Thank you for joining me for my third general meeting on Wednesday 20 November. I hope it was a useful opportunity for us to have a discussion about the University and its future priorities. For those of you who were unable to attend, some of the issues touched upon included:
- The process of purchasing the National Grid building on Kirby Corner Road, which we believe will greatly complement our estate and allow us to expand into it over the next few years. Discussions are taking place about how best to use the building, and any decisions will form part of an overall estates strategy. This new purchase needs to be incorporated into long-term decisions about how we want to develop the site over the next decade.
- A new space soon to be opened is the Sutherland Staff Lounge. It's a test space for the University that we hope staff will find accessible and useable. Launch open house events will be held in the run up to the Christmas vacation and the lounge will open formally in January. Further details of these events for all staff will shortly be posted on insite.
- Another change we have made over the last few months is the introduction of a third Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Professor John Jones from the Department of Mathematics has taken up this position. The three PVCs roles are loosely divided into the areas of infrastructure and widening access (Professor Robert Dyson), academic quality (Professor Susan Bassnett) and estates and undergraduate affairs (Professor John Jones). Warwick has massively expanded over the last few years and our two PVCs were increasingly required to take on more and more work. So, we felt it necessary to expand this tier in order to spread the load and allow for future developments within the University.
- The funding crisis in higher education is now generally accepted as well as the need for a reform of student support. Current funding is inadequate for our future and whatever form future funding takes it must ensure that those students who can best benefit from a Warwick education continue to do so, regardless of their background or financial circumstances. Further discussion of the future funding of higher education is necessary and I hope you will all engage in the debate.
With best wishes