News from our Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Gill ValentineThe latest news from Professor Gill Valentine including the appointment of our new Director of IT, Bella Abrams.

Dear colleagues

"Last week I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Boeing Sheffield, the company’s first production facility in Europe. Situated alongside Factory 2050 at our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the new facility shows Boeing’s strong confidence in our advanced engineering excellence, manufacturing heritage and cutting-edge collaborations with industry. It is hugely significant for our university and South Yorkshire and will create fantastic opportunities for our region’s businesses, researchers and workforce. We have enjoyed a longstanding and successful relationship with Boeing since it co-founded the AMRC in 2001 and I look forward to seeing this partnership continue to go from strength to strength.

"McLaren will also soon be opening a facility next to the AMRC, which will be responsible for the development and manufacturing of advanced carbon fibre chassis for McLaren Automotive’s supercars. I hope to provide a further update on this in the coming weeks.

"I am delighted to announce that our Leavygreave Road Plantables Scheme, part of our Campus Masterplan, won the Open Spaces Award and the Keith Hayman Award for Public Art at the recent Sheffield Design Awards. Nestled in our busy campus, the area around Leavygreave Road East provides a calm and relaxing space and epitomises the value we place on sustainably and wellbeing. Thank you to everyone involved, particularly our Estates and Facilities colleagues and Professor Nigel Dunnett, Professor Fionn Stevenson and Satwinder Samra who provided their academic expertise. If you have not already, I would encourage you to visit the area which features accessible street furniture, artwork, flowers and trees at the heart of our campus.

"We have successfully appointed Bella Abrams to the role of Director of IT. Bella has 17 years’ experience of IT leadership in the further and higher education sectors. She will join the University from Sheffield College, where she is currently Chief Information Officer. Bella will report into Keith Lilley, whose job title will change to Director of Infrastructure from 1 January 2019. I would like to thank John McAuley for his leadership of CiCS over the last year. John will continue to act as interim Director until Bella joins us on 7 January 2019.

"We continue to engage in the developments relating to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). Following recommendations from our USS Working Group and discussions at UEB and Council, we have now fed our views into the UUK consultation on the proposals designed to end the current dispute over the 2017 valuation. The University has pledged its support to the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) and is hopeful that a resolution to the dispute can be found as a result. Read details of our submission and information relating to the valuation.

"As a reminder, the parallel USS member consultation on the proposed changes under the 'cost sharing process' ends at 5pm tomorrow (Friday 2 November 2018). To respond to the consultation, please visit the dedicated USS consultation site."

Thank you,

Professor Gill Valentine

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor