How can we ensure that our leaders are invested in institutional sustainability and that our institutional leadership is engaged in developing staff, wellbeing, and culture?
What are the opportunities that might come from a greater sharing priorities and values and what might need to change for the system and the individuals within it for that to happen?
This in-person event seeks to explore the divergences between the perspectives of ‘me as a leader’ and ‘my experience of being led’ and consider how opportunities to maximise engagement and alignment could increase institutional sustainability and move towards positive cultures and thriving communities.
Developing Leadership that Sustains, Aligns and Engages in-person event: 16 November 2023 at The Birmingham Conferences and Events Centre, Birmingham
This in-person event was held at The Birmingham Conferences and Events Centre to explore the theme: ‘Developing Leadership that Sustains, Aligns and Engages’.
The Advance HE 2023 leadership survey report highlighted some clear synergies and some startling divergences between the perspectives of ‘me as a leader’ and ‘my experience of being led’. The 'me' of leadership prioritised, valued and understood staff and organisational development, engagement and learning. The 'them' in leadership was focused on strategy, reputation and finances. 'Me' and 'Them' were aligned in prioritising developing positive cultures and teaching and learning, but the common ground was limited.
'Wicked problems' are those that are both novel and complex. The sense of fragmentation that permeates our sector at the moment is leading to high attrition rates, a bunker mentality and an open door to toxicity. 'Wicked problems' such as these can need diverse voices and collaborative approaches to hear them. This event provided some provocation, stimulus and thinking time to explore the systemic issues at play and consider what steps could be taken to build bridges.
- How might we better align individual and institutional values and priorities?
- How can we maximise engagement and alignment throughout our institutions?
- How can we ensure that our leaders are invested in institutional sustainability and that our institutional leadership is engaged in developing staff, well-being, and culture?
- What are the opportunities that might come from a greater sharing of priorities and values and what might need to change for the system and the individuals within it for that to happen?
- What would it take for systems of leadership and leaders themselves to share responsibility for understanding, collaborating and driving change that will mitigate if not solve some of these challenges?
In the spirit of addressing wicked problems through diverse collaboration, we invited leaders from across our membership to engage - and to have a cross-section of leadership from many institutions, from diverse functions and settings who brought their unique experiences to bear in moving us forward.
The event took place on 16 November 2023.
09:15 - 10.00: Registration and refreshments
10.00 - 10:15: Welcome
10:15 - 11:15: Keynote session & questions with Professor Richard Watermeyer
11:15 - 11:30: Morning break & refreshments
11:30 - 13.00: Panel sessions chaired by Shân Wareing and group discussions/ Q&A:
Panellists include Chris Ince, Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer, and Robbie Beale, Activities and Culture Officer, University of Manchester. Further panellists will be announced shortly.
13.00 - 14.00: Lunch & networking
14.00 - 15:30: World café
15:30 - 15:45: Summary and close
Lunch and refreshments included.
Professor Richard Watermeyer
Professor of Higher Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Higher Education Transformations (CHET), University of Bristol
Richard Watermeyer is Professor of Higher Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Higher Education Transformations (CHET) in the School of Education at the University of Bristol.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Northampton
Shân is passionate about teaching and education and is a National Teaching Fellow. She has been in university leadership for over 20 years, in roles that have involved designing and delivering academic staff development, leading digitally enabled whole institution organisational change, converting face-to-face programmes to online distance learning, restructuring IT and HR departments, redesigning policies and practices in assessment, student complaints and timetabling, and developed Education Strategies in five universities.
Professor Sam Grogan
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, University of Salford
As Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience at the University of Salford, Sam holds oversight for quality and standards of the academic portfolio, executive responsibility for the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Centre within the university and executive responsibility for developing the learning philosophy underpinning the student journey.
University Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer, University of Hull
Chris is responsible for the good governance of the University and ensuring its compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements. Prior to this, he worked in four very different institutions within London in a range of central governance roles. Until summer 2023 he was a Board member of the AUA (now AHEP) and served at various times as its Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer. He retains a keen interest in staff development and is a member of the AHUA Development Group.
Professor Christian Harrison
Professor of Leadership and Enterprise, University of Bolton
Christian is the Director of the Centre for Leadership and Empowerment in Greater Manchester. He is also leading the Research Excellence Framework (REF) for Unit of Assessment 17 in the Business School. Christian is a well-known and recognised scholar in the field of Leadership and provides regular expert media commentary on Scottish Television News (STV), Scotland Tonight, the Herald, the Conversation, Sunday Post, and the Guardian Nigeria.
Activities and Culture Officer, Students' Union, University of Manchester
Robbie Beale has been the Activities & Culture Officer at Manchester Students' Union for a year and a half. In that time his work has ranged from implementing a £9 million cost of living package with the University to running music festivals. He has always taken a keen interest in the larger questions of Higher Education, and the role of institutional leadership in guiding Universities through challenging times.