eNews 5 October

eNews: EDI Implementation Plan, podcast series, Research Culture and more.

Professor Simone Buitendijk to step down as Vice-Chancellor and President. October 2023

Professor Simone Buitendijk to step down as Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Simone Buitendijk yesterday announced her intention to step down as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University from 31 December 2023.

Implementing our EDI Strategy

Dr Keni Guantai

The University has published an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Implementation Plan, summarising how we will deliver our EDI Strategy over the next two years.

Dr Kendi Guantai, Associate Professor and Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: “The EDI Implementation Plan concerns everyone in our community, and we all have a role to play in its success. It presents the ‘how’ of the EDI Strategy, and is designed to help us research better, teach better, learn better, communicate better and be better with each other.”

Read the plan

Thought pieces

Researchers tackle global issues in new podcast series

how to fix podcast guests smiling

Food poverty, fast fashion and how to get to net zero are among the issues tackled in a series of podcasts.

In episode one, Professor Cath Noakes from the School of Civil Engineering talks about air quality with Dr Jim McQuaid from the School of Earth and Environment and Dr James Tate from the Institute for Transport Studies.

Dr Jim McQuaid: “Air pollution is far more complex a topic than people think, it stretches far beyond traffic and factories. There are a vast number of elements which come into play when researching air pollution and it really needs a major team effort from across many disciplines to help us unravel it.”

Inside Track | Creating space to better understand students

Louise Banahene June 2019

“Perhaps the greatest shift has been creating more space for us to see and understand students beyond a single demographic label or identity.”

Director of Educational Engagement Louise Banahene reflects on how we’re hitting Access and Student Success Strategy targets.

Inside Track | Valuing and empowering our research culture

Professor Cat Davies

“Everyone in our research community must feel valued and empowered.”

Dean for Research Culture Professor Cat Davies outlines the important changes ahead for the University, following the launch of the Research Culture Strategy.

Fifteen to One | Gareth Scargill

Fifteen to One | Gareth Scargill. October 2023

You’ll have heard the name but what exactly is Nexus? New Director Gareth Scargill lifts the lid on our innovation community and its exciting plans. You’ll also discover why he’s pulling on his walking boots and his love for Barnsley FC!


Textiles expert meets the Princess of Wales

Professor Stephen Russell, Director of the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC), met the Princess of Wales during a visit to textile manufacturers in Leeds to learn about the industry’s heritage and innovation.

Outstanding University Technical College prize

The Leeds University Technical College has won the ‘Outstanding governance in a single school’ award for being fully invested in its vision to “to inspire the next generation of leading engineers, scientists and innovators.”


Sustainable Commute to Campus Challenge

Our Climate Plan’s central pillar of net zero emissions by 2030 highlights that commuting emissions are a significant part of our core carbon footprint and we need to change the way we travel. Students are invited to join the Sustainable Commute to Campus Challenge by walking, wheeling, cycling or taking public transport to campus any day in October. For more information on our commitment to supporting Leeds as a net zero city, visit our Climate Hub.


Our Way Ahead | New directors to support campus innovation

Read about the three new directors who will help deliver the Facilities Directorate’s first business plan – Our Way Ahead – under Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development.

Campus life

Last chance | FUAM Art exhibition
Until 7 October

The exhibition for the Friends of University Art and Music Graduate Art Prize is at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery until 7 October.

Light Night 2023
12-13 October

The University is once again hosting a series of stunning exhibitions as Light Night returns to Leeds. From refugee-made maps to interactive experiences inspired by video games, find out more about the installations taking place on campus.

‘Muslims Don’t Matter’ – Islamophobia and the silencing, sanctioning and stereotyping of British Muslims
6-7.30pm, 19 October

Leeds graduate Baroness Warsi will give a special guest lecture in the Great Hall on the policies of successive governments and their impact on British Muslims. RSVP by emailing vice-chancellor@leeds.ac.uk, adding any accessibility needs and if you would prefer to join the event online.

Last chance | A coffee with digital transformation lead Professor Jo-Anne Murray
9am to 2.30pm, 25 October

There is still time to book your place on our coffee event with Professor Jo-Anne Murray, Pro-Vice Chancellor: Digital Transformation. You can speak with Jo-Anne on a one-to-one basis, with coffee, tea and light refreshments provided.

Pensions and industrial action

Employers support prompt conclusion to USS valuation

University employers have confirmed their support for proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme which would reduce contribution levels, improve pension benefits to the pre-April 2022 level, and explore a series of stability measures for the scheme. Universities UK has called for the 2023 Valuation to be finalised quickly so that members receive the full benefit of lower pension costs in their take-home pay as soon as possible.

UCU, UNISON and Unite strike action

The deadline for reporting participation via Employee Self-Service (ESS) is 13 October. More information can be found on our Industrial Action In depth page on For Staff.

Digital developments

Do you fax?

Do you regularly use a fax machine in your role at the University? If so, the Teams Voice project need to hear from you. Please contact Martin Hide at M.Hide@leeds.ac.uk.

New Identity and Access Management (IDAM) system now live

The new staff joiner process is live meaning new starters will automatically get their University username one day before they join. Managers can order equipment for them in advance. The new student joiner process will be automated later in October.


Helping students to navigate their first few weeks

Read up on the information and support available for our students as they navigate their first few weeks at Leeds. You can also read the weekly emails that students receive including last week’s email on preparing for the first week of classes.

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023 results

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor and President, and Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, share their reflections on the latest Teaching Excellence Framework exercise and plans to further improve student experience and outcomes.

Sign up | Student Success Forums
3-5pm, 17 October

Join the mailing list, hosted by the Student Success at Leeds team, to receive invites to forum invites. The next one is about equity and inclusion in teaching, learning and assessment; research in factors that have closed awarding gaps; and how we can move to an inclusive medical curriculum.


Dietary requirements research award hopefuls

A team from the Consumer Data Research Centre have been announced as finalists in this year’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Prize, for the work they are doing to improve access to healthy and sustainable diets for customers of major food retailers. 

Contribute | ‘Honest’ experiences wanted to influence Curriculum Redefined

Dr Sarah Joyce invites you to share your honest experiences of working at the University via a flexible, online format, with the aim of influencing the continued progress of Curriculum Redefined. Read the participant information document for a link to take part and watch this video by Dr Sarah Joyce for further information.


Dickens, sugar and genetics at the Ilkley Literature Festival
6-22 October

Dickens, sugar and genetics, as well as several poetry performances, are all on the agenda as the Ilkley Literature Festival gets underway this week. Tickets are on sale now and a host of Leeds colleagues will be taking to the stage.

Opera North’s Green Season
Until 18 November

Opera North is going green this autumn as it prepares to stage three fully sustainable opera productions. From re-using props to reducing touring emissions, see how Opera North is putting the planet centre-stage. You can also book tickets for Falstaff (running until 18 November), Masque of Might (from 6 October to 16 November) and La Rondine (20 October to 17 November). Those aged 16-29 can get discounted tickets by registering for a free Opera North Under 30s membership.

Wellbeing and Support

Fire safety alert for users of electric bikes, scooters or skateboards

The storage and charging of batteries for electric bikes, scooters or skateboards is now prohibited in University buildings due to an increase in fires. Locations for external charging points will be in place at the start of 2024. Please read the Safety Alert for full details.  

Smokefree campus | Quit smoking this Stoptober  

We’d like to remind everyone that the University is a Smokefree campus. If you want, the national Stoptober campaign offers a free app to help you quit smoking or cut down.

Sign up | Winter Window on Wellbeing Week 2023
20-23 November

We’re planning a great mix of on campus and online activities to connect with colleagues and boost your wellbeing this winter. Save the dates and complete the online form to receive an email alert as soon as event listings go live. 

Book | Packed programme for World Menopause Day revealed

“With better understanding and support we can make a positive difference.”

Discover how to take part in a packed programme of free events we’re hosting as part of World Menopause Day on 18 October to raise awareness and highlight the support available at the University.

Staff networks

Register | Working Class Network
3.30-4.30pm, 9 October

Join the network for this online discussion on the network survey launch and what members would like to see from the network during the coming year.

Building blocks of a successful event
4.30-6.15pm, 23 October

Register for a face-to-face networking opportunity to meet colleagues who work in event-related roles and get a first look at the University’s new city centre venue, Cloth Hall Court. There will also be delicious grazing boards, fun activities and the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

Learning and development

Keep up to date with the latest learning and development opportunities from the University on our For Staff website, including:

  • Academic personal tutoring workshop
  • A guide to LinkedIn Learning for staff
  • Professional Recognition in Student Education (PRiSE)
  • Student education development opportunities
  • University-wide mentoring scheme
  • Reflective workshop for mentors
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)


Book | Monty Losowsky Memorial Lecture Competition 2023
5.30-8.30pm, 12 October

Register to attend the Monty Losowsky Memorial Lecture Competition 2023. The free event will celebrate the former Dean of Medicine’s immense contribution to medical education and history, before his death in 2020.

The Music Exchange: Gender Equality, Performance and The Music Industry
5:30-6:45pm, 18 October

The School of Music, in collaboration with the Leeds International Piano Competition, are hosting an event which uses archival collections and personal reflections to explore gender and representation in music over time.

University of Leeds International Concert Series
Various dates

Enjoy a packed programme of free concerts on campus throughout the autumn. On 6 October, award-winning pianist Ignas Maknickas is performing at 1.05pm, followed by an any-genre Open Mic Night at 7pm. Entry to both events is free. Booking is required for the Ignas Maknickas concert.

Tell us your story

We’d like to hear about the great work you’re doing. Contact internalcomms@leeds.ac.uk to share your stories.

Keeping up to date

You can keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and the staff Twitter account.


With best wishes,

The Internal Communications and Engagement team

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