Vice-Chancellor visits the Technicians' Network

University Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands recently attended the University Technicians’ Network meeting.


He spoke to an audience of 50 technical staff about the important role the technical staff community plays in the achievement of the University's Strategic Plan - Investing in knowledge and opportunity 2015-2020. In particular, he emphasised that the contribution of technical staff - who, from his research, spanned ages 19 to 68 - was “hugely valued”. He also outlined the challenges, as he saw them, for the technical community at Leeds which included changing roles and addressing complex issues.

Sir Alan took questions from an animated audience, which included points about funding for professional registration, career development open to technicians, the blurring of academic and technical staff roles, and a query about the number of fixed term versus permanent technical staff. A show of hands revealed that approximately 65% of those in the audience were on permanent contracts. There was further discussion about other key issues, including graduate trainee routes, professional registration and technical support development programmes. Sir Alan was keen to hear everyone’s views and asked for a small working group of technicians to meet with him to discuss initiatives such as resolving concerns and building an effective technical workforce for the future. These discussions are likely to centre around the level of technical staffing, the nature of contracts, and career and professional development.

Written by Sarah Myers and Marcus Hill

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