Board briefing November 2019 | AUA Blog

Kathy Murray MAUA
Director of Operations


The Board of Trustees made the journey to Manchester twice last month. On the 10 October they gathered with members of the AUA Team to discuss and debate the priorities of a strategy that will take the AUA beyond 2020. They came together again on the 18 October for the Board’s regular autumn meeting where although much of the agenda continued the conversation on strategy, there were several decisions made about exciting developments for the membership offer.

Ultimately the Board wants to develop a strategy that ensures the AUA continues to:
• provide a space that enables and encourages members to develop in their roles and enjoy a fulfilling career in higher education
• support higher education organisations to improve professional services performance and practice

The crux of the discussion at the away day was about the importance of a strategy that meets the needs of the future HE professional. We need to understand how the sector will change, and more specifically what these changes mean for professional services. Then we can offer the right kind of development opportunities and services that equip and support our members and their institutions through any future change.

Writing it down is easier that making it happen. A time machine to travel into the future and back again would be very handy, but without a crystal ball to hand the Board decided to do the next best thing – market research. Whilst not as exciting as time travel, we are committed to better understanding the needs of our community into the future and more details about the proposed ‘Future of HE Professionals’ project, including how you can get involved will be released soon.

It is exciting thinking about the AUA’s longer term future, but there is excitement brewing now at the AUA following the Board’s approval of three business cases.

The first proposal to get the green light was a business case to develop a member mentoring scheme, and secondly a business case to develop an online CPD Framework tool. Although in their infancy, work has already started and we shall keep you updated on their development.

The third green light was for phase two of AUA Consulting. Operating as a pilot since January, we’ve had an encouraging first year and delivered a number of successful projects and continue to receive enquiries about the service. As the information on the website says AUA Consulting is about improving professional services practice and developing professional services performance. It is a consulting practice that is ‘of the sector for the sector’ – our Consultants are HE practitioners, which for clients mean we combine the benefits of an external perspective with sector specific expertise. Any financial surplus derived from AUA Consulting is reinvested to support the AUA’s charitable objectives – connecting and developing HE professionals – for the benefit of our members in support of the sector. Please spread the word about AUA Consulting in your networks, you can direct people to

One of the reasons for setting up AUA Consulting is to diversify the Association’s income so that we can undertake developments such as the mentoring scheme project mentioned above to provide an enhanced member offer. This additional activity helps us ensure the AUA is secure financially. Our auditor attended the meeting and reported a clean audit and stable financial position, a positive starting point to develop a strategy for the benefit of all in the AUA community.

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