Sustainable Staff: Challenges for Professional Services
Lydia Crow | Freelancer HE Manager and Researcher
By addressing challenges facing Professional Services staff in a frank and honest way, we can begin to consider how we can survive the current political uncertainty, and thrive as vital members of the Higher Education sector.
Taking care with the language we choose to use is a responsibility for everyone, indicating a basic human respect for our fellow beings. Given this is increasingly so commonly acknowledged, why is it that we can’t get it right when it comes to Professional Services staff in universities? There are two primary ways in which language affects the ways in which Professional Services staff are perceived: firstly, the language used to describe them, and; secondly, the language used to communicate with them.
It is remarkable, given the current strangulation of resources across the entirety of the Higher Education sector, how little prominence is given to the impact this has on Professional Services staff (and, therefore, the wider staff and student body). There is, quite rightly, a considerable amount of discussion regarding the impact such resource restrictions have on research and on teaching; but little, comparatively, about the effect those same resource restrictions have on the delivery of all things Higher Education because of issues resourcing Professional Services teams appropriately.
Resilience is a double-edged sword in many ways. On the one hand, it is a strong and healthy trait to employ when working in the Higher Education sector. On the other hand, it can become a stick with which to beat people. On the surface of it, resilience seems like a good trait. But what about when the concept of resilience gets a little ugly?
Sustainable Staff: Challenges for Professional Services is a working session at the AUA Autumn Conference 2019. Here our session speakers talk about the journey that lead to this point.