Author Archives: Miles Banbery

Kent Bunny - Canterbury Food Bank

Canterbury Food Bank thanks University staff

On Monday 17 December, the Canterbury Food Bank came to collect the donated items and were pleasantly surprised. They couldn’t believe the amount of food donated in such a short amount of time.

Kent Bunny hasn’t quite had time to come around to thank everyone for their donations, therefore, would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness and generosity so close to Christmas.

Thank you!

Kent Hospitality and Gulbenkian Annual Awards ceremony

A big congratulations to all Kent Hospitality and Gulbenkian staff who received awards at this year’s Annual Awards Ceremony [link to].

On Thursday 6 December, 130 staff were recognised for having achieved nationally accredited qualifications in the last year, with over 200 awards presented. The event celebrated both departments passion to learn and develop, Pride awardees, achievements and professionalism.

The CECS (Consistent Excellence in Customer Service) Award was also presented at the event by Denise Everitt, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer. Many congratulations to runner-up: Sam Ranger, Street Kitchen chef and this year’s winner: Lucy Galt, Gulbenkian Café Bar Assistant.

James Corbin

New Head of Careers and Employability

I am very pleased to inform you that following a recent competitive selection process,  James Corbin has been appointed as Head of Careers and Employability.  As many of you will be aware James currently holds the post of Interim Head of Careers and Employability and I am delighted that he has been successful in his substantive appointment.  James will commence his new role this week, and I am very much looking forward to working with him, as is Jane Glew in her new role as Interim Director of Student Services.  I am sure you would like to join me in congratulating him in his recent appointment.

Professor April McMahon | Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education

Leadership Bulletin 31 October 2018

Read the latest Leadership Bulletin (31 October 2018)

The latest issue of the Leadership Bulletin, designed to give an overview of key developments at Kent, is now available.

The latest issue (31 October 2018) includes a summary by our Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Karen Cox of discussions held at the latest Senior Leadership Forum including the University Structures Project as well as her visit to the University’s Beacon Observatory.

There is also an update on Executive Group meetings, information on KentVision from Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, David Nightingale plus an analysis of the Autumn budget.

The Bulletin is distributed fortnightly to all members of the Leadership Forum to cascade to staff in schools and professional service departments. If you haven’t received your copy yet, you can read the bulletin online.

Find out more about the Leadership Bulletin and see previous issues on the OVC webpages.

University of Kent logo

Condolences for John Butler

The University is very sorry to have received the news of the death of John Butler, former Master of Darwin College, Lecturer in Politics and Local Government and Social Sciences Faculty Admissions Officer.

John was appointed lecturer in 1969, was Master from 1982 to 1987 and Admissions Officer from 1991-93 and is remembered with great fondness by colleagues across academic schools and professional services.

His funeral will be on Friday 16 November at 12.00 at St Thomas’ Catholic Church, Burgate, Canterbury. Any former colleagues wishing to attend are most welcome.

We hope to publish a fuller tribute to John next week.


Canterbury campus

Canterbury campus Masterplan update

Over the last three weeks we have again been running public consultation sessions on our estate Masterplan for the Canterbury campus.

Our final event took place last Thursday in Darwin Conference Centre last Thursday and 130 members of staff, students and members of the local community attended. This follows similar events in Canterbury’s Westgate Hall, Tyler Hill Memorial Hall and Blean Village Hall.

The Masterplan is a requirement of Canterbury City Council’s Local Plan and is a vision for the evolution of the campus, not a set of planning applications. It provides a direction for decisions about the future of the campus and a framework against which future planning applications will be assessed.

A number of projects have been mentioned specifically, however, as being in our short- or medium-term plans. In the short-term (2018-2021) these include academic and administrative facilities including a new building for the Kent and Medway Medical School and a Life Sciences building.

Medium-term priorities (2022-2031) include new student service and Kent Union buildings, new teaching and academic buildings, additional leisure and sports facilities including a swimming pool and the possible development of a conference centre and hotel all of which are subject to funding.

The inclusion of a 150-bed hotel and conference centre our Canterbury campus reflects an aim that is supported by an external consultancy review of its potential market and is a response to the lack of hotel and conferencing facilities in the area. It would provide us with an opportunity to host academic conferences and other University events all year round as well as increasing our vacation time capacity.

It is also based on our need to diversify our future income due to an unprecedented level of challenges facing the university sector. A hotel and conferencing option – one that has already been taken up by other universities – would help us meet the economic challenges we face by generating essential revenue that would be reinvested in education and research, and our students and staff.

There is still time to send us your thoughts on the Masterplan – the deadline for inclusion in the Consultation Statement is this Friday 26 October 2018 – you can read more at and email

Leadership Bulletin September 18

Leadership Bulletin

The University has launched a new Leadership Bulletin designed to give an overview of key developments. The Bulletin is distributed to all members of the Leadership Forum to cascade to staff in schools and professional service departments. If you haven’t received your copy yet, you can read the bulletin online .

The latest issue contains a message on the strategy refresh from the Vice-Chancellor. Senate has now agreed the draft of ‘Kent 2025’ should be submitted to Council on 5 October for discussion and approval. Senate also took note of the emerging sub-strategies on Education, Research and Innovation and Engagement and our Civic Mission. Copies of all these papers are available on the Strategy Refresh pages.

In addition, the Bulletin also includes an update on Executive Group meetings including a discussion by the Extended Executive Group on our recruitment position which is significantly lower than anticipated. Work is currently underway to assess the subsequent impact on the University’s budget. Once the situation becomes clearer, we will let staff know and also update the Finance 2018/19 budget FAQs which have been developed to help explain our current budget position.

If you have any enquiries about the new publication, please contact Megan Wells, Policy Officer in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor –

Professor Karen Cox

Industrial action update – financial reimbursement

At the end of term, Professor Karen Cox wrote the following letter to Ruth Wilkinson, Kent Union President. The letter was in response to student queries on the subject of financial reimbursement following the recent period of strike action by members of the University and College Union. The letter is reproduced here in full.

Dear Ruth

As we reach the end of term, I wanted to let you know that we are continuing to gather information to assess the impact of the current period of industrial action on individual modules across the University. This information will allow us to develop a policy and effective mechanisms to support the consideration of any claim for compensation in a fair and equitable manner. Before we send any notification to individual students (who will have been differentially affected), we would value a discussion with you as to a suitable simple but fair approach that we might adopt to minimise any administration costs and avoid an unnecessarily legalistic approach.

We are also aware that there are a number of students who incurred expenditure, such as travel costs, to attend a lecture or seminar which was then cancelled as a result of the industrial action. In the coming weeks, we will be introducing a system to allow them to submit a claim to have this money reimbursed, aside from any wider compensation scheme. I will continue to update you on this.

Best wishes


Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Kent Logo

USS dispute update – Joint Expert Panel

Earlier in the week saw the announcement that there were a new set of proposals coming out of the talks facilitated by Acas between UUK and UCU.

These proposals focussed on the creation of a new Joint Expert Panel, comprised of actuarial and academic experts nominated in equal numbers from both sides, to deliver a report agreeing key principles to underpin the future joint approach of UUK and UCU to the valuation of the USS fund.

Since then, UUK have given the UCU assurance that employers would not seek to return to the previous position agreed at the JNC on 23 January, and would commit to achieving a solution that includes an element of defined benefit.

Yesterday, UUK have confirmed that employers have indicated their support for the proposals and the UCU announced that their branches and Higher Education Committee have voted to put the proposals to their members in a ballot.

In the meantime, discussions continue between UUK, USS and the Pensions Regulator to make sure of the necessary statutory and regulatory support.