Directorate for the Student Experience


Getting to know the SLP team: Dan Perry

16 May 2018

What is your role within the SLP and what is a typical day like?

My role is the business lead, so anything that involves the needs of the University, anything outside IT Services! That means there is no such thing as a typical day; in one day I may be presenting to senior colleagues in the University, then digging into the detail of how we implement a business process, then looking at how we ensure SLP will contribute to meeting the needs of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). I also lead on innovation for the Directorate for the Student Experience (DSE) so I’m also involved in making more happen beyond the scope of the project.

How long have you been involved in the Project?

I joined the University last summer specifically to contribute my skills to a large transformation project, and it’s been a (mostly) fun and (always) challenging ride ever since. I think we’ve made huge progress, both in building the teams and in getting as better shaped project than when I joined. We have such a good team across the business, IT Services and Accenture.

What made you want to join the Project?

I had been involved in large national and international projects, I helped to launch the first shared data centre for research and education, I introduced a range of new cloud services into Higher Education, but I wanted to experience what it felt like to be inside a University, what are the real barriers, what stops us from being as good as we could be? The answers can be fascinating, in one case I was able to help research in the University to understand more about the potential of cloud services purely by making the right introductions!

What were you working on before you joined the SLP?

I ran the Product Management for Jisc, where we had a portfolio of 100+ services offered to higher and further education, you may of heard of a couple of them, the Janet Network and eduroam!

What do you enjoy most about working on the SLP?

I enjoy the challenge, I enjoy helping the University to make some steps forward. I don’t like the compromises we sometimes have to make, when I think we should be braver and stronger if we’re to really be a great global university.

Out of all the benefits that the SLP will deliver, which one(s) are you most excited about?

The invisible one – the fundamental capabilities that the University will have. It’s not one thing, it’s the spring-board to so many things. This is why I am keen on supporting digital literacy in the University, why Innovation is going to be so important, it’s about really enabling the University to create great things. So it’s not about what we do in 2019, it’s about what we are able to do in 2020 and beyond!

Which celebrity inspires you and why?

I don’t know if I’m allowed Stephen Hawking as a ‘celebrity’ but if I am, then he has always been a great inspiration to me. My father died of motor neurone disease, so I understand the consequences and limitations of that disease, so to do everything he did, is just incredible. Fittingly one of his famous quotes is ‘intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’.

What’s your favourite film?

Two for me, I’ve always enjoyed ‘Usual Suspects’, and on the slightly more esoteric front, ‘Cold’ by Anson Fogel is incredible for what someone can do.

What is one of the things on your bucket list?

Watch the sun rise from the Cuillin Ridge in Skye.

Dan Perry, Director of Business Change and Engagement (SLP)

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