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Warwick & HRI - Managing the Merger Process

Originally published 27 November 2003

The University’s acquisition of the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International (HRI) marks the biggest transfer of assets and staff to the University since the acquisition of Westwood a quarter of a century ago. Taking the two sites together, almost 600 acres of land and over 200 staff will be transferred to University ownership and management from 1 April 2004.

A process is underway to manage the transfer. In late September the University established the Warwick HRI Transfer Board (WHTB) to approve and monitor the programme transferring HRI's assets, contracts, facilities, and designated staff to the University by 1 April 2004. The Board, which meets fortnightly, is chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Palmer, and consists of senior officers from both the University and HRI.

The implementation of the transfer programme is being handled by the Registrar’s Office and consists of thirteen interdependent project streams managed by Warwick senior administrative officers. The project management methodology, PRINCE2, has been specially adapted by Richard McKenna, a PRINCE specialist and consultant in IT Services, together with the Programme Co-ordinator Edward Harcourt (Assistant Registrar).

PRINCE (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a comprehensive structured method for the management of large complex projects. IT Services hold regular In-house Foundation-Level Courses. Over forty people from different branches of the University have already successfully completed the three-day course. For more information contact Richard McKenna on 024 7657 4239

PRINCE is also enabling the University to share details of the programme with staff at HRI and the University. The Warwick HRI Transfer Board are publishing most of the project documentation on the Warwick HRI website.

For more information on the Transfer Programme see