UCL Effectiveness Review of Council

24.02.2020

Halpin Partnership was appointed in January 2020 to conduct an independent review of the effectiveness of UCL’s Council and governance arrangements, following an invitation to provide a proposal and attend an interview.

Halpin is a specialist higher education consultancy, drawing on a team of Consulting Fellows who have a breadth of experience and expertise across diverse fields in the education, public and corporate sectors.

Following a period of open consultation, the review team will present its report and recommendations to the UCL Council on 18th June 2020.

Our response to frequently asked questions about the review can be found below.

Review Timeline

February

  • Introductory Meeting
  • Information Request
  • Council and Committee Observations

March – May

  • Desk review
  • Interviews
  • Council and Committee Observations
  • Focus Groups
  • Open Forum

June

  • Findings
  • Analysis
  • Report and recommendations
  • Presentation to Council

July

  • Publication of report (tbc)
  • Implementation of recommendations

Review Consultation

The review consultation period will remain open until the 30th May 2020.

Open Focus Group sessions for staff and students with be held at 11am and 3pm on the 18th and 24th March.

To attend a session please email your name to [email protected]

Refreshments will be provided and spaces are limited so we please ask that you only book a space on a session if you intend to attend.

If you would prefer to undertake a private consultation, please contact Halpin via the email address above.

Review Team

David Allen, Consulting Fellow

David is former university Registrar and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter. He has also held senior leadership roles in the universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, Southampton and Wales. At Halpin, David has worked on a governance reviews at University of Bath, the Royal College of Art and UUK. David is an acknowledged expert on corporate governance and risk management, having acted as Secretary to the Councils of three Russell Group universities. He was awarded an OBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours list for services to higher education.

Susie Hills, Project Director

With an unrivalled depth of knowledge in higher education fundraising, leadership and governance, Susie has advised and supported leaders and teams at Universities across the UK, often during times of significant change. She led the review of the effectiveness of Council and its subcommittees at University at Bath, and also a review of governance effectiveness at Universities UK. Susie is highly skilled at undertaking reviews of strategy, performance and structures and is in demand as coach and mentor. In 2019 she was named as one of the Unilever Leading Lights in Kindness in the Financial Times. Susie is the Joint CEO and Co-founder of Halpin Partnership.

Rachel Killian, Senior Consultant

As a consultant with Halpin, Rachel has most recently worked on governance and strategic reviews with the universities of Kent, Sussex, Cumbria and Warwick Business School. With over 20 years of senior marketing and recruitment experience and works with clients to help them better understand their brand positioning and deliver on their strategic marketing campaigns. Rachel brings knowledge and understanding of higher education from experience in-house at a Russell Group university and business school before delivering on a range of marketing and recruitment consultancy projects across universities, colleges and schools.

Charlotte Stewart, Project Manager

Strategic, insightful, with a sharp eye for detail, Charlotte has more than 10 years’ experience in project delivery, management and research. Charlotte is one of the most experienced project managers in the UK higher education consultancy sector and her knowledge of project design and delivery – from large scale operations assessments to governance reviews – is unrivalled.

Ewart Wooldridge, Consulting Fellow

Ewart Wooldridge was the founding Chief Executive from 2003 to 2013 of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, set up to play a key role in developing UK and international HE leaders and their institutions. He has a well-established portfolio of consultancy, advisory and governance roles in the HE sector. He was previously Chief Executive of the Civil Service College, and a Chief Officer in Local Government. Before that he worked in HR and general management roles in the media, television, and the arts. He was Director of Operations at London’s South Bank Arts Centre in the mid-1990s.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How was Halpin Partnership selected?

Halpin Partnership was appointed in January 2020 to conduct an independent review of the effectiveness of UCL’s Council and governance arrangements, following an invitation to provide a proposal and attend an interview.

2. What experience does Halpin have of governance reviews?

Information on the review team and their experience can be found above.

3. What should I do if I have questions about the review and/or would like to share my views?

The review consultation period will remain open until the 30th May 2020. Consultation will include interviews, focus groups and a dedicated email address where you can send your comments and questions:

[email protected]

Focus Group sessions with be held at 11am and 3pm on the 18th and 24th March. To attend a session please send you name to [email protected]

Refreshments will be provided and spaces are limited so we ask you only book a space on a session if you intend to attend.

4. Is the review independent?

The Halpin review team is entirely independent from UCL. The review team have no conflicts of interest in undertaking this work and the senior management team at UCL is not involved in the review in any capacity, other than as interviewees.

The review team’s points of contact at UCL are Wendy Appleby, Secretary to Council, and Anne Marie O'Mullane, Governance and Secretariat Manager. The review team has complete access to relevant documentation and information will be provided as requested.

5. Is the report being published, and if so when?

The report will be presented to the UCL Council at its meeting on 18th June 2020 where they determine if the report is to be published.

6. Will the review consider governance practice from outside the sector?

The review team includes experts in governance and remuneration, with experience both in and outside of the higher education sector. This will inform the recommendations in the report.

7. Will the University senior management team see the report prior to its publication?

Only members of senior management who are also members or attendees at Council will see the report when it is received by Council on 18th June 2020 and prior to any publication of the report.

As stated above, the Halpin review team will provide draft copy to UCL for fact-checking in early June. This is to ensure that we had not inadvertently included factually incorrect information or missed any key points of information or evidence. Any changes made after that point will be made at the discretion of the Halpin review team based on the information and evidence provided and after full and careful consideration.

8. What is the process for the review?

The process for the review will be described in full in the report.

9. Will you share data and consultation findings with UCL during the review process?

Sharing consultation findings is not part of the review methodology. The final report includes analysis of the data collected but comments and notes will not be provided to the University. All data will be destroyed at the end of the contract between Halpin and UCL, in line with our Data Protection policy as detailed here.

10. How will you ensure anonymity and confidentiality?

We will record the names of interviewees and focus group attendees for the purposes of scheduling. In the final report, we will not attribute any comments to any names.

11. Why will staff and students be included in the process?

A typical governance review would not include focus groups open to all staff and students. However, given the size and level of interest in governance across the University, it it is entirely appropriate that as wide a consultation takes place as possible.

12. How can the Halpin review team be contacted?

The Halpin team can be contacted via [email protected]

Halpin Partnership has a trusted relationship with its clients and operates with sensitivity, discretion and confidentiality. We do not comment on client projects to third-parties and will not be making any comments on the review undertaken for UCL.

For any media enquiries, please contact UCL’s Media Relations team via https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/services-media/contact-us.

If you have questions regarding the Halpin Partnership and the services we offer please visit our main website at www.halpinpartnership.com or contact [email protected]

Article Name
UCL Effectiveness Review of Council
Author
Charlotte Stewart
Publisher name
Halpin Partnership
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