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Post-COVID-19 Response Programme update

Professor Mark Fellowes

A message from Mark Fellowes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resource) about Post-COVID-19 Response Programme

Dear colleagues,

In his session in July, Robert updated colleagues on the current consultation process with the Staff Forum and the UCU. I wanted to share some information about how we are managing the longer-term work on managing our financial challenges, including COVID-19. For ease, we are calling this ‘Phase 2' of the Post-COVID-19 Response programme, but all parts of the process are inherently linked.

As Robert has said on a number of occasions, it is critical that our response to the financial implications of COVID-19 and the existing financial challenges we already faced are as strategic as possible. While the huge scale of the COVID-19 impact has required quicker action than would otherwise have been required, our response must take account both of the ‘here and now' but also the long-term goals of our University strategic plan.

In my last update, I set out how we have divided up this strategic review work into four workstreams, covering Schools, professional services, research and teaching. An important part of this work has been ensuring we have the right information and that we are talking to the right people. We are doing this in a number of ways.

Last year's consultation on the development of the University strategy had wide engagement from colleagues. While it was specific to that process, it provided hugely valuable insights into goals as a community, our challenges and opportunities and how the University might work better. We have been sure to capture these insights in the Phase 2 work.

Membership of the above workstreams includes colleagues from Schools, Functions and those with specialist expertise to ensure we have broad input. RUSU has also been part of the taskforce. The workstreams have also been drawing extensively on the knowledge and insights from a wide range of colleagues. This has included Deans, Research Division Leads, Heads of Schools and Functions and Chairs of Communities of Practice.

Information from the recent staff survey, which explicitly covered people's feelings about remote working and the rapid transition we have made, will provide very useful information about cross-cutting issues like technology and the resources people require to work more flexibly.

Finally, what I will be presenting to the University Executive Board on behalf of the Phase 2 taskforce working group will be high-level proposals. Much work will need to be done to implement them successfully in line with our University strategy. Input from all colleagues on this implementation phase of our work will be critical to its long-term success.

Finally, if you have any questions related to Phase 2 of the Post-COVID-19 Response Programme, please email communications@reading.ac.uk and these will be shared with the relevant workstream.

Kind regards,

Mark

Professor Mark Fellowes

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resource)

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