CSD - the 2016 journey and into the future
Published December 15th, 2016
In December 2016, Geraldine Ruane, Chief Operating Officer (COO), welcomed colleagues for an update on the progress and transformation taking place within the Corporate Services Division (CSD).
Since taking office in late 2013, Geraldine has led a major change programme which has seen each of her 12 departments improving their service and working to defined targets which support the research and teaching mission of the university.
This change programme has been underpinned by the establishment of a Commercial Revenue Unit (CRU) which has been tasked with generating revenue that can be reinvested back into the university and its infrastructure and which will ensure a first class experience for Trinity’s students, staff and visitors.
The COO opened the briefing by welcoming all in attendance. She thanked the Provost for his attendance and thanked the CSD team for their hard work and commitment during the transformation programme.
Geraldine outlined how we all need to work together to maintain Trinity’s reputation and invited her senior management team to outline their key achievements which contributed to this.
Geraldine noted how she was particularly proud of the shared service centres in IT Services, HR, Estates & Facilities and Academic Registry and how they were providing expert knowledge and leading to an improved service.
The Provost endorsed the COO’s comments noting how CSD are the backbone of the university and he thanked the staff of CSD who had contributed to the achievements which are ‘necessary, significant and inspiring’.
The COO closed the briefing urging colleagues to make contact with her or members of her senior management team if they had any issues which needed to be addressed or ideas which could be actioned.
CSD is committed to providing regular communications on the work taking place and the COO produces an annual report demonstration how the work of CSD aligns to the University’s Strategic Plan. She has also recently published a Statement of Strategy to 2019 to demonstrate her plans and for the future.
Full Text of Speech by COO, Geraldine Ruane
Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to each one of you. Thank you for coming, it is great to see you here and we really appreciate your interest in what we are doing.
To those of you here who filled in the survey, thank you. It is important for us to know what you think and it is important that you know we are listening.
From the survey you helped to identify what we do well, and some areas where we need to improve. We are working on them and as communication is one of them, this is another good reason for us being here together.
My name is Geraldine Ruane and I am the Chief Operating Officer.
I want to first of all acknowledge the contribution of Corporate Services Division staff, for their hard work and dedication.
We are all, everybody here, part of a great historic university. We all need to work together as a team to improve Trinity’s standing and output. We all need to recognise each other’s needs, strengths and capabilities.
Together we must go the extra mile as a university community, to deliver for each other and for Trinity.
I am very proud of my leadership team who will you meet shortly. There are some new members to the team. We work together as a team to ensure that we give you a seamless service.
[Each director proceeded to introduce themselves and outline key achievements that have benefited the Trinity community and the key projects they are working on in 2017. COO then proceeded with her speech.]
That just gives you a flavour of some of the achievements of CSD that I believe benefits the Trinity community. If I was to pick out two key achievements that I feel are helpful to you they are the service centres we have set up.
I believe everyone is aware of the IT Services service desk. Well, we now have in place a Service Centre in HR, Academic Registry and Estates & Facilities. These service centres are a single point of contact for each of these areas, where you can walk in, phone, web and email.
By using the service centres we can channel your request quickly and directly to the person who will deal with it. We have heard your frustration of the need to know the right person to get the service, well we have worked hard so instead of having to know Mary, Joe or Pat there is now a dedicated centred manned to give each one of you a speedy service. Please use it.
We have revamped our websites for all functions within CSD. That will show you who we are, what we do and how to find us. Again please use them.
We are asking you to talk to us, engage with us, work with us. Tell us what you want. Talk directly to the directors if you have an issue.
Know that we are a professional team - passionate, driven and committed to advancing Trinity.
We also ask for your patience as we embed our new systems. This is a competitive environment we are working in. Nothing stands still. We and Trinity need to be at the cutting edge in order to succeed.
Finally, let me introduce you to our new Vision – ‘We are a professional team creating the environment for Trinity to achieve its objectives’.
These are not just words - we want you to keep telling us what we are delivering on and what we should be delivering on in that context.
Talking about Trinity objectives I am delighted to see the Provost has joined us here today. So let’s extend a warm welcome to our Provost as I believe he is going to share a few words with us.
Chief Operating Officer
Full Text of Speech by Provost, Patrick Prendergast
Thank you, Geraldine.
And it’s great to be here. The Corporate Services Division, or CSD, is the backbone of the university – or, a better medical analogy perhaps, it’s the central nervous system. It integrates and coordinates the activity of the whole university.
As staff and students, we are all reliant on a high-functioning CSD. We could not operate without it, and we have got a very strong sense of that today the contribution of the team leaders.
Adrian, Tony, David, Paul, Alison, Kate and John have taken us through achievements and initiatives in: Commercial Revenue, Diversity & Inclusion, capital projects, Estates & Facilities, Student Services, Human Resources, and IT Services.
Collectively they have given us a sense of the essential supports sustaining Trinity, enabling its smooth running, and constantly seeking to enhance and improve – aiming for instance, at:
- a better gender balance
- more student mentors
- a reduction in energy consumption
- a tobacco-free campus
- better disability access
- more commercial revenue
- digital transformation
All this is drawing on best international practice.
We can be extremely proud of the many achievements of the CSD, and of the awards which recognise these achievements – such as Athena SWAN, An Taisce’s Green Flag, the Workplace Equality Index Award – as mentioned by the team leaders.
Such national and international awards are hugely important. They send out a clear message of our priorities and our willingness to take action to deliver on these priorities. For excellent students and staff looking to take the decision of where to bring their talents, such awards may well be decisive.
Of course, the work of CSD goes well beyond specific awards, and some of the most important work is not such as attracts awarding bodies.
But at every stage of the college day, from logging on, to using the pool, to admiring the trees, to picking up a child from the nursery, to liaising with colleagues – at all stages, we’re reminded of the essential work that enables this college to run so well.
And in my mid-term address last month, I made special mention of the CRU, the Commercial Revenue Unit, because the huge increase in profits is funding our academic mission. In the current funding climate, this has been life-saving – and that’s not putting it too strongly.
So, on behalf of everyone, I would like to thank and congratulate the whole team, and all involved. Your achievements are necessary, significant and inspiring.
I thank Geraldine, our Chief Operating Officer, who is showing wonderful leadership. I have been very impressed by the Statement of Strategy, which is directly aligned with Trinity’s strategic goals, and which has been clear and concrete about expected outcomes.
The approach, so evident today, of involving the whole Trinity community – staff and students – in improving all the domains of CSD is the right one. This sense of collegiality goes back to the university’s earliest and best traditions.
We are indeed all a team, and all in this together. As a beneficiary of our excellent CSD strategy, I’m grateful. As a participant and user of these services, I look forward to working towards continued enhancement and betterment.