Email sent to all FD staff from Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, on Friday 30 June.
As we reach the end of term and another academic year, I want to start with a big thank you. It’s been a busy year with plenty of challenges as always, but I do believe that we are increasingly coming together as a single directorate. Thank you for all the work you do and thank you for how you support your colleagues across the FD.
Having your say and making a difference
Key to how we work better together is creating different ways for people to have a say. This is one of the key aims of the People & Culture strand of our business plan. At the end of last year the new FD Leadership Forum was established and I’m so delighted that this week I got the chance to meet the new Staff Voice group. Others have chosen to give voice to their views through strike action and as always I hope that both those on strike and those who have come to work feel that their decisions and choices have been respected.
The Employee Engagement Survey was a great opportunity to speak up, and 53% of you did. Thanks to everyone who helped us to get that great response rate. We have recently shared some brief headline findings from the survey, and the People and Culture working group are sifting through more data.
Further FD-specific results will be shared through the Leadership Forum and Staff Voice group so that we can discuss and understand what the data is telling us and find ways to address any issues. This is in addition to analysis of findings at a University level which will be shared through staff communications channels like eNews.
Partnership and community
As one of the largest institutions in Leeds, we are increasingly working in partnership with other key organisations locally and nationally to make Leeds a wonderful place to live and work. This includes the City Council and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust as the idea of a Leeds Innovation Arc develops.
There are some great examples of collaboration already, including Gair Wood and the FD’s recent work with the Environment Agency and others to rescue endangered crayfish. I very much enjoyed celebrating the successes of the Sustainability team at an event this week. Their work to affect our relationship with local communities is inspiring.
The opening of Cloth Hall Court this year provides exciting new opportunities for the Conferencing and Catering teams. The launch event was a wonderful occasion and all the teams involved in creating this venue should feel very proud.
Next year we will be focusing on making our campus an even better place for students and staff through our ‘reimagining the campus’ work and Net Zero by 2020. A cultural highlight for me this year was “Another Brick in the Wall”, an exhibition which celebrated our architecture and the development of the campus in the 1960s (with Print & Mail producing some of the lovely prints.) I’m excited about the campus development of the future and I want it to be equally as inspiring.
Learning from the hybrid meeting rooms pilot – led by Andrea Kerridge and Jon Stothard and team – will also be really useful as we decide on how best to meet the needs of staff.
And that, of course, is why we are all here – to support the University Strategy and make this University a place where students and staff can thrive.
On my first-ever day at Leeds, I went to see Rosa Quintana’s wonderful photographs of her colleagues during the pandemic months. Twelve months later Rosa and her colleagues are still making a difference. Rosa was named Cleaning Operative of the Year at the 2022 British Association of Cleaning Services in Higher Education Conference. Next month she returns there as their official photographer, which feels like a very positive way to end the year.
Jill Roberts, the Conferencing team and many other people across the University were involved in the success of this project, and that is when we are at our best – working together to make a difference.
I hope to see you at the next FD Staff Social in the Great Hall on Monday 31 July, 4.30-5.30pm.
Director of Campus Innovation and Development