Outcome from the Consultation on the Proposed Reorganisation and Closure of the School of Surveying and Planning 1. Introduction On 19 February the University opened a formal consultation with the School of Surveying and Planning on its proposed reorganisation and closure. The formal process closed on 21 March but the deadline for submissions as part of the proposal was extended to noon, 26 March. In addition to the consultation process with staff, which is in keeping with our policy on managing organisational restructure, we consulted extensively with students and liaised with external stakeholders. Views expressed during the consultation have been incorporated and changes made to the original proposal. We are now in a position to set out the outcomes from consultation. Commentary on the feedback received is given below together with a summary of the next steps, activities and timescales. Rationale for Proposal and Consultation Over a number of years it has been recognised that the School of Surveying and Planning is not a good fit with the rest of the academic provision in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), which is primarily an art and design school. Previous Deans and the Head of the School agreed that there are significant differences between the way the School of Surveying and Planning and the other Schools in FADA are run. These include a different admissions process, marketing, average entry tariffs, the route through Foundation diploma, research and league table performance. The School is also based outside of the Faculty’s Knights Park campus, at the Penrhyn Road site. In addition, the School’s applications and enrolment figures have given rise for concern during the past few years. For these reasons the Faculty began to look at whether the subject areas in the School of Surveying and Planning might prosper better in a different part of the University. A proposal on the future of the School was drawn up and this was influenced by an external report on the School’s performance and prospects. The remit of the report was agreed by the Deans of FADA, the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) and the Head of the School, who also participated in the interviews that led to the appointment of a consultancy, The Knowledge Partnership, which carried out the research. Summary of the Proposal Presented to the School on February 19, 2014 The proposal was to transfer courses in building and quantity surveying to the School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (SEC). The area of real estate would relocate to the Law School to help form an Institute of Property. The MA in Art Market Appraisal and Foundation Degrees in Historic Building Conservation and Architectural Stonework would remain in the FADA.
The following courses would close: BSc (Hons) Property, Planning & Development; MSc Historic Building Conservation; MA Planning and Sustainability; and the MA Sustainable Place Making and Urban Design. Approximately 97 per cent of existing students would be able to continue their course to completion. The number of academic vacancies in the proposal was the equivalent of five full-time members of staff, out of the existing 16.15, or six of 19 staff, in the School. There was one proposed vacancy amongst the 3.6 support staff although there were two full-time equivalent grade 5 posts available at the time in FBL. The courses that would continue to run the next academic year would be further developed and enhanced in their new faculties, alongside relevant and complementary subject areas. 2. Communication, Consultation and Feedback We have communicated and consulted extensively both in the period when the proposals were being drawn up and during the past 30 days while the consultation has been taking place. The consultation process has influenced the final outcome. We have complied with our policy on managing organisational restructure in consulting with affected staff and, above and beyond that, have also sought the views of the trade union, students and professional bodies during the consultation period. The level of participation has been high and we have carefully considered all feedback. Activity Carried Out With Staff in the School:
The proposal and the consultant’s report were posted on an electronic noticeboard; On the launch of the consultation on 19 February, staff were given the opportunity to respond through email and/or through a meeting with any one of the three Deans involved in this proposal; During the period of the consultation, 10 staff took the opportunity to meet with the Dean of FADA, four with the Dean and other staff in FBL and two with the Dean, Deputy Dean or Head of School in SEC; An open meeting with staff and trade unions was held on 19 March; The University has provided written responses through the consultation website and by email to issues raised.
On 20 February all students in the School received an email from the Dean of FADA and the Vice-Chancellor summarising the proposal and offering them two ways to put forward their views and provide feedback – by email and through the Kingston University Students’ Union (KUSU). This had been agreed with the Head of the School prior to the launch of the consultation. On 20 February the Dean of FADA met with representatives from KUSU to summarise the proposal and ask for their assistance in liaising with students. The Vice-Chancellor participated in a Question-Time format event as part of KUSU’s AGM on 27 February during which he answered questions about the proposal. An open meeting with students was hosted by KUSU on 20 March. The Dean of FADA, along with representatives from FBL and SEC, as appropriate, met with the following student groups: - Real Estate Management and Residential Property Level 4 & 5; - Property Planning and Development levels 4 and 5;
- Undergraduate and postgraduate Building and Quantity Surveying; - Part-time postgraduate Planning students. Students organised a petition entitled “Chair of the Board of Governors: Save the School of Surveying and Planning.”
With Accrediting Bodies and Partners:
On 20 February the Dean of FADA wrote to RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute), IHBC (Institute of Historic Building Conservation) and all partner colleges to let them know about the consultation and proposal for the future of the School of Surveying and Planning. A meeting was held with RTPI on 3 March. A meeting was held with RICS on 25 March. Subsequently there were several exchanges of correspondence.
Themes Emerging from the Consultation We have received written responses to the proposal from: individual members of the School, groups of staff from the School, the Kingston University branch of the UCU (University and College Union), individual students and KUSU. The key themes that emerged are as follows:
“The consultation process has been inadequate” Where concerns have been raised about the consultation process, we have responded and endeavoured to meet expectations for additional information and provide further opportunities for staff and students to contribute their views and give their feedback. The University has complied fully with its policy on managing organisational restructure when consulting with staff and we have also been especially keen to meet and listen to a range of views expressed by staff and students from the School. There have also been a variety of different ways for students to give their views.
“Why couldn’t students and external stakeholders see the consultant’s report and why have its recommendations been ignored?” The report is commercially sensitive and includes personal information relating to individuals. Both from a duty of care point of view to some of the staff involved, and since the Data Protection Act prevents us from sharing information about individuals, we were unable to provide the report to those outside the School. The report was, however, shared with the School on the day the consultation was launched and KUSU were offered a summary of the report. There are a number of points within the report that the proposal addresses.
“How can the current interdisciplinary approach to surveying and planning be continued if staff from the current school are moved to other Faculties; the School should be kept intact due to its interdisciplinary nature and performance.”
We have paid close attention to the comments about the interdisciplinary nature of the subjects. There is certainly a legitimate academic argument behind keeping the subject areas of the School together. However we believe there are greater opportunities for subject enhancement through the new interdisciplinary linkages proposed. There are numerous examples of successful academic practice across the sector using the proposed model. The transfer of the Building Surveying and Quantity Surveying courses to SEC provides an academically stimulating and timely change. It also gives a chance to review the portfolio of courses in an expanded School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management to concentrate on technically-focused course. Employers have highlighted to us the benefits to surveying and engineering students of strengthening the interdisciplinary awareness between these groups. Whilst the movement of Real Estate Management to SEC was seriously considered the course ethos does not fit with the School’s focus on practical and technical knowledge and skills.
“The School should form part of a School of the Built Environment” The creation of a new School of Built Environment, envisaged as a School in the SEC Faculty, has been raised extensively in the consultation and was floated as an option in the Knowledge Partnership report. This has been carefully considered throughout the process, and in particular taking account the comments received during the consultation. There is a legitimate academic argument in support. The plan for the School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management is to move its subjects in a technical direction. This strategy is supported by the relocation of undergraduate and postgraduate Building Surveying and Quantity Surveying, and MSc Historic Building Conservation courses to the School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management. It would therefore not be appropriate to move the property-related subjects to within the School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management.
“How can the courses be delivered with fewer staff and how can the staff/student ratios be maintained)?” Students who would transfer to SEC: The normal average staff/student ratio across the School of Surveying and Planning would be 30 students to one lecturer (30:1) although it has been slightly lower the past two years. It is expected that the staff/student ratio for the students who transfer to the School of Civil Engineering and Construction would benefit from that School’s slightly lower staff/student ratio of 29 students to each member of staff. As part of an ongoing redistribution of student staff ratios across the SEC Faculty we are working on achieving a 27:1 ratio in all SEC schools by 2015/16. SEC will take on two additional members of staff in addition to appointing the current acting Head of the School of Surveying and Planning, Tim Bennett, as Deputy Head of Civil Engineering and Construction.
It is expected that other staff from Surveying and Planning would be available for teaching and other duties while working their notice period. This, along with teaching provision from other schools in SEC would provide an appropriate level of expertise and provision during the next academic year It is expected that existing staff from Surveying and Planning would be available for teaching and other duties while working their notice period for all current courses during the next academic year. SEC are therefore confident that these arrangements, along with existing teaching provision from other schools in SEC would provide an appropriate level of expertise and provision for the future, in conjunction with their ongoing academic portfolio review. Students who would transfer to FBL: Student/staff ratios would be maintained for all students at or below the current ratio for real estate management students of 30:1, and the Faculty will be working to reduce this by 2015/16. The Faculty of Business and Law will take on two members of staff. It is expected that existing staff from Surveying and Planning would be available for teaching and other duties while working their notice period for all current courses during the next academic year. FBL are therefore confident that these arrangements, along with existing teaching provision from other schools in FBL would provide an appropriate level of expertise and provision for the future, in conjunction with their ongoing academic portfolio review. Transition arrangements for all students: Transition arrangements will be put in place to ensure that students have multiple opportunities to meet staff in the school of Civil Engineering and Construction Management. SEC and FBL have agreed to facilitate ongoing opportunities for students to get together both on an academic and a social basis and these will include seminars and social events.
“The retention of professional body accreditation is hugely important and put at risk by the changes” The University is acutely aware of the importance of professional body accreditation and is committed to maintaining existing accreditations. A number of very constructive and supportive discussions have taken place with RICS and RTPI. We will work closely with them in the development of the subject areas in their new environment. RICS has supplied the following statement: “RICS will continue to accredit the portfolio of accredited courses at Kingston University for the following groups: - Undergraduate and postgraduate students already studying on RICS accredited courses; - Entrants to an RICS accredited course during the 2014/15 academic session. “On successful completion of their course, students will graduate with a RICSaccredited course.
“Full time undergraduate and postgraduate students on graduation will be able to enrol on to the Assessment of Professional Competence and start their structured training. “Postgraduate students studying on a part time basis can continue to enrol on to the APC and start their structured training as soon as they are in relevant employment. The required structured training can be completed concurrently with their studies. “Undergraduate students undertaking a sandwich placement or part time study, having completed the second level (Level 5) of their course, can enrol on to the APC and start their structured training. Students who are eligible for Graduate route 1 can undertake a maximum of 12 months structured training before completing their course. The second period of 12 months’ training must be after successful completion of their course. Graduate route 2 candidates must undertake their 12 months structured training after successful completion of their course. “RICS will work with the university to ensure ongoing support for the accredited courses and to assist in course development.” RTPI has supplied the following statement: “The RTPI and Kingston University are pleased to have worked in partnership to provide successful accredited planning education in recent years. The RTPI welcomes Kingston University’s commitment to delivering a full time MA Planning and Sustainability course in academic year 2014/15, and to delivering the second year courses for current part time students on the MA Planning and Sustainability and MA Sustainable Place Making and Urban Design courses, also in 2014/15. In practical terms this means that current students studying on these courses, and future students on the MA Planning and Sustainability course, will graduate with an RTPI accredited qualification. The RTPI and Kingston University look forward to continuing to work together to ensure successful accreditation and support for any new planning course or courses at the university.” 3. The Way Forward – Outcome of the Consultation Course Provision Art Market Appraisal Admission to BA Art Market Appraisal was already suspended last year and the course will now be formally withdrawn. All current students will be able to complete their course. MA Art Market Appraisal will stay in FADA, as originally proposed. Foundation Degrees in Historic Building Conservation and Architectural Stonework These courses will remain in FADA as originally proposed. The Building Crafts College will be invited to deliver the ‘top up’ for both courses.
MSc Historic Building Conservation As a result of the consultation, the MSc Historic Building Conservation will be retained and transferred to the School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management. Building Surveying The undergraduate and postgraduate courses will both transfer to the School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management as originally proposed. Quantity Surveying The undergraduate and postgraduate courses will both transfer to the School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management as originally proposed. Real Estate Undergraduate Real Estate Management, postgraduate Real Estate Management, Real Estate (Development) and Real Estate Warsaw will transfer to the Law School as originally proposed. Residential Property Residential Property, for which admission was already suspended, will be withdrawn. The course currently includes only six level five students who will be able to complete their course at Kingston. Property Planning and Development Property Planning and Development will be withdrawn. As a result of the consultation all current students will be able to complete their course at Kingston, with the exception of the two level four part-time students. Planning As a result of consultation the postgraduate Planning and Sustainability course will continue for one year in the first instance. It will recruit only full-time postgraduate students for 2014-15 entry. The PG Sustainable Place Making and Urban Design will be withdrawn. All current full-time and part time students will be able to complete their studies. Teaching will be covered in 2014/5 by existing staff who will be working their notice periods. Research Students The University will ensure that research students have the specialist support and training required to complete their research degree at Kingston successfully. The Associates Deans of Research from the three Faculties will meet to ensure this. Continuity of supervision will be provided wherever possible and particularly where students are coming toward completion. Tailored provision for each student will be developed taking into account existing supervisory teams through interaction both with the Graduate School in the University and the SEC Doctoral School. SEC already has more than 200 doctoral students across all subject areas in the Faculty and there are already SEC staff members who are on the supervisory teams of research students in the School of Surveying and Planning.
The following table summarises where courses will be transferring to: Subject area BA Art Market Appraisal MA Art Market Appraisal Foundation Degrees in Historic Building Conservation and Architectural Stonework MSc Historic Building Conservation Quantity Surveying, UG and PG Building Surveying, UG and PG Real Estate Management, UG Real Estate, PG Real Estate (Development) Real Estate Warsaw Residential Property Property Planning and Development, UG Planning and Sustainability, PG Sustainable Place Making and Urban Design, PG
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Confirmed Staffing Arrangements The proposed staffing structure has increased by 0.5 fte as a result of the consultation and all support staff have now been slotted into posts either in FADA or SEC as detailed below. The selection process for appointments will now commence in accordance with the managing organisational restructure procedure. Details of the posts available are below. Faculty FADA Business & Law SEC
Limited competition posts available 0.5 fte Associate Professor/Grade 10 in School of Architecture and Landscape 2.0 fte Senior Lecturers or Associate Professors/Grade 10 (flexible based on staff current grade) in Institute of Property (IoP) 1.0 fte Senior Lecturer and 1.0 fte Associate Professor/Grade 10 in School of Civil Engineering and Construction Management
FADA Role Description Summary The role would be to deliver in to the School’s architecture and/or landscape architecture courses generally. Experience in delivering teaching in professional practice and conservation, as related to the School’s ethos, would be desirable. Experience in teaching on professionally accredited architecture and/or landscape architecture courses is essential. The role would include contributing to School and course management; ideally including professional validation processes for architecture and/or landscape architecture courses. A postgraduate qualification in architecture and/or landscape architecture is essential and a professional qualification desirable.
SEC Role Description Summary The roles available in SEC would be expected to deliver the Building Surveying and Quantity Surveying courses working with existing staff members from across the Faculty. Experience in teaching on and organising professionally accredited courses is essential and individuals may need to gain professional accreditation if applicable. The roles would include contributing to School and course management (depending on appointment grade) and quality assurance and enhancement of undergraduate and postgraduate provision. It is expected that successful applicants would have a relevant PhD or be working towards this and a teaching qualification would also desirable. Staff will be expected to, depending on grade, demonstrate either a track record in a relevant research area or a willingness to engage in research with some recent publications. FBL Role Description Summary The roles available in FBL would be expected to deliver the Real Estate courses working with existing staff members from across the Faculty, and assist with the development of the Institute of Property. Experience in teaching on and organising professionally accredited courses is essential and individuals may need to gain professional accreditation if applicable. The roles would include contributing to School and course management (depending on agreed objectives and taking account of grade) and quality assurance and enhancement of undergraduate and postgraduate taught provision. It is expected that successful applicants would have a relevant PhD or be working towards this and a teaching qualification would also be desirable. Staff will be expected to, depending on grade, demonstrate either a track record in a relevant research area or a willingness to engage in research with some recent publications. The Faculty management will be flexible regarding the grades and responsibilities. FBL are particularly keen to develop the IoP and input to the vision and strategy of this group will be expected. Post that will be â€˜Slottedâ€™ in to Other Roles The following post has also been filled through slotting as the individual matches at least 70 per cent of the requirements of the post and there are the same number of posts as there are individuals. Faculty FADA
Slotted posts 0.5fte Senior Lecturer in School of Fine Art (Art Market)
For academic year 2014/5, existing HPLs will continue to be managed as currently i.e. aligned to subjects / courses in which they are currently working and this will be reviewed in line with portfolio reviews relating to the relevant subject areas that will be taking place during the same academic year.
School Administrative Staff As stated in the original proposal, the four staff dedicated to the School of Surveying and Planning will be displaced by the closure of the School. However, through natural attrition within the Faculty and University’s administrative staff it has been possible to slot affected administrative staff as follows: Faculty FADA SEC
Slotted posts 1.0 fte Student Office Co-ordinator 2.0 fte Course Administrator – Student Office 0.6 fte Student Support Co-ordinator (fixed term)
To achieve these slots the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture have funded an additional 0.5 fte Course Administrator post. The post of Student Support Co-ordinator is a fixed-term role to provide maternity cover in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. The University will continue to work with the individual during this period to identify any future permanent employment. 4. Next Steps Activity Outcome to consultation letters will be posted to confirm individual circumstances Confirm appointments for those slotted Follow up 1-2-1 meetings available with Deans Interview training available for those staff in limited competition Applications close for limited competition posts (from those eligible to apply) Selection process conducted Appointments confirmed 1-2-1 meetings for displaced staff Commence process to fill any remaining vacancies and Notify staff of their notice period Voluntary Severance/Voluntary Early Pension scheme available
Timescale w/e 4 April w/c 7 April 7 - 16 April 22 April w/c 30 April w/c 12 May w/c 19 May w/c 19 May w/c 26 May w/c 19 May
It is important that staff are supported throughout this process and we would encourage that they arrange 1-2-1 meetings with the relevant Dean. Various slots have been made available and can be booked via the relevant Dean’s PA. Individuals applying for vacancies through limited competition will be able to do so via the university’s online recruitment system. Staff will be required to provide a C.V. and covering statement in support of each vacancy for which they are applying. Selection for these vacancies will be done through competitive interviews. 5. Conclusion We are grateful to everyone who has taken the time and trouble to consider the proposal and provide feedback, all of which has been considered.