Leadership Bulletin – April 2017

The Building a Great University update from the April 2017 Leadership Bulletin

Building a great universityRichard Calvert

Building a Great University sounds like a pretty bold ambition – and rightly so. But what does it mean? And isn’t that what the whole strategy is about? Of course, at one level the answer is yes – we’re not going to be a great university if we don’t have great teaching and learning, research and all the other things covered by the other three pillars of the strategy. But nor are we going to be great at all those things if we don’t have the right people and culture, smart systems and processes, buildings that work for us and our students, effective and joined-up professional services, and much more: in other words, the foundations that underpin our academic and wider work. And that’s what this pillar is all about.

We know that we’ve got some great things going on in the areas covered by this pillar. But we also know, and this came through clearly in feedback on the strategy, that there’s much we can do better. At the heart of this pillar is the new Professional Services Operating Model, through which we’ll be building a clear picture of what the University and our students are going to need from professional services – not just now, but over the next 3-5 years and beyond – and then looking at how we can best set ourselves up to meet these needs. We’ll be putting in place a clear vision for our physical and digital estate, as well as how we are going to deliver this. Through the Hallam Deal, we will further reinforce Hallam’s position as a great place to work. And there’ll be work in other areas too, including on our external engagement, as well as on commercial and financial plans.

There’s a lot in this agenda, and it will impact everyone in the University. Through the pillar board, which met for the first time last week, we’ll be looking to sequence and prioritise this in a way which maintains momentum and pace, while also recognising that not everything can or should change at once. We’re also committed to an open and honest engagement with staff. There’s a huge prize for the University and our students if we get this right. I and my colleagues on the board look forward to working with you over the period ahead.

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