Discovery-enabling culture

“Leicester – a place where the spirit of discovery thrives.”

several people in suits putting their hands togetherWe have established a reputation as an open, accessible and friendly university, where people enjoy their work, and both staff and students benefit from our collegial and collaborative approach. We want to maintain this reputation while increasing the support we provide for career enhancement and development and taking bolder steps in the area of diversities and equalities.

We will focus our efforts and energies on ensuring that Leicester becomes the place to work. We will create a culture in which our key assets — our people — are trusted, valued and relied upon to deliver an excellent student experience and impactful research and enterprise. In these tasks, our priorities include:

Making decisions in the right way, in the right place

Our governance structure will be reviewed to rationalise the number of committees and working groups, free up time, shift our focus from roles to projects and contributions, and ensure that we are making well-informed decisions and developing clear lines of responsibility. By making greater use of consultative workshops, open meetings and surveys to discuss future challenges and possibilities, we will derive further benefit from the expertise and wisdom of our staff. There will be regular communication between the senior leadership team and all staff, through blogs and open meetings.

Leading by example on equalities, diversities and well-being

We will raise our ambitions in relation to Athena Swan accreditation, the Stonewall Index and other charters of equality, and we will take effective action on all protected characteristics, including gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion and gender reassignment. Our role as one of only ten universities in the world to take the lead in the United Nations’ HeForShe movement puts us at the forefront of the effort to achieve gender equality in UK universities. Constructive and effective partnerships with trade unions will be maintained, and we will implement a Health and Well-Being Programme for all staff.

Developing talent in people

Leadership training programmes, coaching and other forms of support will develop the people management and strategic skills of current and future leaders. All staff will benefit from improved training, appraisal and mentoring, and we will use an effective workload model to ensure that our academic staff have the time and the skills they need for quality research and enterprise as well as excellent teaching and student support.

Celebrating and rewarding success

Our approach to appraisal, reward, recognition and promotion for academic and professional services staff will be transparent, understandable and fair. It will acknowledge excellence in colleagues’ contributions to a range of activities — including research, teaching, enterprise, engagement, leadership and citizenship — that are equally valued. We will establish an annual ceremony to celebrate exceptional individual and departmental achievement.

Outreach and social responsibility: PROUD

With this strategic plan, we are also introducing PROUD, a commitment to work in and with the City of Leicester to improve economic, social and cultural well-being, the environment and health. We will also increase the impact of existing social responsibility initiatives in our city and region, including those that focus on cultural heritage and exemplify the role of universities in developing public understanding of and engagement in the sciences and the arts. We will expand our volunteering schemes, including those that bring together staff and students, in order to deepen the relationships between our university and a range of local, national and global agencies committed to social justice, sustainability and global awareness.