Category Archives: Strategic projects

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.


Changes to printing

Over the next few months the way you print at Canterbury, Medway and Tonbridge will change.

Our Executive Group has approved a new Print, Copy, and Scan Policy (pdf) which will be rolled out across the University. The new policy was agreed in October last year and is vital to our reduction of both the costs and environmental impact of printing, as well as the procurement and maintenance costs of the equipment.

We’ll replace desktop printers with multi-functional devices (MFDs) that have combined print, scan and copy functionality. There will be fewer printers overall. The likely date of the first change will be 12 August 2019. Where it is necessary, desktop printers will be kept by exception.

We’re finalising locations with help from your school/department. Your departmental IT representative (excel file) should shortly be able to share the finalised printer map for your building with you. If you’re concerned that your needs may not be met, please discuss with your departmental IT representative.

We’ll let you know when your offices will switch to the new service and provide advice for using the new printers.

How printing will work

Why this is happening
We have over 850 desktop printers on campus – some of which only print a handful of pages a month. Desktop printers are expensive to maintain and operate, and are energy inefficient.

This change will enable us to:

  • reduce costs considerably
  • reduce energy usage by 55,000kgs of carbon a year
  • reduce paper usage by around 15% – 3 million sheets of paper a year.

Our existing print provider, Apogee, will provide the service and dispose of excess printers in an environmentally-conscious and safe way.

Mark Reed, Head of Procurement

Organising for Success updates

Our Organising for Success webpages are being updated regularly.

Click on the webpages to find out the latest news and information, including new/amended Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on:

  • Impact on promotion, additional salary awards and job grade reviews
  • Engagement and feedback opportunities for our students.

From this week (7 May), there is also a new section on our Student Guide to ensure our students are kept up to date on the University restructure.

Signature Research Themes

Signature Research Themes – we want to hear from you!

Our vision for Kent 2025 highlights the importance of signature research themes:

“Our discoveries and research will emphasise existing and new signature areas, where we match the best in the world.”

A development group, including associate Deans of Research and Innovation and representatives of faculties, the Graduate School and professional service departments, has been set up to agree new Signature Research Themes with colleagues across the University.

According to the group, the signature themes should be forward-looking, dynamic and have the potential to build on Kent’s record of innovative, socially aware, radical and disruptive research. They will span the faculties, have an international profile, attract external income, engage and create impact.

During March and April, development group members have been visiting academic schools, talking to researchers, academics and professional services staff about the vision and plans for the signature themes.

If you have an idea for a signature theme, you can submit an expression of interest up until Thursday 9 May 2019.

Successful bids will be notified by 24 May 2019 and workshops on the outline themes will take place from 19-21 June 2019. Once possible themes have been identified, those leading them will be invited to submit a full proposal by 30 September 2019.

You can find out more about the Signature Research Themes and how to submit your idea(s) on the Research Services webpages:.


REF2021 – Draft Code of Practice

The Code of Practice is a vital document for the University’s REF 2021 submission.  It is a requirement that all institutions submit a Code of Practice outlining the process of defining Researchers and selecting outputs and showing that the university supports equality and diversity in the REF.

We have now drafted the University’s Code of Practice and are inviting all staff to comment from 1 – 21 May 2019.

Following the consultation, any revisions will then be made and the Code of Practice will be submitted to the REF on 7 June for final approval.

For this REF cycle the University intends to submit 100% of eligible staff defined as those on teaching and research (T&R) contracts and some research only contracts.  The criteria for selection will be outlined in the Code of Practice.

You are invited to review the REF2021 Draft Code of Practice webpage for full details.

A vision for Medway – University presentation

A vision for Medway as ‘The Waterfront City of Kent’ was among the exciting plans unveiled at a recent presentation.

The presentation, at our Medway campus on 12 April, was given by Simon Cook, Principal of MidKent College, on the Medway Place Board (which he chairs) and the Medway Champions Scheme.

The Place Board and Champions Scheme aim to put Medway on the map by:

  • addressing negative perceptions of the area, promoting Medway as a place to be proud of,
  • attracting significant national recognition for Medway through, for example, a bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.

For staff unable to attend, Simon Cook’s Place Board presentation is available here.


Team photo of SARD 2019

SARD chooses the Kent and Medway Medical School as its Charity of the Year

We are delighted to announce that SARD, a medical technology company based at the Innovation Centre, has chosen to support our fundraising for the Kent and Medway Medical School by choosing us as their Charity of the Year.  They have pledged to raise £5,000 through a programme of charity events such as bake sales, quizzes, challenge events and much more and we are very much looking forward to working with them.

SARD is a family run business which supplies workforce management software to the healthcare sector.  They are passionate about applying the best technologies to improve the way the healthcare workforce is managed and make life easier for those within it.

About their support for KMMS, they said:

“As a company founded alongside and working with doctors every day, we want to do everything we can to help strengthen the UK’s medical workforce. Kent and Medway Medical School will provide a new point of entry for future doctors and its focus on widening participation means that a career in medicine may become a possibility for many who would not have previously considered it. With one of our offices based at the University of Kent’s Innovation Centre, we are thrilled to have this development right on our doorstep and are excited about what this means for our children and children’s children, whether they be the doctors of the future, or those being cared for by them. We urge everybody to support this cause as every single person will need medical care at points in their life. The Kent and Medway Medical School will train future doctors who may end up saving the lives of you or your loved ones.”

They are kickstarting their fundraising efforts with a bake sale on Thursday 18th April from 10am in the Innovation Centre café area.

Engagement events – Organising for Success

Many of you have enquired about various aspects of the Organising for Success project and how you can find out more about what is proposed and be able to raise issues that concern and/or interest you.

Organising for Success is built on four key proposed changes:

  1. Creation of new academic groups.
  2. Creation of new administrative and professional support arrangements for these new academic groups. These new arrangements will include devolved resources from some professional service departments and would involve the removal of the current faculty structure.
  3. New Executive Group (EG) portfolios to build on synergies across professional service functions, reflect strategic themes and strengthen the focus on the student experience. These new portfolios will mean that a range of existing central professional service units will have different reporting arrangements.
  4. New leadership model for our academic groups with leaders who are empowered and equipped to enable their areas to respond positively to our new environment and challenges.

There are clearly some significant changes included in these headline proposals and so we are holding a series of five topic-based engagement sessions during March/April on:

  • Devolution of Professional Services
  • Organisation Structure (excluding schools)
  • School Configurations & Governance
  • The Faculty Layer
  • New Leadership Model

Each of the sessions will be led by a member of the Executive Group (EG) and take place on a range of dates and in various locations. If you’re interested in attending a session, click on Staff Connect, where you can search for the session(s) you’re interested in under ‘Training Request’. Select ‘Briefings and Updates’ in the drop-down menu marked ‘Type’ and hit the blue Search button to see all the sessions.

As we are using Staff Connect to manage event bookings, each one will generate a request to your line manager to authorise your attendance – it is our expectation that managers will support attendance unless there are strong operational reasons justifying a refusal.

All the events are designed to cater to large audiences of approximately 50 staff. Where we are over-subscribed, we will look to arrange additional sessions where possible. There will also be a number of pop-up roadshow events detailing more about the changes and collating feedback.