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More collaboration between service and academic divisions

Monday, 19 June 2017 2:35pm

The University is working towards more collaboration between its operational and academic divisions.

Top operational staff are now embedded in each academic division on Otago’s Dunedin campus – to foster open, collaborative relationships that support the University of Otago’s over-arching aims.

The operational staff go to monthly divisional meetings, so there is regular face-to-face contact between the top tier of the operational side of the University and Heads of Department and their staff, University of Otago Chief Operating Officer Stephen Willis says.

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Otago Chief Operating Officer Stephen Willis.

Mr Willis wants to create an environment where academic departments do not have to think about their buildings or information technology because his Group “just supports what they are doing”.

To help make that vision a reality, the top operational staff are finding out what those divisions are planning and what help they need from the Operations Group. The staff are:

  • Campus and Collegiate Life Division Director James Lindsay
  • Campus Development Division Director David Perry
  • Health and Safety Compliance Head Andrea McMillan
  • Information Technology Services Director Mike Harte
  • Office of Risk, Assurance and Compliance Director Mark Cartwright
  • Office of Sustainability Manager Hilary Phipps
  • Project Management Office Manager Tracy Huntleigh-Smith
  • Property Services Director Barry MacKay
  • Student Services Director Karyn Thomson

Each of those people has been assigned to one of Otago's divisions for the first half of the year, and will then switch to another division in the second half of the year. The divisions are Academic, Commerce-Otago School of Business, External Engagement, Health Sciences, Humanities, Research and Enterprise, and Sciences.

Mr Willis has tasked all his divisions and offices with boosting internal staff’s satisfaction with the quality of their services by at least 10 per cent this year.