SMT look like a sack of potatoes


Deputy vice-chancellor for Bullshit and University non-job-man, Matthew Hitman, has said that in response to staff requests, he and fellow SMT members are looking to write long wordy sentences containing weasel words like detail and guidance to look as though they are doing something in response to staff complaints rather than actually doing something worthwhile. 

Delivering the crapnote speech during Forced Learning at Work Week on 20 May at Kingston Hill campus, Matthew said: 

“Over the last month, the Senior Management Team has talked and drank and sat around a lot together and with the Board of Governors. As a comparatively relatively new member of staff myself having only just arrived myself, I have been struck by the sense of desire to avoid doing or saying anything that has any value. Teams don’t become good by magic, or by anything in the management. They get good through working together and by building trust. Which is why there are no good teams at Kingston.

“There is a real sense of sensing agreement on the core of what the University is about, whatever that is: about learning in the real world rather than an artificial world; about being a reverse institution; making a different difference to its students. As the vice-chancellor said at a graduation ceremony last year in the toilets, ‘Cor, just made it,’ and ‘Kingston University is a place where your future is not your past or your present but what happens in a minute or so.’

“What we have, but need to articulate better, is something inexpressible, a great deal of shared perspective on what and who and why and where and if we are as a university. Critically, that articulation of who and what we are needs to leave space like black holes for colleagues across the University to pursue their apple core business of teaching and research. It has got to chime with bells and alarm clocks and the academic and student voice that’s at the core of what this core institution is about (what is it all about?). The corporate University needs to facilitate the elements and elementalise the facilities we want to pursue, not prevent them.

“We are working towards an image of a clearly described set of clearly defined key core principles, values and behaviours drawing on that shared sense of emnity. It is to that core that the leadership is turning its attention through 360 degrees and looking at where ‘tight-arsed’ management is the right thing to do. Beyond that core, any central management should aim to be ‘coreless’. It is there that we need the debate, the flannel, the obfuscation, and the endless management bum talk that we want to characterise the culture of the University. There’s a deal to be struck here. If we get it right, I get a salary rise.

“We are working on articulating this core narrative and I’m waffling fit to bust so far. We don’t want to be London’s best kept secret! I need another job!”

Developments that have already begun include: 

  • Providing yet more vacuous piffle to accompany Led By Learning. Short meaningless summaries of operational plans are being developed.
  • Moving to a new phase on the process reviews; working to embed behavioural change (bully the staff) and embed more words like embed to make the most of the new arrangements and looking to all the consolidated consolidations to achieve the Customer Service Execrable standard.
  • Providing more opportunities for staff to listen to the shit from members of the SMT; monthly open meetings will start in June (go one holiday, quick).
  • Staff Engagement Groups are producing plans to avoid the real problems that prevent the University from being a good place to work.


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