Transforming SRUC – Reaching our new strategic goals

Published Wednesday, 9th May 2018 in Staff news

Transforming sruc image

SRUC is changing. Our new Strategic Plan has established an ambitious target of transforming our organisation to become a University.

We are aiming to reshape and refine the traditional university model to become a 21st Century ‘innovation factory’ serving the rural sector, where all of our services are fully integrated and where we work in partnership with our students as we help prepare them for the food, environmental and farming challenges in the years ahead.

The transformation of SRUC involves change in every area of focus, culture and operations and we all have a role in helping to shape and drive forward a new SRUC.

But what tangible activities are underway as part of our transformation programme to support our journey towards becoming a university?

Who is involved?

The programme is being driven Transformation Steering Group, chaired by our Principal. Under their stewardship a Transformation Programme Group has been created with senior representation from across SRUC. (Click here for Group membership.)

This is the core team involved in managing the change, with several Project Boards report to the Programme Group. Each Project Board will have accountability and responsibility to implement change in their area.

The Transformation Programme Management Office has been established to create the governance and monitoring frameworks, processes and standards to support the change, with several active projects already moving at pace. Each project is led by a Project Sponsor, co-ordinated and driven by Project Managers and informed, challenged and supported by members of a project board.

What is Changing?

Creation of the Faculties

Led by Jamie Newbold, the new, regional faculties have already been defined (page 5 of our Strategic Plan) and Deans have been appointed. Nick Sparks has started in the South & West and Caroline Argo in the North and David Hopkins in Central will be in place by June 2018. Once all three Deans are in post, they will review their faculties to ensure that resources are directed towards the areas necessary to realise our ambitions. The new leadership structures are expected to be in place by autumn 2018.

Infrastructure Reviews

The creation of the regional faculties presents an opportunity to assess the infrastructure need to support our future ambitions. As discussions and plans move forward, to ensure that a robust review is delivered in each region, business cases must be created for each area of potential investment.  An independent review of the South & West is currently underway, with initial findings expected in May. The review has considered what facilities are required to deliver our local and organisational goals in that region.  It is examining and scoring several options and will ultimately highlight one preferred option. Once this has been identified and approved by our Board, a Full Business Case will be created to finalise our application to SFC. When this process is concluded, the North then Central Faculties will be reviewed. The entirety of this process may take up to a year but this demonstrates the robust approach required to ensure that we get the right result for the organisation. Read more about the review of the South & West in this week’s ELT Blog.

Investment in Infrastructure

 We are also funding a number of additional exciting projects, many of which involved working with partners. These include:

  • SRUC Poultry Science Research Centre - Our new state-of-the-art Centre will open at the Bush Estate, Midlothian in spring 2019. Read more here.
  • Midlothian Laboratory in Partnership with the Moredun Research Institute – The refurbishment of a building to create a world-class laboratory for commercial diagnostics and research in animal health and biosecurity on the Pentland Science Park Campus.  Creating these joint facilities is the next step in our strategic partnership with the Moredun Research Institute.
  • Extension of the Easter Howgate Pig Unit facilities – funded in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) new buildings opening soon have created augmented research conditions and increased capacity.  

People Strategy

Our people are the key to successfully delivering our strategy and our People Strategy will articulate the way in which we need to work together to create a culture which allows all of our people to thrive.  Some work follows on from the outputs of the Challenge for Change, however over the summer our colleagues in Organisational Development will work with a group to create our People Strategy. There will be opportunities for everyone to contribute to the creation of this Strategy and we’ll be in touch to tell you more.  

Website Review – IS and Communications are jointly leading a project for the long overdue overhaul of our website. Colleagues from across the organisation, as well as students and external customers/partners are being consulted as we shape plans for the future site.

We’ll keep you up to date with progress on all of these projects. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more, please get in touch at

More articles in the news archive.

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