Chair’s message to the members | November 2020

Hello fellow AUA members

Amanda Oliver, Chair of the AUA, takes a moment to reflect on 2020 and announces the Diamond Jubilee Strategic Vision for the Association as we approach our 60th year.

Hello everyone,

I would like to introduce myself as your Chair. My name is Amanda Oliver and I am the Director of College Operations at Brunel University London. I want to reflect a little on the past few months but also to think ahead to the future.

Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to every AUA member. Your support has made all the difference to what has been a very challenging year for the AUA.

For the Association, the impact of the pandemic was immediate. Cancelling all of our events; from local activity to our 2020 Annual Conference was devastating. Membership recruitment has been affected by the sudden move to remote working, disrupting the face-to-face network activity and word of mouth recommendations we rely on to reach new members.  We appreciate your support now more than ever.

For me this experience has highlighted the importance of our community and demonstrated all over again, why I am a member of the AUA. Belonging to such a supportive professional community has helped me through these turbulent months.

We have pulled together and I want to say a special thank you to the AUA Team and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to adapt our activity and enabled us to continue to connect, develop and support members over the last eight months. Many of you have kindly taken the time to tell us how you are benefitting from the online development and learning we’re now offering and lots of you are sharing experiences and supporting each other on the AUA Forum. 

Later this month I will welcome many of you to our Annual Lecture which follows our Autumn Conference. This year these events also launch our new strategy. The Future HE Professionals research project captured the views of over 2000 HE professionals and shaped a clear and confident strategic vision for the AUA framed on three promises we make to members.

We promise to:

• Empower you and your career journey
• Support your professional development
• Improve your professional practice

Everything we do and offer delivers these promises so that we can be confident when we say that joining the AUA will enhance your career, develop you professionally and personally and enrich your experience of working in university professional services. We will soon be launching a new online AUA CPD tool along with the new AUA Mentoring scheme, making it a great time to be a member of the AUA.

And this is why I encourage you to engage with all the opportunities of membership and to tell your colleagues about the AUA community and what being a part of it means to you.

Since our establishment in 1961 the AUA has existed for the benefit of our members and it is our members that have enabled us to get through this turbulent year. Your support continues to make a difference and we look forward to supporting your development for years to come. So please tell your colleagues about the AUA and let’s extend our network, the AUA has a lot to offer as do you and between us we can support and develop ourselves and the sector.

Read our new strategic vision in full here.

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