University Executive Board minutes - 15 November 2022



15 November 2022


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor A Blom, Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH) (items 1-3), J Jones (JJ), Professor J Litster (JL), R Sykes (RS), Professor G Valentine (GV), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW), I Wright (IW)

In attendance:

J Strachan (JS), T Wray (TW)




D Swinn (DS)

  1. Closed Minute and Paper

  2. Closed Minute and Paper

  3. The future of Hybrid Working

    • UEB considered an update and series of related recommendations on the University’s future approach to hybrid working and the underpinning principles and guidance, informed by experiences gained since this was introduced informally in 2021 and input and feedback from colleagues, most recently through a managers survey over the summer of 2022. It was noted that feedback on hybrid working was mixed, although there remained broad support from staff and managers,  and respondents had highlighted the different ways in which it was being implemented locally as a particular issue to be addressed.
    • During discussion, in which UEB considered each of the recommendations in turn, the following points were noted:
      • The hybrid working principles and related guidance may benefit from a clearer definition of “business needs” and explain student facing and other roles that required colleagues to work on campus.
      • The financial implications of embedding aspects of hybrid working into established processes were not necessarily funded at present, e.g. aspects of IT procurement through TESF.
      • A planned pilot in HR and Finance, particularly the trial of shared space, and the operation of reconfigurable space in the Social Sciences Hub in due course, would offer valuable insights and identify good practice to be shared more widely.
      • The 2023 iteration of the Staff Survey offered a means by which to gather additional and updated feedback on colleagues’ experiences of hybrid working.
      • It was important that all colleagues understood the distinction between hybrid and flexible working.
    • UEB approved the detailed recommendations and approach as set out in the related paper, whereby hybrid working would become embedded into business as usual rather than a change project and actions would be taken to address outstanding issues identified.
  4. Closed Minute and Paper

  5. Report of the IT Sub-Group

    • This item was deferred.
  6. Round Table

    • OfS: RS reported that, having been in operation for five years, it was expected that DfE would undertake a review. It was also noted that there had been no further developments in relation to establishing a long-term successor to QAA as the OfS’ designated Data Body.

    • QS World University Rankings: TW reported that the QS had opened nominations for contributors to the institutional reputation survey which informed the rankings. PPBI was working with Faculties to produce the University’s nominations before Christmas, including managing the consent process. The matter would also be raised at the UEB-HoDs meeting on 16 November.

    • Industrial Action: IW reported that industrial action due to take place at Study Group during the week of 14 November had been postponed.