18th October 2006: Library staff, mail-room personnel, gardeners and administrators at NUI Galway received a boost in numbers today (Wednesday) when nine senior managers went 'Back-to-the-Floor' for an initiative aimed at increasing mutual understanding between staff at all levels in the rapidly expanding university.
Each of the nine senior managers, including President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, assumed the role of a front-line administrative or service worker at the University, taking on the full range of their tasks for the day and working alongside their colleagues to gain an insight into the issues facing them on a daily basis.
NUI Galway is one of the largest employers in Galway city, employing over 1,800 people. In the last five years, staff numbers have risen by almost 40%, to support the growing number of students and education programmes. NUI Galway management is intent on ensuring the lines of communication between management and staff remain open and that the University's inclusive and cohesive atmosphere is retained.
Having sorted post in the mailroom and answered student queries at the Students Union front desk, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, was very enthusiastic about the initiative, "This was a great opportunity for me to really appreciate the fantastic work carried out at ground level in this University. It allowed me to have a real feel for the issues confronting staff and students daily on the front line. It's very important to ensure the lines of communication stay open between all levels at our university and it's part of our culture to promote openness and inclusion, building a positive working environment for our staff, resulting in a better learning environment for our students."
The 'Back-to-the-Floor' initiative was originally the brainchild of a staff member at NUI Galway, submitted through the University's staff suggestion scheme, and employees were asked to vote on positions for senior management, contributing €2 per ballot to charitable causes.
Note to Editors:
Roles undertaken by NUI Galway senior managers on Back to the Floor Day: 1. Dr. Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh, President: University Mail Centre and Students Union 2. Prof. Jim Browne, Deputy President and Registrar: Admissions Office Reception Desk 3. Ms Mary Dooley, Bursar: Accounts Payable Office 4. Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna, Rúnaí: Exams Office Reception desk 5. Mary O'Riordan, Vice-President for Student Services & Human Resources: Students Services Information Desk 6. Marie Reddan, James Hardiman Librarian: Library stewarding 7. Mr. John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources: Gardening and Grounds 8. Dr. Kieran Loftus, Director of Computer Services: User Support 9. Chris McNairney: Director of Human Resources: HR Reception Desk