In a week's time I'll be in front of the University Equality and Diversity Board, explaining how we as a department ensure that the University's Equality and Diversity policies are being proactively implemented. As a service department there are two aspects to this - one is in terms of looking after the staff in the department and ensuring that we have a culture where equality and diversity is celebrated. The other is looking at the services we provide and making sure that they are accessible and suitable for all. Spent most of the end of last week finalising the report that will go to the Board - we have a good story to tell in most areas, especially in the provision of services. We have put a lot of effort into accessibility issues for the web site, the Information Commons is totally accessible and open 24*7, and we provide Diversity and Cultural Awareness training for staff. But is difficult to know whether we could do more internally - I believe that we do have a department where everyone is treated equally and diversty flourishes, but responses to a recent staff survey implies that not all staff feel as positive. This is one of the areas we are working with the different staff groups in the department to find out how this can be improved. I will know more after the Board has scrutinised me and our report!
Off to the RUGIT two day meeting in Edinburgh tomorrow where we'll be looking at the Financial outlook for Univeristies, and sharing experiences about some of our recent issues, including outsourcing student eMail to Google.