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The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

By Paul Ayris, on 7 April 2020

Strategic developments

In these extraordinary times, UCL is developing new structures to continue its ability to offer services and to plan for the future. This is known as the Gold-Silver-Bronze command structure. The Gold team is chaired by the Provost and meets regularly to sign off decisions affecting the current running of UCL and our planning for the future. The Silver layer is divided into 2 main components – Aquamarine and Sapphire. Aquamarine Groups are tasked to plan for now until the start of the new academic year in September. Sapphire groups have as their remit longer-term planning for the period from September 2020 onwards. Each Silver group is supported by Bronze Working Groups who look at the details for each UCL service and help to shape the immediate and long-term future. The Library is represented on all appropriate groups looking at Education, Research and Skills development & Training. In many cases, this new committee structure will temporarily replace existing UCL committees for the duration of the crisis.

Here in UCL Library Services, I have been working with colleagues to develop a temporary committee structure of our own whilst we are in lockdown, which will support the new UCL structures.

The structure can be viewed by clicking the link here as New Committee Structures

Strategic and Operational responses to the coronavirus crisis will be taken by 1 of 3 committees, supported by Working Groups as necessary. 2 of the Strategic and Operational Groups/activities already exist – the Covid-19 Group and the work undertaken to transition the Library to lockdown in March. These are chaired/led by Ben Meunier and Martin Moyle respectively. I am also establishing a 3rd grouping, tasked with looking at New Service models to enable UCL to return onsite in London.

This new committee structure for the Library will make recommendations to me as Pro-Vice-Provost, and I will sign off all major decisions supported by the Vice-Provost (Research), who will henceforth chair Library Committee. Existing committees can be asked to feed into the new structure but some, such as the Library’s Senior Management Team, will be paused. These new structures will come into being on Wednesday 8 April and last until the Library is re-established on site in London.

In terms of the New Service Models grouping, I have agreed that it should be asked to prepare a number of briefing papers in the coming weeks. These are on the following topics:

  1. Electronic-led resource provision to support research and education
  2. Digitally-delivered teaching and skills support
  3. Fully digital enquiry services, which require a proper enquiry management platform
  4. Open Science as the model for research, education, evaluation, reward and engagement
  5. Optimization of learning space
  6. Research collection strategy in a digital era

These papers will help shape future developments in the Library and across UCL when we begin to emerge from the current lockdown.

It only remains for me to wish every colleague in UCL Library Services a happy and restful holiday in what is an extraordinary time. UCL is immensely grateful to you all for your commitment, patience and support in this most difficult of times. Please try to enjoy the forthcoming April break. I will share more news about developments after the Easter recess.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

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