Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Meetings, meetings....

Today I was in back to back meetings for almost 7 hours - tiring, but all of the meetings were good, so it could have been worse! First off was Service Strategy Board - we look at a monthly report from every Service Manager, including reports from our Service Advisory Groups which have just started meeting. So far we've had meetings of the Teaching and Learning Group, and Research and Innovation. We also look at progress of all of our projects, and discuss proposals for new ones. Main items of discussion today included how we take forward our mobile strategy, and particularly how we continue to develop our mobile app, CampusM. It's important that we do to stay ahead of the game, and we're looking at adding functionality to it.  We also talked about desktop video conferencing and the different packages people are using, and whether we should standardise on one centrally supported one.  New projects approved included implementing a text messaging service for students and staff for incidents, and implementing HEAR  -  the Higher Education Achievement Report.   I'm pleased that we're part of a consortium led by Liverpool John Moores University to have been awarded funding under the HEFCE/JISC Cloud and Services for Education programme to develop the secure document service for the HEAR project.  We also looking at how we were approaching Business Process Review, and I'm hoping that we will soon be implementing LEAN, and the tow pilot processes we will be looking at are Programme Regulations Maintenance and Computer Account Registration.

Next up was the Section heads meeting - the Exec join them for every other meeting - and on the agenda today was a discussion on Investors in People. We already have the standard, and we're being reassessed later this year, so need to make sure that all of the good practice is still embedded.  We also talked about the scenario planning the Exec did on our last awayday. In a nutshell, we looked at trends and drivers that will shape the Higher Education Sector, the university and the department over the next 5 to 7 years. Then we imagined what the future might look like if you push these to extremes and produced a number of different "worlds". The most important bit is then looking at how we might have to change to deal with these scenarios. Its a strategic planning tool to produce flexible, long term plans. JISC have produced a good toolkit for it here.  It's something we'll be taking forward over the summer with the senior managers in the department.

This was quickly followed by a Business Continuity Meeting where we were looking at plans and policies for incidents which involved possible occupation of University buildings. Final meeting was Senate, where a new Learning and Teaching Strategy was approved. Lots of innovative ideas, and plans for some changes in the way the University teaches.

There was also a very good presentation at Senate of some of the highlights of the year, which I'll try and summarise tomorrow.

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