FD bulletin

FD Bulletin – January 2024

Email sent to all FD staff from Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, on Wednesday 31 January.

The new term began with some clear steers from our Vice-Chancellor, Hai-Sui. In the Vice-Chancellor’s Welcome to 2024 blog, he emphasised the need to support our colleagues to provide the best possible support for our students. I’m grateful to him for this reminder.

Here in the FD, many of you work directly with students – through Residences, Sport and Catering, for example – and all of us should be working together to support those colleagues to deliver the best service.  

He has also prioritised improving staff engagement this term, as highlighted in the Vice-Chancellor’s staff blog, and the University has published the actions it is taking in response to the Employee Engagement Survey results. One of these is around the visibility of the senior team and a series of staff forums have been set up to help with this. Please do look out for your invitation.  

Pay review

I hope you all saw in this week’s eNews that more than 1300 University employees on pay grades two, three and four will be moving up at least one pay spine point from 1 February. I’m very happy to see this and I want to flag that it’s the first step in a broader review of the pay and grading structure. More on that soon.  

Business Plan updates 

Working towards a net zero campus by 2030 is central to the Our Way Ahead plan. The plan also refers to us collaborating “with research colleagues to lead the discussion on sustainability and climate.”

You may have noticed sites being set up near Henry Price halls of residence, and these are to enable the first sessions of geothermal drilling beginning next week. This is exciting and innovative work that you can read more about on the Sustainability website.

Disruption is sadly unavoidable to get this work done, and students in particular may be affected. We must work together in a timely way to keep them updated. Delivering our services while staying focused on the needs of our communities is part of aim three of Our Way Ahead. 

The Facilities Management Service Desk project is making good progress, with Carol Haley in place as project manager – welcome Carol! This new system will transform the way we keep our campus in shape – for those new to the project, you can read more about the Facilities Management Service Desk project here. User testing for the reactive maintenance model is complete with only a few issues left for the project team to iron out, and a planning exercise is underway to clear the path to go live.

With a new waste management contract now in place, I was pleased to read about progress thanks to this interview with Fariha Aasam, our new Waste Manager. Welcome Fariha!  

Celebrating our staff

I want to acknowledge the outstanding work by Dawn Abel in Cleaning Services in the ‘Learning to log in’ initiative. Setting out to improve digital skills, initial research found that 26% of colleagues on grades two to five in the FD did not have access to a University email address.

Useful for updates, an email address is also essential for accessing services like the eduroam campus wi-fi, payslips and benefits. The team designed a pilot programme that allowed colleagues to access in-person training which worked around their shift patterns. You can read about it in this news story on the For Staff website 

A big thank you to Claire Copley, Martin Hutton and Mason Lawrence for making sure that we could continue to issue permits to contractors working on campus after the old system was turned off at very short notice. It’s a legal requirement that external contractors have permits and the team identified SoterWeb as a replacement and delivered it incredibly quickly. Brilliant work! 

PA Consulting

I wanted to say a bit more about the work by PA Consulting following my email last week. They are here to help us to clearly understand and articulate the impact and value of what we do. This might sound a simple task but it requires a huge amount of data gathering and coordination.

We are doing this so we can be fully ready for the next Integrated Planning Exercise (IPE), the process through which the University allocates budget. Heads of service will be able to provide you with more detailed information.  

Staff socials

Finally, I hope you’ve got the dates in your diary for the FD Staff Socials: 14 March and 1 October. All details to follow. 


Ann Allen,
Director of Campus Innovation and Development