Weekly update from the Vice-Chancellor - 21/01/2022

Posted in: Weekly Update

Dear colleague,

As we’re in the midst of our assessment period, I’d like to warmly thank all those who are working so hard to ensure these go smoothly. My best wishes for the remaining exams next week and, of course, the subsequent work that assessment periods always entail.

Plans for Semester 2
I hope you received my e-mail yesterday outlining our plans for Semester 2, following the news that Plan B measures are being lifted over the next week. This information is also available online.

Staff wellbeing
Although Covid remains with us, and we must remain vigilant and supportive of each other, I am hopeful that the easing of restrictions will bring real benefit to our community, as I am acutely aware of the pressures we have been under since the start of the pandemic. As we continue to seek to support staff wellbeing, there will be opportunities to connect with University Wellbeing Champions on ‘Time to Talk’ day, Thursday 3 February, with further information to be published in the coming days about how to join in person or online. I was pleased to see that more colleagues have joined the network of Wellbeing Champions, increasing the number of sources of support for those who would like to reach out, and would like to thank all involved.

Senior leadership team
In order to be in the best shape possible to deliver our University strategy, we have been making some changes to roles within the senior leadership team. To keep the senior team around the same size, as people have moved on we have not replaced some senior roles, for example the University Secretary and Commercial Director, and have redistributed responsibilities.

In addition to the incoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Phil Allmendinger, our three Pro-Vice-Chancellors (PVCs) are focussed on Education, Research and Student Experience, and provide strategic leadership for these core elements of our strategy. Many of you will have already met Professor Julian Chaudhuri (PVC Education) and Professor Sarah Hainsworth (PVC Research) who in December joined Professor Cassie Wilson (PVC Student Experience) to complete that team.

We also have two Vice-President roles, one focussed on Enterprise and the other focussed on Community & Inclusion. The Vice-President posts focus on progressing the Partnerships and Community pillars of our strategy. Professor Jonathan Knight is our Vice-President for Enterprise, providing leadership for developing and implementing research partnerships, innovation, and knowledge exchange. And today, I am very pleased to be able to officially welcome the colleague who will be joining him in the community-focussed Vice-President role.

Vice-President (Community & Inclusion) appointed
I am delighted that we have appointed Professor Rajani Naidoo as Vice-President (Community & Inclusion). Professor Naidoo is Professor in Higher Education Management and Director of the International Centre for Higher Education Management in the School of Management. She has also been Head of the University’s Race Equality Taskforce since October 2020.

As Vice-President, Professor Naidoo will focus on supporting a thriving, successful and inclusive University community of staff and students at all levels. She will lead on our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, support wellbeing initiatives and other personnel matters as well as representing the University on relevant issues externally. I look forward to working with her when she starts the role at the beginning of February.

Of course, leadership in the University occurs across all teams, in both academic and professional services spheres, and includes personal leadership shown by so many in our community. It is only through our senior leaders including the Deans, Directors and Heads of Departments working together with our academic and professional services communities that we will successfully achieve our mission.

LGBT+ History Month
February is LGBT+ History Month and, with thanks to the Kaleidoscope Committee, several events have been arranged to enable greater awareness and to facilitate support. These include a discussion group and events focussed on our research. You can find more information online and more events will be publicised in the coming weeks.

Ahs showcase
Our colleagues in Ahs will be holding a showcase of their work and plans across accommodation, hospitality, security and more from 11am-2pm on Thursday 3 February in the Claverton Rooms. It will be a drop-in event where you can meet the Ahs Managers and see some stalls showcasing what they do. I’d encourage you to go along if you are able.

Congratulations and thanks
I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate warmly Professor Yvonne Jewkes from the Department of Social & Policy Sciences who won the MRS President’s Medal at the end of last year for her innovative research about the impact of penal architecture on prisoners and prison staff. Congratulations on this wonderful achievement.

I would also like to pay tribute to Alex Butler, Chief Digital and Information Officer, for all she has contributed to the University both in the digital sphere and in terms of her work on equality, diversity and inclusion. She leaves her role at the end of this month, and we wish her every success in the future.

With best wishes,

Professor Ian White
Vice-Chancellor and President

Posted in: Weekly Update

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