March 16, 2018, by Kevin Shakesheff

What exactly does a Faculty PVC do?

Week in Review (5th to 11th March)

The highlight of the week was the wonderful Science in the Park 2018 at Wollaton Hall this Saturday. Harriet Allen (Psychology) invited me to co-judge the Science Fair. I know people always say nice things about science exhibitions by children but honestly the quality was stunning. Children from primary through to GCSE stages told us about density measurement, bacterial colonisation, optics and many other subjects. Huge thanks to Harriet and her team who put on a great event. Really good support from University teams (too many to mention). Thanks to all who put on demos and talks.

During the week the promotion round for 2017/18 ended and all candidates have been informed of the results. It’s a very nice part of the FPVC job because to get to know the candidates, and their achievements, well. There’s a lot of excellent stuff going on and it’s a pleasure to hear about it through the promotion process. We need to do more to de-mystify the process – I’ve been impressed with the way the process supports staff who follow many different career paths.

I’ve nearly finished the winter rounds of staff engagement meetings with all 7 Schools. This week’s meeting with Biosciences was lively and constructive. Staff were vocal about how we’ve handled the recent changes to procurement card use and how we consult over decisions. Lots to follow up on. Next meeting is with Psychology and then I’ll prepare a summary for the Faculty and UEB.

Finally, a common theme for these blogs will be my passion for the role of out University in helping the City of Nottingham and County of Nottinghamshire. The City has many problems and the University community does a lot to help across many areas. I think we could and should do more and I’m actively involved through One Nottingham (see Friday below) and other local groups to catalyse more collaboration (and make sure we celebrate the successes of staff and students in City/County life).

Here’s a rundown of my week. But first, as a tech-obsessive I’m going to have a tech tip of the week to tell people about the apps and tools I’ve found to try to help with the admin overload we all face.

Tech Tip of the Week: Boomerang

Thanks to Head of Biosciences, Simon Langley-Evans, for telling me about Boomerang a few weeks ago. It’s an add-in for Outlook and makes it easy to delay delivery of emails (so you can write out of hours but they don’t get delivered until core work time), pause your inbox so you don’t receive emails for a while or make emails disappear and reappear when you can face dealing with them. Boomerang is an add-in for Outlook and an app on phones.

Monday 5th March

UEB meeting. Discussed student number targets.
Faculty Operations Committee. Met will all School Directors of Ops for monthly catch up. Prep work for 18/19 budget discussion. Impact of strike so far.
Meeting with Heads of School about effect of strike.

Tuesday 6th March

Senate. Good discussions with contributions from staff on strike about the strike. Discussion on changes to timetabling with excellent engagement from all Senate members.
Research meeting (teleconference) on bone repair material from my lab.
Research information system project health check. Useful process from IS to monitor how RIS is going.
PhD student meeting for career and publication advice.
Psychology Head of School phone call with potential candidate
RIS update meeting with programme manager.

Wednesday 7th March

Promotion to Chair meeting. Final decisions after external reviews received. Heads informed straight after the meeting. One of the best meetings of the year because it details the work of excellent staff.

Sutton Bonington meetings

  • Met with staff who had been promoted to Level 5 to congratulate them and discuss future plans.
  • Staff engagement meeting. Constructive meeting with lots of comments from staff. Concerns on UEB comms, procurement cards, PT, research margin, PDPR. Lots of useful comments that I will summarise for UEB.
  • Meeting to discuss animal biotechnology
  • PDPR meetings

Thursday 8th March

Promotion to Level 6. See above.
Future Foods Beacon steering group. Impressed with progress and involvement of Schools.
Faculty budget meeting
Women at Nottingham – Pressing for Progress Dinner. Incredible changes to the Council Dining Room. Modern portraits of inspiring women from our University community.

Friday 9th March

One Nottingham Board. I represent the University on this Board. It is a collaboration between the City Council, Nottingham Trent Uni, Boots, Faith Groups, Police, Voluntary Sector, small business representative and other businesses. Looks for opportunities to work together to improve Nottingham. Great presentation on Festival of Science and Curiosity, homelessness and celebrating suffragettes centenary.

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