7. Administration Group

The Administration Group comprises the Finance, Personnel, Buildings Maintenance, Secretarial Support and Reception functions. The team of 13 FTE’s has remained largely unchanged and continues to provide the important support services which keep OUCS running on a day to day basis.

This year has seen the completion of a new lecture theatre, two new conference/meeting rooms, an extension to the Help Centre and a new staff area. These works have been completed to a very high standard, within budget and on time. This upgrade of facilities has been complemented by the provision of more extensive conference catering services.

OUCS continues to take a very active role in assisting the timely implementation of the new University wide Finance system. Additional finance services provided this year include administering the finances of the TSM Symposium including processing the credit card payments.

The Personnel Section has been very busy handling 33 vacancies this year. It was good to see some OUCS staff being successfully recruited into posts with more responsibility, but inevitably this left more vacancies to fill. 20 posts filled were replacements, and the remainder are new staff, mainly in the RTS section where grants from external bodies are successfully being won to fund areas of research. The pool of ‘casual’ staff at OUCS is constantly expanding to allow flexibility to match available staff expertise to the fluctuating demands of customers and business activities.

The Appraisal System continues to be run each year from January to March, with 99% of staff having discussions with their managers to review their job descriptions and discuss personal development plans for the coming year. Training requirements are being collated to build up a database of information on courses and their effectiveness.

The formal Merit Award System has been implemented for the second year, with 37% of OUCS staff receiving recognition for outstanding performances during the year. An in-house Staff Induction Programme has now been developed and fulfils the important information needs of new staff when they first arrive at the University and commence their employment at OUCS. This incorporates a checklist of information that all new staff need in their first few days, systems to allow their workplace to be set up before they arrive and a half-day Induction Seminar, which is run on a quarterly basis. The Seminar gives important information about working for the University as a whole as well as working for OUCS. A new Flexible Working Policy has been established which allows staff with carer responsibilities at home to investigate the possibility of working from home for some of their time. Among future projects for OUCS are to become registered and to carry out a risk assessment of OUCS jobs which may induce work-related stress.

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