Quick round up of the week - lots of meetings, mainly with heads of departments as I'm trying to get round all of them before the end of the summer. Interesting going into departments, some of which I haven't been to for a long time, or even at all, and I've only got lost once so far. Lots of things to discuss with all of them. Some issues in common with many of them, some more specific to their specialism.
One of the things I've been amazed at, but not sure why I am, is how differently departments do things. We have systems for example for Student Attendance Monitoring (SAM) and Assessments (DAS), but they are used in completely different ways by departments, if they are used at all. Many told me that had invented their own system for doing things, others still relied on old fashioned bits of paper. Something that our new Student System will hopefully address.
One topic that is always interesting is talking to them about research IT support. We have provided support in this area for a long time, but not as much as we should have been doing, and we will be increasing the size of our research IT team considerably over the next two years. This has gone down extremely well with departments who are looking forward to the closer working relationship we will be able to establish with them. In fact, everyone has said how much closer they'd like to work with us which is really positive.
Some departments have given me a tour and talked a lot about the research they do. And in some I've been able to see student work. This is definitely a prompt for us all to get out more into departments and see the great stuff they're doing, and connect with them in a much more local way.
This is in Landscape Architecture, on the 14th floor of the Arts Tower, a fantastic view, and a display of student work, including some interesting concepts of what you can do with concrete!