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Internal News - 11 April 2006

New organisational structure following the retirement of the Registrar and Secretary to Council

Under the traditional organisational structure a wide range of student support services all reported to the Registrar, who was therefore responsible for an increasingly complex and diverse portfolio.

As Secretary to the University Council he was also responsible for ensuring the Chair and members of Council had proper advice and support.

Following consultation with the senior management group and the chairs of Council committees, the decision has been taken that with effect from 1 April 2006, this package of functions should be streamlined into two separate sections with the aim of providing more effective and efficient support.

This division provides a coherent and simple structure with clear lines of responsibility. The aim is to improve the efficiency, professionalism and quality of the administration of the University and to provide a better service to staff and students.

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Background

The University is committed to providing high quality service and support for staff and students. Universities are increasingly competing on the basis of the quality of their infrastructure and provision of high quality teaching. The University aims to be in the premier division of research based institutions which provide high quality learning and teaching provision in a high tech environment.

In recent years the demands on the services supporting learning and teaching have grown significantly, as a consequence of a range of factors, including increased student numbers, a more diverse student population, a more demanding cohort of students, increased teaching, research and knowledge transfer activity, more compliance requirements, and more external demands for auditing and reporting. At the same time there has also been a measurable increase in the demands for demonstrable improvements in the governance of the university, and in the requirements of a wide variety of regulatory and statutory bodies. New legislation on e.g. Freedom of Information, Charities and Equalities & Diversity produces new challenges.

New Structure

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning & Teaching, Professor Ian Jamieson, has a full-time appointment and will take responsibility for the majority of matters relating to the student experience, including academic staff matters relating to learning and teaching.

The Academic Registrar, Alison Price, will be the officer reporting to Senate. This will provide an integrated service for all aspects of student learning and support.

A new post, the University Secretary, under the direction of the VC, will take responsibility for all matters concerned with the Secretariat and governance, and all legal issues, including the later stages of student grievances, complaints and reviews. The University Secretary will promote University-wide initiatives aimed at improving administrative structures. This office would also be responsible for servicing major committees and compliance with internal and external requirements. Pending recruitment, Sue Cook, the University Legal Adviser, will be Acting University Secretary and Secretary to Council.

The University Secretary will take over the statutory functions assigned to the Registrar in the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations.

The place of the Registrar on various committees will be filled either by the PVC (Learning & Teaching) or by the University Secretary as appropriate. Chairs and Secretaries of committees have been notified.

The Registrar also had responsibilities in relation to Human Resources and for the Institute for Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts. Under the new arrangements the Director of HR will report directly to the Vice-Chancellor, whilst the ICIA will report to the PVC (Strategic Developments).

Professor Ian Jamieson (PVC Learning & Teaching)
Sue Cook (Acting University Secretary)
1 April 2006

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