Author Archives: Tim Davies

KVSS

Kent Voluntary Severance Scheme – Extended Deadline

In light of the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the measures taken to control its spread, the University has agreed to extend the deadline for applications for the current window of KVSS from 22 April to 24 May. This is to ensure that everyone eligible is able to apply and that no-one misses the opportunity. All other dates for the scheme remain as previously advertised and you can find full details of the scheme here.

More widely, we are continuing to review all projects currently underway to establish what the impact of Covid-19 will be and what we may need to pause or adapt in light of our new circumstances. A full update on what this will mean for Organising for Success will follow next week.

KVSS

Kent Voluntary Severance Scheme – Phase 2

In light of the University’s financial situation and the need to make significant savings in our staffing costs this yearwe will be reopening the Kent Voluntary Severance Scheme from 9 March – 24 April.  

This Phase Two of the scheme will only be open to specific groups of staff, including those in areas where we know that savings will need to be made. The full Scheme details are available on the HR website, including more detailed information and FAQs. Any staff put at risk of redundancy as a result of subsequent changes under Organising for Success in June 2020 will have a further opportunity to apply for KVSS at that stage. 

We recently held a series of briefing sessions with managers so that they can answer any questions you may have regarding the Scheme. There will also be a series of drop-in sessions for staff where you will be able to discuss this directly with an HR representative – these are divided into hourly slots, and you can just turn up to whichever one suits you: 

  • Tuesday 10 March – 14.00, 15.00, and 16.00 in Keynes Seminar Room 2
  • Thursday 12 March – 12.00, 13.00 and 14.00 in Keynes Seminar Room 1 
  • Wednesday 18 March – 14.00, 15.00 and 16.00 in Grimond Seminar Room 1
  • Friday 20 March – 10.30, 11.30 and 12.30 in Kennedy Seminar Room 9
  • Tuesday 24 March – 9.30, 10.30 and 11.30 in Darwin Seminar Room 14
  • Thursday 26 March – 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00 in Keynes Seminar Room 20
  • Wednesday 1 April – 11.00, 12.00 and 13.00, venue TBC
  • Friday 3 April – 10.00, 11.00 and 12.00, venue TBC

More details on both the scheme and support available to staff will follow in further communications ahead of the Scheme opening on Monday. 

Organising for Success – Project Update

Organising for Success brings together work that will empower staff to transform our students lives, helping us meet our Kent 2025 strategy and ensure a future we can be proud of 

As preparations to launch new divisions in September take shape, a number of key proposals will go to the 11 March meeting of Senate – these can be read via the links below, with more information to follow after the meeting itself. 

Other updates across the project: 

Strand 1- Executive Leadership 

Consultation has now finished on the new leadership structure for central professional services, with final changes shared with affected staff shortly. These will also be shared more widely later in the month ahead of the new structure coming into effect in April. 

A well-attended series of ‘Town Hall’ briefing sessions for managers led by Learning & Organisational Development took place throughout February, with personal development programmes continuing for new members of Executive Group as they take ownership of their areas.  

Strand 2 – Establishing academic divisions 

Outlines of academic leadership roles are being presented to Senate for discussion, with the outcomes then shared more broadly across divisions ahead of expressions of interest to key leadership roles.  

Work is also ongoing on division branding and preparation for launch activity ahead of September. 

Strand 3 / 4 – Divisional operations and professional services design 

Follow-up workshops are taking place between Directors of Operations and central professional service leads to support the development of proposed team structures ahead of these being shared with affected staff in June 2020. 

Workshops are also ongoing to map key processes in order to identify and manage potential risk as we transition into the new structure. In doing this, we will also look to identify any areas of improvement we could implement in the short term to help with activity over the summer such as admissions and clearing. 

Strand 5 – Standing down Faculties 

Considerable progress continues, including drafts prepared for a number of key regulations and Codes of Practice to reflect the move from faculties to divisions. These will be refined as necessary following the outcome of Senate.

Latest updates are on the Organising for Success website 

Organising for Success: Project update

Organising for Success brings together work that will empower staff to transform our students lives, helping us meet our Kent 2025 strategy and ensure a future we can be proud of.

As part of this, we are currently consulting with affected staff on a proposed new central professional services leadership structure. During the consultation period, we will both agree the final leadership structure and discuss with individual affected staff what this will mean for their roles. Teams affected at this stage have been directly contacted by their relevant Executive Group member – the proposed University-wide leadership structure is also now available for information on the HR website. The final confirmed structure will be shared once consultation is complete.

Other updates across the project:

Directors of Operations

We are delighted to announce that Amanda Ollier has been appointed as Director of Operations for the Division of Arts, Culture and Design – see the Transitional Arrangements section of the website for more information.

Strand 3 / 4 – Divisional operations and professional services design

These two areas of work have now ‘formally’ come together, to reflect the amount of overlap between them. There is more information on the Implementation section of the website. Alongside this:

– Workshops are ongoing between Directors of Operations and central professional service leads to begin establishing where accountability and resource should sit in the new structure

– Workshops will also start shortly to begin mapping processes in key areas so we can agree how they could be reflected – and simplified wherever possible – when divisions launch in September. The Project Management Office (formerly known as BIPU) will contact relevant professional service leads shortly to arrange these, and assistance with providing initial details on any existing processes in advance would be greatly appreciated

Strand 5 – Standing down Faculties

Considerable progress has also been made to transfer essential activity currently taking place within Faculties to divisions. Recent highlights include:

– Protocols agreed for managing the final faculty committees, which will take place this summer – IS are also working on ensuring key website information is retained and transferred appropriately

– A vision for Quality Assurance in the new structure has been drawn up and will go to Senate in March, ensuring we have a have common framework and a consistent approach

– A team drawn from the Faculty Support Office, QA, the Graduate School, Student Services and Kent Union are also beginning to rewrite our codes of practice and regulations, with support from an external adviser to ensure everything is aligned in our new organisational structures

For latest information on Organising for Success, see the Updates section of the website. There is also supporting information under Frequently Asked Questions

Organising for Success: Project update

Organising for Success brings together work that will empower staff to transform our students lives, helping us meet our Kent 2025 strategy and ensure a future we can be proud of.

Following changes to Executive Group and appointments to key senior roles, next week (w/c 20 January) we will begin consulting with senior leaders in central professional service directorates on a revised leadership structure to support the new divisions. We have recently updated the FAQs section of the website to cover feedback around this following our update in December.

Other activity underway across the project includes:

Professional Service / Division Workshops

We are currently organising a series of workshops with senior central professional service managers and our new Directors of Operations, which will begin the process of establishing a new operating model for divisions and professional services, along with defining the relationship between the two. These ‘kick off’ workshops will incorporate the work of Strand 3 and Strand 4 of Organising for Success, focusing on which activities and decisions fall where, along with capturing the processes we need to consider ahead of launching our new academic divisions.

Alongside this, we are currently making changes to the governance structure of the project to reflect the overlap between the two strands and recent staff changes, which will be shared more widely once they have been agreed with the Oversight Group.

Directors of Operations

The latest allocation of Directors of Operations to academic divisions is as follows:

Division of Humanities: Kerry Barber

Division of Natural Sciences: James Redmond

Kent Business School: Paul Verrion

Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences: John Crook

Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice: Rachel MacPhee

Recruitment to the remaining posts is ongoing. There is more information on the Transitional Arrangements section of the Organising for Success website.

‘Town Hall’ events for managers

We will shortly be holding a series of ‘Town Hall’ meetings for managers on the changes underway at the University through both Organising for Success and our wider financial recovery plans. These are designed to give those with significant line-management responsibilities a full understanding of the planned changes and their context, along with tips and resources to help with communicating with their teams. Learning and Organisational Development will be coordinating the sessions with support from the Organising for Success project team and will be communicating the details shortly.

Organising for Success: Directors of Divisions

We have now made two further appointments to our Director of Division roles, with Professor Peter Hydon leading the Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and Professor Toni Williams leading the Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice.

Peter and Toni will join the other Directors of Division on Executive Group with immediate effect. The full list of appointed Directors of Division is as follows:

Division of Arts, Culture & Design

Kent School of Architecture and Planning; School of Arts; School of English; Centre for Music and Audio Technology

Professor Simon Kirchin (who will take up the post on a two-year basis to see through the transition and begin succession planning)

Division of Humanities

School of European Culture and Languages; School of History

Professor Shane Weller

Division of Natural Sciences

School of Biosciences; School of Physical Sciences; School of Sport and Exercise Sciences; Medway School of Pharmacy (affiliate); Kent and Medway Medical School (affiliate)

Professor Claire Peppiatt-Wildman

Kent Business School

Professor Marian Garcia

Division of Computing, Engineering, and Mathematical Sciences

School of Engineering and Digital Arts; School of Computing; School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science

Professor Peter Hydon

Division for the Study of Law, Society, and Social Justice

Kent Law School; School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research; Centre for Journalism

Professor Toni Williams

 

We are continuing to review the process of appointing a Director to the remaining Division.  

Professor Karen Cox

DVC Education and Student Experience

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Richard Reece as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience). Richard, who is currently Associate Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students at the University of Manchester, will be joining us on 30 March 2020.

Richard will bring a wealth of expertise and strong leadership to this key post. In his current role, he has been involved in the establishment, setting and monitoring of institutional strategic and operational priorities to provide students with the best possible environment for teaching and learning. He has also championed parity of esteem between teaching excellence and research excellence, and has led a number of projects aimed at creating an inclusive teaching and learning environment.

As Professor of Molecular Biology, Richard is actively involved in the promotion of science and teaching through his work with learned societies and other organisations. Under the auspices of the Royal Society of Biology, Richard established, piloted and rolled-out the accreditation programme for biology undergraduate degrees in the UK. This accreditation was the first of its kind.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Christina Hughes for her ongoing work as interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience). Christina has agreed to remain with us until April which will allow for a seamless handover in this critical area.

Professor Karen Cox

DVC Education and Student Experience

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Richard Reece as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience). Richard, who is currently Associate Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students at the University of Manchester, will be joining us on 30 March 2020.

Richard will bring a wealth of expertise and strong leadership to this key post. In his current role, he has been involved in the establishment, setting and monitoring of institutional strategic and operational priorities to provide students with the best possible environment for teaching and learning. He has also championed parity of esteem between teaching excellence and research excellence and has led a number of projects aimed at creating an inclusive teaching and learning environment.

As Professor of Molecular Biology, Richard is actively involved in the promotion of science and teaching through his work with learned societies and other organisations. Under the auspices of the Royal Society of Biology, Richard established, piloted and rolled-out the accreditation programme for biology undergraduate degrees in the UK. This accreditation was the first of its kind.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Christina Hughes for her ongoing work as interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience). Christina has agreed to remain with us until April which will allow for a seamless handover in this critical area.

Organising for Success: DVC Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance appointment

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

After an open competition I am delighted to announce that Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura has been appointed to the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance. Georgina is currently in the interim position and will transition to the substantive post with immediate effect. I am sure you will join me in offering her many congratulations.

With best wishes,

Karen

Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Organising for Success: Director Operations appointments

Following the recent announcement on our new Directors of Division, we have also now made the following appointments to our divisional Director of Operations roles:

Division of Humanities

School of European Culture and Languages; School of History

Kerry Barber

Division of Natural Sciences

School of Biosciences; School of Physical Sciences; School of Sport and Exercise Sciences; Medway School of Pharmacy (affiliate); Kent and Medway Medical School (affiliate)

James Redmond

Kent Business School

Paul Verrion

John Crook and Rachel MacPhee have also been appointed as Directors of Operations, with an announcement on the division they will be deployed to follow.

We are currently in the process of recruiting all final Director of Division and Director of Operations roles. In the meantime, all those appointed will now be brought into discussions around the transition to the changes under Organising for Success, and the decisions we need to make, both in the short and longer term, to make the new arrangements a success.