Principal's message on PDR

Published: 13 July 2015

The Principal says the next PDR cycle is a chance to reflect on a successful 2014...and to anticipate a new University strategy that puts people at its heart.

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anton Muscatelli, says the next PDR cycle is a chance to reflect on a successful 2014...and to anticipate a new, University strategy that puts people at its heart.

Dear Colleague

We are now approaching that time of year when we embark on our next PDR cycle. It is I think helpful to reflect that we do so against two very important contexts: one that looks back and one that looks forward.

2014/15 has been a tremendously successful year for the University. Last December, our broad-based excellence agenda was recognised in the Research Excellence Framework. The power of our research placed the University 12th overall in the UK and 2nd in Scotland. This is consistent with the University of Glasgow’s place as a world top-100 university. Feedback by students on their experience at Glasgow has been better than ever before, and the University has risen in league tables of research performance and international reputation.

These achievements would not be possible without the skills and dedication of our staff and I firmly believe that our commitment to the PDR process helps us all to focus on our individual and corporate priorities to achieve such real and tangible success. I am therefore enormously grateful to you all for your hard work and for the commitment you have shown in seeking to achieve your objectives: the University has unquestionably moved forward as a consequence.

But it is equally important as we approach PDR this year that we look ahead, particularly as we introduce our new strategic plan to follow on from Glasgow 2020: a Global Vision. Professor Neal Juster and many other colleagues from all parts of the University have been working tremendously hard to produce a strategy to guide us through the next five years. It reflects the input we have had from a wide range of our colleagues.

I believe it’s significant and immensely exciting that people – that’s you, me and all our colleagues – are at the very heart of our new strategy. It will be called “Inspiring People – Changing the World”. It embodies a vision of a world class, world changing university. Our mission will be to bring inspiring people together to create a world class learning and research environment, empowering staff and students alike to discover and share knowledge that can change the world. Our annual PDR process, which is and must be people centred, is at the very heart of this mission, and a key driver to each one of us to transform what we want to achieve together into a reality. It is the means by which we, as senior leaders, can both focus on how we have performed, and set ourselves broad targets, actively engaging with our teams to build shared support and commitment to achieving the University’s strategic goals.

I am sure we all share the ambition to do even better in the year ahead but know that any and every success will be down to how each one of us performs as individuals and as colleagues. PDR helps refocus our attention on the dynamic potential and power of people to make a difference.

This year, the expectation is that PDR will be managed across the University with these objectives:

  • Staff who are performing to a high standard will be assessed as ‘High Quality’. I expect that most staff will be placed in this category;
  • Up to 10% of staff to be assessed as ‘Outstanding’, and up to 20% as ‘Excellent’;
  • Staff recorded as demonstrating ‘Inconsistent Performance’ or ‘Improved Performance Required’ should be provided with advice and assistance to help them raise their level of performance, with a clear understanding of the improvement expected and the timescale for this.

For the relevant forms, associated guidance, and our newly introduced online training modules please visit Performance Development Review

I very much hope that PDR will be a positive experience for you this year, and once again, my thanks for all your hard work over the past year and for the contribution you have made to the University’s success.

Anton Muscatelli

First published: 13 July 2015

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