March 18, 2018, by Kevin Shakesheff

Week ending March 19: Race equality, inaugural and lots of meetings

The week ended on a good note with the Inaugural lecture of Professor Stephanie Allen in Pharmacy. Steph and I overlapped in the lab during our PhDs so it was nice to introduce her. Hope there will be more inaugurals across the Faculty because they are a good opportunity to celebrate successes and reflect on different career pathways and highs/lows.

I’m going to be the co-chair of the Uni group responsible for submitting our Race Equality Charter Bronze application. We’ve got a couple of years to prepare but there is a lot of work to do. The REC award is a similar process to Athena SWAN institutional applications but includes progress with students as well as staff. The persistent attainment gap for some ethnic minorities is one area we need to focus attention and action on.

The rest of the week was dominated by 2 of the busier regular meetings in my diary. On Tuesday we had the Faculty Executive Board with all Schools represented by HoS and Directors of Ops. Also in attendance are marketing, finance and HR. Ellen Townsend of Psychology was our observer (if anyone would like to come along to future meetings please let me know). Discussions focused on next year’s budget which is going to be difficult to balance for the Faculty and hoghlights from each of the Schools. Student recruitment patterns are different to previous years and I am quite concerned about how we are looking at this stage in the year. We also discussed impact so far of the UCU strike.

The second meeting was the monthly Academic Strategy and Resources Board (ASRB) with all the Faculty PVCs, Sarah O’Hara, Margaret Monckton, Kerry Law and various visitors. We discussed tidying up of the promotion process (for example streamlining processes and paperwork), future student recruitment strategies and progress with the research strategy.


Tech Tip: Concur App

I’m in a very small minority of staff who like Concur! I remember the old paper forms and prefer the mobile app. Due to HMRC rules we have to provide a lot more information on expense claims than in the past. The Concur app lets you quickly add expenses as you go along and approving claims is also easier than via the website:

Here’s a list of meetings from this week:

Monday 12th March

CBS-E meeting with Ian Hall (Director) and John Atherton to discuss model for finance and working.

Individual PDPR meetings

Beacon Strategy meeting for Precision Imaging


Tuesday 13th March

Skype call to China to discuss plans for new partnership courses with Tianjin University for Traditional Chinese Medicines (TUTCM).

Faculty Exec Board.

Individual PDPR meetings

Lunch with University Council

Green Chemicals Beacon meeting


Wednesday 14th March

Academic Strategy and Resources Board. Discussed student recruitment, promotions and research strategy.

Campus Solutions discussion with Andrea Blackbourn and Lorraine Kirkham to find out about module checking process.

Race Charter Meeting with Justine Wallis-Leggett (HR lead)

Monthly marketing catch-up with Georgina Barclay

Meeting with Kam Loon to discuss plans for MSc in Drug Discovery at UNNC.

Regular RIS catch up meeting


Thursday 15th March

Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (Chaired meeting)

Individual PDPR meetings

Monthly finance meeting with Seema Srinivasan

Unilever update with Amreesh Mishra


Friday 16th March

Monthly HR catch with Emma Heyhoe

Shortlisting for new Head of Psychology

Prof Stephanie Allen Inaugural Lecture “From Single Molecules to Future Medicines”



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