Working Session Four

Tuesday 11 April

14:05 – 15:20

401: Transforming approach to change

401: Transforming the Approach to Change

Using Lean to increase participation and engagement with change at Oxford


The University of Oxford recently piloted Lean as a structured, participative approach to change. Lean was chosen because its foci on customer value and reduction of waste matched the Academic Administration Division’s (AAD) requirement for a methodology which would engage staff and release resource capacity by reducing wasted effort. SUMS Consulting was asked to introduce Lean concepts to the Academic Administration Division at the University and to facilitate a number of Lean workshops focusing on processes related to student fees and funding. This presentation will bring together three perspectives on Lean. Firstly, the academic background to the methodology and how it has been used in other sectors. Secondly, the Oxford experience and how it has changed Oxford’s approach to change in its academic administration. Lastly, a wider sector experience of Lean and similar methodologies.
This session will be divided into the following five sections:
1) Background of change across the administration at Oxford to establish the context for the introduction of Lean (JB)
2) Lean as an approach to change, advantages, disadvantages, uses in other sectors (SCT)
3) Oxford’s experience of the Lean pilot, including a summary of the short term and longer term changes identified as part of the pilot (JB)
4) Implementation experiences and impacts of Lean from across the Higher Education Sector (examples from England, Scotland, Wales and Australia) (SCT)
5) How Lean has transformed change across the administration (JB)
We will leave time for questions at the end.

Joanna Barry, Head of Student Fees and Funding, University of Oxford
Joanna is Head of Student Fees and Funding at the University of Oxford, managing a team which administers bursaries, scholarships, loans, international opportunities, and hardship funding worth over £10m p.a., and is responsible for all aspects of University fees administration. The team collaborates closely with Oxford’s colleges and departments in order to support the University’s 20,000 on-course students, prospective applicants and offer holders who all require clear guidance on financial support and fee arrangements at Oxford. Joanna has a particular interest in the sponsored support opportunities available to undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds, which include Oxford’s own flagship scheme, the Moritz-Heyman Scholarship Programme supporting over 500 scholars from the lowest-income households. The team is currently working on introducing a new online application system across multiple schemes it administers to streamline processing and award allocation and enhance the student experience. Joanna has been in her current role for two years and within the Student Administration department for eight years. She is a member of the HEBSS (Higher Education Bursary and Scholarship Scheme) steering group, which is a service provided through the SLC and her team members are affiliated with NASMA (National Association of Student Money Advisors). She has participated in the Lean pilot at Oxford from January 2016 onwards.

Claire Taylor, Principal Consultant, SUMS Consulting
Claire has been a Principal Consultant with SUMS Consulting since 2006. After graduating from Oxford she spent four years with Procter & Gamble working in IT Systems Management. She then spent four years as a semi-professional international cricketer before combining work at SUMS with her sporting ambitions. Claire’s particular interests lie in comparator studies and she has worked on a wide range of consultancy assignments. Claire completed an MA in Applied Management in 2016 at Henley Business School, University of Reading. The topic for her dissertation was the use of Lean in the UK Higher Education sector. As part of this work she helped to facilitate the Pilot Lean Review at Oxford and led the Post-Implementation Review (PIR) of the pilot. Interviews were conducted with colleagues at a further seven UK institutions which had experience of implementing Lean or a similar methodology. The report for Oxford provided recommendations on their future use of Lean, potential organisation structures to support Lean and estimated the required return on investment from Lean projects to support institutional investment. Claire has been a member of the AUA for over ten years and has presented at a number of sector conferences including AUA, BUDFG, WPM and HESCA. SUMS Consulting is a niche management consultancy organisation and educational charity, owned and run by universities, that combines a deep knowledge of higher education with specialised expertise in strategy implementation, business improvement and organisational transformation.

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402: Social business models...

402: Plugging into Social Business models

Communities and Collaboration in a Digital World


Silo mentalities and structures limit the ability of colleagues to come together to achieve transformative change and deliver maximum impact. But very often, outside of a few tightly focused interdisciplinary opportunities, we hardly see people on other floors of buildings we work in, let alone colleagues from other buildings or campus locations. And so we miss the opportunity to interact with each other, and spark off each other, and to develop the sense of community and connection that lies at the heart of really productive and rewarding work experiences. And yet digital technology has the potential to provide an amazing variety of platforms and approaches to address these issues. You only have to book a taxi through Uber, find a fascinating report through a link on twitter, or connect with intriguing opportunities through Meet up or Eventbrite to understand the potential of this information revolution. However there are many issues, from vertical bias and development needs, to resource constraints, compliance risk and lack of system salience, as to why it could be that this potential remains latent in some organisations. This session aims to explore these issues in an insightful and tangible way, to provide attendees with insight and practical ideas that they can reflect on and could utilise to help achieve transformation of their connectivity with colleagues and working practices. As we slowly mover towards the post-paper era, the session will consider the dimensions we must consider in both transforming process management, and in effective collaboration and consensus building in a digital domain, and share the lessons learned to date on a project to rejuvenate a failed staff intranet site beyond web 2.0 into a forward looking staff gateway project. The session will also provide a brief overview of a number of current platform options in the digital collaboration space, including Huddle, Slack, and of course Dropbox.
John Baker, Corporate & Business Planning Manager, London South Bank University
John has worked in a variety of roles at London South Bank University, formerly in departmental administration and faculty management, and after a spell as a project manager within the Executive Office, is now responsible for managing the approach to planning, risk management and performance reporting at a corporate and operational level – working within the newly formed Finance and Management Information Professional Service Group. Prior to entering the world of Higher Education he had a career in Arts Administration, working as Building Manager of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Facilities Manager at the Riverside Studios, and Front of House manager at the Prince Edward Theatre, after initially studying Law at Hull University. He is particularly interested in the effective application of technology and process efficiency, as well as risk strategy, and is currently grappling with the concept of Enterprise Content Management. He has been a member of the AUA since 2007, and is also a trustee of the Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust, which is seeking to restore for regional benefit and community use the ruined church at the entrance to the former naval dockyard on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, which is listed at grade 2* and is on the English Heritage register of buildings at risk.

Christopher Sarchet, Change Manager, London Metropolitan University
Christopher’s special interest is the professionalisation of administration in higher education and particularly the improvement of the management of change. Before working in higher education Christopher worked for the Civil Service, Local Government and the Kings Fund as administrator, political advisor and facilities manager. Christopher has over twenty years practical experience of management in higher education both at faculty and central organisational levels in two post 92 universities. He is a qualitative researcher and completed a professional doctorate in Business Administration in 2009. His practical thesis ‘Managing in the middle, the practice of managing change in English universities’ led to him establishing the Association of University Administrator’s (AUA) Managing Change in Higher Education themed network (he is the Convenor). He is a Fellow of the AUA .

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403: Writing Clearly

403: Writing Clearly

Avoiding complex language in drafting policies and procedures

This session will help staff understand the principles of writing in plain English and will provide interactive training on applying those principles to University policies and procedures. Attendees will learn the techniques and approaches required to present complex ideas clearly and concisely, without losing crucial information. The session will prepare staff to reconsider and revise their own procedures, to the benefit of all who use them.
Richard Booth, Student Casework Manager, Birmingham City University
Richard’s career began at Green Alliance, an environmental policy think tank based in Westminster, where he oversaw the organisation’s events and managed the corporate membership scheme. Seeking a new challenge, Richard re-trained as a barrister and joined the Bar Pro Bono Unit as a caseworker. The Unit is the UK’s only charity providing assistance from professionally-qualified barristers to those who cannot afford to pay and who do not qualify for legal aid. After an internal restructure, Richard was appointed Head of Casework and led colleagues in streamlining the organisation’s often complex and lengthy casework process. Richard moved into the HE sector in November 2015, taking up his current role of Student Casework Manager at Birmingham City University. He works alongside Steph Talliss-Foster and line-manages the casework team in administering and advising on the University’s procedures. Richard is interested in quality and assurance, encouraging active engagement amongst stakeholders, and enhancing the student experience by making procedures more accessible and easier to navigate. Richard holds a BA (Hons) in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. He completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Bar Professional Training Course at City University London. Richard is a Barrister Member of Gray’s Inn.

Steph Talliss-Foster, Assistant Director (Complaints and Appeals), Birmingham City University
Steph began her administrative career in university finance, quickly realising that quality assurance held more interest for her than balance sheets. Having worked to help secure TDAP for Newman University College (now Newman University), Steph served on the QAA Advisory Group revising Section 5 of the Code of Practice on Academic appeals and student complaints on academic matters (2007). Having worked in the Birmingham area for many years, Steph decided that a change of scenery (and weather) was in order and moved to work at the University of Wales, Lampeter and still has dear friends in the area. Steph worked briefly at the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority before taking up her current role as Assistant Director of Student Services (Complaints and Appeals) at Birmingham City University. Steph’s professional interests include regulatory matters, quality and standards, continuing professional development, and service improvement. Steph recently project-managed a major procedure review at Birmingham City University aimed at presenting information in plain English, achieving the Plain English Campaign’s Crystal Mark accreditation for all revised procedures. Following on from this project, Steph delivered a presentation at the OIA’s annual open meeting in 2016 along with the BCU Students’ Union President. Steph advocates the importance of wellbeing underpinning effective work and study and so runs a monthly knitter natter group. Steph holds undergraduate degrees in both Law and Psychology, and postgraduate degrees in Applied Forensic Psychology, Legal Practice, Professional Practice, Learning and Teaching, and Research Practice. She is currently studying for a PhD in Psychology. Steph is a Fellow of both the AUA and HEA, and a Graduate member of the BPS.

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404: From Technology Implementation to Service Transformation

404: From Technology Implementation to Service Transformation


Due to unforeseen circumstances, this session has unfortunately been cancelled.

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405: Internationalisation of Universities

405: Internationalisation of Universities: Collaborative Transformation Efforts

Transformation of Russian Universities Through the Academic Excellence Project 5-100


Over the last three years Higher Education System in Russia has undergone a dramatic change which was induced by an ambitious nation-wide Academic Excellence Project (“Project 5-100”). The goal of the project is to enable 5 Russian universities to enter top-100 in world university rankings by 2020. The initiative was launched in 2013 and through demonstrating their achievements and strategic goals 15 universities were able to receive funding to implement their plans on becoming world-class universities. In 2015 six more higher educational institutions were chosen to join the Project 5-100. Participation in this Academic Excellence Project has triggered massive transformations in the ways universities structure their education products, hiring procedures, and university environment to make them fully accessible to international students and colleagues. As internationalisation and global academic recognition of Russian Universities are the key Project goals, universities-participants have to measure up to the standards and practices of the global academic community. One of the first concerns was which practices and existing experience to choose so as to help foster the global quality of educational products and services while recognising the diversity of HEI participating in the Academic Excellence Project. At the first meeting of participating universities the Rectors established an association of participating HEI “Global Universities”, primarily for networking, sharing of best practices and joint advocacy for legislative changes. There are 12 working groups which discuss the most pressing issues and develop recommendations for participants based on the existing experience of universities in Russia and across the world. The groups are ranging from support for international faculty and students, English-speaking university environment, professional development programmes for faculty and staff to promotion of research results and of educational products, to name a few. Another challenge the participating universities faced was how to provide administrative support for the ambitious goals of attracting the best international faculty and students. There are several possible models, the most common distinctions being centralised vs. integrated and existing structures vs. new ones. Initially centralised support usually enables to gain the most effect while using resources wisely, but as the number of students and faculty grows, there is a need for integrated solutions, which allows to avoid the trap of segregating the internationals and thus creating a ‘split university’. To maintain a delicate balance between ensuring the standards of support for international faculty and students and decentralising the provision of university services in both local language and English, the universities set a high bar for the administrative staff and include them in the internationalisation efforts. These new challengers put university administrators in the limelight, they triggered the launch of professional development programmes which aim at enabling the administrative reform in universities which will help them meet the take their place among the best universities in the world.

Yulia Grinkevich, Director of the Office of Internationalisation, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia)
Yulia Grinkevich is a Director of Internationalisation at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow. She completed her doctoral studies in Culture Studies at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Regional Studies at Moscow State University in 2006, where she earlier obtained a master’s degree in linguistics and intercultural communication and a specialist degree in Biochemistry. Dr Grinkevich also holds degree in Marketing from Moscow International Higher School of Business (Mirbis). She has worked in different state and private educational institutions in various roles for more than two decades. In January 2013, she joined HSE. Her work includes development of support services for international professors and students which foster their integration into the university, integration of international administrative practices as well as development of dual language environment at the university. Having been always interested in professional staff training and development, Yulia also is a leader of HSE professional development programme for university administrators. Yulia is also a steering member of working groups on international faculty and student support, and on professional development programmes within the Association of Global Universities of Russia. Dr Grinkevich has been elected to the Steering Group of the EAIE Expert Community Strategy and Management of the 2016-2018 EAIE Leadership.

Maria Shabanova, Deputy Director of the Academic Integration Centre, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia)
Maria Shabanova is a Deputy Director at the Academic Integration Centre of the Office of Internationalisation at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow. Maria holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from National Research University Higher School of Economics, and a B.A. in Political Science from Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Maria was an intern at international human rights organisations during her studies, and after graduation worked for a non-governmental organisation in Russia on issues of non-discrimination and freedom of assembly and speech before joining HSE in 2013. At HSE Maria initially worked as a manager for an English-taught Master’s programme, dealing with services and procedures for students, and in 2014 she joined the Academic Integration Centre to work with issues concerning international faculty and students on a university level. Currently she works with various departments and offices on the issues of integrating international faculty into university environment, as well as edits and writes for an English-speaking university bulletin.

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406: Finding Flow...

406: Finding Flow: Improving Student Experience by Improving Staff Experience; From LEAN Process Analysis to User-based Design


Including a case study of how these tools were used for development of an Admissions System.


In large and complex organisations, such as Universities, processes often evolve around our structures rather than being designed with a focus on understanding and meeting the needs of our end users. Loughborough University’s Change Team, established in 2013, works with colleagues across the organisation to review processes that cut across Schools and Professional Services and to improve the experience of our end users. Doing better for our end users often results in staff time savings which enable colleagues to focus their efforts on more value-add activities which better support the University’s strategic aims. In recognition of the success of a project looking at our employment and claims processes for bought-in University teaching, the Change Team and HR Team at Loughborough University received the following awards: • Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award – Outstanding Strategic Planning Team • Midland HR Award – Most transformational HR/Payroll project Members of the Change Team will share Loughborough’s approach to process review and service improvement. An interactive activity, based on a real case study, will allow you to: walk in the shoes of someone learning how a process works in reality and not how Managers assume it is working; map the existing process effectively; analyse the process to identify failure demand, duplication and hand-offs which lead to long process times and end user dissatisfaction; and how to design out this waste to achieve a better outcome for end users and the organisation alike. 

Hannah White, Head of Systems and Solutions Analysis, Quality Service Transformation, King’s College London
A HE professional since graduating including a year as a Student Union Sabbatical. I have gradually moved from establishing student experience via welfare services, to managing timetabling, departmental planning and registry. I love to find solutions, so I always ended up working on projects, and finally moved to my current role at King’s. In this role I manage a team of staff supporting and developing systems and processes for the Students and Education Directorate. The role and team were created to provide essential business support and resource to the ambitious goals of the Directorate and King’s. We do a mix of business analysis, project management, change management and process review; as well as practical implementation support: including testing, training and systems support. As part of the wider Quality Service Transformation team, we work on broader projects including policy, management practice and business strategy. There is an increasing need to demonstrate benefits of projects, and my experience is that HEI’s are just beginning a cultural shift to incorporate tools and techniques (from LEAN to Business analysis) to consider that changes are embedded and successful. All of these are just tools to establish a holistic view of the business needs, which I think is essential to success. I’m particularly interested in change management principles, for example IT projects often don’t plan for the human factor. And how management practices and strategies to engage staff, can benefit the student experience, although these can be seen to be in conflict. This is particularly relevant to my role as many changes around the university, have a technological component, and user experience is still not a widespread practice.

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407: Building resilience...

407: Building Resilience in Times of Personal and Professional Change


When everything is changing around you – a familiar feeling for Higher Education professionals – it can be a challenge to deal with changes in a constructive and positive way. This workshop is designed to provide a supportive and open environment in which delegates can explore techniques to build resilience in their own professional practice and personal life; particularly in times of personal and professional change. It is designed for those going through a period of change, rather than those who are looking to manage change. The session facilitators will draw on their own recent experience of significant personal and professional changes, in combination with reflective theory, to present an emotionally intelligent framework for building resilience. Delegates will then have the opportunity to explore their own situations in small groups, working through the framework with input from the facilitators. Themes which will be covered in the session include:
– Similarities and differences in the ways we can approach personal and professional change
– The importance of acknowledging emotional responses to change, and how to approach this constructively
– Reframing challenging situations
– Coping with negativity
– The role of the peer mentor

Rachel Van Krimpen, Doctoral Training Partnership Manager (BBSRC and NERC), University of Nottingham
Rachel Van Krimpen has worked in the Graduate School at the University of Nottingham as Doctoral Training Partnership Manager (BBSRC and NERC) since March 2015. Her career in Higher Education started on the University of Nottingham Graduate Trainee Programme and since then she has managed Research Council studentships at the University of Birmingham and worked in Off Campus Student Affairs at Nottingham. Her main professional interests centre around process improvement, partnership working and the student experience.

Beth Yearsley, Student Services Administrator – Placements, Partnerships and Mobility, University of Nottingham
Beth Yearsley is a Higher Education professional and currently works within Placements and Employability at the University of Nottingham. She is also Chair of the Women’s Staff Network at the University where she leads a network of over 500 women. As well as working at the University, Beth also works for the Navigators, a world-wide charitable organisation. In this capacity she specialises as a mentor and pastoral coach for students from the Universities of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent. Beth is passionate about people; helping them to develop and seeing them flourish.

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408: Cancelled

408: Cancelled

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409: Meetings for meetings sake

409: Meetings for Meetings Sake, Make Them Work for you and your Team


How a team communicates will determine how well it achieves success. Trust, respect and communication are fundamental to a team achieving and performing to their best abilities. A successful team should always focus on relationships that will enable the desired outcome.  It is important to achieve the desired goal by trusting, respecting and communicating with all team members. Without respect, will there be collaboration? Without communication, how do you build working relationships? Without trust, is there a point? Finding the most suitable dimensions for how to interact with each other in meetings is crucial, without this most teams spiral into a vortex of not achieving. The common success of a team is determined by how efficiently that team manages their meetings – a team’s performance is determined by how well it prepares, conducts and follows through on items agreed. In this session you will work through some practical steps to ensure future meetings have a purpose, feel collaborative and enable relationships to work.

Iain Forster-Smith, Director of Administration, University of Bath
Iain has notable experience within higher education as a senior manager. He has worked as a manager for more than 16 years and in senior higher education administration for the past 9 years. In his working life Iain has been responsible for the overall organisation planning and management of support services, directing and assisting with delivering the strategic objectives through operational ownership. Iain has gained his experience through working at University of Bath, Sussex and Glasgow. Prior to that he worked as consultant for online Intellectual Property and the environmental field. As a person he likes to challenge the norm and encourage those around him to think around problems to get the best possible solution, not always defaulting to tried and tested paths. Iain balances high-level strategic thinking with extensive attention to detail, which enables him to act as an inspiring leader as well as a hands-on line manager. Providing significant professional support to his team and individuals, taking time to advise, coach and mentor, whatever the query or concern. Iain thrives at being an excellent motivator and is actively involved in wider University life. Professional development is extremely important and he is an active member of the AUA and represents Bath as an AUA Advocate and is a Fellow of the AUA.

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410: I'm stressed, get me out of here!

410: I’m stressed, get me out of here!


Margaret Heffernan in her book ‘Beyond Measure: The big impact of small changes’ describes one of the earliest productivity studies, conducted by Ernst Abbe at the Zeiss lens laboratory in 1908. The study concluded that shortening the working day from nine hours to eight hours increased productivity. Subsequent studies throughout the twentieth century have all reached the same conclusion: productivity isn’t linear. So why is it that working excessively long hours appears to be the norm and is seen as commitment to the cause and sometimes even congratulated? Working in higher education can be very busy, demanding and at times, stressful. Maintaining a work-life balance shouldn’t just be a priority for us individually, it should be something all organisations (including higher education) prioritise. Effective organisations rely on an effective and motivated workforce and it is our individual and collective responsibility to ensure we all create the conditions in which our best work is most easily achieved. How do we get the balance right when there are so many things we want to get done and we have to fit them into a working week which also includes all of life’s responsibilities? What do we do when the demands of work and our personal life are leaving us feeling stressed and perhaps burned out? The beauty of events like the AUA Conference is the opportunity to take time out of our busy lives to reflect and for once, to perhaps prioritise our own wellbeing. In this interactive workshop we will explore stress, the impact it has on us and some practical steps we can take to ensure we do not become stressed or burned out by our day job.

Caroline Dangerfield, Executive Officer, University of Bath
Caroline Dangerfield has worked as an Executive Officer in the Vice Chancellor’s Office at the University of Bath since 2014. In this role she provides policy, information and project management support to the University’s senior management team, principally supporting the work of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching). She previously worked as a Higher Education Policy Adviser at the Higher Education Funding Council for England acting as a first point of contact for a variety of Higher Education Institutions and Further Education Colleges and supporting learning and teaching funding policy development. Prior to this, Caroline spent two years as a Sabbatical Officer at the University of Salford Students’ Union and also held positions on the National Union of Students National Executive Council and Higher Education Zone and Postgraduate Committees. She is currently studying part time for a Masters in Public Administration at the University of York and is a Quality Assurance Agency Reviewer. Caroline worked part time for QAA as a Student Engagement Adviser and is a former member of QAA’s Student Sounding Board.

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411: The University Transformed?

411: The University Transformed?

University Life and the Campus Novel


This session takes as its starting point the evolution of the campus novel as a reflection of changing university life in Britain from the post-war era immediately after the Education Act of 1944 through the parallel growth of “redbrick” institutions and the founding of entirely “new” universities in the 1960s to the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992 which abolished the “binary divide” between polytechnics and universities and greatly expanded the sector and on to Tony’s Blair’s 2001 target of sending at least 50% of young people into a mass higher education system by the end of the decade. We shall focus on two key themes from this period of dramatic change as highlighted by the parallel development of the British campus novel: first, how the shifting depiction of administrative and managerial staff allows us to trace the extraordinary transformation that has overtaken British universities since the 1950s; and second, how the portrayal of sex, women and gender in an academic environment has been affected by what has also been a period of wider social upheaval in Britain in which the universities have played their full part. Our attendees will be encouraged to reflect on their own professional experiences as administrators in the context of these two sets of issues which have clearly been central to the development of the contemporary university, and to explore them through a combination of group conversation and plenary debate. Our session will be accessible not only to the many existing fans of the genre who are employed within universities but also to those who may be new to this form of contemporary literature and who are interested in what it might say about the places where we work. It will make particular use of examples drawn from a broad range of well-known campus novels including Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (1954), Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man (1975), Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse Blue (1974), David Lodge’s Changing Places (1975), Small World (1984) and Nice Work (1988).

Katie Allan, Senior Administrator, School of Philosophical, Anthropological & Film Studies, University of St Andrews
Katie Allan arrived at the University of St Andrews in 2000 as Registry Officer with responsibility for examinations and graduations. She later became School Administrator in the School of Management in 2006 before moving on to the School of Philosophical, Anthropological & Film Studies in 2009. Her earlier career included time spent at Edinburgh Napier University in the Faculty of Engineering & Computing and a period as Examinations Officer at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. She is the joint AUA Branch Advocate at St Andrews and in 2015 was appointed Network Coordinator for the AUA Departmental Administrators Network.

Martin Dowling, Director of Operations, School of Management, University of St Andrews
Martin Dowling joined the School of Management at the University of St Andrews in January 2006 as Director of Postgraduate Programmes, a post he retained until April 2011 when he was appointed to the position of Director of Operations for the School. His contribution to teaching in the School saw Martin appointed to the role of Senior Teaching Fellow in June 2009. Since 2010, he has been coordinating the School’s Executive Education portfolio. In September 2012 he was appointed Director of Teaching in the School. These various roles see Martin engaged in substantial aspects of the School’s administrative and operational work. He is a member of the AUA Branch at St Andrews and helps to organise AUA events at the Branch and within the local AUA regional network.

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412: Breaking Down Silos

412: Breaking Down Silos

How to bridge the gap between academic departments and central services


Everyone agrees that academic departments and central services need to apply joined-up procedures and to work collaboratively, but in reality, frustrating misunderstandings often come between these two interdependent parts of the university. This session will describe a number of initiatives developed at the University of Kent, under the common banner of “Excellence through Partnerships”, which are all aimed at fostering a better understanding between academic schools and central services by enhancing the relationships between professional colleagues in both areas. The presenter will show why and how these initiatives were developed and implemented, discuss their degree of success and suggest learning points that have emerged from the experience. One of the initiatives presented will be a job-shadowing scheme which, the project team believe, proved successful on a second attempt, thanks to its innovative format. Participants will also be given an opportunity to share similar schemes or initiatives introduced in their own institutions and to describe the success and/or problems they have encountered.

Chloé Gallien, Master of Keynes College, University of Kent
Chloé Gallien’s long career in Higher Education has included academic and managerial positions in France, England, Switzerland and Scotland. Since September 2015 she has been Master of one of the University of Kent‘s seven colleges. From 2009 to 2015, Chloé was Head of Administration for the nine academic Schools and Centres in the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and she still currently retains responsibility for enhancing professional development of administrative staff in the three faculties at Kent. Chloé is a Fellow of the AUA and an assessor on the AUA PGCert in Professional Practice (HE Administration). She was recipient, with three of her colleagues from Kent, of the AUA’s 2014 Contribution to Career Development Award. Chloé and her three colleagues also presented an initiative which was shortlisted in 2013 for the THE Leadership and Management Awards in the Outstanding Departmental Administrative Team category. Chloé is an accredited mediator and is a member of the University’s Mediation Service, offering staff help and advice to resolve work-place conflicts.

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413: Transforming Spaces...

413: Transforming Spaces, Practices and Attitudes

A journey through the trials and tribulations of planning a new home for an academic school/department


This will be an interactive workshop covering the themes of transformation and change management in the context of a project to design and build and move in to a new home for the School of Mathematics Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Kent. The session will cover multiple aspects of the project from planning, through design to realisation and will draw on the experiences of the School Administration Manager tasked with representing the School and the University Head of Space Management tasked with implementing the change. A. Design and Planning The participants will be split into groups of 5-6 people. In undertaking this participants will be asked to
(i) undertake “blue sky thinking” about creative use of space and how this can provide an opportunity to review current practices.
(ii) consider the stakeholders, who what and why?
(iii) consider impact on and benefits for end users.
(iv) explore what could be achieved by considering different ways of working within spaces.
Groups will be asked to prioritise their example list and share it and their reasoning with the wider audience. Examples of how this process was undertaken at University of Kent will then be discussed to illustrate the process and thinking that went into designing a new facility to house an academic school. B. Negotiation and Realisation: This part of the session will focus on the process of change management. Groups will be asked to consider how they would plan to implement their changes. Anticipating issues and possible blocks to progress and how these might be overcome. We will think about the impact of these reductions and compromises on the original design. This will touch on managing expectations of stakeholders and end users and taking staff through a process of change. Again this part of the session will be finished with reference to the case study at Kent and discussion of some of the issues encountered at Kent. In particular we will highlight how the design and initial concept changed when reality started to bite (budgetary constraints, attitudes to work and the necessary compromises involved) and how these challenges can be overcome to enhance the final product.

Frank Sowrey, Departmental Manager, UCL, London
Frank recently moved to become Departmental Manager for the Department of Economics at UCL. Until November 2016, Frank worked in the School of Mathematics Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS) at the University of Kent where he was School Administration Manager for 10 years. Prior to that Frank was employed in a role split between the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences.  Frank originally arrived in Kent in 1999 as a Postdoctoral researcher in the School of Physical Sciences and has experienced HE from both the administrative and academic perspectives.    In his role at Kent, Frank had overall responsibility for all aspects of the administration and support provision within the School. That included management of the support team, formulation, implementation and monitoring of School policies and procedures, oversight of all aspects of student administration for undergraduate and postgraduate students from induction to graduation, managing the School budgets, and advising the Head of School and School management team on all aspects of the business.    Frank was until November the School’s lead  representative on a University project to build a home for staff from two Schools at the University of Kent. The project aims to create vibrant new campus destination to  bring together students, researchers, academics, and professional services staff from both schools.

Helen Holland, Head of Space Management, University of Kent
Helen Holland is the Head of Space Management at the University of Kent. Helen’s role is to deliver the operational space planning and management in line with the Estate Strategy. She is passionate about understanding how good design can enhance both a work and learning environment. Exploring new ways of working and learning is something Helen is introducing at the University of Kent. Prior to entering the Higher Education sector Helen worked as a Senior Project Manager planning and managing high profile, big budget projects in the UK and Internationally. Helen’s core expertise is in strategic planning, project and change management, working with large commercial organisations such as Pfizer, RBS, Coutts and Coca Cola as well as the University of Greenwich and SOAS. Helen obtained an honours degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Southampton. Helen is an excellent communicator who has used these skills to build relationships with stakeholders and end users on the projects she has managed to enable them to embrace change and understand the new environment that they will be working in.

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414: Student transitions project at UEA

414: Student Transitions Project at UEA

Theory and practice; practice and theory

In the early Spring of 2015 the Executive of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia sponsored a flagship project on Student Transitions. Dr Clive Matthews, is the academic lead for the project and John Tully is the project manager.The first part of the project went live in August 2016. Student Transitions is an ambitious project which attempted to reconceptualise the way the Faculty thought about induction. The Student Transitions Project aims to establish a process predicated on ‘cradle to grave’ (applicant to alumni) student journeys, which facilitates the planning and delivery of activities to support both what we might call traditional induction and orientation activities plus the development of other areas such as graduate attributes, employability, widening participation, advising, student retention, or preparing for postgraduate study. The project aims to improve and build upon relationships between students, between students and academics, between students and their school and the institution, and prepare students for degree level learning and beyond. Furthermore, the Student Transitions framework has the potential to become a planning tool to aid the delivery of other key activities such as, for example, planning assessment and feedback strategies, the development of communication plans, or the internal marketing of courses. The project aimed to design and deliver a programme of activities across the academic year and over years which would enable students to
• Become independent and active learners.
• Build networks and friendships across the Faculty.
• Feel comfortable in the UEA environment.
• Engage their creativity – by being actively involved.
• Become aware, and make the most of, opportunities to enhance their employability and utilise study skills.
• Have confidence in the value of Humanities and their discipline specifically.
• Learn about complementary faculty disciplines, their subject and UEA.
• Become good citizens of the university.

The desired benefits of this project are
• The development of a framework and process to provide support centred on what students expect and need throughout their student life cycle journey.
• An enhanced student experience – students feeling welcomed to and comfortable within the Faculty, leading to lower drop-out rate and higher student satisfaction.
• A higher student understanding of how things work and clearer expectations.
• Deeper student reflection, more independent and active learning.
• Establish mechanisms for cross-faculty connections and projects.
• More enthusiastic, aware and pro-active student body taking up wider opportunities on offer leading to more confident, empowered students and improved employability outcomes.
• Raising the profile of UEA Arts and Humanities – showcasing the work we do, the research undertaken and recognition of the value of humanities.
• Encourage student participation, good citizenship and the development of peer support networks.
• Pre-arrival opportunities via a dedicated Blackboard vle site for new students, to prepare, take part in activities and become part of the Arts and Humanities community.
• Increased staff and student satisfaction.

The session will:
1. Reference the research, literature and academic papers on student transitions – what does the research tell us?
2. Consider how the research informed the design of the project, how research has been translated into practice, and how our experience is developing and sharpening our understanding of key issues related to student transitions.
3. Indicate how the project has been implemented, how we approached managing change through consultation with stakeholders so as to secure buy-in and ownership, overcoming organisational barriers and working across schools and departments; working with academic staff, students and administrators. How this has impacted on organisational behaviour and culture, especially with regard to student peer-to-peer activities, using technology, improving communication and the timely provision of information.
4. Reflect on what we have learned from the experience.
5. Consider our next steps for future developments.
Target Audience: Suitable for All

Dr Clive Matthews, Academic Director of Taught Programmes, University of East Anglia
Dr Clive Matthews studied Philosophy and Linguistics as an undergraduate before gaining his PhD in computational psycholinguistics. Having taught briefly at SOAS he joined UEA in 1984 as a lecturer in linguistics. During the last decade he has become increasingly involved in academic administration with an especial interest in learning and teaching. Having been the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching Quality he is currently the University’s Academic Director of Taught Programmes with responsibilities for all aspects of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught learning and teaching.

John Tully, Senior Faculty Manager, University of East Anglia
John Tully is the Senior Faculty Manager for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia. He has nearly 25 years experience of working in higher education, having previously worked at three other institutions before joining UEA in 2006. John is particularly interested in change management and a keen participant in matters relating to organisation change and the development of organisational culture. He is the Lead for the Higher Education Strategic Planning Association members’ network for workload management.

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415: Collaborative University...

415: Creating the Collaborative University

How engagement with the community is changing the university

This interactive workshop will use the work of the Connected Communities Professional Services Network as a case study for the ways in which collaborative research and increased public engagement has created new challenges for all aspects of university administration. This work is changing the ways in which university administration addresses issues of ethics, equality and diversity, and impact. It also has wide reaching implications for funding, recruitment and community relations. It is transforming the ways in which departments work individually and with each other; breaking down barriers between academic and professional services, central administration and school administration, and different institutions. In this workshop we will share our experiences of working within universities to develop new ways of working and how we have supported each other in this by creating a cross-discipline, multi-institutional group. We will ask participants to reflect on the practices and attitudes of their own institutions and encourage them to question whether it is a positive and engaging way of working. By the end of the session the whole group with have built a checklist of what makes a successful collaborative and locally engaged university which will contribute to our ongoing work to create a formal recognition for institutions working to the highest standard in their collaborations throughout the institution and not just at a local level. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of the challenges in this area, practical tools to implement in their own institutions and access to a network of professionals at the forefront of this dynamic change.

Katherine Dunleavy, Project Coordinator, University of Bristol
I provide administrative support for the Connected Communities Leadership Fellow and manage the administration of the associated research projects at the University of Bristol. I am researching the ways in which university systems and processes can adapt to provide a better service for collaborative research projects. I am working with the Engaged University Steering Group, the Centre for Public Engagement and community partners to implement changes and to publish advice for both researchers and community groups involved in participatory research. I am also interested in the ways in which universities and funders can provide support and training for administrative staff in Connected Communities projects. I have recently developed a network of professional services staff who support the research on the 300+ Connected Communities Projects and I am working closely with the AHRC to develop this further. My background is in arts and humanities research and I am completing a Phd in Classics at the University of Bristol, where I have also worked in central and research administration for several years.

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416: Follow you, follow me

416: Follow You, Follow Me


In large and complex organisations, such as Universities, processes often evolve around our structures rather than being designed with a focus on understanding and meeting the needs of our end users. Loughborough University’s Change Team, established in 2013, works with colleagues across the organisation to review processes that cut across Schools and Professional Services and to improve the experience of our end users. Doing better for our end users often results in staff time savings which enable colleagues to focus their efforts on more value-add activities which better support the University’s strategic aims. In recognition of the success of a project looking at our employment and claims processes for bought-in University teaching, the Change Team and HR Team at Loughborough University received the following awards:
• Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award – Outstanding Strategic Planning Team
• Midland HR Award – Most transformational HR/Payroll project
Members of the Change Team will share Loughborough’s approach to process review and service improvement. An interactive activity, based on a real case study, will allow you to: walk in the shoes of someone learning how a process works in reality and not how Managers assume it is working; map the existing process effectively; analyse the process to identify failure demand, duplication and hand-offs which lead to long process times and end user dissatisfaction; and how to design out this waste to achieve a better outcome for end users and the organisation alike.

Meg Stafford, Change Projects Officer, Loughborough University
Meg graduated with a BA (Hons) in Information and Publishing Studies with Diploma in Professional Studies from Loughborough University and took up a position in the Publicity Department of a children’s book publisher in London. After 3 years, Meg relocated back to Loughborough and worked in marketing for a company specialising in desktop publishing, design and graphics software. In 2008, Meg joined Loughborough University as a School Programmes Administrator and latterly as Operational Support Officer, with responsibility for internal communications and supporting the administration of module and programme reviews, university teaching and workload. In 2013 Meg joined the newly established Change Team and has since worked on a range of institutional-wide process review projects, including printing services, university teaching, admissions, travel and researcher support.

Steve Widdowson, Change Projects Officer, Loughborough University
Steve studied Environment Design and Management at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2007, before taking up a position as a landscape designer with responsibility for preparing schedules of work for domestic settings and larger estates. Steve then embarked upon a high street and online retail family business, which was nominated for a Think Big Award by Loughborough University Enterprise. Today the business operates solely online and continues to do well. In October 2013, Steve joined Loughborough University’s Payroll team and worked alongside the Change Team on the university teaching project. Following its success, Steve was appointed to the Change Team permanently and has since worked on institution-wide process review projects including staff recruitment and postgraduate research student experience.

Dr Sam Marshall, Change Projects Team Leader, Loughborough University
Sam graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from Sussex University before completing a PhD in Pharmacology at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. Sam worked as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry before she joined Loughborough University in December 2010. She has since worked in the Graduate School, the Research Student Office and the Programme Quality and Teaching Partnerships Team. In 2013 Sam joined the newly established Change Team and has since worked on a range of institutional-wide process review projects, including university teaching, international agents, procurement and expense claims. Sam’s interests lie in quality assurance and process improvement in higher education.

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