Thursday, 31 October 2013

Back to work

Back at work this week after an amazing holiday in Jamaica - not normally away at this time of year, but last year we got hit by Hurricane Sandy, and they offered us a free holiday to make up for it. It would have been rude to say no.

Interesting to watch  business continuity plans swing into operation on our way out - we were at Gatwick when they suffered a power cut which brought their computer systems down. People with loud hailers appeared telling people what gate to go to, all tickets were checked manually, and although we were lucky and got on the plane, just after the cut, our bags weren't so lucky. Each one taken out of the container by the side of the plane and manually checked against a list. three and a half hours later, we took off. Interesting to see how a complex organisation can cope without its systems, but so much slower.

Some good news to get back to as for the third year running Sheffield's topped the list in the student barometer for student satisfaction for IT Support - I'll post more detail when I have it, but well done everyone.

Spent most of this week catching up, and also gave a telephone interview to a journalist about the changing role of the CIO as technology changes. I always out the phone down after these and think "what did I say?" Well, I hope it makes an interesting read when it comes out. It's always fun seeing how journalists interpret what you say.
 Here's the result of the last one I did. Bears some resemblance to what I remember saying :-)

Other things this week include a catch up with our finance manager about our budget, and some discussions about the data issues around a research proposal.

It was also Senate - our academic governing body -  where we had some really interesting debate around changes to our curriculum structure. Also about the environment we're in at the moment - there's constant change, there's no HE Bill so we're being ruled by a series of ministerial statements, and the "GoveEffect"is affecting everything about our admissions.  And our Vice Chancellor quoted Russell Brand when talking about immigration!

So, as it's Halloween, here's a scary fact to finish on from our comms team - our students print 5.6m pages a year.

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