, and would improve the lives of many trans people immeasurably. The majority of the public responses to the consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act supported the proposed changes.

We stand firmly with our trans and non-binary colleagues in calling for trans equality, with better support and recognition for trans and non-binary people and the struggles they face.

We know that we, as an institution, still have work to do, but we are unequivocal in our commitment to make the University a safe and welcoming place for staff and students of all genders and identities.

Trans people are our colleagues, our students, our friends, and we will continue to support them on the journey to true equality.

If you would like to learn how to be an ally, or wish to find out more about the rights of trans and non-binary people, further information is available from Mermaids and Stonewall.

University resources

 

 

Professor Karen Cox

Vice-Chancellor’s update – 29 June 2020

With the end of term, exam board activity, work underway to bring the campuses back to life through the re-opening of buildings and laboratories and continued work on the Organising for Success project, I am conscious there is a lot going on. I am glad to say however, that following the closure of the UCAS deadline for home undergraduate applications, our applications, offers and firm acceptances are looking positive. While we still have a long way to go, this is very good news. Work is still underway to increase the number of home and international postgraduate taught applications and preparations continue for confirmation and clearing activity in August. Thank you to all those colleagues who are working tirelessly in this area, particularly under such difficult circumstances.

Following a visit in June the General Medical Council has confirmed that the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) has met all necessary requirements to be able to welcome its first students in September. This is excellent news. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have worked tirelessly, both within KMMS and across the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, to get us to this point.

Meanwhile, as a result of the University’s partnership with Santander Universities UK, we have now established 100 scholarships of £500 each to support students who find themselves unable to find work during the summer months because of the pandemic. We have also received an extra £25,000 of funding to support students suffering financial hardship. This will be added to the University’s own hardship fund. I am immensely grateful for this support.

The partnership has also led to a package of targeted grant support for Kent businesses under a scheme managed by Kent Business School (KBS). Grants have already been issued to a Kent-grown fresh produce home delivery service, a Thanet-based social enterprise working with the elderly, and a meal service for homeless people in Thanet and Canterbury. In addition, the partnership has also led to a financial boost for the work we have been doing in support of NHS and frontline care workers.

Finally, over the weekend, the Government made an announcement of a package of support for university research and innovation. This is most welcome and acknowledges the key contribution that university research will make to the economic and social recovery of the country from the effect of Covid-19. We are now working through the details to determine our eligibility for this support and I will update you once further details of the support packages are released.

Our situation continues to be fast-moving, and I realise this is a difficult time for all staff. As you will already know, we have granted two additional rest days to all staff on 9 and 10 July and, if you haven’t already, please talk with your line manager about taking this time to step away from work, the screen, Teams and Zoom.

With my thanks for all that you are doing.

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

 

Templeman Library

Congratulations to our new Fellows and Senior Fellows of the HEA

The Centre for the Study of Higher Education congratulates the following colleagues who applied for Senior Fellowship and Fellowship of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy) through the Route to Recognition for Experienced Staff (RRES), and successfully gained national recognition for their leadership, excellence, expertise and commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning.

Senior Fellowship

Fellowship

Congratulations!

computer-laptop-work-place-mouse

Care First webinars w/c 29 June 2020

From discussing mental wellbeing for home workers, to advice on talking to children about Covid-19, Care First continue to provide free webinars for staff to sign up to.

Here’s the webinar schedule for the week commencing 29 June 2020.

Monday 29 June 2020 – ‘How to talk to Children about Covid-19’

Time: 14.00 – 14.30 – To register click on this Go to webinar link.

Tuesday 30 June 2020  – ‘Physical & Mental Wellbeing for Home Workers’

Time:  11.00 – 11.30 – To register click on this Go to webinar link.

Wednesday 1 July 2020 – ‘Covid-19: Returning to Work after Furlough’

Time: 14.00 – 14.30 – To register click on this Go to webinar link.

Thursday 2 July 2020 – ‘Loneliness during the Covid-19 Pandemic’

Time: 15.00 – 15.30 – To register click on this Go to webinar link.

Friday 3 July 2020 – ‘Teenage Mental Health’

Time: 11.00 -11.30 – To register click on this Go to webinar link.

Profile: Kent LGBT+ Staff Network

As LGBT Pride month draws to a close, we talk to members of the University’s LGBT+ Staff Network about the network’s role at the University, the importance of Pride, and why inclusion is so important in the workplace.

Contributors include: Jules Andreae, Operations Officer for the Information Services Operations Team; Anne-Marie Baker, the University’s Athena SWAN Project Manager; Bob McKay, Student Success Project Manager, Kent Business School; and Jan Moriarty, Student Success Project Manager at Kent.

What are the aims of the Kent LGBT+ Staff Network?

Bob: I think we have a number of roles – there’s the social/community element, such as organising network lunches and events for people to get together, but there’s also the role of being a ‘critical friend’ to the institution, ensuring that issues with LGBT+ equality are challenged and making sure that queer staff have a voice which is heard.

Jan: We also act as a first point of contact on issues around employment for LGBT+ staff and the impact of new policies and legislation on the LGBT+ community at Kent.

Jules: And we’re a visible point of contact for colleagues who need support or a friendly face to relate to.

What is the Network currently working on?

Jan: Stonewall’s new Workplace Equality Index has just been released, so we’ll be taking a look at that over the summer.

Jules: Members continuously engage with different departments and EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) teams in their departments.

Bob: We speak to central University leadership teams as well – we’ve recently been speaking to the VC about the University’s response to the government’s reported roll-back on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004, which is a big step backwards for the rights of trans and non-binary people in the UK. We’re also looking forward to the end of lockdown and some events that we might be able to organise for the LGBT+ staff community once we’re able to see one another in person again!

Who can join the Network?

Bob: Anyone! Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans or other… and even straight colleagues! If you identify as LGBT+ or you’re an ally, the Network is ready to welcome you!

Why might someone want to join the Network?

Jan: For me, it’s about representation. We all (staff and students) need to know there’s someone out there whose experiences may be similar to our own. Some of us have to be visible to make that possible. However, I totally understand that some prefer not to be. Even if someone doesn’t want to take an active role, being a member is a good way to keep in touch.

Anne-Marie: One of the reasons I joined the network was because I believe it is important to have visible LGBT colleagues – this was certainly a big help for me when I first started work.

Jules: Growing up as LGBT+, people can be made to feel “less than” or shameful about who they are. The LGBT+ Staff Network gives a community for people to feel pride in who they are, as well as a place to press for changes to make sure the University keeps improving so that it becomes a place all staff can feel pride at work, equally.

How can people join the LGBT+ Staff Network?

Bob: Just drop us an email at lgbtstaffnetwork@kent.ac.uk.

Jules: If you log in to lists.kent.ac.uk, and search for ‘lgbt’ you’ll be able to see the staff network mailing list and subscribe to update emails. You can also join our new Team on MS Teams, by clicking here or by clicking Join or Create a Team from within Teams and then using the code skd6691.

What’s it like working at Kent as an LGBT+ person?

Jan: The various communities represented by the LGBT+ acronym will experience Kent in different ways. We are a diverse community and we have very different challenges. There’s still a lot of educating to do.

Anne-Marie: I decided to be out at work many years before I joined Kent and perhaps it had become a bit of a “so what” for me. The LGBT+ community does have a voice at Kent and it’s been good to be part of that to progress LGBT inclusivity so that others feel supported to be themselves.

Jules: I believe the University is a good place to work. I believe improvements are needed and we should always strive to improve in our areas of the university and push the University to be a leader for inclusivity and equality.

Bob: Honestly, it’s the first place I’ve ever been able to bring my whole self to work. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect by any means… but I love being able to be myself at Kent.

Microsoft 365 icons

Ask about Microsoft 365!

Having trouble with Teams? Want to dive into Delve?

Come to a drop-in session (via Teams) on Wednesday 1 July 10.00-11.00, or any Wednesday thereafter.

James Cordery, IT Trainer, Tim Jenkins who’s an avid user, and a member of our IT Service Desk will be on hand to answer any queries you may have. Ask them about any of the Microsoft 365 tools, and they’ll do their best to share what they know.

If you don’t want to wait for a drop-in session: