Friday, 9 October 2009

Liaison and Audit

Another strategic liaison meeting this week - this time with the Faculty of Engineering. Lots to talk about again as we followed our standard agenda around our 6 service areas (learning and teaching, Research,Communication and Collaboration, Help and Support, Infrastructure, and Corporate Business Activity). Research was a hot topic again as we looked at how we might fund more support, and they were also interested in the supporting infrastructure for supporting teaching and learning - especially planning of AV equipment in lecture theatres and the extent of the wireless network. Wireless is a particular issue for them as the original engineering building is 120 years old and very solid! the last timecwe surveyed it we thought we'd need an access point in almost every office to cover it completely, so we have had to stick to teaching and social space only.

I also had to attend the Audit Committee meeting yesterday - always a bit of a nerve racking experience. I've been summoned to see them many times in the past as we have our own set of internal auditors and have about 4 to 5 audits a year on different aspects of our business. We don't always see eye to eye with the auditors, and I have to go and explain to Audit Committee why. Yesterday was not such a meeting however, as I was there to go over an audit on Business Continuity. No serious recommendations had been made, and the ones that had been had all been actioned. As I explained to the committee, there's nothing like the threat of an impending disaster (in this case swine flu) to focus people's minds! We're in the situation now where we have a complete set of plans from all areas of the University, and we've managed to get departments to focus on prioritising their important business (namely teaching and research). I was slightly concerned that one member of the committee expressed surprise that we only had emergency power generators covering the data centres and not the whole University. I don't think he quite understood the extent of the University's power usage. It would have to be a mighty big generator!


Andrew said...

I think that "generator" is called a "power station".

Chris Sexton said...

Too true - it would need to be about that size.