World Class Glasgow Transformation Programme

World Class Glasgow Transformation Programme

Our World Class Glasgow Transformation Programme is a university-wide endeavour aimed at improving our systems and services, simplifying our processes, and making life better for our students and staff.

Why do we need a transformation programme?

The programme has been formed to support the delivery of the University Strategy 2015 – 2020.  Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli says we have the opportunity to “embed new technologies, transform the way we work and improve the interaction with each other, our students and our partners”.

We’ve used the strategy to help us form a vision for the programme:

The University of Glasgow is a world-class, world-changing place of higher learning. From our ground-breaking research to our enviable reputation for outstanding teaching, we pursue excellence in everything we do.  However, the environment around us is changing – globally, higher education has never been more competitive; to retain and improve our position among the world’s top universities, we need to address every aspect of our business and ensure that our systems, processes, infrastructure and facilities are as good as they possibly can be. 

Over the next 10 years we will invest to transform our campus. This is a historic opportunity for Glasgow to lead the way: to create a world-class environment where staff and students can discover and share knowledge that can change the world.

With the full engagement of staff and students helping to define the services they require, we will effect step-change improvements in a range of business processes with the aim of becoming leaner and more agile, by enhancing efficiency and effectiveness, removing duplication and waste, and maximising use of new technologies. By doing this we will improve the university experience for students and staff.

We will use the talents and dedication of staff at all levels in helping us define and implement programmes to empower everyone, enabling everybody to maximise their potential and to make a much greater contribution to the success of the University.  This will involve an unambiguous commitment to high performance, team-working, personal development and delegated decision-making as one university working together.

Great people supported by great processes and great communications will lead to world-class outcomes and world-class experiences for our staff and students.

Who is involved?

The Senior Management Group have authorised the establishment of the programme, and a team is being formed under the stewardship of Professor Neal Juster, Senior Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor.

A Transformation Programme Board will govern the World Class Glasgow programme, with senior representation from across the university to make sure that all of our stakeholders interests are taken into consideration. Members of the transformation board are: 

  • Neal Juster (Chair), Senior Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor
  • Muffy Calder, Vice Principal & Head of College of Science & Engineering
  • Anna Dominiczak, Vice Principal & Head of College - MVLS
  • Anne Anderson, Vice Principal & Head of College – Social Sciences
  • Roibeard O Maolalaigh, Vice Principal & Head of College – Arts
  • David Duncan, Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary
  • Kate Powell, President of the Glasgow University Students' Representative Council
  • Chris Johnson, Head of School – Computing Science
  • Robert Fraser, Director of Finance
  • Christine Barr – Director of Human Resources
  • Stella Heath - Director of Centre for Open Studies
  • Chief Transformation Officer – TBC (Rob Thompson  currently representing programme)

There will be a core team that sit within the programme and focus on the changes. They have been brought into the programme as they have specialist skills and experience in implementing change. 

Meet the team

Chris Green - Chief Transformation Officer 

Chris joins the University from the PA Consulting Group where he lead their welfare and youth sector work in the public sector. His clients spanned the major Departments, Agencies and providers in the sector.  He has over 20 years’ experience of delivering change management in more than 40 projects and programmes including many large public sector bodies. These include DWP, DfE, Cabinet Office, DCMS, Scottish Executive and DSP in Ireland; Agencies such as Ofqual, Ofsted, ONS, Land Registry, ESFA, the NCS Trust and Health sector trusts including Greater Manchester, Calderdale and Sheffield.

He re-joined PA after two years as a member of the Executive Board of Newcastle College Group, one of the largest UK providers of education, employability and skills services. 

On his appointment Chris said: “I am really looking forward to joining the University of Glasgow as the Chief Transformation Officer not least because of the fantastic opportunities that the University has in front of it over the next 5-10 years and playing a role in helping those opportunities turning into reality”

Rob Thompson – Head of Continuous Improvement

Rob has joined the University from the Royal Bank of Scotland, where he worked as a Continuous Improvement Consultant, prior to that he worked for NHS Lanarkshire in their improvement team focussing on Emergency Care. He’s also worked for Transport for London, where he was involved in the implementation of the Congestion Charge in 2003. He went to university in Leeds.

Of the World Class Glasgow transformation programme, Rob says “this is a really exciting opportunity to work in a prestigious institution, but more than that the opportunity to make a real difference to our students and colleagues experiences is what I’m looking forward to working towards”.

“Everyone I’ve talked to about the programme so far has been very enthusiastic about what is ahead, the University is already an inspiring place to work and I think it shows the ambition and commitment of the people that work here to take on such a large-scale and complex transformation programme”.

“The success of World Class Glasgow is entirely reliant upon our people, and that’s why one of the main areas of focus is on empowering everyone. The people that do the work are the ones that know what is broken and how to fix it, so we have planned how to approach the changes with this at the forefront of our minds”.

Derek Martin – Continuous Improvement Lead

Derek Martin is a Continuous Improvement Lead who joins from the University of Strathclyde, where he worked as a Business Analyst.  Prior to the higher education sector, Derek was with Barclays Bank in a variety of change-focused roles that delivered process efficiencies and operational support. 

“This programme represents a unique opportunity to help shape the future of one of the world’s most prestigious universities.  I want to take a collaborative, open approach to working with our colleagues across all areas within the University in order to achieve our goals.”

Derek studied at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Stephen Maddocks - Continuous Improvement Lead 

Originally from Glasgow and a Graduate of Strathclyde University, Stephen joins from a consultancy firm, where he worked in a variety of public and private sector organisations.  “I am really excited to be involved in such an ambitious and worthwhile programme in my home town.  I am particularly looking forward to working with colleagues to develop and drive improvements”.

Internal Communications and Engagement Lead - We are currently recruiting into this role


When can I expect to see things changing?

The main strategic projects are currently being scoped, so it might be a while before any changes are implemented, but if you are involved in any of the processes supporting them we might ask you soon if you can help us to understand how they work.

Each of the projects will have detailed plans and timescales, and we’ll share the key dates with you as soon as they have been agreed.

The recruitment review that has been underway for a number of months already has been brought into the transformation programme so we can support with implementing the changes. We have just decided what the future model will look like and are in the process of speaking to those that are directly affected.

How will the programme affect our staff and students?

The vision statement should go some way to explaining how the programme will change things for the better, and each project will have a very specific set of benefits. At a high level, the outcomes that we hope you see from the World Class Glasgow programme will be:

  • A better experience for those people that use the services the University offers, whether that be students, academics, professional services staff, or external stakeholders.
  • Processes that are easier for people to understand and follow.
  • Faster and easier ways of getting things done, with fewer problems experienced.
  • The University being faster to react when problems arise.
  • Students and staff at all levels not just being consulted in how to change the University for the better, but involved in designing how we should change.
  • Clearly communicated changes, and their impact.

This also means that there will be opportunities to be involved in the work the programme is doing. Alongside supporting us understanding the processes that are part of the programme through workshops, surveys, meetings and other sessions, we’ll be looking to bring in seconded staff to work on the projects full time, for their duration. Not only does this mean that we have experts in the process supporting the projects, but we can also train our own experts in the tools and techniques we’ll be using to improve the University.

Coping with change

It is important that we also mention that as we become a more efficient and effective University, it is likely that we will need to change the way in which we are organised, and this may mean restructuring and possible changes in responsibilities for some roles.   Some of this may happen naturally by evolution but where it may need to be more proactively initiated we’ll be open and honest about the reasons and any proposals. We will be speaking regularly to our Unions about the programme and any potential impacts and ensure staff are fully engaged and supported throughout the process.

Transforming the University is also likely to lead to some new and different roles being created, and where there is a close fit, we will look to recruit from our existing staff, especially where some may be impacted by a proposed restructure.

How to get involved

For all of the changes we make, we’ll need to draw on the experiences of our staff and students, so there will be many opportunities to be involved. We’ll look to bring in representatives from the areas that are under review to support us with the changes we’re making for all of the projects that form part of the World Class Glasgow programme.

There are four different ways that you might be able to help:

  1. Become part of the transformation team – we’ll be looking to recruit people with specialist change skills into the team on a fixed term and permanent basis. For vacancies please visit: Jobs at Glasgow
  2. Be part of one of the project teams – If the area you work in is the scope of one of the strategic projects, we will be looking for people from that area to support us with the change activity as part of a secondment. Whilst on the secondment you’ll spend your time working with the change teams, and we’ll train you in the tools and techniques used for the transformation activity. Opportunities can be found through: Jobs at Glasgow 
  3. Get involved in helping us to understand and redesign our processes. As we’ve already mentioned, we need you to tell us what is wrong and how to fix it. For all of the projects, there will be workshops, surveys, design sessions, and lots of other ways to enable us to find out how we need to change. Please tell us if you want to be involved if your area is affected.
  4. Become part of our transformation community – if you want to learn about what is happening in the World Class Glasgow programme, and are motivated to learn how to make changes yourself, join the community. You’ll be invited to regular training and information sharing sessions where we’ll give you the skills and support you need to make changes in your areas of work. 



We have produced a number of PowerPoint slides to help spread the message about the World Class Glasgow Transformation Programme with colleagues.