Directorate for the Student Experience


Getting to know the SLP Team: Carol Rowlinson

27 June 2018

What is your role on the SLP?

As well as being the Product Owner for Graduation, I have a full-time role in SLP as Head of the Foundation Workstream. This primarily involves co-ordinating work on policy and compliance to ensure that we have appropriate policies and guidance documentation in place to back up the business processes that are being designed and that the University continues to meet its compliance responsibilities, for example, GDPR.

What roles did you work in before the SLP?

I have worked at the University for 28 years. For the first 13 years I was an administrator at UMIST in the Department of Optometry. Following the merger of the Universities I joined the Faculty of Life Sciences first as an Education Administrator and then as Head of Student Experience, a position I held until April 2016 when I moved to Humanities as Head of Teaching and Learning Support Services. In May 2017 I moved to my current position within SLP.

How were the processes for graduation developed?

We developed our improved processes through workshops which involved colleagues from Schools within each of the Faculties and the central graduation team, as well as Campus Solutions and Microsoft Dynamics experts and Accenture colleagues. The first workshop identified the “graduation outcomes” i.e. the various steps in the graduation process and in the design workshop that followed, we looked at each of these steps to determine what the optimal processes should be. There were also discussions with the Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students and the Director of Student Admissions and Administration as the Business Owner as well as discussions with Food on Campus about the graduation receptions.

What will be the biggest improvement for students?

We intend to let the students know the date and time of the graduation ceremony for their degree programme much earlier on in the process which is something students have been asking for and they will register through a single ceremony and reception on-line registration process in the new My Manchester. Overall, we will provide a consistent graduation experience for all students.

What will be the biggest improvement for staff?

There will be a simplified process to identify and report on undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research potential graduands through to actual graduands.

There will be a transparent on-line process for PSS staff to register for graduation ceremony roles and for academic staff to register as presenters or as attendees. Staff in Schools and in the Central Graduation Team will be able to see which staff have signed up to help ensure that all roles are filled.

What do you have in the back log for graduation?

There are a few additional improvements we are exploring for future releases. Graduates sometimes need to ask for a copy of their degree certificate and we would like to be able to store a digital copy of the degree certificate against the relevant student record so that it does not have to be manually recreated sometimes years after the original graduation.

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