Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Back to a New Year

Happy New Year everyone - hope you all had a good break, and are raring to go with this brand new year!  Sorry for slight delay in blogging - have been struck dumb (literally for most of yesterday), with a cold and sore throat. Oh well, first I've had this winter so can't complain.

So, what's been happening since we came back? We've had a good  meeting on how we're going to develop our new portal - so much has changed since we came up with the specification over a year ago (we put the project on hold to concentrate on our Enquirer and Applicant portal), that it needs revisiting. Portal technologies have changed, and we now have Google apps, which change the way we deliver some services. More discussions over the next week or two, and some investigaing to do about how things like iGoogle might integrate with our single sign on, before we come up with anything concrete.

Exciting meeting today with our University Executive Board discussing our response to the Diamond Report on Modernisation and Efficiency. There's a number of projects already taking forward some of the recommendations including a review of procurement and the introduction of a managed staff printing service, but I have been keen that we introduce a structured approach to business process review and service improvement, embedding it into the University culture.  We've been investigating Lean, and today we presented our proposals to set up a small team to take this forward, and I'm pleased to say they were approved. Our focus will not be on just cost savings, but realignment of resources to better support the University's objectives, improving services to staff and students, and simplifying processes, especially those large complex ones which often  interface between professional service and academic departments. Watch this space!

Also this week we've considered the Woolf Report into LSE's relationship with Libya. It's a very comprehensive report, and contains a number of recommendations around the ethics of universities accepting donations. It raises a number of issues about due diligence which I suspect many Universities are now considering.

And finally, I got the report from the IiP assessor who recently reviewed the department - we reached the standard in all areas, and had many areas of good practice highlighted. One or two areas for development identified, but on the whole it was excellent - obviously a lot of good work going on in the department - well done everyone.

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