We're really into planning at the moment - looking at our objectives and strategies for next year and beyond. We obviously look at the strategic aims and big projects across the University, things coming up through the academic route from the faculties, and responses to other drivers, internal and external. Financial planning is important, as we look at our resource needs for staff, recurrent and capital costs. Lots to do over the next few weeks.
Today I spent an enjoyable and interesting few hours in our iSchool as part of their Advisory Panel. The iSchool is very successful, with 23 academic staff and 64 PhD students and 250 students doing taught masters degrees.
It was very interesting listening to their research areas and research projects - Smart Cities, Digital Societies, Information Systems were all ones which interested me, but you can read about other areas here.
They have a state of the art iLab, with a Usability Lab and a Digital Media lab which I did wonder whether we could make use of for some of our web projects. We spent some of the time in small groups giving our advice and opinion as employers of information studies graduates about what we would like to see covered in the courses and what skills we look for. I was in the Information Systems and Information Management group, and one thing we identified was a better understanding of service management and service improvement, and the processes involved. We also emphasised the importance of the softer, transferable skills such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving, flexibility, creativity and team working which go hand in hand with technical skills to make the sort of graduate we would want to employ.
Finally, thanks to some good joint working between colleagues in CiCS and the Library, we have a new web site for the Information Commons. Some excellent content and well done to all involved.