Author Archives: Tim Davies

Organising for Success: recruitment update

We are currently going through a selection process to appoint our seven new divisional Directors of Operations. The Directors of Operations will join the leadership team of the University’s academic divisions; working with the relevant Director of Division and other members of the divisional leadership team. These are key appointments for the University – we therefore need make sure we do all we can to recruit and appoint the right candidates for the role.

For a number of reasons, we have been unable to make all seven appointments and will therefore be re-advertising for two of them. This will again be open to internal candidates only, so that we can make sure we have fully explored the potential for internal staff to take on the positions before we potentially widen our search externally.

The job advert is now open and available here, with a closing date of 23.59 Tuesday 19 November.

We encourage anyone interested in these roles to apply, and do please contact our Chief Operating Officer Denise Everitt for a confidential discussion if you want to discuss further.

Organising for Success – project update

At Kent, we transform lives through opportunity, discovery and community. Organising for Success brings together work that will empower staff to do this, helping us meet out Kent 2025 strategy and ensure a future we can be proud of. This includes introducing seven new academic divisions with greater freedom to meet the needs of our students, simplifying or removing processes so that we have more time to do our jobs, and embracing new ways of working that mean we will be free to focus on the best of what we do.

The Project Operational Group for Organising for Success is now meeting regularly, with five core strands of activity identified to deliver the project. Read more on the implementation of Organising for Success.

Directors of Division and divisional Directors of Operations

Interviews for the directors of our new academic divisions are currently in progress, with a second internal round to be held before Christmas for the three divisions where no candidates were shortlisted.

The first round of interviews for divisional Directors of Operations has also been concluded, with a second round to follow in December for any remaining vacancies.

All appointed candidates for both roles will join a workshop with Organising for Success Strand Leads to manage their transition into the role and agree short-term objectives.

Central professional service structures

Following recent changes to the makeup of our Executive Group, design work has continued on the revised management structure for our central professional services. Formal consultation with affected leadership and management staff (Tiers 3+4) will begin in the coming weeks and will finish in the New Year, with exact timings to be confirmed.

Read the latest updates on Organising for Success


Email security: known suppliers and external contacts

If you get an email from a University of Kent supplier, external agent or a named contact that you usually work with, always follow the steps below.

Some of our known suppliers and external contacts are currently being impersonated, and the fraudulent emails we’re seeing can be very convincing. Business contact lists are being hacked to make fake emails look legitimate,

  • If there’s an attached invoice or document that you weren’t expecting, don’t preview it or open it. Contact the supplier separately from the email to check legitimacy.
  • If offered a link to sign into your account, don’t click the link. Go to their website using a web browser to sign in.
  • If the email gives you their new banking details, phone a known contact to check legitimacy.
  • Check the sender email address: double-click on it to see it in full. Does it look right?

All staff need to always take this cautious approach.

More email security advice from the University

Sustainable Food Strategy – one year on!

1 October 2018 saw the launch of the University’s first ever sustainable food strategy, which provides a road map for increasing the sustainability of our food offering from field to fork and beyond. The strategy supports the University’s overall response to the climate crisis and meets ever increasing demand for more sustainable options across our campuses’ menus.

Now a year on into improving the sustainability of the food served across campus, the Sustainable Food Steering Group would like to share some of the key achievements that have been accomplished in the strategy’s first year. The combined efforts of all those involved were highlighted in the People and Planet University League table with the points received in the sustainable food section, alongside engagement and education, giving Kent a boost up league from 101 to 40th.

Rutherford Kitchen has changed it produce supplier meaning fruit and vegetables are now being sourced from local growers. This mean that the menu in Rutherford can be adapted by the chefs regularly to reflect the seasons and share the best of southern produce.

Kent Union have been working hard to support the Sustainable Food Strategy and were instrumental in pushing for reusable water bottles and coffee cups to be made more available and visible. All staff members can claim a water bottle at any Kent Hospitality outlet, and students that moved into accommodation on campus received a free water bottle and coffee cup. Bed and board students also received a reusable food container that can be traded in for a clean one each time they use it at bed and board outlets.

Kent Hospitality released new menus across their Canterbury and Medway outlets, increasing their vegan options available. Their efforts have been recognised by PETA, who have included the University of Kent on their list of 20 Most Vegan-Friendly Universities. In addition to this, many of the new vegan and vegetation items replaced red meat items that were previously on the menus as part of an effort to reduce carbon and water intensive food items from our offering.

All fish served in meals across our outlets is now Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified. This ensures that no fish we serve is on the ‘fish to avoid list’ for species of conservation concern, and that we have full traceability on where that fish came from.

K Bar have gone disposable coffee cup free, meaning all customers are encouraged to drink in or have their reusable cup at the ready.

The Gulbenkian are taking part in FutureProof and their project, ‘Project Zero,’ aims to eliminate as much waste as possible from their operations. So far they have:

  • removed all single use plastic bottles in the café, saving over 30000 plastic bottles since August 2018,
  • switched to re-usable plastic pint and half pint cups which significantly reduced their single use plastic cup buying,
  • partnered with ‘Too Good To Go’ and each month sell around 70 bags of food, which would normally be thrown away,
  • sent their milk bottle caps (around 300 caps a week) to a company that reuse the plastic

The waste team have begun a food waste trial with six outlets across the University with the waste being sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in Essex, where they produce bio fertilisers for farmers and other growers.

The sustainable food steering group will continue to share our progress against the strategy so please keep an eye on updates in each of the outlets and on campus online.

For more information please email

Organising for Success: Update on Director of Division recruitment

Organising for Success brings together various strands of work to help ensure we are equipped to deliver our Kent 2025 strategy. We aim to be a community that empowers students from a wide range of backgrounds to find and shape their place in the world, and where academics are free to explore and deepen our understanding of it. We want staff to enhance each other’s work and feel part of a common identity.

To  support this, we are working towards creating seven new academic divisions. These will help us to deliver a first-class student experience and empower staff, while in turn helping us free up staff time to focus on work that will enable us to make a step change in our teaching and research performance. The project is now in its implementation phase, with five core strands of activity required to deliver it.

Update on Directors of Division recruitment
We are currently in the process of recruiting the seven new Directors of Division who will lead our new academic divisions. These are key appointments for the University, with the successful candidates joining our Executive Group and helping to shape our future – we therefore need make sure we do all we can to recruit the right candidates for the role.

For a number of reasons, we have not been able to secure applicants to interview for all of the divisions and will therefore be re-advertising for three of them. This will again be open to internal candidates only, so that we can make sure we have fully explored the potential for internal staff to take on the positions before we potentially widen our search externally.

The divisions we are re-advertising are:

-Computing, EDA and SMSAS

-Anthropology and Conservation, Politics & International Relations, Economics and Pyschology

-Kent Law School, SSPSSR and Journalism

The job adverts for these are now live, with a closing date of  23.59 on Sunday 10 November. Find out more on how to apply via the HR website.

Project Governance
Organising for Success is governed by an Oversight Group, supported by a Project Operational Group and subsequent strand project teams. We have recently published a full project governance document with full details on structure and membership, along with Terms of Reference for the Oversight Group and Project Operational Group

Find out more on the Governance section of the Organising for Success website.

Appointment of interim Deputy Vice-Chancellors

The University is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Christina Hughes as interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) and Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura as interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance).

Christina brings extensive leadership experience to the post having spent three years as Provost at Sheffield Hallam University and four years Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at the University of Warwick. She is a member of the TEF Subject Panel (Social Sciences) and is Visiting Professor at the University of Coventry’s Centre for Global Learning Equity and Attainment. Christina will be joining the University on 14 October 2019 and will build on the good work already underway thanks to Professor April McMahon who starts her new role at Manchester University in a few weeks’ time.

Georgina has made a significant contribution to the strategic direction of the University, especially in the growth and development of Psychology’s profile and positioning and nationally through leadership roles in the British Psychological Society. Georgina also has extensive cross-institutional experience across a range of projects in education, research, EDI, and organisational change. Georgina will start her new role on 1 October 2019 and interim arrangements will be made to cover her current commitments as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Both will be members of the University’s Executive Group.

Directors of Division and divisional Directors of Operations: Update

We are currently recruiting for our new Directors of Division and divisional Directors of Operations roles. As part of this, we recently held briefing sessions for prospective candidates offering more detail on the recruitment process.

For those unable to attend the briefing session for the divisional Director of Operations, the presentation slides and FAQs from the session are now available on the recruitment page here:

In addition, the FAQs for the Director of Division roles have been updated to provide clarity around research or academic contributions within the role. More information on this and the role itself is available here:

New academic division leadership roles: appointment process

As part of the process to reorganise our schools into seven large academic divisions, we will shortly start work on recruitment to the Director of Division and Divisional Director of Operations roles. More details on the recruitment process for these are outlined below.

Directors of Division

An internal advert for this will go live on Monday 5 August, with external leadership consultancy Wickland-Westcott supporting us with the assessment process. The key selection and assessment dates are outlined below:

  • 5 August: Job advert live
  • 26 August: Closing date for applications
  • 27-29 August; 2-5 & 10 September: Initial telephone interviews with Wickland-Westcott
  • 17 September: Shortlisting meeting
  • 18-22 September: Shortlisted candidates to complete pyschometric tests
  • 23-25 & 30 September; 2 October: Assessment centres (case study and interview) run by Wickland-Westcott
  • Mid-end October: Final panel interviews and stakeholder presentations

If you wish to find out more about the assessment process and what will be involved, Wickland–Westcott will be on campus holding briefing sessions on the following days / times:

  • 1 August, 13.30 – 14.30 – Darwin Boardroom
  • 6 August 12.30 – 13.30 – Darwin Boardroom

For those unable to make these briefing sessions, a Q&A document will be made available on the Organising for Success webpages shortly afterwards.

A reminder of the new academic divisions can be found on the Organising for Success webpages.

Divisional Directors of Operations

Recruitment to these roles will also be for internal candidates only, with the assessment process managed by external consultancy Minerva. The advert is expected to go live on Monday 12 August, with more details to follow on the selection process.

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.

Professor Karen Cox

Read the latest Leadership Bulletin

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

This edition features a ‘Long Read’ from Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost David Nightingale, focusing on a step-change in our approach to marketing and recruitment activities and our preparations for Clearing.

The Bulletin is distributed fortnightly to all members of the Senior 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.