Members will be interested to hear that subsequently to the response made by the Chair of Council, the VC felt compelled to make his own direct response in a letter to UCU Local Association.
In accordance with the request made in the covering email to which the letter was attached, we hereby share this with members.
Dear Chris,Baroness Taylor has passed a copy of your letter to me of 26 April 2017. I would like to take this opportunity to respond to some of the specific issues which you have raised.As you are aware, we have set out an ambitious 10 year vision to become a word (sic) leading technology university. A significant programme of work is in place to help the University achieve this vision. I recognise that a programme of this magnitude is challenging and will bring about significant change across the University, which can be unsettling and unwelcome for some staff. In order to support staff we have put in place an extensive programme of support to assist them through this period of change.With regard to your specific points:
Academic Redundancy CriteriaJoanne Marshall and her tea m have considered your feedback on the academic redundancy selection criteria. Whilst some of your feedback was directed more towards the circumstances that have led to potential redundancies, or to the principle of making redundancies, your specific points on the criteria have been carefully considered and amendments have been made.
Administrative RestructuringWhilst we recognise that there is a reduction in posts at Grade 5 and an increase at Grade 4, the Student and Academic Administration Review has been driven by an extensive business process assessment. This assessment informs the roles which are required and the duties and responsibilities within these roles. These new roles have then been subject to a very thorough job evaluation process. Throughout the consultation, assurances have been provided with regard to future career progression within the structure. There will be an extensive programme of development put in place to support our commitment to career planning, professional development and promotion.
Academic Portfolio ReviewThe Academic Portfolio Review fulfilled the University requirements to meet the expectation within Chapter BS of the UK Quality Code. Students were involved in programme review activities through the following means: student meetings at both undergraduate and postgraduate level to explore their learning experiences; student feedback gained through surveys, namely the Bradford Student Survey, National Student Survey and Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey; evidence from Staff–Student Liaison Committees; and data on student complaints and appeals. The APR methodology was designed to ensure the student voice played a big role.
EffectivenessColleagues undertake business travel and attendance at many events and venues throughout the academic year. These are agreed with the appropriate managers through the normal University processes and are informed by the University‘s PDR process and the University’s strategic objectives. We continue to build on and improve our communications and engagement throughout this process to help colleagues better understand how we are working towards achieving the vision .I recognise that this continues to be a challenging time for many colleagues across the University. I urge you and the other campus trade unions to continue to work constructivelythrough the established University forums and procedures to assist us in achieving our strategic objectives. I thank you for your help and efforts so far.Yours sincerelyBrian Cantor