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Bulletin - 11 July 2008

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Council approves strategic plan

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Council, the University's governing body, gave the green light to the draft strategic plan at its meeting on 4 July. The plan was welcomed as a positive statement of the University's ambition over the next eight years.

The strategy, which has been developed throughout this academic year, sets out goals and strategies across research, teaching and learning, the student experience, and business and the community, and supports plans for human resources, finance and estates.

Council members, both external and internal, were keen to see the strategy cast in positive and forward-looking terms, and to ensure that in all areas the goals are as clear and ambitious as possible. Further work in particular will take place to sharpen up the goals in the section on business and community.

Council endorsed plans to produce a summary version of the plan, accessible in print and on the web, which will be developed over the summer, before full publication of the strategy for internal and external audiences in the autumn.

Annual operational plans will use the strategy as the framework for development.

£100m capital investment

Among the supporting plans approved by Council were plans for capital investment of £100m over the next four years.

This includes:

Further detail on these proposals are available in the Council papers in Sussex Direct.

New schools

Council also signed off the new academic structures which had been recommended by Senate for 2009, creating 12-14 schools - with academic leadership reporting directly to the Vice-Chancellor's Executive Group (VCEG).

The posts for heads of the new schools will be advertised internally and externally. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: "It is important that we treat all of these new positions in the same way, to recruit the best candidates through a fair and open appointment process."

To begin the process and generate interest, a trailer ad will appear in the educational press in July, with the full recruitment process starting from September to reach out to academics after the summer break.

Project management office

Following Council's sign-off, work is now under way on setting up project-management arrangements to support the establishment of the new schools for 2009. A full-time project manager is being appointed to support VCEG and the Programme Management Board, and to work with academic and Professional Services staff, in ensuring that work is well planned and co-ordinated.

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