Week One

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The results are in after the first week of our engagement survey. In first place are our alumni with 74 responses. A close second are professional services with 59, followed by our academic staff with 39 responses. In a strong fourth place are our students with 30 responses. A total of over 230 have replied, so thank you to all who have sent us their views on the recruitment of our next Vice-Chancellor. When we did a similar exercise in 2018 we had 857 responses, so keep them coming.

There are already some interesting thoughts coming through. We asked about the personal values which the next Vice-Chancellor will need in their leadership. The top five are:

  • Integrity
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion (which I have grouped together)
  • Empathy
  • Vision
  • Listening

There are core values and focus strongly on the view from within the University. Further down the list we are starting to see a few which reflect the need for the Vice-Chancellor to be effective looking out from the University, as much as looking in. For example: partnering, collaborative, open-minded, outward-looking, internationalist. Its going to be interesting to see how this balances by the time the survey ends. Amongst the less popular was “not a woke warrior”, which led me to some very unusual sites when I googled it. We have also had a number of suggestions for individuals who might be suitable for the role which we will discuss with our recruitment agency, Perrett Laver. I am grateful to the individual student who volunteered for the role, but might I suggest that putting ‘salary’ at the top of the list for why you want the job may not get you onto the shortlist.

We also had the first focus group this week with a number of academic staff. A very wide-ranging and positive discussion about how we can build on our successes and go even further. Its lovely to see such ambition in members of the University. Members of the Committee on the Office of Vice-Chancellor are trying to attend all of these events so they can hear your thoughts first-hand, so its really worth coming along if you can. These events really do work best in person, but given how our working patterns have changed in recent years, we have decided to put on a small number of online focus groups to give greater opportunity to hear your views. Details of these will be on a University home-page article, so please do sign-up.

As we start to analyse views, thoughts turn to how we present the University to the recruitment market. My current bedside reading list includes the recent VC recruitment brochures for Cardiff, Durham, Liverpool and York and thinking of ways to make our recruitment distinctive. Welcome any ideas.


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