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Keeping the academic voice at the heart of Student Lifecycle

Keeping the academic voice at the heart of Student Lifecycle


Ensuring the academic voice is central in all aspects of Student Lifecycle Management (SLcM) – a key component of Core Systems Replacement (CSR) – is one of the main aims of its new sponsor Professor Fary Cachelin, Executive Dean, WELS.

Fary said: “As sponsor, my role is to represent academics on the CSR Delivery Board and ensure that their concerns, issues and ideas are communicated to the Board and reflected in our work within SLcM.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be at the heart of this huge project. Replacing our systems is core to what we are doing. While it is a massive infrastructure change, it affords us a great opportunity to really focus on what we need to do to ensure our students succeed.

“This, after all, is why we are doing it and once done I believe our systems will be easier to access, more efficient and will enable us to work in a far more responsive and agile way.

“For staff too there will be many benefits associated with not having to rely on systems that are old and cumbersome. We must all be prepared, however, to take the chance to start to think differently about how we work. We need to think about how technology can serve us and how we need to change in line with it. That to me will be one of the greatest challenges.”

To ensure representatives from across all aspects of Student Lifecycle and the OU Model Office are involved in shaping the future of our students’ experience throughout their time with the OU, Fary is setting up a new Steering Group, chaired by FASS’s Director of Strategy Planning and Resources, Roger Knowles, which will meet fortnightly.

Fary said: “The group will bring together representatives of all the other key players. It will include Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and OU Model Office Sponsor, Liz Marr and Claire Baines, Director of Academic Services.

While Fary recognises that in a programme as complex and far-reaching as CSR, people might feel on occasion their voice is not being heard, she has this to say: “If people have concerns, they need to raise them, they need to speak up, to contact me directly if needed.

“We must though be open to giving things a go, taking just a little bit of risk if we need to. We need to have the freedom to try things out, to look at what we have done and see where we need to change it to make it better. We might not get it 100 per cent perfect right at the start, after all, that’s’ why we are having the OU Model Office, a place where we can validate and refine our ways of working. We need people to be patient with themselves and each other so we can be receptive to learning as things start to unfold.”

Director of Academic Services, Claire Baines, said: “I am delighted to welcome Fary as SLcM Sponsor and look forward to working closely with her over the coming months and years to ensure we maximise the benefits our new systems and we create future student support services that are easy to navigate for all our students and staff.”

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