At a UCISA Executive Meeting today in London. It was one of those meetings where the agenda looked a bit light, and we all thought we might get off early for a bit of seasonal retail therapy (we were meeting only 5 minutes walk from Covent Garden), but it was not to be. and I only managed to dash through the market on my way to the Tube to catch the 5pm train. It is beautifully decorated though – with lots of lights and icicles.
A few items discussed:
IPTV – There’s a growing number of companies getting involved in IPTV, some encouraging students to broadcast. Do we need policies and guidelines? Should we revisit our regulations and acceptable use policies, especially with broadcasts unlikely to be limited to on-campus? Transmission policies might also need to be looked at, especially in terms of bandwidth use - should institutions be using packet-shaping? JANETUK will be putting on an event in the New Year where these matters will be discussed. As our students are about to launch such broadcasts, it’s something we will need to monitor.
Shared Services crops up on almost all of our agendas, and today the discussion centred around the number of agencies involved – HEFCE, JISC, UCISA, the Cabinet Office, Software vendors – and how much, (or how little..) joined up thinking was going on. Many HEIs are also involved in projects – I’ve posted about the research data one – but there are others looking at shared data centres, back-end transaction processing and email spam scanning. It was agreed that UCISA would try and pull together some coherent look at existing projects and to facilitate the sharing of information and good practice.
UCISA will be going live with a new web site in the New Year, and the Communications Group which I belong to met after the in meeting to discuss how this might be developed, for example what Web 2.0 technologies we might want to see added to it.
Today was the first time I'd arrived at St Pancras International after its opening a couple of weeks ago - it looks fantastic, and thank goodness you can now walk through the wonderful old station without having to risk your life walking around the outside of it on busy roads. Too many shops though - it's going to be difficult getting to meetings on time. I haven't got a picture of St Pancras - so this is a picture of Sheaf Square in front of our own station which has made such a difference to the appearance of Sheffield as you arrive.