Fourth De­gree

Lau­rie Tay­lor’s new monthly col­umn

THE (Times Higher Education) - - CONTENTS - Lau­rie Tay­lor re­ports

A staff cir­cu­lar is­sued by one of Scot­land’s lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties and leaked to Fourth De­gree ear­lier this week re­veals an ex­traor­di­nary new ap­proach to man­age­ment strat­egy. From its very first sen­tence the leaked doc­u­ment pro­pounds its rad­i­cal mes­sage with ex­cep­tional clar­ity:

“We have now com­menced the ini­tial mod­el­ling work to iden­tify the op­tions re­quired to en­sure the con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in the de­liv­ery of an ex­cel­lent stu­dent ex­pe­ri­ence.”

And in case any staff mem­ber had not recog­nised the full im­port of that “ini­tial mod­el­ling work”, the doc­u­ment suc­cinctly ex­pands on the man­age­ment strat­egy:

“In iden­ti­fy­ing the fur­ther mea­sures needed to en­able us to fully de­liver on the am­bi­tions within our cor­po­rate strat­egy and align our struc­tures with the chang­ing na­ture of the work we do, we re­quire to re­bal­ance our work­force.”

But as the doc­u­ment rue­fully re­veals, some of that work­force may have al­ready re­bal­anced it­self:

“The Vice-Prin­ci­pal for En­gage­ment has re­tired and the Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer also leaves soon…The Chief In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer also leaves at the end of this year.”

Not that such de­fec­tions cause the writer of the doc­u­ment to be­come down­hearted:

“We are cur­rently re­view­ing what sub­stan­tive ar­range­ments will be put in place for this port­fo­lio go­ing for­ward.”

Has your man­age­ment team pro­duced a plan that can match the rad­i­cal clar­ity of this doc­u­ment? Fourth De­gree would love to hear.

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