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November 2015
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MAW - Management of Academic Workloads


Workshop 6 Research. TRAC HR.

Programme for the MAW Workshop 6 .
24th March 2009
The University of Kent

9.30- 10.00
Arrival and coffee

10.00- 11.15 Session 1 –
MAW and TRAC Presentation on TRAC by Will Foster. Discussion

11.15 - 12.30 Sessions 2 –
MAW and Research
Issues for assessing research loads to integrate into models and integrating MAW information with TRAC. Discussion.

12.30- 1.30 Lunch

1.30- 2.30 Session 3 – Integrating MAW with Other Processes.
HR presentations on appraisal and reviewing / monitoring MAW outcomes. Uniting local leadership with university level activity. Discussion

2.30- 3.15 Session 4 – Transparency and MAW
Aspects of transparency including issues of informal systems. Discussion

3.15- 3.45  Arrangements for the next meeting  at Brunel University on 12th June. Update/ideas on the project launch in September. Updates on progress

Summary of the Workshop

1 TRAC  and MAW Will Foster made a presentation (click here to see) A key element is the fit between TRAC requirements and the use of “workload planning models” and this is explicitly covered in HEFCE’s guidance ( reference Part 111 Annual TRAC,Chapter C.1 Academic and Research Staff Time,Time Allocation methods) click here. It indicates that this approach could be used if the workload system is comprehensive, robust and reflects what actually happened in reality.

Will went on to use nested anonymised spreadsheets to show in some detail how Salford University has linked the workload data about academic staff, drawn from its workload balancing system, to other University financial data in order to make its TRAC return . The spreadsheet (click here) presented shows the journey from school level data through various stages to a University TRAC submission and then the use of the comprehensive data so collated to feed back to schools detailed activity costing data. To follow this sequence the spreadsheet should be read moving from left to right using the tabs. If you open the spreadsheet it is important you select “don’t update” at the start to avoid problems.

.2 Research and MAW A presentation on the need to include research in any assessment of workloads, was made by Peter Barrett former PVC Research University of Salford. This inclusion relies not just on the need  to account for research work elements to promote an equitable representation, and then distribution of load, but also in response to the strategic importance placed on research by the vast majority of unviersities. The presentation highlighted the main isssues and gave some examples of the approaches that had been used to calibrate the research aspect of workloads. To see this presentation click here.

3 HR and MAW Presentations from three members of HR departments, from Kent, Liverpool and Salford, described the issues that they saw within their institutions developing in relation MAW issues. There is a general trend with Personnel departments moving towards becoming HR departments, linked to, for example, the migration from transactional relationships with staff to transformational approaches and problems of creating better understanding around the instituion about performance management. One complicating issue of this shift was seen as a change in emphasis from ' an honest broker' for staff when problems occur, to being part of the central university management.  Staff surveys  were seen as useful in assessing vulnerable groups for stress , such as those early in career,  and for providing coping strategies.The issue of creating a more flexible framework for promotion that could recognise diversity of work was also felt to be something with which MAW could assist. Consistency in approach in MAW across faculties was also felt to be helpful. 

4 Transprency and MAW A light hearted dabate on transparency followed. Those supporting the motion that transparency in MAW suggested the following issues to support thier case:

Those arguing against transparency suggested the following as potential problems

Practical Information for the Workshop

Location: In The Senate Chamber in the Senate Building J12 on the campus  map. The building is easily identificable on the campus map and there will be signs to direct you within the building.

Accessing maps of Kent campus The University is situated on the outskirts of Canterbury overlooking the city.

Travel arrangements
By Car

With regard to those coming by car, if they drive to The Registry leave their car outside reception and go in and announce that they are with the workshop the Receptionist will have envelopes for all four with their car parking permit and what to do, together with a map of the campus. The visitors car park is again, well signposted and not far from The Registry.

By train

From the University  Canterbury West station is closer however, whichever one you choose you will need to get a taxi and of course it all depends on the traffic as to how quick your journey will be (it should be about 5 mins from West and 10 minutes from East)

Anyone getting a taxi should ask the driver to take them to The Registry and, once there, they can then follow their map to get them to The Senate.

With regard to the railway station and The Abode, Canterbury East would be quicker this is because of the one way system. 

For an idea as to what Canterbury looks like go to and click on Tourist Information for a selection of maps of the Canterbury district.

Accomodation: With regard to recommending a hotel the University has special rates with the Abode which is situated in the heart of Canterbury. Please go to