The New Zealand University System

Report
GDA Development
History, Communication, and Beginnings
Pam Thorburn, Chair,
Public Records Act Working Party
A Bit of History - PRAW
• The Public Records Act Working Party convened
by New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee
first met February 2007
• Membership of PRAW was a cross-functional
group of university management staff including
library, student services, registry, information
technology etc
• There were no Records Managers employed at
a NZ university when PRAW started
• PRAW’s initial focus was to develop a GDA for
all 8 universities
What is a university?
Obviously a place of research and learning
In New Zealand there are 8 Universities
Collectively for all 8 institutions in 2007 there
were….
staff – 24,000 (largest 5,700 – smallest 700)
students – 175,000 (largest 40,000 –
smallest 4,000)
What is a university?
• In essence to support each university
takes the infrastructure and services that
would equate to small to medium towns
• For instance in relation to infrastructure:
Infrastructure/ Services
To support the numbers of staff and students the university
generates records on….
• Student Accommodation and related services
• Lecture theatres and laboratories and related regulations
and services
• IT networks and computer suites
• Research spaces including private/public research
institutes
• Crèches and Marae Buildings and services
• Libraries and collection management
Infrastructure/ Services cont.
• Counselling and Health
• Corporate services-HR, Finance, Facilities Management,
Communications and Marketing, Student Recruitment
etc.
• Governance and Strategic planning
• Student and Academic Administration
• Student Unions and Associations
• Student Support services-Learning support, Career
Advice
• Special Collections including Art Collections and
Galleries
• On-site business supplying food, books etc.
GDA Development
• SWIM Ltd were selected to develop the
GDA in partnership with NZVCC
• Archives NZ assisted by providing advice
as and when required.
• A Project was established to achieve this
outcome and a communication strategy
was developed as a key part of the
process
Project Management
Structure
• Project Sponsor - NZVCC
• Project Steering Group – PRAW
• Project Team was made up of
representatives from PRAW and SWIM
• Project Team reported to Steering Group,
who reported to the Sponsor.
Project Challenges…
• Universities covered by the PRA for the first time
and as seen infrastructure and services are
significant
• There was a level of opposition to being covered
by the PRA
• Each of the 8 universities operates, and is
structured differently, to all the others for the
purposes of records management…
• Universities have devolved and complex
management structures, traditionally based on
collaborative and consensus decision making
Project Challenges cont.
• Records management capability within
universities was limited
• when the project to develop the GDA started:
one university had a records management team - and
this team had a vacancy for the Records Manager,
one had a consultant reviewing records management
capability
one had a part time person reviewing historical
records…
Project Challenges cont.
• Coverage of the PRA – the PRA excludes
the records associated with teaching and
learning and research and what this meant
needed clarification
• Definition of what a subsidiary was
…added complexity to the process...
• Most Universities have national and
international strategic partnerships
involving a variety of contract
arrangements
Communications and Buy-in
• PRAW members had to obtain buy-in for
the development of the GDA from ViceChancellors and senior management
• Compliance only projects do not engage
or enthuse – difficult to get hard data on
the cost-benefits of RM
• Most universities set up an internal crossfunctional working group to oversee the
project at an institutional level
Project plan for
Communications
• PRAW members were the champions and
first point of contact
• Workshops and one-on-one interviews
with senior staff were conducted by SWIM
consultants
• Important that the strategy was flexible –
but the message was the same
• Suggested wording prepared for university
intranet sites, and communications to staff
Project Team Communications
•
•
•
•
Met regularly, meetings had to be useful
Built trust
No surprises!
No secrets (e.g. discussed openly how to
manage known “challenging people”-the
saboteurs)
• Risk and issues had to be identified and
managed
• All members were wearing multiple hats! (e.g.
representing PRAW, a university and a
functional area)
Workshops and interviews
• Each university was visited for 2 days by the
consultants for workshops and interviews
• PRAW members arranged the workshops,
introduced sessions and attended most of them
– this meant they had to have a good
understanding of the whole university but it built
internal ownership.
• SWIM consultants ran the workshops,
conducted the interviews and provided the base
documentation for the GDA
Workshops and interviews cont.
• Participants were from all aspects of the
university system – administration and
academic (cross-functional)
• In addition to the workshops influential
individuals were identified at each
university and interviewed separately
about the GDA by the consultants
Consultation process
• The process for review of the GDA was very
much one of continued consultation and
feedback
• A draft of the GDA was handed out at workshops
and interviews, and participants were
encouraged to share it with colleagues
• Participants commented on the draft directly to
SWIM consultants (normally on the area they
worked in)
Consultation process cont.
• Second versions of draft was sent to all
workshop participants – who were (again)
encouraged to share it….
• External key stakeholders were notified
and invited to participate, and were
notified when the GDA was released for
public comment by Archives NZ
Approval process
• Sign off internally (by all universities)
• PRAW members approved the final
version of the GDA
• Following review by Archives NZ staff,
they met with SWIM representatives and
the project team overseeing the GDA
development project to clarify the final few
issues
• Normal Archives NZ process followed
The Positives
• The GDA was developed and approved, nearly
within budget (the increase in the budget was
due to the number of comments made on the
draft GDA by university staff!)
• A closer relationship was developed with
Archives NZ
– Archives NZ were kept informed throughout the
process, but where not included formally
• Archives NZ staff were called upon early in the process for
clarification on a number of issues (e.g. definitions around
research, teaching and learning, and what exactly is a
subsidiary)
The Positives cont.
• Increased awareness of records
management
• Beginning of a willingness to implement
records management principles
• Within 8 months of approval of the GDA
there were 7 appointments of records
managers at universities
• The GDA is being implemented!
Implementation
• Universities are at the start of the journey
and all are at various stages of
implementation
• There has been to date one record type
that was given an unworkable retention
period –and a small number of minor
changes have been identified
• PRAW continues as an NZVCC group to
support implementation.
Implementation cont.
• The current terms of reference for PRAW
is to facilitate collaborative projects,
providing cost benefits to all 8 universities
• To provide advice to Vice-Chancellors’
Committee on strategic and operational
implementation
• It remains a cross functional group and
records management expertise has now
been included
And that is Another Story
Thank you for your time
Questions?

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