Can non-academics make good university leaders?

The frustrating truth about using University league tables to judge senior leader’s performance.

Let’s start at ‘the top’. At least 20 institutions will have the goal of ‘being in the top 10 in the UK’ in the objectives of their senior leadership teams.

From gut instinct to solution – working with consultants to make things happen.

These are perfect times to bring in an experienced consultant to give you the capacity you need to analyse the situation, develop a plan of action and help you to make things happen. Using a consultant usually won’t bring you a revolutionary idea, in fact that’s usually not what you need anyway.  What they will […]

The frustrating truth about interdisciplinary institutes.

Funders and philanthropists know they can’t achieve the impact they seek without encouraging interdisciplinary working and academics know that some of the most exciting and impactful research is being done in this inter disciplinary space.  Young academics are interested in developing their careers in an interdisciplinary environment and the students of the future seem less […]

The things University leaders really dread most about the new academic year. Part 2. Senior Management Meetings

But it’s often rather more mundane issues that fill leaders with dread, such as… Senior Team meetings Do you see an hour long (or longer?) meeting in your diary – perhaps on a Monday morning – labelled Senior team meeting and feel a sense of resignation? Do you know that the meeting isn’t really working […]

A seven-step approach to problem solving with your team.

As a leader, you won’t be undertaking all the work that is required at each stage but it’s your job to set out process by which you would like your colleagues to tackle the problem. The seven-step process to dealing with complex problems can be summarised as follows: 1. Definition – Establish exactly what the […]

How to respond to budget cuts.

Even in those institutions not making cuts there is likely to be an atmosphere that discourages requests for additional budget – a culture of ‘austerity’. So what is the responsible approach as a leader when you are asked to make cuts to your budget? 1. Focus on performance You were recruited to deliver impact in […]

The things University leaders really dread most about the new academic year. Part 1. Their diaries.

But it’s often rather more mundane issues that fill leaders with dread, such as… The diary As you look ahead to September and October, does your heart sink as you see day after day already booked up with meetings? Will the pace will be relentless until Xmas? Days of back to back meetings followed by […]