As a great start to the new year, we recently held our first Professional Services Development Day, open to all colleagues across the University. The interest and take-up was amazing and around 250 staff attended from all areas, at all levels and stages of their career. The day consisted of three workshop sessions, delivered by a mix of colleagues from within the University (both academic and professional services) and from outside. Sessions were held on a variety of topics, ranging from support for your wellbeing and ways to handle stress, through delivering improved customer service and Salford’s position in the HE landscape, to being more environmentally friendly.
There has been much work done across the sector to look at the key factors that support our students’ experience at University, and what helps them to engage with the University, progress with their studies and achieve success, however they choose to express this. One of the most important areas is the development of a sense of community, a feeling of belonging, and we have been working hard to improve this across the University. Read more…..
I’m delighted with the news that the University has been shortlisted in four categories for the Times Higher Education Awards, arguably the most prestigious awards within UK higher education.
It’s fantastic to see our Business School shortlisted for Business School of the Year for the second year running, and testament to the great team of academics and professional services colleagues we have in the School. Their achievements in many areas, but most notably for me their success in enhancing the student experience and student satisfaction, putting students first, is one we need to learn from across the University.
For some time now I’ve been musing on whether I should write a blog. I had a bit of a trial run earlier this year when I wrote a couple of posts on my week of going paperless (of which more later), and I occasionally read other people’s blogs …. We have some fantastic examples of how to do it in Martin Hall’s blog (link) and that of Amanda Broderick. There are even examples of other Registrars blogging, most notably the Registrarism (http://registrarism.wordpress.com) blog which has been going for some time.
Well I survived (more or less!) my week of going paperless, although I have a small confession to make – it wasn’t entirely paperless, as was clearly pointed out to me when I arrived at a workshop session with colleagues the other morning – I was quite pleased to be soundly told off as it showed people were taking notice! In my defence, the notes I had written to myself had been done the previous week so I wasn’t really cheating. Reflecting on a week spent like this, here are some things that I have found really difficult…
Next installment ….
So, my week of working paperless as far as possible is underway.
First meeting this morning was our regular catch-up with the VC with various pieces of information collated as attachments to an email agenda. So far, so good …. Although I’d looked at the papers last night and had realised that where emails are attached to an email you don’t get them downloaded from the server on an iPad! So needed to do a bit of rooting around to find the original emails so I could read them … Not ideal but cope-able with – as long as you have the original email of course – and a bit of a pain to make sure you have the right information. Another consequence is that I found myself switching between emails, Blackboard-hosted information and word/excel documents …. Quite difficult to do on a small screen.
I’m constantly looking at the piles of paper that I lug around to meetings and wondering whether I should try to go paperless, as I feel guilty about all those chopped down trees. Then I think about how I will get access to everything electronically and it seems too much like hard work so I think about doing something about it in a few weeks … You know how it goes.