Over the next academic term Warwick will complete the planning for the pilot of TeachHigher, a new Academic Services Department, created to assist those seeking interim teaching or research assignments at Warwick, and to assist academic departments in engaging hourly paid teachers and researchers. TeachHigher will administer arrangements for those engaged on the VAM payroll and the new department has been charged with delivering on these five goals:
- A fair, transparent and consistent approach to recruitment and remuneration
- A structured, tailored approach to professional development
- Full visibility of internal and external opportunities
- An easy to access record of work completed, to support individuals with the development of their CVs
- A simpler, more professional service for engaging hourly paid teachers and researchers.
Discussions over the last few months clearly established that TeachHigher should be constituted as an academic services department. That has been done and staff and students will now find it listed amongst the other academic services departments on the University’s website. Some staff and students may have seen in some social media a reference to a suggestion that this would be an outsourced service, an interpretation taken from the minutes of a Board of Graduate Studies meeting. In fact hourly teaching and research will never be outsourced at Warwick and TeachHigher will start and remain as an academic services department at Warwick.
Over the remainder of this academic year and the summer TeachHigher will consult with a number of departments including Sociology, Philosophy, Politics and International Studies, Chemistry, Mathematics, the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. It will work with them to gain a full understanding of the hourly paid roles in those departments and support them in planning for the new academic year. It will then develop with those departments systems that will meet their needs, and which will also provide an attractive, fair, transparent and consistent approach to the recruitment and remuneration of the people to those required roles.
All of the information gathered over the course of the next term and the summer will form the basis of a pilot in these departments starting in the new academic year.
One significant change already agreed for these developing new processes is that, unlike the previous arrangements for hourly paid teachers and researchers at Warwick, people engaged through TeachHigher will consistently, across all departments, be able to access a range of learning opportunities such as workshops, seminars and online courses to support their continuing professional development (CPD). This support will be offered through Warwick’s Learning and Development Centre (LDC). TeachHigher wants to ensure that this aspect of its service is tailored to the actual needs of participants and LDC have set up a special survey to gather thoughts and ideas to help us shape the CPD support we offer in 2015 and beyond.
Further updates will be provided as planning for the pilot continues. We will continue to listen to and reflect on feedback given to date and in the future as discussions and planning with the named departments continues.