Ken Sloan, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, held an open meeting for staff on 18 June 2014 in the Ramphal lecture theatre, where he discussed the context and challenges for the sector at present, and updated colleagues on key University activities and the Simplify, Collaborate, Deliver initiative.
Ken outlined key factors affecting higher education at present, including the need to anticipate and navigate external political uncertainty. He said that the situation with tuition fees after the 2015 election remains unclear and we need to take into account potential changes to research funding and the international market. He reiterated that we are an institution of the highest quality in a highly competitive marketplace.
Ken spoke about key activities at Warwick, including Warwick Business School at the Shard, the Centre for Urban Science and Progress in London, Keep Campus Moving, the National Automotive Innovation Centre, Warwick in California and our 50th anniversary. He encouraged colleagues to think about how they could celebrate the 50th anniversary in their departments.
Ken spoke about the University's challenging financial plan, and the need to generate a higher ROI and greater income to support investment to ensure that progress is sustainable in the future.
He added that universities are complex organisations, and that there are parts of what we do which can be unnecessarily complicated. Ken stressed the need for staff to take ownership of any issues that are brought to them, and reassured staff that they have the authority to support the person who raised an issue and follow it through until it is resolved.
He highlighted the need to Simplify, Collaborate, Deliver – making sure our working culture challenges complexity and that we work collaboratively to deliver outcomes which add value to the University as a whole.
Ken gave a preview of the Simplify, Collaborate, Deliver web pages that are in development and will provide a place to share, and be inspired by, what colleagues are doing to improve the way we work at Warwick.
Ken reinforced that we are in a challenging financial position and are going to have to find ways to achieve savings. We also all need to think about what we could do better to make it easier to work and achieve University goals. Ken emphasised the need for staff to engage with Simplify, Collaborate and Deliver, stating that there are already many examples of how we collaborate well, including open days, graduation, alumni events, induction and arrivals, but we now need to look at how we do this on a day-to-day basis, and not just within our own department. He said that only by working as a whole university can we make the Warwick experience even better for staff, students and others working with us.