Category Archives: Strategic projects

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.  

KMMS logo

Calling all staff – help wanted for KMMS interviews

Do you have any availability to help the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) with its Multiple Mini Interviews?

We are seeking support on the following dates at the University of Kent campus:

Tuesday 7 January 2020
Wednesday 8 January 2020
Thursday 9 January 2020

You would be supporting the selection process for the first cohort of medical students, joining KMMS, meeting some of the first students and getting an insight into how the Medical School selects doctors in training.

The sorts of things we need help with are: timekeeping (the multiple mini interview circuit consists of seven different stations with a specific amount of time for each station so good time keeping is crucial!), handing out of information to students, chaperoning students, directing people around the circuits and any general admin responsibilities.

These are three 12-hour days for KMMS staff so we would be incredibly grateful of your time and support!

We have created videos for our students about MMIs on our website (scroll to the bottom of the page) so you might like to watch them too.

Please get approval from your manager as needed.

To find out more, or to offer your time please email Mary Langford: mary.langford@kmms.ac.uk

 

Ethics code

New University Ethics Code published

The University’s new Ethics Code is now available to read online. The Code – first published in May 2019 – was drafted by the Ethics Committee, a sub-committee of Council, and approved by both Senate and Council.

The Code applies to the University of Kent community – students, staff and members of Council – who are expected to adhere to, uphold and apply the Code during their day-to-day activities.

The Code aims to help community members make decisions where there are ethical implications. These are a common feature across all areas of University life – from staff members deciding whether to accept a gift from an external supplier, to behaviour and decisions taken during elections for student and staff committee posts. The Code also identifies how and where ethical concerns should be raised.

The Code has guidelines built around the following headings:

1 – Responsibility and accountability
2 – Integrity, honesty and transparency
3 – Academic freedom, critical thinking and intellectual creativity
4 – Equality, diversity and inclusivity
5 – Collegiality
6 – Sustainability
7 – Making a positive impact

Sarah Gibson, Chair of the University’s Ethics Committee and a lay member of the University’s Council, said: ‘We all face ethical decisions in our professional lives, and this Code provides a clear framework to help the University community identify and work through these issues. It demonstrates the University’s commitment to the highest standards of ethical behaviour in all aspects of university life.’

Membership of the Ethics Committee includes University representatives from the areas of research ethics and governance, fundraising, anti-bribery and corruption and international partnerships alongside lay members of Council and students.

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.

Industrial action

Industrial action update

The University and College Union (UCU) has announced its intention to launch industrial action in the form of a strike and action short of a strike (ASOS) as a part of its dispute relating to the national pay award.

The strike action is scheduled to begin on 25 November and last eight days, ending on 4 December. The ASOS is to begin on the same day and continue until April.

The Executive Group (EG) recognises the strength of feeling surrounding the dispute and is aware that this is unsettling for many staff and students. Although this is a national dispute, and cannot be resolved at a local level, work is already underway at the University to address many of the issues raised as part of the pay claim.

To ensure all staff have the information they need, the University has launched dedicated industrial action web pages for staff, including links to the industrial action pay policy, FAQs, information about the background to the dispute and what Kent is doing. Web pages for students are also now available to help answer students’ questions and ensure they have the support and information they need. Both websites will be updated routinely in coming days and weeks.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and Universities UK (UUK) have issued a joint open letter to staff affected by the disputes confirming that UCU have been formally invited to discuss what the employers’ association can do at sector-level to support individual institutions on issues around workloads, equality and casualisation.

In the meantime, EG will continue to do all it can at a local and national level to find a way forward.

The University is also doing everything it can to minimise disruption and to mitigate against the impact on students whose experience remains the utmost priority during this time.

 

Organising for Success: Director of Division appointments

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.

We have now made the following appointments to our new Director of Division roles:

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

We are continuing the process of appointing Directors to the remaining divisions and will communicate outcomes as soon as possible. In the meantime, the new Directors of Division will begin in their roles from 1 December and join Executive Group from that date. Announcements relating to our Directors of Operations for the Divisions will be made shortly.

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.

Coronavirus

Industrial action update

On Tuesday 5 November, the Kent branch of the University and College Union (UCU) announced its intention to take part in strike action over an eight-day period, from 25 November until 4 December, and action short of a strike (ASOS) to last beyond that date.

The planned action comes off the back of a national UCU ballot asking members to indicate whether they would be prepared to strike or take action short of strike (ASOS) on issues around pay and working conditions. Kent is one of 55 institutions where UCU secured a mandate for industrial action on the issue of pay and conditions.

The University’s Executive Group (EG) has recognised the strength of feeling expressed and the frustration that many staff feel on key issues around pay and conditions. EG is also aware that the potential for industrial action is unsettling for many of our staff and students.

This outcome is within a context of challenging circumstances at Kent and the sector as a whole. The higher education sector is facing unprecedented financial, regulatory and political challenges and the competitive recruitment environment has had a particular and unhelpful impact on Kent’s finances.

EG will continue to reflect on what all this means for Kent, and the options open to them. EG has also indicated to UCU that they are positive about an ongoing dialogue and hope that, through discussion with them and other stakeholders, a way forward may be found.

In the event that strike action goes ahead, EG will do all it can to minimise disruption and more information will be published to help staff navigate this difficult time and mitigate against the impact on students, whose experience remains the utmost priority.

Have your say

2019 Staff Survey – have your say now!

Just to remind you the staff survey will remain open to all staff until 13 November. You can take part in the survey now via this link.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to provide confidential feedback on your perception of Kent as a place to work and help us understand some of the issues that affect your working life – what we do well and what we can do better. We want to know how we measure up against our values and Kent 2025 ambitions during this time of organisational change.

Unlike the previous survey, the main purpose is to gauge feelings across the University during this time of change, enabling us to benchmark engagement levels during and after the Organising for Success project. Obtaining a measure of how well (or not) the University is navigating through change will provide valuable feedback on how and where to act. The results will be used for high-level action planning which will feed into the strategy for effectively delivering Organising for Success.

The Staff Survey is just one method of obtaining staff feedback during this time of change. Organising for Success was developed following extensive feedback from staff, with a number of staff engagement sessions as the proposals were developed. The focus is now on implementing the agreed proposals to ensure we can deliver the project by the end of 2020.

Staff will continue to have a voice as the plans are implemented – each implementation strand for Organising for Success will form stakeholder groups as needed to implement part of the project, with Strand Leads responsible for ensuring appropriate levels of engagement with all stakeholders.

Additionally, as announced in a  recent VC blog, EG members and colleagues will be holding further Open Forums later in the year which will allow feedback on what is working, what is not working as well as we would like, and how we can do things differently. Please visit the dedicated Organising for Success webpage for more detail.

For more information on the survey, please see our Staff Survey webpages.  If your question has not been answered here, please speak to your line manager or email: staffsurvey@kent.ac.uk