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November 2015
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MAW - Management of Academic Workloads

MAW Steering Group

Debbie Thiara

Debbie Thiara, BA (Hons) in Psychology
Senior Policy Adviser, Government, Defence, Education Team, Health and Safety Executive

Debbie Thiara has had a varied career in the Health and Safety Executive spanning over 30 years. She has been involved in a range of issues and is currently part of a team taking forward the Health and Safety Executive’s key priority areas of work in health and safety, including work-related stress, with particular responsibility for encouraging implementation of HSE’s Management Standards for work-related stress in the Local Authorities, Central Government and Education Sectors

Jane Thompson 

University and College Union 

Jane works for the University and College Union in the Higher Education department and is involved in all aspects of industrial relations. She has a lead role within the team for Equality and Health and Safety and is also currently working with elected members on workload issues.

Nicola Dandridge 

Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit. The Unit supports the higher education sector in promoting equality and diversity for all staff and students.  

Helen Fairfoul

Deputy Chief Executive of Universities and Colleges Employer Association(UCEA).  

Professor Helen Valentine

Deputy Vice Chancellor Anglia Ruskin University. Portfolio includes responsibility for all HR and Student Experience issues. HR role includes lead responsibility for all negotiations with Trades Unions and for leading on Equality and Diversity for the University.

Steering Group Meeting 19th March 2008

At the meeting of the steering group with the partnership coordinators a number of points were discussed, summarised below, that will help steer the project.

1 The organisational responsibility to assess the impact of any changes to managing workloads, so that they do actually result in patterns of working that help to reduce stress levels, and how this information can be gained - surveys, questionnaires etc to monitor the process.

2 The effect of research not being explicitly accounted for within workloads and the extra impact this might have on certain groups.

3 The relationship between informal methods of allocating work and transparency in operation. The potential for such an informal approach to operate through 'paternalistic' patterns that perpetuate the status quo.

4 The need to unite local academic leadership and University level activity, with inputs from HR especially in the review of operations to ensure transparency, equity and that equality and diversity challenges are met, both in the short and longer term, for example in relation to promotion.

5 The consideration of all academic staff within the models, taking into account the needs of fractional and associate staff.

6 The problem of managing the tensions between managerialism and staff autonomy

7 As an output from the project, the production of a series of questions to check that a university's approach is fulfilling particular requirements, and has taken consideration of obligations for example on equality and diversity issues.


 Steering Group Meeting 12th March 2009

1 At the steering group meeting the presentation made covered the partnership activity, the information material made available and the dissemination of findings through the website and the forthcoming launch event in Septmeber 17th at the RICS, Great George streeet London. Discussion followed and useful guidance given on various issues updating from the items above.

2 The steering group gave advice on potential speakers for the launch,  potential profile of the guest list, topics and publicity material.