Introducing – the Organisation Design Working Group

May 14th, 2015

Project Transform will completely overhaul our student records system, and all of the systems and processes connected to the student journey. This huge impact on our ways of working will need a new organisational structure to support it, and to ensure that our students receive the best possible service.

Organisation Design Workshops were held in March to examine potential models for a new University structure. All schools and departments were represented at these workshops, along with students. These workshops highlighted the need for a smaller working group to develop further the proposed model.

The Organisation Design Working Group is chaired by Prof Sarah O’Hara, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning. It will meet once a week throughout May and July, with the aim of producing a proposal for the future organisation design. This will be presented to the Project Transform Programme Board in mid-July. The group is made up of senior representatives, both academic and administrative, from across the University, together with colleagues from the Students’ Union.

During this design phase, the group is responsible for reviewing the current state data analysis and subsequent follow-up activity, as well as reviewing and refining the organisation design principles which were proposed during the workshops held in March. It is anticipated that the current student service centre concept will evolve and be expanded across all UK campuses initially, with the role, functions, numbers and locations of these centres to be decided by the group. This change will then be put in place by the new Chief Student Management Officer. 

The organisation redesign will see the realignment of delivery between schools and the central service departments. The Working Group will decide exactly what that looks like – which services will sit locally in Schools/Faculties, which will sit centrally and which will be delivered through service centres. We will share plans for the redesign by the end of 2015.

The Working Group will work closely with colleagues in the Project Transform team responsible for redesigning processes connected to the student journey.  This will help them to develop proposals for where our services and support can be best delivered. Additionally, the Working Group will develop proposals for the governance of the new organisation design, as well as develop principles for career development and progression for staff working as part of the new model. And a Challenge Group, consisting of academic and administrative colleagues, will scrutinise the Working Group’s findings and decisions.

Outputs of the Working Group will be communicated on a regular basis, both through the University’s internal channels and your school or department representative.

Thanks for your support through this process. The high ambitions of the institution, which is large and complex, require systems and structures which will deliver the best for our students in terms of service and processes and we all need to play our part. Please share and discuss this with your teams, and feed back through the group members.

Organisation Design Working Group members


Sarah O’Hara

School Managers

Chris Hulse                        Medicine

Alex Slater                         Engineering

Jane Watson                      Business

Professional Services

Robert Dowling                   Academic Services (on secondment to Transform)

Stephen Dudderidge           Student Operations & Support

Helen Foster                       International Office

Academic Staff

Jonathan Tallant                 Humanities

Matthew Dickinson              Biosciences

Students’ Union

Ruth Edgar

Mike Olatokun

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One Comment

July 23rd, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Malcolm Day

Will the Project Transform team be conducting an equality impact assessment before and throughout the implementation of these new initiatives?

As you know, an equality impact assessment is seen as an essential tool to ensure that employers within the public sector meet their general equality duty – as defined in the Equality Act – when implementing any new policy or stragey; and is seen as best practice by the Human Rights Commission, ACAS, and the Higher Education Equality Challenge Unit.

With best wishes

Malcolm Day

UCU Equality Officer (Disabilities) and Chair, Disabled Staff Network

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