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UEB Blog

UEB Blog 25.03.19

Author: Shaun Williams, Executive Director of Engagement and Advancement

After last week’s bumper agenda, it was back to a more typical length UEB meeting today, which included a long discussion on UEB communications (full disclosure: based on a paper and recommendations from me.) All members of UEB recognise that more effective communication, and more meaningful staff engagement, are key issues we need to address in the light of the staff survey, and will need to form part of UEB’s overall staff survey action plan, as well as individual faculty and directorate action plans.

Today’s discussion was focused on initial steps to ensure that our senior leaders are better equipped to cascade information to their teams in a more consistent and timely manner.  We also want to ensure greater visibility, transparency and trust around the work of UEB – this blog is one attempt at doing that. It was also agreed that we need to ensure there is greater, consistent understanding of the University’s Strategy and long-term direction, how the 10-Year Plan will help deliver our Strategy, and the decisions UEB is making – and why. So, going forward, the drumbeat of regular news will increase.

Everyone agrees this is not straightforward. Cascading of messages and information can be very inconsistent, especially across 6,000 staff spread across several campuses. We know that an enormous amount of information is regularly published, but clearly not everyone receives it, and some don’t even want to receive it – at least not directly. One point is abundantly clear: everyone is overloaded with emails. So, UEB also agreed to ask staff through focus groups within the next two months, how we can better ensure our staff receive the news and information they need, and how and when they want to receive it.

(Incidentally, at the end of this blog is a summary of the various ways you can stay in touch with what’s going on at our University).

Other items on the agenda: continuing discussions about University of Southampton Malaysia and the role of our international activities and partnerships as we refresh our International Strategy. It’s something Council also want to discuss over the coming months. An update by Ian Dunn, Chief Operating Officer, on Recruitment and Admission – a varied picture across the University, but offers and acceptances overall are up 10 per cent, with more offers made at each of UG, PGT and PGR levels. The significant increases in PGT applications in the Business School and at the Winchester School of Art (WSA) will require some careful planning about how we teach and manage those additional students next year, including the possibility of cross-faculty resource support.

Then, a quick update on the National Student Survey (NSS) – but under Office for Students (OfS) rules, I am not allowed to reveal our current response rate to avoid any suggestion of ’inappropriate influence’, so all I can say is that the survey remains open until 30 April and all eligible students are encouraged by the OfS to complete it.

Finally, formal Ratification of ERE Level 7 Moderated Appraisals, and a quick update on weekend water damage to the building housing our High Speed Computer: prompt action avoided serious damage but its operation will be limited for a few days.

How to find out what’s happening at our University

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