Friday, 24 February 2012

Leaner and meaner?

This morning's RUGIT session opened with an update from the new chief Executive of JISC Martyn Harrow, and the Chief Executive of JANET Tim Marshall. The Wilson Review concluded that JISC should become leaner and more focused, and that there should be changes to the funding model, moving to a more subscription based approach. A Transition Board has produced a report apparently containing 35 recommendations which should be published next week. These will cover governance, funding, focus and legal issues. One of the major services which JISC funds is our network, JANET, which we all feel passionately about, and there was a lot of discussion about how this might be funded in the future, and it's relationship with whatever legal entity JISC becomes. I think it's fair to say there was a full and frank discussion on the future, with a number of different views expressed. I look forward to seeing the report which hopefully will produce a leaner, meaner JISC with a much clearer focus.

The final session of the morning looked at governance and organisational structure. Representatives from four different universities gave us an overview of how they were organised and governed, and we had a discussion on the relative merits, issues etc of each. It's always fascinated me how many different structures there are across the university system.

All in all a good couple of days, lots of ideas shared, opinions exchanged and contacts made.

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