So, the end of my first week back after the holiday. It's been a long week :-) Most of it spent catching up, and looking forward to the new academic year. Perhaps the most important job I've been doing is looking at our budget for next year and how that compares with our financial forecasts. Its fair to say it's not an exact match, and we are looking at how we might manage it in terms of current vacancies. We're identifying areas where we believe the staffing resources needs to be protected, where it could reduce (albeit with a drop in service levels), and where we need to invest. There may be tough decisions to be taken....
Also this week I've caught up with some of the new student sabbatical officers. Always a pleasure to meet them at the beginning of the new academic year, and I'm afraid it only seems like a few weeks since I was was welcoming the previous holders. I don't envy them having such a short period to learn how the University works, and make their own impact on it. It's vitally important that we work together to achieve as much as we can in their period of office. This week we've talked about the design and operation of The Diamond, how we might encourage students to vote and how we might better analyse our student data to look at the attainment of different diversity groups.
It was really good this week to meet colleagues from another university and exchange information about our strategies, service management implementation etc. It's always time well spent finding out what anther institution is dong, even if they came here to find out what we're doing.
And finally, I did some scheduling for an event I'm helping with - The Sheffield Fayre. To celebrate 20 years of The National Fairground Archive, the University is sponsoring this event. Given my connections, I'd been asked to get some local traditional dance teams to appear. Yesterday I had to work out the timings for 6 teams, across two stages, making sure everyone had enough time to move between spots, and didn't dance with the same team. A post-it note nightmare :-) Looks like a good event - and it's free. So, if you're not doing anything get to Norfolk Park on Sunday 24th or Monday 25th August.