Why weren’t we told The Terrace would be closed on decision day?

QUESTION:

Why is the university so appallingly awful when it comes to communicating with staff?

On the day the official announcement about the closure of Stafford campus came out, staff and students going to the main canteen found it locked with a notice stating that it was closed due to unforeseen circumstances and directing everyone to the upstairs snack bar.

The immediate conclusion was that the university had already begun to close facilities at Stafford Campus. In fact, the closure was due to a gas problem but since there was no information, people opted for the most logical alternative explanation. Why not put up a notice saying due to equipment failure? Why not give an indication of when the canteen would be likely to reopen? Better still, why not email everyone on Stafford campus to inform them and prevent unnecessary trips across to the closed canteen?

This is a small example but it illustrates the communication gap.

 

ANSWER:

Unfortunately the Catering Team have had technical difficulties in The Terrace since Wednesday PM. Aware that this would cause disruption to staff and students, they followed the usual communications process of sending an RSS message to all staff, and also put an announcement up on the University social media sites.

All staff emails have not been used for these kind of messages since the staff blogs were set up to be shared via RSS in 2010, as a result of the staff internal communications survey.

You can view the original post on the blog, which is available through all staff members email accounts.

Will there be any changes to the University commitment to SULC?

QUESTION:

Will there be any changes to the University commitment to SULC as a result of the Estates Strategy and the resulting concentration of University teaching and services on a single campus in Stoke?

 

ANSWER:

These plans have no impact upon the Lichfield site.  This is a joint venture with South Staffordshire College and potentially has new opportunities arising out of this decision (i.e. further development supporting opportunities in the south of the County).

Will the Shrewsbury campus will be closed?

QUESTION:

I notice that in the Estates Strategy on page 37 it says: ‘Neither staff nor students should routinely have to travel between campuses to engage in or deliver programmes’ and in the Press Release it only mentions the Stafford Campus in relation to health courses.  Does this mean that the Shrewsbury campus will be closed?  The programme I am in involved with (midwifery) has half the delivery in Shrewsbury and the other half in Stafford (due to the requirements of the Commissioners) – this means that both teaching staff and students are routinely expected to travel between campuses.  Furthermore, the Estates Strategy acknowledged that it has an impact on efficiency – therefore will this be reflected in SSR’s?

 

ANSWER:

We are unsure of which document you are referring to, however these plans have no impact upon the Shrewsbury site.  This is linked to the Health contract which is also unaffected by these proposals.

Will there be financial assistance for staff moving to Stoke?

QUESTION:

A number of years ago the Business School withdrew from Stafford to move into Stoke. The staff were able to claim travel expenses for the first two years as their current office location was moved by the University.

Will the University be honouring the same provision whilst some staff will attempt to sell their properties in Stafford in order to relocate closer to the Stoke campus?

 

ANSWER:

The University has in place a procedure for staff permanently moving from one base to another.  This has an element of financial assistance for affected staff and the policy is available on the website.

How many current on-campus students are located on each campus and now many students will be moving to Stoke?

QUESTION:

Please can I ask a question regarding student numbers involved in the move as the statement provided gives a very incomplete picture?

Can the executive therefore confirm how many current actual on-campus (full and part time) are located on each campus and now many actual students will be moving to Stoke? It is not possible to combine part-time students and distance-learning students together for practical purposes as the former will still need facilities on-site whereas the latter will not.

As a consequence, what plans are being made regarding provision of additional parking spaces at the Stoke campus and in particular, additional disabled parking bays to accommodate the increased need by both staff and students? Numbers please rather than a statement to say ‘we think that there is sufficient provision’.

 

ANSWER:

There are approximately 2,800 student based at the Beaconside Campus of which 2,000 are full time undergraduates and 350 full time post graduates. The remainder are part time and distance learning students. Not all these specific students will be affected as many will complete their studies before the move although there will be a similar level of new students affected. It is should be noted that this is less than a third of our total students with the Stoke campus currently having 6,700 full time students and 3,400 part time and distance learning students.

Car parking is recognised as a key issue – the detailed plans will include additional car parking along with support for alternative transport modes.