Dedicated staff at the University of Sheffield are celebrating a double success after winning two accolades at the prestigious Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) which recognise the best in administrative excellence in the sector.
Members of the University’s Library Services and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (MDH) Managers Group were commended for their tremendous hard work after winning the awards for ‘Outstanding Library Team’ and ‘Outstanding Departmental Administration Team’.
By scooping two awards Sheffield led the way at the ceremony hosted by comedian and actor Rob Brydon, reaffirming the University as a centre of excellence and number one for student experience.
The Library Service was recognised for the exceptional improvement in student satisfaction that they have delivered by putting the student experience at the heart of everything they do - including the continued investment in the Information Commons and the recent major refurbishment of the Health Sciences Library to improve student learning spaces.
The University’s Library is leading the way in revolutionary digital systems, becoming one of the first in the UK to move its management system into the cloud. Another pioneering initiative has been the introduction of the variable dynamic loan service, where loan periods are automatically adjusted in response to levels of demand for each book, doing away with the traditional short-loan collection operated by other academic libraries.
Martin Lewis, Director of Library Services and University Librarian, said: “Winning this award is great news for the 180 staff of our University Library. They are a terrific team: they combine innovation with a passionate commitment to our students and researchers. This is clear from our performance in the THE’s Student Experience Survey – where the University of Sheffield claimed the number one spot nationally - and the National Student Survey.
“This award is also a statement of confidence in the role of the 21st century academic library at the heart of both the physical and the digital campus. All the shortlisted libraries demonstrate this confidence, with rich skills and resources; and it’s a privilege to be in their company. There’s never been a more exciting time to be working in university libraries.”
The award in this category also recognised the six- year partnership between the University Library’s National Fairground Archive (NFA) and Blackpool Council’s Department of Leisure, Culture and Community Learning. Led by Professor Vanessa Toulmin, this project used the NFA’s research into the history of popular entertainment to underpin Blackpool’s tourism and heritage strategies.
The MDH Faculty Managers Group was praised for transforming the impact and working experience of its 470 professional staff through outstanding innovation in leadership, culture, communications and development.
GROW, the Faculty’s professional mentoring scheme, has been taken up by one-third of staff in the Faculty and has now been extended across the University. The award also recognises a number of further initiatives including a greater focus on individual training needs, uniting strategic objectives and individual staff development.
Dr Andrea King, Department Manager in MDH, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this award.
“We are very passionate about our work and the professional staff we represent and to be recognised in such a way is a fantastic achievement. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us, but at the heart of it all is the faculty professional staff who have engaged with our initiatives and enabled us to get where we are.”
The THELMAs, now in their sixth year, are a highlight of the academic calendar and a celebration of the best in the sector.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said of the wins: "I'm delighted to see the hard work of colleagues recognised yet again with these awards.
"Under the leadership of Martin Lewis, our Library team has gone from strength to strength, working hard to deliver outstanding support for our commitment to world-class scholarship, an excellent experience for students and research. From leading the way in digital systems to the wonderful National Fairground Archive, I've long known that our Library team is outstanding and I am pleased that this national award acknowledges one of the great strengths of our university.
"I am also immensely proud of the Medicine, Dentistry and Health Faculty Managers Group for their recognition as Outstanding Departmental Administration Team. They have demonstrated great innovation in leadership, culture, communications and development which in turn is supporting the vital work of teaching and research.
"Just one example of this is GROW, the Faculty’s very successful professional mentoring scheme, which has now been extended across all faculties.
"As a University, we have great reason to share pride in these awards and we are delighted that our efforts have received this national recognition.”
Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards THELMAs
The University of Sheffield
With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline and Siemens, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.