My week - 1 July 2013 - a round up of developments from HR Director Matthew Knight

HR Director Matthew Knight talks about professional development and professorial pay at Leeds and looks forward to the Staff Festival.


I’m delighted that, following the discussions in Senate, the University’s Staff and Departmental Development Advisory Group will be discussing the implementation of our new professional development programme for early career academic staff joining the University.  The new programme, called ULTRA – University of Leeds Teaching and Research Award – will launch in September 2013. ULTRA is a sector leading initiative which helps staff to develop right across the spectrum of academic work – including teaching, research and leadership. We’ll monitor the programme very closely as it is implemented and improve it wherever possible.

Another recent staff development innovation has been the launch of a new ‘Leaders@Leeds’ series of workshops and seminars aimed at providing opportunities to explore leadership issues in higher education in an informal way. The speaker at the lively and well-attended first session was Dr Richard Bolden from the University of Exeter Business School. We are hoping that the new Vice-Chancellor will be a speaker at one of these events during the next academic session.

Following an extensive consultation process led by Professor Dawn Freshwater, Senate will this week be discussing ways of introducing much greater transparency into the professorial salary structure through the introduction of ‘salary zoning’. The new arrangements propose a clearer framework within which salaries can be determined, whilst protecting our ability to be competitive.

Following three years as Chair of Universities HR (UHR) I attended my last Executive Meeting this week. The profile of Leeds HR remains very high in the sector and I have very much enjoyed the opportunities that have come my way through this role, including membership of the Diamond Committee on Efficiencies and Modernisation, participation in the national pay bargaining forums and my work on the Holbeche report on “‘Changing Times’ for HR in Higher Education”.

Finally, our annual Staff Festival happens on Friday 5 July.  From 1pm you can enjoy a "Taste of the Fest" before the main event starts at 3pm.  I hope that as many of you as possible, with your friends and families, will be able to visit the festival and take part in some of the eclectic range of activities on offer!  And that those staff who are also cyclists can take part in the Leeds Skyride, which visits our campus on Sunday 7 July.


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