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CPD training. Credit: John Houlihan

Enabling Objective 2: To be organised in the most efficient and effective way

The University Strategy


The University should aim to be as effective as possible in how it is governed and managed and as efficient as possible in how it operates. Bureaucracy should be minimal, communication should be fast and effective, and decision making should be swift and robust. We want to function as an academic community with a strong commitment to openness and consultation. We want to create the conditions in which all staff feel valued and are enabled to make the best possible contribution to the University.

To be effective, we must have a well-defined organisational structure and transparent processes for governance and management. As a key governing principle, we will place any decision making at the level where it is most effectively carried out. To be efficient in our operation, we must optimise and co-ordinate our use of resources and remove unnecessary duplication of services, structures and processes.

How will we achieve this?

  1. We will organise academic departments into faculties

  • We will establish three faculties (of Arts & Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences) to replace the current clusters. The faculties will play a role in decision making, in supporting the implementation of University and Departmental strategy, in co-ordinating activities across departments and in acting as intermediaries between departments and the central university administration.
  • Each faculty will be led by a Dean. The role of Dean of Faculty will replace the role of Academic Co-ordinator. Each faculty will have a board with broad membership (including student representation and representation from other faculty boards). Faculty boards will have well-defined powers and terms of reference. They will report to the Senate.
  • Departments will remain the primary academic units and budget centres. Where appropriate, the faculties will hold budgets to support specific inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary activities.

  1. We will invest in our staff and be an employer of choice

  • We will support individuals in developing their skills and expertise in order to maximise their contribution to the University.  We will have clear processes for promotion and progression.
  • We will provide a range of leadership and management training opportunities.
  • We will embed the principles of equality and diversity in everything we do.
  • We will further develop the structures and processes for performance review and management to ensure that all staff engage annually and that support needs can be identified.

  1. We will improve our operational effectiveness

  • We will review the balance between central and departmental support for our core activities and change it where appropriate.
  • We will review our support services, to ensure that they are aligned with our strategic objectives and provide optimal value to the University.
  • We will accept and support diversity of practice between departments and faculties where such diversity has an academic rationale, benefits effectiveness and minimises bureaucracy without leading to unnecessary risk.

  1. We will improve planning and resource allocation

  • The planning process and the underlying resource allocation model will reward enterprise and initiative from departments.
  • The planning process will allow us to make strategic decisions about the balance of resource allocation to departmental, faculty-based and institutional activities. 
  • We will provide matching funds to support significant funding bids and to facilitate inter-disciplinary and cross-departmental research.
  • We will put in place a new unitary strategic and financial planning process, which closely integrates long-term and short-term planning.
  • The new planning process will allocate full central costs to departments in a transparent manner.