Department of Sociology

Changing University Cultures

Changing University Cultures is a project developed by academics in the Department of Sociology to discover how the culture at Sussex can be positively changed.

Changing University Cultures projectProfessor Alison Phipps and Dr Liz McDonnell designed the project in close collaboration with Jess Taylor, an independent organisational development consultant. The main researcher on the project is Gemma North.

All staff and students can get involved in the project, which aims to help universities uncover why people's experience and enjoyment of work differ and how to address concerns with practical tools, driving a new culture of positive change through the process of listening and action.

Action inquiry cycles

Each action inquiry cycle consists of a set of four sessions. 

We have titled the sessions in a way that loosely captures key themes arising from the research so far. One of the goals is that group participants reflect on the themes and address them within the sessions. The research design is, as far as possible, a participatory one that is not too clearly defined in advance by the research team.

Each session lasts for two hours, and they occur at around two-week intervals. You are being asked to choose one of the sets below – there are 8-10 places available in each.

Please note, you may still join sets that are underway if you are able to attend the final three sessions of a given cycle.

We recognise that eight hours is a substantial time commitment. However, we would really appreciate your investment as we develop increased insight, shared vision and practice at the University of Sussex. 

Set 1: Consequences
  • Session 1: Monday 2 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 2: Friday 20 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 3: Thursday 2 November 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 4: Monday 13 November 2017, 2-4pm
Set 2: Agility
  • Session 1: Monday 2 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 2: Thursday 19 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 3: Friday 3 November 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 4: Monday 13 November 2017, 10am-12pm
Set 3: Uncertainty
  • Session 1: Thursday 5 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 2: Friday 20 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 3: Thursday 2 November 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 4: Tuesday 14 November 2017, 10am-12pm
Set 4: Entitlement
  • Session 1: Thursday 5 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 2: Thursday 19 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 3: Friday 3 November 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 4: Tuesday 14 November 2017, 2-4pm
Set 5: Difference
  • Session 1: Tuesday 10 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 2: Monday 23 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 3: Monday 6 November 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 4: Monday 20 November 2017, 2-4pm
Set 6: Learning 
  • Session 1: Tuesday 10 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 2: Tuesday 24 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 3: Tuesday 7 November 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 4: Monday 20 November 2017, 10am-12pm
Set 7: Trust - FULLY BOOKED
  • Session 1: Wednesday 11 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 2: Monday 23 October 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 3: Monday 6 November 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 4: Tuesday 21 November 2017, 2-4pm
Set 8: Power - FULLY BOOKED
  • Session 1: Wednesday 11 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 2: Tuesday 24 October 2017, 2-4pm
  • Session 3: Friday 10 November 2017, 10am-12pm
  • Session 4: Tuesday 21 November 2017, 10am-12pm
Set 9: Power
  • Session 1: Monday 27 November 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 2: Wednesday 6 December 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 3: Monday 18 December 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 4: Tuesday 9 January 2018, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
Set 10: Action
  • Session 1: Tuesday 28 November 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 2: Monday 11 December 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 3: Tuesday 19 December 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 4: Monday 15 January 2018, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
Set 11: Trust
  • Session 1: Monday 4 December 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 2: Tuesday 12 December 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 3: Monday 8 January 2018, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 4: Friday 19 January 2018, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
Set 12: Courage
  • Session 1: Monday 27 November 2017, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 2: Wednesday 6 December 2017, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 3: Monday 18 December 2017, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 4: Tuesday 9 January 2018, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
Set 13: Difference
  • Session 1: Tuesday 28 November 2017, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 2: Monday 11 December 2017, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 3: Tuesday 19 December 2017, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 4: Monday 15 January 2018, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
Set 14: Responsibility
  • Session 1: Monday 4 December 2017, 2-4pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 2: Tuesday 12 December 2017, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 3: Monday 8 January 2018, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A
  • Session 4: Tuesday 16 January 2018, 10am-12pm, Freeman G74A

Attending the action inquiry cycles

If you would like to participate in one of the sets, please email Deborah Minto (D.Minto@sussex.ac.uk). Your attendance will be confirmed as soon as possible.

If you are not able to attend any of the sets in full, please get in touch anyway to express your interest. We aim to be flexible and accommodate people’s participation if we can.