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Dean's Update - 14 September

14 Sep 2017

Latest from Ian Greer

Professor Ian Greer

As this is the first e-update since July, I’d like to begin by welcoming everyone back for the start of the new academic year. I hope you managed to enjoy a well-deserved break and some sunshine over the summer.

Of course August remained a busy time for many of us, particularly colleagues in our admissions teams, who once again have done a fantastic job ensuring that we hit our undergraduate recruitment targets.  With Welcome Week approaching, over 1,000 students have now been successfully recruited across the Faculty; and this has been achieved despite a significant fall in the number of people applying for university places across the UK. Congratulations and thanks to everyone in admissions for all your hard work.

We all now have a part to play ensuring that our new students have a great experience when they arrive on campus, and I would like to encourage as many people as possible to sign up to the University’s AskMe initiative, helping students navigate through their first few weeks in the Faculty.  More information on the scheme, including how you can become an AskMe student ambassador can be found HERE.

Last week I welcomed a delegation of top Chinese scientists and medical experts to discuss the development a strategic partnership with Beijing’s PLA General Hospital, one of China’s foremost medical institutions. The two-day meeting resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Faculty, the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) and our Chinese visitors to develop greater research collaboration, particularly in the areas of cancer, genetics, musculoskeletal and dermatological sciences and informatics. The new partnership is a great opportunity for us to work collaboratively with one of China’s leading centres of research excellence; and I look forward to forging closer links when I visit Beijing in the near future.

And speaking of strategic partnerships, you may be aware of the recently-announced changes to the structure of the Faculty’s relationship with our colleagues in Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), and Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GMAHSN), which will formally come together in a single integrated organisation - Health Innovation Manchester (HInM). This will create a new, innovative academic health science system for our region, encompassing discovery science, through translational research to patient care. The new structure is already attracting industry partnerships and we anticipate significant investment that will grow the life sciences cluster in Greater Manchester. It will also give us improved leverage to develop our academic and clinical assets across the city and will generate a range of synergistic benefits, not least shared resources, knowledge and strategic investment.

In other news, you may have heard of some impending changes to the Faculty Leadership Team (FLT); and I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing our Director of Faculty Operations, Simon Merrywest, and our Head of Finance, Chris Trask every success in their new roles at the University as Director for the Student Experience and Deputy Director of Finance respectively. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Simon and Chris for their invaluable support, particularly their role managing the transition to the new Faculty and embedding our organisational structures and governance. We are currently in the process of recruiting to the two vacated positions and we hope to be in a position to announce the appointments in the near future.

Finally, you will know from the M2020 update issued earlier this week that the Voluntary Severance Scheme is now closed for applications. As explained in the email, it may be some time before we can confirm whether we have achieved our job reduction target by voluntary means. This is because each application received now has to be carefully reviewed and considered by the FLT and appropriate Heads of Division to ensure that no one area would be adversely impacted if the application were to be accepted.

Needless to say, I will keep you fully up-to-date on the outcome of the voluntary severance process and whether or not the University proposes to progress to compulsory redundancy as soon as I possibly can.

Ian Greer

Vice-President and Dean

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health