Professor Wyn Morgan steps down as Vice-President for Education
Professor Wyn Morgan has taken the decision to step down as Vice-President for Education. Wyn’s tenure was coming to an end in August, and whilst he was offered the opportunity to stay on, he has decided that now is the right time for him to leave the role. Before Wyn’s tenure comes to an end, we take a look back at some of his most notable achievements.
Wyn took up the post in September 2015 and led the development of the Learning and Teaching Strategy, which was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2017 for its consultative approach. A crucial part of this strategy and perhaps the most notable legacy from Wyn’s tenure is the Programme Level Approach (PLA) established under his leadership.
PLA not only provided a means for dealing with many long standing issues, such as assessment and feedback. It also sought to emphasise a team-based approach to teaching and facilitates the consideration of the student experience from a whole programme angle rather than module by module. It offers a framework for focussing on both student outcomes and staff input, thus moving the University away from an initiative-based approach. This offers a holistic means of addressing the ongoing and important issues of sustainability, inclusivity and employability.
Throughout his time as Vice-President for Education, Wyn has also been passionate about championing individuals to develop leadership in learning and teaching. Over the past five years we have had seven National Teaching Fellows, nine Principal Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, more than 250 Senior Fellows and more than 900 Fellows and Associate Fellows and the establishment of Elevate to support both individuals and teams to develop their teaching practices.
Furthermore, he has been keen to emphasise the use of technologies to enhance student learning and to create flexibility in teaching and studying. Under his leadership we have introduced a system for lecture capture that now records over 85 percent of all lectures.
Wyn has also been passionate about widening participation activity, chairing both the Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP) and HeppSY, to support young people most at risk of missing out on higher education to find information and advice and to consider future education options.
Working with other institutions such as the European Universities Association, AdvanceHE and the Russell Group, Wyn has been a valued advocate of the excellent work of our University in the media. Alongside his busy schedule he also has been a champion of the Big Walk, leading the western team from Southport to Sheffield for the Big Walk in 2016, as well as completing the 50-mile and 25-mile walks with his family and hosting the Annual Quiz!
Wyn said: “My five years as a member of the University Executive Board (UEB) have passed very quickly, but have been hugely enjoyable. While my role has changed significantly since I first joined, I have always sought to raise the profile of teaching and learning across the University by focussing on what I believe are the two most important facets: student outcomes and staff input. Working with departments to tackle some long-standing, knotty problems has been the highlight for me, and the way in which the PLA has started to make real differences for both staff and students is a pleasing outcome of this collegiate approach. I have had superb support from my UEB colleagues and have greatly enjoyed working with them and all colleagues across academic and professional services departments. It has been a real pleasure and privilege and, while too numerous to make individual mentions here, I would like to thank everyone for their support, engagement and challenge while I have been in the role.
“Making the decision not to extend my tenure was a very difficult one and not one I took lightly. However, many of you will know that my personal circumstances are such that the last 18 months have been very difficult indeed and talking with family and friends, I felt this was the right decision at the right time. I wish everyone continued success in the education area: attracting great students, inspiring, enthusing and challenging them as they study and helping them to be successful on the path that they choose once they graduate - all the hallmarks of a great university experience.”
Wyn will return to his role as Professor of Economics and will focus on his research on the food industry. Mary Vincent will step up as interim Vice-President for Education until the end of semester one in February 2021.
Professor Koen Lamberts added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wyn for his dedication and enthusiasm in leading the learning and teaching agenda at Sheffield and for his contribution to our outstanding student experience.”