....stage two

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You have to have been a project manager to understand why I might feel excited about colouring in the final box on a Gantt chart and declaring Stage One of the project to find our next Vice-Chancellor complete. So having put the crayons away, I'll get on with this week's blog.

The survey which has been running since late January closed on Friday with 857 respondents (41% staff, 25% students, 24% alumni and a broad range of other stakeholders) who made 2,488 comments. We also finished the focus groups last week with over 200 attendees, which has given me over 100 sheets of flipchart to assimilate. Thank you to all who took the time to contribute, but engagement with this process doesn't end there. Please do write to me if you have questions or suggestions, and I'll feature any common themes in this blog. The Committee overseeing the recruitment process are now reviewing the results of this engagement exercise which will feed into the job description and person specification for Stage Two.

I am also pleased that, after initially starting with seven possibles, we have now commissioned Saxton Bampfylde to help us with the search stage of this project. Hamish Laing and Dr Jennifer Barnes will be working with us, looking nationally, internationally and beyond (sorry, got a bit carried away - lets stick to this planet); inside and outside the HE sector to find individuals who have the skills and experience we need.

The next meeting of the Committee, chaired by the Chancellor, will be on 21 March at which the job description and person specification will be discussed, alongside advice from the Remuneration Committee on what we might offer to secure the right person for the role. More on this in a future blog.


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  • Hi Richard
    Thanks for this. Martians might indeed do a better job than us humans! I appreciate these updates and the wider discussion that is now happening. I am always hopeful of a good outcome and this kind of open and regular communication helps.
    All best
    Rana Jawad (SPS)

    • Rana. Douglas Adams describes, in H2G2, the Hooloovoo as 'a super intelligent shade of the colour blue'. I thought that might be appropriate. Thanks for the positive feedback, Richard.

  • Hi Richard,

    Thanks for keeping us updated on this important process. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the workshops but I did get some good informal feedback on these from my colleagues who did attend. Having updates such as this ensures that I can keep informed even though I couldn't attend.



    • Chris. Thanks for the feedback. I do enjoy writing these, so knowing that people are reading them is a good motivation to carry on. I am hopeful that later this month I will be able to publish the results of the whole engagement exercise - both focus groups and survey. Richard