Meeting of Senior Admin Heads this morning, and a presentation on the work of our Development and Alumni office. It's a much misunderstood office I think, with the connotations of the "begging bowl" - a phrase our development officer quite rightly hates!
Some of the older parts of the University were funded by local philanthropists, and indeed the University was founded after a campaign to the working people of Sheffield to donate a penny each so that their children and their children's children would have a University in their city. These days the office exists to make friends, reconnect with alumni and to raise donations. Donations are particularly important in providing scholarships to students who are suffering hardship - and these days many of them do.
It was a very thought provoking talk, and I hope dispelled many of the myths about fundraising - I'm proud to say I'm an alumnus of the University, and am even a member of the silver arrows club.
Of course the other topic of conversation acros the University today is the results of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) - received by the senior management team this morning, but embargoed until tomorrow. By the time you read this, they will have been released- fingers crossed for good news!