It is an extraordinary privilege to email all academic and administrative staff. No executive of a private firm has ever done so, and I must congratulate your Vice Chancellor for his leadership in affording me this opportunity. I have a deep respect for academic work. However, academics are inefficient time wasters renowned for their lack of vision. They are notoriously resilient in resisting the virtues of the market. Today your University is at the vanguard of a revolution in British Higher Education. I intend to make it work. We are in direct competition with BPP and other private providers. In competition there are two golden rules: restructure and cut costs. Here I set out my vision establishing the parameters for our future collaboration.
Capital Academicians is contracted to deliver all services, other than academic teaching and research. We did bid for the teaching and research contracts but the University Council blocked this move. This short-sighted decision will be revoked, but in the meanwhile it creates certain difficulties. As employees of Capital A all administrative and service related staff are answerable to me. Rule one then is that academic staff must not overstep their authority when negotiating the delivery of services with Capital A employees. If in doubt do not ask your Capital A colleague to do work which I pay for.
Capital A intends to cut costs by 8% every year for the next three years. This is a 26.07% reduction in the capital budget spent on these services. It is money which the University will save. I need your help to do this. Rule 2: CUT COSTS. How?
– The University stationary budget is grotesque. All School Managers must provide detailed costing for every item of stationary, down to the last staple. I know this seems petty but I begin with what might seem an irrelevant detail on purpose. Make every penny count, and I will be able to preserve more posts;
– Recent media reports indicate that time wasting through sexual indulgences is at epidemic levels. Sex in the workplace is a capital offence. Offending staff have no recourse to the law. Where the transgression is carried out between academic and administrative staff the academic will be punished by her/his Head of Faculty. If the Head of Faculty is also the felon then Vice Chancellor Woodley will take appropriate action;
– The libraries have no space for new book acquisitions. I have begun a stock take of all books. We will sell those books which no one has taken out for five years. We will close down one of the libraries. This building, a fantastic real estate opportunity for an enterprising purchaser, will be sold. All academic staff are requested to assist the library as it digitizes all resources, giving easier access to more students. Those who feel a sentimental attachment to books can take advantage of the 25% discount I negotiated with Amazon for the supply of kindles. On your Amazon account enter the discount code 000345237865/Huntington;
– The University estate is a capital resource which we must not squander. I therefore propose, in negotiation with the Vice Chancellor as my contract stipulates, to sell off 25% of the Estate, and to make more efficient use of what remains. This will include:
- night-time classes for anyone who will pay. Academics interested in earning a little more should contact my office directly with proposals;
- hiring out of facilities during quiet times at corporate rates;
- penalties charged to school budgets when booked rooms are not used;
- a charge for the use of any University car park;
- hiring out of sporting facilities to Schools and Colleges in cases where Michael Gove has permitted the selling off of sports’ fields;
- the reorganisation of academic offices in all faculties. There are still a large number of academics who have personal offices. This is an unnecessary cost. Offices will be shared, and where possible we will introduce open plan office spaces.
- PhD students will be able to rent private study space at a special rate.;
– There are too many administrative staff. We will carry out a three-month review of every post, assessing why it exists, what the current contractual terms are, and whether or not it can be scrapped or rationalised. Staff who do necessary jobs and who work efficiently should not worry;
– Capital A has upgraded the Registry computer systems. This super efficient system makes the right decisions about UCAS applications without the need for staff to: read personal statements; interview; make offers; decide who to accept in clearing. Academic staff this relieves you of hours of wasted time. Admissions staff you will be informed of decisions about your post in the next week. We anticipate savings of 50% in this area;
– Information Technologies: Capital A is to review the IT capabilities of Weeengland during the next three months. In the meanwhile would all staff please use computers for work only. You must not access the BBC, the Guardian, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo or other such websites during work hours, or on a computer provided by Weeengland unless there is a good work reason for so doing. We estimate that 21% of staff costs are lost through private perusal of the internet. You should not expect Capital A to pay for your surfing. We would not pay for it in Newquay, why would we pay for it here?
Weeenglander, this is only the beginning. I will deliver the most cost efficient services, releasing funds for teaching and research, freeing academic staff to concentrate on what they do best. We are all in this, together. Every little helps in the future which has arrived today.
I look forward to a profitable relationship.
Bill Huntingdon, BA (Hons) Oxon;
CEO Capital Academicians