March 12, 2015, by Tim Utton

Update – 12 March

Framework for capital project proposals

UEB agreed a new framework for consideration of capital projects between £250,000 and £2m.

This will be an annual process, managed through the Space Strategy Board, timed to align with the University Strategic Framework process and annual budgeting activity. Proposals will be required to demonstrate fit to Global Strategy 2020 and the process will also prioritise requests for funding.

Enterprise Risk Management

Work conducted by Deloitte has helped to identify the high-level risks the university faces, both in chronic long-term view and also acute risks. UEB agreed on areas of focus for the next 12 months and that ongoing oversight of chronic risks was required to ensure longer-term matters are suitably monitored.

Members of Council and senior managers will also be asked to feed into the ongoing process via risk workshops between March and June.

Joint UEB with the University of Birmingham

The joint UEB noted the ongoing development of regional initiatives in Energy Research and Intelligent Manufacturing, led by the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham and Warwick with involvement from other regional institutes. The Joint UEB also noted the need to ensure coherency between the bids and other related regional centres and activity.

Update from Business Engagement

Mike Carr, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services, presented a summary of activity over the last three years and the importance of these activities to the University. UEB noted a number of key action points and thanked Mr Carr for his leadership and the growth of University activity in this area.

Project Transform organisational model

UEB received the report from the Registrar outlining options for the organisational model supporting delivery of Project Transform. Members of UEB discussed this with Executive Deans and Directors of Professional Service units. The need for further discussion with key stakeholders to the process was noted.



Campaign and Alumni Relations Office

Initial funding was approved for the establishment of an Asia CARO office in Hong Kong to develop work with the University’s alumni network in Asia and opportunities for advancement. The Asia office would also incorporate BEIS activity through the Asia Business Centre.

Global Strategy 2020 – Internationalisation

UEB considered a paper from the PVC Internationalisation and Acting Director of the International Office, which outlined a draft Internationalisation Strategy.

UEB noted the content of the document and provided detailed feedback for consideration by the ‘Embedding Internationalisation’ Strategy working group for inclusion in both the top level strategy and also to be reflected in operational plans. The four Assistant PVCs-International also presented updates (on Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas) and key points in relation to regional strategies.



Supporting and recognising teaching

UEB approved funding for new posts to support provision of the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) for staff, and considered additional measures to ensure the area is adequately and fully supported. UEB noted the need to take a strategic approach to the development of teaching, tying in with the ‘Excellence in Education’ and ‘People’ strands of Global Strategy 2020.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Alan Ford, is to lead the development of a strategy for teaching support and recognition, working with the Director of Human Resources, Jaspal Kaur.

Research Information System

Funding was approved across 2014/15 and 2015/16 for delivery of a Research Information System, due to its role in underpinning the research strategy, research and knowledge exchange activity, REF 2020 and other efficiency saving activity.

The system will bring together all of the research data the University holds into a single system which has sophisticated reporting capability and introduce ways of working which will enable effective use of the system. This will also be the main interface into our other systems such as the Research Data Management Solution.

This will bring a range of benefits, enabling individual researchers to quickly pull together the data needed as evidence for research proposals or for exporting into external systems; research directors to identify trends and help manage performance; and better support for the preparation of bids.

Open Access

Professor Sir Robert Burgess visited the University to conduct a review of the university’s open access policies. His fact-finding visit included a very positive discussion around the issue.

Doctoral training

The MRC has announced new arrangements for Doctoral Training Partnerships for students from 2016.

Based on past funding performance, the University will be more likely to be successful in receiving funding for doctoral training through collaboration with other Universities, and discussions are now underway with Birmingham to create a partnership. A proposal will be submitted to HEFCE in June 2015.



Policy on internships

UEB agreed to approve a policy relating to paid and unpaid internships, noting their importance in relation to employability, student recruitment and broadening university relationships with specific organisations.

Existing good practise within the University is being considered as part of activity to broaden the offer to students. Further supporting documentation is in preparation, covering other aspects of internships, which will be returned to UEB for discussion and comment at a later date.

Vice-Chancellor’s Achievement Awards

Professor Sir David Greenaway, the Vice-Chancellor, presented Achievement Awards to 18 students and members of staff at a ceremony on February 3rd.

The Award recognises exceptional achievement in any arena; notable endeavour which has made a difference to the University; substantive contribution which has enhanced the reputation of the University, or had a noticeably positive impact for students, staff or the local community.



Mitigation of impact of the CNL fire

Among the capital projects to be prioritised for 2015 was a mitigation plan in support of research in the School of Chemistry, following the fire at the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory (CNL) on Jubilee Campus in September 2014

Work on the mitigation plan, including refurbishment of facilities and relocation of equipment, will be completed by September 2015 and will remain in place after the opening of the CNL next year.

Funding for green initiatives

The University has been successful in two applications for funding of environmental initiatives through the Salix RGF4 programme run by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

A Carbon Reduction Programme in the Medical School was awarded £1.23m, and a further £440,000 for two smaller programmes within the Medical School.

Trim Trail

Funding was approved for a Trim Trail on University Park, consisting of five connected exercise stations that provide both individuals and groups of athletes the opportunities to carry out functional training exercises.

The sites will make best use of current technological innovations and will be connected by a series of mapped running routes of up to 5km that will allow users to track the distance covered. The detailed layout of the Trim Trail is still under consideration but it will tie in with the new Sports Village and refurbishment of Highfields Public Park. It is intended to be completed by September 2015.

This is the latest regular update from the University Executive Board, which aims to bring staff up to speed with recent developments and items discussed at UEB. We would welcome ideas and suggestions on this update, which can be sent to Comments can also be added below.

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