Pro Vice-Chancellor's Report - University Office of Planning

Professor Andrew Downes

Professor Densil Williams

Pro Vice-Chancellor, University Office of Planning

On October 1, 2016, Professor Densil A. Williams assumed the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor, Planning in the University Office of Planning and Development. The Office was renamed the University Office of Planning (UOP) as the “Development” function was relocated to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor in October 2016.

The new Pro Vice-Chancellor re-organised the work of the office under four non-mutually exclusive portfolios: Strategic Planning; Business Intelligence and Institutional Research; Academic/Industry Partnership and Business Process Reengineering and Project Management.

Unit Heads were appointed for the different portfolios in order to better assist the Pro Vice-Chancellor in managing the workload of the office. Dr. John Gedeon, who had transferred to the International Office returned to the University Office of Planning. Further, Mr. Leighton Duncan was seconded from Mona School of Business and Management to the UOP team to assist with Information systems and project management needs in the office.

In the period under review, development of the 2017–2022 Strategic Plan was a significant activity for the UOP. Following the Vice-Chancellor's extensive engagement with internal and external stakeholders, the formal planning began in September 2016. This entailed a number of retreats at the executive level, engagements with staff and faculty from all campuses and units within The UWI, and culminated with a presentation of the draft strategic plan to the Annual Business Session of the University Council on April 27, 2017.

Despite the heavy focus on developing the Strategic Plan over the reporting period, UOP also made significant progress in the other areas of responsibility. The list below indicates concept papers, research notes, proposals and other activities undertaken by the UOP team.

Institutional Research

  • Demand for The UWI Education and Implications for Future Growth: An Exploratory Study
  • Assessment of The UWI's Participation in World University Rankings
  • The impact of a revised GATE funding model on The UWI
  • Value and benefits of the Sports industry
  • Global Trends in Higher Education – Relevance to The UWI (submitted in June and reconfigured for submission to UF&GPC)
  • Towards a One UWI Business Intelligence and Analytics System
  • A methodology for the development of a Business Process Re-Engineering Unit at The University of the West Indies

General Concept Papers and Business Development Issues

UOP participated in or developed the following proposals:

  • Concept paper for the establishment of the Faculty of Sport
  • Research paper on the value of the sport industry, globally
  • Research paper on the development of University Science Parks

UOP also engaged in other routine activities which include but are not limited to the co-ordination and submission of data to the following ranking agencies:

  • U-Multirank
  • UI GreenMetric World University Ranking

This information was used to assess the international competitiveness of the University.

The Balanced Scorecard system designed and built organically in the UOP to monitor and evaluate the Strategic Plan. The Balanced Scorecard system designed and built organically in the UOP to monitor and evaluate the Strategic Plan.

Capacity Development

Several staff members undertook training programmes over the period. Some of these were:

  • "Getting Started with SAS – University Edition." Offered by ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre, Faculty of Social Sciences, St. Augustine Campus, February 2, 2017.—Ms. Tiffany Best
  • "Applied Analytics Using SAS University Edition." April 24-28, 2017, St. Augustine Campus—Ms. Tiffany Best
  • "Research for Industry Symposium." Department of Chemical Engineering. June 8, 2017, Faculty of Engineering, St. Augustine Campus - Dr. Indrani Bachan-Persad

A number of employees received new assignments and new contractual working relationships with The UWI. These include:

  • Ms. Kamlini Dalipsingh, Research Technician: promoted to Administrative Assistant.
  • Ms. Greer McKenzie, who completed an MSc in Management, relocated to the role of Research Technician from her post of Secretary.
  • Mr. Tony Narine, the driver who had shared contractual obligations between UOP and COPIR, has now been given a full-time contract to work exclusively for the University Office of Planning in the capacity of driver and receptionist.
  • Ms. Lystra Downes, who worked as a temporary ancillary worker for over five years, received a permanent contract and also serves as receptionist when Mr. Narine is on driving duties.

These staff movements resulted in a cost saving to The UWI from the termination of the position of Secretary in the UOP.

Over the review period, the UOP held six staff meetings which were both operational and developmental. Staff members who worked on special reports and concept papers presented their findings and received valuable feedback to revise and improve the papers. The meetings serve as a networking session among staff where they have lunch together and build camaraderie in the office.

UOP staff engaged in a number of professional development activities to advance their professional careers. These achievements are highlighted in individual activity reports.

Projected Activities for 2017/2018

For the coming academic year, UOP will engage in activities that will contribute to the "Triple A" Strategic Plan, 2017–2022. Specifically, this relates to policy formulation through research and data collection for the Alignment and Access themes. Some of the expected outcomes from the office for the 2017/2018 period will be:

  • Private Sector Engagement Consultation
  • Position Paper on Assessment of Global University Rankings
  • Policy Paper on UWI Engagement with the Private Sector
  • A Study on Student Attrition at The UWI
  • A Position Paper on Entrepreneurship and Spin-Off Companies at The UWI
  • Dissemination of newsletter on Trends and Developments in Higher Education

Further, the office will also be engaged in work to further the Agility theme. This will include:

  • Continuous process of monitoring and evaluating the Strategic Plan
  • A Position Paper on Workload at The UWI
  • Preparation of the Statistical Digest
  • Collaboration with other areas of The University to establish a Business Intelligence System for The UWI