Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Our Shared Vision

First Senate meeting of the new session today. As always, the main item of business is the VCs report where he gave a good overview of what's happened in his first year at Sheffield:
  • The new University structure is operational
  • Faculties are the primary focus for decision making
  • A University Executive Board is operational with Faculties represented
  • There's openess and transparency about what is being discussed

He also talked about the global situation and how that could affect us:
  • The Global financial crisis will have knock on effect
  • What's the financial sustainability of HE sector nationally
  • Will there/won't there be a change in government, and if so what effect will it have
  • Demographic changes will begin to kick in in the next 5 to 10 yrs
  • There's an atmosphere of greater competition which will lead to increased selectivity in funding
There was some good discussion about our aspirations as a University, and how we can achieve them particularly in the difficult financial climate. Some very positive vibes about working together and having open debates on the way forward.

The rest of the agenda fairly uncontentious. A couple of questions about how successful the new on-line registration system had been. We were able to confirm that overall it had been a success, but there had been some departments where there had been problems - presumably the question came from one of those departments. I think we did a good job - the implementation of a new system is rarely without problems, and this had very few overall.

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