The University of York has been shortlisted in three categories for the prestigious Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs). The awards will be announced on Thursday 20 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The teams shortlisted are the University’s Careers service nominated for its successful Student Employability Tutorial; the Department of Archaeology’s Archaeology Data Services (ADS) nominated in the Outstanding Library Team category; and the University’s Management Accountant’s team, shortlisted in the Outstanding Finance Team category.
In Autumn 2011, the University of York Careers team launched an online Employability Tutorial to encourage students to engage with their own employability and thus better prepare them for the world of work. The aim of the Tutorial is to provide a universal, user-friendly, information-packed resource, available to any student at any time, no matter what stage they are at in their employability journey. In its first academic year, the Employability Tutorial was accessed by 73% of first year undergraduates (64% of students overall). It was also found that students accessing the resource were more likely to engage with other development activities, confirming the view that online provision can stimulate broader student engagement, particularly for students at the start of their degree.
The ADS is not a traditional library. It has no library building, and no physical books or manuscripts, but it is a library in every other sense. ADS has an online catalogue of over 1.1 million items, 20,000 unpublished fieldwork reports, 20,000 journal articles, and 500 rich data archives, ranging from single research projects, such as Sutton Hoo, to major transport infrastructure projects, such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. All these collections can be referenced via a permanent Digital Object Identifier (DOI), provided in partnership with the British Library and DataCite.
A team of 15 ‘data librarians’ are dedicated to providing free online access to ADS’s holdings, to anyone throughout the world, supporting research, learning and teaching and preserving our collections in perpetuity. The data ‘library’ and archiving model pre-date the current drive to Open Access and has been emulated around the world by countries who are seeking to establish similar initiatives. ADS’s success is also evidenced by the wider academic environment and, in 2012, the team also won the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Decennial Award for the most outstanding contribution to digital preservation over the last decade. The team was also a key contributing factor in the successful nomination of the University of York for a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011.
In response to significant institutional growth over the last decade and in recognition of impending changes in the fundamental economics of teaching and research, the University of York has undertaken a radical overhaul of its financial planning, budgeting and monitoring regime.
The Management Accounting Team has been involved at the core of this work, helping to develop a new medium term planning framework, implementing a revised quarterly forecasting regime and developing tools to support both. Most importantly, the team has developed better links with departments to help engender a better understanding of how financial and academic outcomes are linked. This was demonstrated to the shortlisting panel through a number of fantastically positive testimonials from colleagues across the University citing their collaborative approach and an embedded culture where Management accountants work within academic departments to provide valued advice and expertise enabling departments to develop effective strategies based on sound financial information and forecasting.