Working Session Two

Monday 10 April

15:30 – 16:45

201: Alchemy of transformation...

201: The Alchemy of a True Transformation: Heart and Mind Connection
How uniting genuine human connection with the problem-solving capacity of the conscious mind creates the catalyst for transformative thinking, doing and being.

The ability to make people listen, hear and change their behaviour is one of the biggest challenges facing individuals, leaders, institutions, policy makers and society today. In pursuit of meeting our needs as individuals and groups we often lose connection with the most powerful principle of transformation: the need for engaging people in genuine human connection. As evidenced by world events at all levels, this trade-off drains vital energy and time from our individual and collective ability to tackle true, and often most pressing, challenges. Over the last five years, I have been developing an approach that helps leaders, practitioners and change-makers step into their power and responsibility for transforming ‘what is’ into something better, whilst learning to nurture their teams and communities. However this power does not rest with them alone – it rests with us all. Higher Education as a sector is a key player and vehicle for transforming people through education, research and ideas. During my session we will explore the power of having transformative conversations by learning how to truly connect with the needs, aspirations and realities of others. Come to experience a way of working, leading and running your own professional life and career as a rounded human being instead of a brain on legs. Learn to hear, and share, what truly matters through an efficient and effective group process and discover the magic of heart and mind connection for individual and group results.

Dr Magdalena Bak-Maier, Founder and Managing Director, Make Time Count
Dr Magdalena Bak-Maier is an established educator, neuroscientist (PhD, Caltech), top global coach, speaker and thought leader with a philosophy to ‘Make Time Count’ by helping individuals and organisations discover the power of heart and mind connection for creating true transformations. Heart and mind fusion work – the hallmark of Magdalena’s approach – is touching the lives of individuals and progressive workplaces across the globe. Clients span people that get us into space at NASA, those saving lives and developing latest medical breakthroughs, top coaches, global change makers, CEOs and those ready to say ‘Yes!’ to a life where they enrich others and create healthy, vibrant personal lives. Magdalena has been a mentor and coach to Ashoka UK social entrepreneurship global fellows (2010-2015) and in 2015 she was UK Life Coach of the Year Finalist. For the last three years she has run an international culture experiment to test the ‘triple benefit’ of investing in talent. She also serves as talent advisor in HE across the EU. A regular contributor to international press (Forbes, Times, Independent, Coaching at Work and Psychologies Magazine) and BBC Radio, she shares her work across executive, public and professional forums throughout the year.

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202: Transforming our universities...

202: Transforming our Universities: how history shows us what is possible

We know that higher education has changed, but often the transformational nature of that change can only be seen in retrospect. In this session we will look fundamental transformational changes in more depth. Using a mixture of writings from the time and other historical sources, we will look at how the changes came about, and their continuing effect on shaping the contemporary university. At the time, none of these changes would have been seen as inevitable (and many saw them as harmful). The case studies will be, what kind of places could be universities, what universities could do, and who could be educated in them, through: the creation of new universities; the acceptance of research as a integral mission of the university; and the admission of women to universities; The 19th Century reforms of existing universities and the creation of new universities tested a series of assumptions about them. Universities were concerned with teaching men through a collegiate or federal structure. A complex series of contested reforms resulted in the reinvention of the form of the University (not that it is necessarily the case that all universities should conform to one type). We will look at the transformation in British higher education as seen through these case studies. Many in higher education view change as a detrimental process, degrading a state of perfection that universities have reached. In addition, many in universities often portray any interference from outside as being inimical to the proper functioning of either the individual university of the wider sector. However, many changes that we now see as the bedrock of the system have been highly contested and sometime bitterly fought. The three case studies will look at occasions in the 19th and 20th centuries to explore this. We will also link these case studies to current plans on the creation of ‘challenger’ institutions, the separation of research funding from teaching and widening participation.

Mike Ratcliffe, Director, More Means Better
I am currently working as an ‘interim executive’ – as an Academic Registrar – having previously been Director of Academic & Student Affairs at Oxford Brookes & Registrar at Winchester. I have presented workshops at AUA annual conferences, regional conferences and network meetings around the UK for over 15 years, with very good feedback. I have done postgraduate study at the UCL Institute of Education and have had blogs published by THE and WonkHE as well as on my own blog.

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203: X+Z/Y = Trasnformaion

203: X+Z/Y = Transformation


A new generation of students –generation Z – is entering higher education. This is a generation reliant on new means communication, a generation which obtains and engages with information in a very different way to those which have come before them. This presentation/workshop will explore the impact that this generational difference has on the development, delivery and transformation of university services still largely composed of, and managed by members of generations X and Y.

Claire Povah, Head of Strategic Development, Lancaster University

Claire is Head of Strategic Development (Student Based Services) and Principal of Graduate College at Lancaster University. Understanding the student experience and developing innovative approaches to enhance this experience is one of Claire’s passions. She is cross-institutional lead on the student journey mapping project at Lancaster, a project which has been identified as sector-leading. Claire has been a member of the AUA for over 10 years and she is also a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. You can find out more about Claire’s HE career on the AUA Member Profiles section at:

Simon Vaukins, Faculty Graduate School Manager, Lancaster University

Simon is Faculty Graduate School Manager in Science and Technology at Lancaster University, one of Lancaster’s AUA Advocates and is in the last stages of completing the AUA’s PgCert in Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership. In his day job Simon has been working towards building a strong community of postgraduate researchers in FST, and this has led to an increasing interest in how we optimise our interaction with students and enhance the student experience. Simon presented this workshop with Claire at UCLAN’s AUA mini-conference in December 2016, and since then a number of opportunities have been presented to take the presentation ‘on the road’!

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204: The Transformation Paradox

204: The Transformation Paradox
How can the unstoppable force of change move the immovable University?

The workshop will consider the landscape of transformational change in universities. We will set out our hypothesis, based upon experience working with a wide range of member universities, that seven common factors are often found within universities that work against effective transformation. The workshop will explore how transformation efforts often avoid dealing with these deeply rooted challenges and by circumnavigating them fail to deliver transformation. The workshop will draw out participants own experience in tackling these “seven deadly sins” using a world-cafe style approach. The workshop will offer practical insights into approaches in overcoming the challenges associated with transformational change.

Simon Donoghue, Lead Consultant, SUMS Consulting
Simon has over 20 years senior level professional and academic experience gained within HE. Prior to joining SUMS Simon’s positions included Head of the Strategy Project Group (University of Leeds), Chief Executive for the White Rose University Consortium, and Board Member for the US National Consortium for Continuous Improvement. Simon was awarded a Leadership Foundation Fellowship for his work on Effective Strategy Implementation, which was internationally showcased and published widely. He has consulted for a wide range of international universities and continues to use this experience for the benefit of SUMS members. Simon brings energy and structure to complexity and uncertainty and thrives on working upon complex change initiatives. Outside of work Simon brings this energy to regularly competing in road and track cycling events. Simon is based in North Yorkshire and works with a wide range of SUMS Members on strategic change initiatives.

David Becker, Principal Consultant, SUMS Consulting
David joined SUMS Consulting in January 2015 having previously worked as Director of Corporate Operations at UCLan. In that capacity he led 200 staff across areas including campus administration, strategic projects and corporate planning and he also held the strategic brief for service enhancement across all professional service areas. With a prior background in business improvement and transformation, David has delivered major strategic change projects across sectors including Higher Education and Local Government. He also has experience of leading international commercial projects in Eastern Europe and South East Asia. David has a Master’s degree in Public Management from the University of Warwick and he is familiar with the application of methodologies including PRINCE2, MSP, Lean and McKinsey 7S. In his spare time he enjoys reading and travelling and he is a devoted – but long-suffering – supporter of Preston North End.

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205: Building Personal Resilience: How to Thrive During Transformational Change

205: Building Personal Resilience: How to Thrive During Transformational Change

Transformation and change is and will continue to be crucial to the success of Higher Education. For individuals this means change becomes a fact of life.  Regardless of the benefits change brings, not everyone responds positively, often because change is implemented at the same time as the ‘day to day’ work needs to be completed, adding to work pressures.  This session is aimed at helping you to explore your own resilience in times of transformation and change.  It positions resilience as something that can be learnt and provides a context for understanding the nature of resiliency.  Coping skills and positive adaptation help people to better manage the uncertainty that can come with change, but resilience isn’t just about coping with adversity. Resiliency can be built through the positive experiences change brings.  This is an interactive session that will provide you with some techniques to develop your own resilience.

Suzanne Ross, Senior Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University
Suzanne is a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University – Nottingham Business School.  She is a doctoral researcher in Executive talent, success and derailment.  Her research is focused on the attributes of successful leaders, how leaders sustain success and the causes of leadership derailment.  She teaches on postgraduate programmes on leadership, emotional intelligence, resilience and the ‘dark side’ of leadership.    Previously Talent Manager for a FTSE 100 company, Suzanne has over 20 years’ experience in leadership and talent development, has her own independent consultancy and is a qualified Executive Coach.

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206: Tangled up in Suffolk...

206: Tangled up in Suffolk: untangling self, other and organisation to be University of Suffolk

This session will provide attendees with insight into the world of a large professional services directorate in an HEI as it ‘transitioned’ from an institution without Taught Degree Awarding Powers to being a fully-fledged university over a two year period. We will discuss working in an environment where many thought we would not achieve this momentous milestone and how we have come together as a team of managers to bring about a change in culture, mind set and working environment. For our institution, community is at the heart of our way of working, our way of delivering education and drives how we present ourselves to the wider public. We recognise the importance of community in learning and how participating in these shapes how we present ourselves, and come to develop as individuals and departments. At a time of great institutional change it can be easy for community members to take a step back, and disengage – feeling that they have no control or input in what is happening around them. We have worked to re-establish our teams as active agents in their worn working lives, and in the wider organisational and local community. We will openly discuss our successes and failures and introduce the audience to some of our staff and challenges through the use of vignettes. This session will demonstrate how transformation of self, other and organisation are ‘tangled up’ in each other in transformation of HE in Suffolk.

Ellen Buck, Head of Learning Services, University of Suffolk
I began working as a professional Librarian in 2000, and have since worked in public, government and higher education institutions. I joined my current institution, University of Suffolk, in June 2011 as Library Services Manager and now lead the Learning Services department of Librarians, Academic Skills Advisors and Digital Learning Specialists in the development and creation of innovative and accessible learning opportunities and resources, for the institutional and wider community. This has included a range of freely available ‘toolkits’ to support undergraduates and postgraduate researchers in appropriate skills development, and implementing the first institutional repository, Open Access Repository Suffolk (OARS). The focus of my career has been on trying to crack the age old nut of engagement, beginning with my Master’s thesis on engaging those with lowers levels of literacy and numeracy with the opportunities provided through ‘street corner universities’; a.k.a. public libraries. I am currently working towards a professional doctorate in Education. While I am supportive of the widening participation agenda and firmly believe in learning and education for all, it is not my personal belief that entry into Higher Education is the right path for everyone. My focus of study therefore, is to try and shed some light on how we may be able to improve engagement with learning more broadly, and so increase life-choices of our children through understanding how they themselves come to understand what and where learning takes place, and how it is located within their own sense of self, now – and in their imagined futures.

Chantalle Hawley, Head of Student Services, University of Suffolk
Prior to joining University of Suffolk I worked in a number of guises in education including Further Education (FE), private training provision and prisons; predominantly in the areas of information, advice, education and guidance (IAEG). I joined my current institution at its inception (2007) to set up a careers service. I completed my Post Graduate Certificate in Careers Education, Advice, and Guidance in Higher Education at the University of Warwick, which furthered my interest in pedagogy for employability and enabled me to explore the development of self and identity, and how we can evaluate this to make sense of past and future experiences and decisions. In my current role I lead Student Services across the areas of careers, international, disability, wellbeing, counselling and student finance. Our work brings together and applies varying but cognate backgrounds and interests in identity and development of self, in the different spheres of life. Through my Masters in Teaching and Learning I continue to explore facets of personal and professional learning to be able to use this to inform my practice as a manager, as an individual and ‘collective’ offering IAEG, as well as for my own understanding.

Laura Pennie, Head of Academic Services and Infozone, University of Suffolk
I joined the institution as a new graduate in 2007, working initially within the centralised Admissions team specialising in working with our Learning Network partners delivering HE in FE across Suffolk and South Norfolk. A change in university leadership offered the opportunity to co-ordinate the creation and opening of a new student information centre, drawing on the models and practices in place at other HEIs but with a distinct UCS feel; informal and friendly, but with a knowledgeable ‘all round’ team capable of answering the vast majority of questions with little or no referral. With an eight week lead in time, the Infozone was opened in the middle of student Induction and has gone from strength to strength, dealing with around 1500 enquiries a month from applicants, students and staff. Further restructuring in summer 2014 allowed me the opportunity to undertake the role of Head of Academic Services, a large and diverse department which includes elements of past work through the Infozone and Academic Partnerships, alongside new responsibilities for course and business administration. Projects, including the delivery of student induction programmes, continue to be a key focus. Having been a member for a number of years I am currently undertaking the AUA’s Pg Cert programme. Whilst a return to study isn’t without challenges, I am enjoying the opportunity to reflect and enhance my professional practice.

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207: Industry Collaboration Zones...

207: If you let them build it they will learn! The co-creation and implementation of Industry Collaboration Zones at the University of Salford

Build, play and learn! Join the University of Salford Industry Collaboration Zone (ICZ) Team on their journey through the creation and implementation of the ICZ Programme. Providing space for students, colleagues and industry partners to co-create, experiment and offering new and unique learning opportunities, providing real-world experience for our students for life. This session explores the practicalities and challenges of the transformational journey made by the Industry Collaboration Zone (ICZ) Team at the University of Salford in the development and implementation of ICZs as the University single strategic priority. Participants will share their experiences of industry engagement, and use Lego to build their ideal ICZ themselves, reflecting on the complexities, opportunities and challenges of this programme of work.

Jennifer Hinsley, ICZ Programme Manager, University of Salford
Jen Hinsley is currently the ICZ Programme Manager. She manages a team of staff responsible for the successful implementation of the ICZ Programme. Prior to this role she was the School Operations Manager for the Salford Business School and was integral to the School winning the Times Higher Business School of the Year title in 2014. She has worked for the University of Salford for over 20 years and has seen the University move through great change. She is passionate about the ICZ programme and the positive change it will bring to the University, its students and its industry partners.

Rachel Norton, ICZ Programme Officer, University of Salford
Rachel Norton has worked for the University of Salford for 13 years and currently works as ICZ Programme Officer within the ICZ Team. She has been a member of the AUA for two years and is working on her application for Fellow. Rachel is also an active member of the AUA Salford Advocates, a group of AUA members who have recently re-launched the AUA Salford Branch. She is enthusiastic about the importance of the AUA to empower, engage and encourage University Administrators to be the best that they can be!

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208: Developing your coaching skills

208: Developing Your Coaching Skills

In this session participants will be introduced to some foundational coaching skills with plenty of opportunity practice. Participants will work in pairs to develop their approach to non-directional coaching. The session will be of interest to anyone already in a leader/manager role or anyone moving into a leader/manager role who wants to develop their active listening and questioning skills as part of using coaching as a means to empower staff.

Tessa Harrison, Director of Students and Education, King’s College London
I have worked in higher education for the past 27 years. Since November 2014 I have been the Director of Students & Education at King’s College, London with a remit for all student and education facing professional services. Prior to this I was the Registrar at the University of Southampton with responsibility for Academic Registry, Communications and Marketing, Development and Alumni Relations, International Office, Library, Planning, Strategy and Corporate Governance, Vice Chancellor’s Office and Student Services. Before Southampton I was the Academic Registrar at the University of the West of England in Bristol (2005-2011), Head of the Teaching Quality Support Office and Head of the Undergraduate Registry at Lancaster University (1993-2005) and Departmental Officer and Head of the Arts and Humanities Modular Scheme Office at Anglia Polytechnic University (1989-1993). I hold a BA (Hons) in Sociology and English from Liverpool Polytechnic and a Postgraduate Diploma in Women’s Studies from Anglia Polytechnic University. I am an accredited executive coach with Meyler Campbell Associates. Until July 2016 I was Chair of the Association of University Administrators (AUA). In my role as a trustee in the AUA Board I have been an assessor for the AUA PgCert in HE Management and Administration and have spoken at numerous local, regional and national events about various aspects of working in higher education. Between 2012 and 2014 I was an appointed member of the Board of the Leadership Foundation for HE and was able to use this as a platform to write and speak about women in higher education leadership. I have been a member of the Association of Heads of University Administration, the Academic Registrars’ Council and the European Strategic Managers Forum.

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209: Economy and employability...

209: How your university can help transform its regional economy and student employability in the devolution revolution

If your university closed down tomorrow, how much would employers in the region notice? Should you be looking to have more economic impact? If so, how? In the light of the devolution agenda, and the Government’s desire to see universities make a greater contribution to improving economic productivity, these questions are ones that universities need to be asking. Although all universities will have a significant number of graduates that don’t stay in their region of study, research from the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) has found that the majority of them do. This not only gives universities a great opportunity to impact their regional economy, but also – some would argue – something of an obligation. Yet all attempts to improve the regional productivity are bound to lead to a second set of questions, this time around employability. What makes a student more employable? Could we be doing more to improve it? If so what? The question of employability is often seen in terms of the skills, understanding and personal attributes possessed by a graduate, that will make it more likely that they will gain employment. However, whilst this is an obvious truism , there is another angle that is rarely considered. If universities could help people make decisions about what degrees they do on the basis of a more realistic assessment of the labour market, wouldn’t that make them more employable? Drawing on Emsi’s experience of working with a number of universities throughout the country, this session will look at both these issues: how universities can have more impact on their regional economy, and – the other side of the coin – how they can improve the objective employability of their students. It will also explore how universities can work better with other regional stakeholders, such as LEPs, to tackle these issues.

Andy Durman, Managing Director, Emsi
Since 2010, Andy has overseen Emsi’s expansion in the UK, with the organisation now partnering with over 100 universities, colleges, LEPs and Local Authorities throughout the country. With a wealth of experience as a market intelligence professional with particular expertise in labour market and demographic analysis within the higher and further education sectors, Andy is passionate about helping education institutions better understand their role in driving their regional economies. He lives with his wife and three sons in Basingstoke.

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210: Co-creating our careers

210: Co-creating our careers

The workshop will begin with a case study from University of Salford, focused on how we are developing and embedding a career culture within our Library. It will be followed by ‘cafe conversations’ with delegates, where they will be able practice the co-creation techniques we have been using at Salford, to explore how career pathways might be developed within their own teams / organisations. The Library has always invested significantly in the development of its people, but feedback from Best Companies Survey and other forums indicated a need to more clearly signpost career pathways and ways to learn and grow. We wanted to establish a career framework which would incorporate and build on existing Library learning and development opportunities, rather than ‘lifting and shifting’ a model from elsewhere. There are three prongs to the approach we used:- 

  • The 70/20/10 model was used to identify and structure learning interventions and to develop a Learning and Development Toolkit
  • Career conversations with Managers enabled colleagues to identify career pathways, options and outcomes
  • A career guide will be available to help colleagues navigate their options

We used a co-creative approach to build the framework, which brought together a cross section of people from the library to share their experience and resources. Co-creation was not a natural approach for some of our colleagues, so it was a great learning experience. The framework is sustainable and real. It has been created, owned and delivered by our colleagues. The outcomes are innovative and Library colleagues practised a core skill which underpins the University’s single strategy – Industry Collaboration Zones, which are driven by co-creation. Our journey was facilitated by a member of our Organisational Development team.

Lynne Leader, Head of Library Business Planning and Quality, University of Salford
Lynne is Head of Library Business Planning and Quality at University of Salford. She has over 30 years’ experience of working in Higher Education. In her current role she leads a range of activities in support of the library’s business, digital developments, resource-planning and people development. Lynne is an experienced mentor for Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), supporting information professionals working towards their professional qualifications. She is also a trained action learning facilitator, supporting colleagues across the University to develop as leaders.

Robert Ritchie, Learning and Development Specialist, University of Salford
Robert brings around 30 years’ experience in the Organisational Development field which has been gained in the Higher Education, Commercial and Third Sectors. In his role as Learning & Development Specialist at University of Salford, Robert leads on the Colleague Engagement. He is also working with the University to develop a Leadership Capability Framework, which will help to drive organisational change, culture and behaviours. Robert has specific expertise around Leadership Development and alignment, organisational change and cultural transformation. He is an experienced Coach and has designed and implemented Coaching and Mentoring frameworks in large organisations. He has previously led Learning and Development and HR teams in both the UK and overseas; he has lived and worked in Spain and The Netherlands. In his spare time, Robert is a Board member for the Manchester Craft and Design Centre in The Northern Quarter, and he is involved in the Pilcrow Pub Project – a Manchester Pub being built from scratch by Manchester people using traditional crafts!

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211: Roles and reputations...

211: Transforming Roles and Reputations: What to do when no one knows what you do?


Everyone is keen to succeed when they start a new role, but what do you do when your role’s remit, reputation or relevance is unclear? Drawing on personal experience, this session will begin with the speakers sharing the challenges faced and lessons learned in starting new and contentious roles. They will identify the key practical steps they took to transform perceptions and generate engagement and support at every level, from students to senior management. There will then be an opportunity for small group discussions where participants can reflect on their own experiences and discuss show potential approaches might work for them. Following several rounds of discussions, the key points from each table will be presented to the whole group for a final collective discussion.

 This session format will maximise group interaction and promote collaborative learning, allowing attendees to move from personal experience to identifying practical, adaptable solutions for addressing uncertainty or lack of engagement with a role

Jenny Medland, Student Experience Officer, University of Bath
Previously Jenny worked in Admissions and Widening Participation for Oxford University, before moving to Bath as a Student Experience Officer. She has a particular interest in widening participation and student engagement and communication, and is currently studying for a part-time MEd Education.

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212: Transformational change in HE...

212: Evidencing the Impact and Benefits of Transformational Change in Higher Education

This session will provide a brief overview of the current efficiencies agenda within the UK Higher Education sector; the need to evidence efficiencies more effectively; and how institutions can identify and evidence benefits of transformational change projects throughout a project life-cycle. In addition, with many HE institutions striving to achieve transformational change, this session will explore the cultural challenges of evidencing the impact and benefits of transformation change in Higher Education and give an opportunity for sharing ideas on how to overcome these. The session will also provide an insight into the methodology and approach used by the University of Strathclyde’s Business Improvement Team, based on their Leadership Foundation for Higher Education funded “Guide to Evidencing the Benefits of Business Process Improvement in Higher Education” The session will also provide practical examples and highlight a variety of tools and techniques that will help delegates evidence the success of their own improvement or transformation projects.

John Hogg, Director of Continuous Improvement, University of Strathclyde
John is Director of Continuous Improvement in the University of Strathclyde. He has worked in the Higher Education sector for 20 years and has extensive experience of leading complex transformational change projects and managing a large portfolio of improvement projects, delivering significant quantifiable benefits. John also leads the award winning Business Improvement Team who are implementing a distinctive lean approach, complementary to the organisation’s strategy and values, generating high levels of employee engagement and empowering staff to identify improvement opportunities at their own levels. In addition to leading on and facilitating lean projects, John and his team have also deliver over lean learning and development events, including a Lean for Leaders Programme, aimed at building lean capability across the University. John is currently a member of the Lean HE Steering Group; Convenor of the Scottish Higher Education Improvement Network; and a member of Universities Scotland Efficiencies Taskforce. In 2016, the University of Strathclyde’s Business Improvement Team won the Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Award (THELMA) for Outstanding Administrative Services Team and the Universities Human Resources (UHR) award for Business Effectiveness & Organisational Development.

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213: The Art of Successful Networking

213: Professional Gardening: the Art of Successful Networking


This session provides an overview of the key opportunities and benefits offered by networking, together with tools and techniques to enable delegates to enhance their skills in this area. The session uses material from the ‘Professional Gardening: the Art of Successful Networking’© programme. Participants will discuss the importance of networking – both strategic and opportunistic, and the role of networking as a ‘continuous’ activity throughout professional life. The session includes key issues and ‘dos and don’ts’ and a discussion of the opportunities offered through social media and e-networking and how to approach these. The session includes two short individual exercises (not role play). This event is suitable both for individuals relatively new to networking and those with some experience looking to enhance their skills. This is also an opportunity for participants to gain practical tips which can be used immediately in the remainder of the conference.

The session will include types of networking opportunities, networking benefits, social and e-networking, key issues gardening and others, best practice and dos and don’ts

Sue Carrette, Higher Education Consultant, Sue Carrette Consultancy
Sue Carrette has worked in higher education for over 25 years, in diverse roles for organizations including; Queen Mary University of London, the University of Manchester, the AUA, and the University of East London. She has also delivered development and consultancy projects for a range of organizations including; the University of Essex, the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), and Kings College London. Sue Carrette Consultancy is an established provider of development and consultancy services to the higher and professional education sectors with a key focus on aspects of professional development emphasizing CPD and lifelong skills. Other areas of specialist interest include; work with departments and faculties to benchmark their services and other activities against competitors and the development of future profile-raising strategies, support for staff working with international students and assessment management solutions (e.g. Invigilator Training). She has a wide range of experience within the sector at both a national and international level and has been active in a number of professional organizations including the AUA. Sue is the author of occasional articles on aspects of contemporary professionalism and has also contributed to a number of national and international events and conferences. She was awarded Fellowship of the AUA in 2012.

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214: Transforming mental health

214: Transforming approaches to mental health


According to Mind, 1:4 of people in the UK will encounter a mental health problem in the UK, each year. Although awareness of mental health as a physical illness is starting to increase, many organisations are still unaware of the impact such illnesses can have on the individual, and the devastating effect poor management practices can have on colleagues in certain situations. Such ignorance is concerning – in far too many cases, anxiety, depression and other conditions are treated with ‘lip service’ at best; or as taboo at worst. This session will try and tackle some of the main, down-to-earth matters surrounding mental health in Higher Education Institutions. Sometimes, performance is affected, and this can have a serious adverse effect on the morale and performance of a team or department at large. How straightforward is it to identify and help people who might be struggling? How is it best to tackle poor performance while, at the same time, help an individual or individuals cope with mental health difficulties? Should HEIs introduce transparent strategic mental health awareness policies at the very top? How would one do that? How might it be possible to change an institutional or departmental climate for the better, with other positive knock-on effects this could have on welfare, happiness and performance? How would it be possible to transform understanding and practice at a local and institutional level? Following a brief presentation, this session will be an open forum for the sharing of experiences, suggestions and best practice.

James Craig, Independent writer and speaker
James Craig, FAUA, ACIS, MA, MBA. Nearly 28 years’ administrative and management experience at the University of Leeds; and recently retired Held a variety of positions in departmental, financial, project management and staff development support roles. Currently developing a strong interest in sustainable transport (cycling campaigning especially) and workplace mental health.

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215: Improvisation for Administrators

215: Improvisation for Administrators
Using improvisation techniques for self development, improving communication and teamwork


The session will be a fully interactive improvisation workshop in which delegates will be invited to engage in fun and stimulating exercises designed to improve their communication, teamwork and break through any barriers holding them back. The exercises can be categorised as follows: Resilience: By learning to embrace failure, participants will learn how to take something with negative connotations as an opportunity for learning and growth. In the current climate where huge demands are placed on administrators, conquering the fear of failure and being able to reframe a ‘failure’ as a learning opportunity is key.

Embracing change: Exercises designed to nudge participants out of their comfort zones will help them to see that change is an inevitable and necessary part of growth. They will learn that they have talent in areas that they may never have previously considered.
Public speaking: Through involvement in storytelling exercises, participants will build their confidence in public speaking and presentation through creative play. These exercises will give them tips and tricks that they can take away with them and apply to future presentations.
Teamwork: These exercises will help participants to communicate more clearly and freely within a team and can be used for teambuilding and away days after the conference.

Jess Napthine, Research Group Officer, Manchester Metropolitan University
I have worked in university administration for the past 5 years across in a number of roles and two HEIs. Whilst at University of Cumbria, I worked in Credit Control before moving to a position as a Placements Administrator. I started working at Manchester Metropolitan University two years ago as a Programmes Administrator. I undertook a short secondment to review an in year assignment recovery scheme which gave me valuable project management skills. I then progressed to a Student Engagement Officer role which involved close team working with academic and administrative colleagues. I am currently working as a Research Group Officer in Education which has allowed me to take on line management responsibility. I am an active member of our AUA branch team and enjoy working with my colleagues to organise events and networking opportunities. I have found the support of my AUA colleagues so useful in my career progression and in helping me to understand the wider HE context. I am also workshop coordinator and teacher for ImproQuo, an improvisation company based in Manchester. I am interested in helping colleagues to develop their public speaking skills and improve their confidence in presenting and contributing to discussions. I have found that my background in improvisation has helped me in these areas as well as helping with resilience and embracing change.

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216: Redesigning administration...

216: Redesigning administration to enhance student and academic experience


This session will comprise two parts: The University of Nottingham has implemented a new administrative organisation design as part of a major transformation project. This aims to transform service delivery, enabling a distributed set of services geared to supporting students and academics in an effective, efficient and convenient manner, retaining students and academics at the heart of every decision and operation. The first part of the session will give participants an overview of the changed structure creating a new student services department under a chief student management officer. In the second part of the session, participants will have an opportunity to discuss between themselves, benefits and challenges in organisation restructuring, considering what is important and how that might support the aims of the White Paper.

Sandra Mienczakowski, Head of Academic Processes, University of Nottingham
Sandra Mienczakowski is the Head of Academic Processes based in the Student Services Department at the University of Nottingham. Her current responsibilities include the strategic leadership and management of University wide processes related to the academic infrastructure. The Academic Processes teams in Service Development (curriculum; timetabling; examinations; student records; partnerships, placements and mobility; postgraduate research; registration, induction and graduation) have responsibility for owning, developing and improving processes. Sandra has worked at the University of Nottingham since 1989 and held positions previously as Head of Student Administration and Assessment Manager in the Academic Services Division and as a Programmes Manager in the School of Law and University of Nottingham Business School. She has presented at local, regional and national conferences and, with colleagues, has published a chapter on managing assessment systems and processes in A Practical Guide to University and College Management: Beyond Bureaucracy (2010). Sandra gained a BA Hons (Open) degree in 1993, an MEd (Leadership and Management) in 2006, and a Doctorate in Education (EdD) in 2013. Sandra’s professional interests include change management, systems and process evaluation and development, and professional roles within HE. An AUA member since 2006, Sandra is currently Joint AUA Midlands Regional Coordinator.

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