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LU Text

LU Text is published by the Press Office on Fridays during term time and aims to keep you regularly informed of the University's news and developments. Editor, Vicky Tyrrell

| 20 March 2009 | Issue 427

Contents: news; people; notices; people in the news; what's on; ads


Redundancy Committee

University Council has been considering the issues around establishing a Redundancy Committee and at today’s meeting the decision was made to go forward with this.

It is recognised that staff may be concerned about this development. The establishment of a committee is to make the University’s procedures work properly in the context of modern employment legislation and our own Statute. Furthermore, there are no plans in place for increased redundancies as the result of these proposals.

The Human Resources Committee will now finalise terms of reference for the Redundancy Committee after Senate has had the opportunity to comment. Staff should be reassured that the University remains committed to protecting as far as possible employment security.

Honorary Fellows

On March 26 at the Lancaster Leadership Centre, Lancaster University will award Honorary Fellowships to four people who have given distinguished service to the University and the broader community. This year’s Honorary Fellows are world-leading linguistics expert Professor Geoffrey Leech, former Academic Registrar Marion McClintock, distinguished oncologist Professor Malcolm McIllmurray and ultra-low temperature physicist Professor George Pickett.

Professor Geoffrey Leech, FBA, is one of the most distinguished and well-known students of linguistics in the world. He has made pioneering contributions across many aspects of this field of study, including his important work in using English language corpora to place research on a sounder empirical basis, working with colleagues in the computer sciences to create new techniques of analysis. His texts are respected and widely used across the world. He has led the development of Lancaster’s outstanding linguistics department since its creation in 1974, becoming a Research Professor in 1996 and Emeritus Professor in 2002. He has received many academic honours and prizes including a Fellowship of the British Academy.

Marion McClintock, MBE, has played a central role in the affairs of the University over nearly forty years. She retired in 2006 as Academic Registrar. She has become a unique source of advice and guidance based on this long experience and her absolute dedication to the University’s service at the heart of its governance. Her clear view of Lancaster’s special character, especially as shaped by its founders, has nourished her authoritative contribution to all discussions about its activities and future, especially as they involve the college system. Alongside this central role, she has made special contributions to the Centre for North West Regional Studies and the Ruskin Library. She wrote the first history of the University and continues in retirement to build its archive as a resource for students of higher education.

Professor Malcolm McIllmurray, FRCP, is a distinguished oncologist and clinician. Over the last twenty-five years he has pioneered a holistic approach to the care of cancer patients in North Lancashire. This method, which combines the best that medical science has to offer, with an understanding of the importance of warm and sensitive care for the whole person, has led the way in transforming national approaches to medical care of this kind. As a result, local people have had available a very special service based on treatment units at Lancaster and Kendal, in St John’s Hospice and through the support of the CancerCare support organisation. His work has set high standards for all and the University has taken pride in having such an innovative clinician as a member of its faculty.

Professor George Pickett, FRS, is among the most distinguished ultra-low temperature physicists in the world, a professional achievement recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Over several decades he has provided leadership to the powerful research group focused on this branch of Physics at Lancaster - whose work has been so splendidly recognised in recent Research Assessment exercises. Alongside this outstanding research work, Professor Pickett has led important international collaborations in science, especially in Northern Europe and Russia. He has been noted for his real engagement with the development of younger scientists and the public and government understanding of science.

Previous Honorary Fellows are: Sir Christopher Audland KCMG DL; Professor Eric Evans; Ian Hare;Baroness Ruth Henig CBE DL; Claire Hensman; Professor Terry Mansfield FRS; Professor Denis McCaldin; Lady Mary Mumford DCVO; Malcolm Weisman OBE; Professor John Whittaker.

Update on pay negotiations

Everyone will be pleased to know that the discussions about the new machinery for negotiating the national pay awards seem to have made good progress. UCU had raised some concerns about the arrangements, and had refused to participate in them. ACAS has facilitated some meetings between UCEA and UCU, and between UCU and the other trade unions involved. It is understood that UCU has now suspended its plans to ballot its members for industrial action. The first pay negotiation meeting is scheduled for 30 March, and the process should conclude by the end of May, in good time for an award due on 1 August 2009. Further details may be found at: http://www.ucea.ac.uk/en/2009_Pay_Negotiations/

BBC Newsround at InfoLab21

A camera crew from the flagship BBC children’s programme Newsround have visited InfoLab21 to film the latest developments in mobile phone technology. The programme, which has half a million viewers, is due to be broadcast on Monday, March 23, on BBC One at 5.05pm. Presenter Adam Fleming and a cameraman interviewed PhD student Andrew Greaves and children from Carnforth High School, who were invited to InfoLab21 to test out a new projector phone. With Dr Enrico Rukzio from the Department of Computing, Andrew Greaves has been researching mobile phones with an integrated projector, which are expected to come onto the market in the next few years. To view the full story

New research on Europe’s single market

The completion of the European Union’s ‘single market’ – which removed all restrictions on trade in goods between member countries – has meant that the UK government has not been able to raise alcohol and tobacco duty as much as it might like – according to research by Dr Giuseppe Migali (LUMS) and Professor Ben Lockwood ( Warwick). The research, published in the latest issue of the Economic Journal, shows that although the single market benefited smokers and drinkers who were able to go to France and take advantage of lower taxes, even those who did not travel benefited. To view the full story

Birth brain defect could be treated with vitamin supplement

Pioneering research suggests that a vitamin supplement taken during pregnancy could prevent hydrocephalus - one of the common forms of birth brain defect. Scientists at The University of Manchester and Lancaster University say laboratory tests have shown that administering a combination of vitamins (tetrahydrofolate and folinic acid), dramatically reduces the risk of hydrocephalus. Dr Jaleel Miyan led the research and worked with Dr Jane Owen-Lynch, head of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Lancaster's school of Health and Medicine. The findings of the study, funded by Association for Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus (ASBAH) and published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, led the team to examine ways of stimulating cell division to encourage normal brain development. To view the full story

Big Band winners

Congratulations to The Lancaster University Big Band who fought off stiff competition to win an adjudicator's award for best ensemble performance in the Great Northern Big Band Festival this month. The winning performance was 'Stormy Monday' featuring vocalist Beth Evans. The competition, held at Sunderland University on Sunday 8th March, is open to university, music college and professional big bands and is one of the biggest in the UK. Membership of the band is diverse, with members coming from a variety of departments across the University. Other bands in the competition were entirely made up of music performance undergraduates and postgraduates. Judges also commented on the quality of Josh Hustwick's drumming, the accuracy of sectional passages, the quality of the solos, and the exciting performance the band gave as a whole. The adjudicators for the day were top Jazz musicians Paul Jones and Mick Donelly.

You can next see the Big Band at County College's 40th Anniversary celebrations on Saturday 20th June and at the Music Society's Proms concert held in the Great Hall on Sunday 21st June. Members of The Lancaster University Big Band are:

    Saxes: Penny Cowell, Hannah Ogden, Sian Williams, Laura Dady, Anna Pickton, Chad Barrigan, Kate Telford, Hannah Russell.
    Trumpets: John Berry, Jenni Hughes, Lyndsey Walker, James Fialho, Lauren Evans.
    Trombones: Ole Hunt, Rick Hall, Hannah Dale, Max Stannard.
    Rhythm: Josh Hustwick, Mike Ciaputa, Thomas Wojtulewicz, Alex Philips, Tom Killoran.
    Vocalists: Beth Evans, Lucy Rowan, Andrew Barratclough.
    Conductors: Phil Allcock, Mike Turner.

Follow links for photographs of the band - image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

Success for University Post Office

Congratulations to the University Post Office which has won a regional award in recognition for outstanding sales results and growth in financial, telephony and mails business. Manager Linda Nutt, counter assistant Ian Sealey and mail room organiser Pauline Shepherd were visited by a high ranking Post Office sales director who surprised them with the award of ‘The Golden Ticket’. This award covers the South Lakes area and they hope to go forward for a place in the ‘Best of the Best ‘ award. Linda, Ian and Pauline would like to say thanks to all their staff and student customers who have helped them achieve this recognition.

Eco-residences win first prize

County and Grizedale Eco-residences have been awarded first place in the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) North West region annual awards, in the category for Environmental Design. The judges were impressed by the balanced approach to design, noting that environmental credits had been achieved in all BREEAM categories to a level commensurate with an excellent rating. The design is also commended for its legacy in providing current and future users with features which will enable them to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle with the benefits of health, wellbeing and social responsibility that this brings them. This project has achieved Residential BREEAM Excellent.

Lancashire Higher Education Convention

On Thursday 26th and Friday 27th March Lancaster University will be hosting the Lancashire Higher Education Convention. Around 3,500 sixth form students from around Lancashire are expected to visit the University on each day to find out more about higher education at around 150 universities around the UK. Around 70 coaches per day are expected. The event will centre on the Great Hall and Nuffield Theatre.

    Note on Car Parking – Please be aware that from this weekend the Staff Preference temporary car park, located off the Great Hall access road, will be closed for one week. This car park will act as the coach drop-off and pick-up point for the event. In addition, the Visitor & Priority Car Park located off North Drive will also be closed for the same period as will approximately 30 car parking spaces in the Staff Standard Zone on the northern side of North Drive. This is to provide sufficient space for the manoeuvring and passage of coaches. We apologise for any disruption this may cause. Staff are asked to refrain from parking at the southern end of Alexandra Park from this weekend for one week as part of this area will be designated as a coach holding area and coach parking area. The coach parking area will be large enough to accommodate up to 40 coaches at one time. Many thanks for your cooperation as the University hosts this large event.

Tuition fees

Universities UK and the BBC released reports on tuition fees this week. Follow the debate on:


Professor Paul Farley (English & Creative Writing) has received the Royal Society of Literature’s Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction. This prestigious annual prize is awarded to authors currently engaged with their first major commissioned work of non-fiction: the book Paul is co-writing (with Michael Symmons Roberts), Edgelands, is to be published by Jonathan Cape next year. Both authors received their award at a ceremony in London earlier this week. To view the full story

Professor Richard Bardgett of the Lancaster Environment Centre has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Rothamsted Research. Rothamsted Research is the largest agricultural research centre in the United Kingdom and over its 160 year history has built an international reputation as a centre of excellence for science in support of sustainable land management and its environmental impact.

Professor David Clark will leave the International Observatory on End of Life Care (School of Health and Medicine) to move to a new position as Director of the Glasgow University Dumfries Campus, Scotland with effect from 1st October 2009. David will have wide ranging academic and management responsibilities in his new role but plans to maintain some work in the field of end of life care. Professor Sheila Payne will take up the Director of the Observatory role from 1st August.

Professor Sheila Payne, and Dr Michael Wright from the International Observatory on End of Life Care attended a reception at St James’s Palace, London on Monday 16th March and were presented to the Queen. The reception was held to mark the 25th Anniversary of Help the Hospices, a national charity supporting the work of hospices. The Queen was very interested in the close association between the Observatory and Help the Hospices and one example, the Master’s in Hospice Leadership was discussed.

Drew Hemment (LICA) has been invited as the only international speaker at Sendai Creative Forum, a conference in Sendai, Japan by the Japan Foundation and the City of Sendai. Drew will present Futuresonic, the urban festival of arts, music and ideas held in Manchester, and its impact on the city. The symposium is on the creative and cultural economy and will address the potential to initiate a new international media art and music festival for Sendai in order to support development in the city. The Japan Foundation stages conferences as a forum for international exchange between people who are in charge of international cultural exchange in local government bodies or of planning for public cultural activities.


Matched funding scheme

Lancaster University is participating in the UUK Matched Funding Scheme. Through this scheme the University hopes to secure £2.75m in additional funding over the next three years to fund the new PhD studentships which were recently announced by UMAG. The Government’s matched funding scheme started on 1 Aug 08 and runs until 31 Jul 2011 and is administered by HEFCE. Lancaster has opted to participate in the scheme at the 3:1 tier – i.e. every £3 raised in philanthropic income will be matched by £1 from the Government. To achieve the maximum capped benefit from this scheme during its 3 year duration we need to generate £8.25m in philanthropic donations. The success of the scheme relies on the efforts of all staff to ensure that any philanthropic income they secure is identified and recorded as such within the University so that the matched element can be claimed from HEFCE. To record any philanthropic income (or for further information, advice or guidance) please contact: Nick Fragel, Alumni & Development Office, C Floor – University House, Email: n.fragel@lancaster.ac.uk, Ext: 94522

More information about the matched funding scheme can be found here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/finance/fundinghe/vol/.

Institutional Higher Education Innovation Fund

Applications are invited for allocations of institutional Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) monies for the delivery of new departmental and/or collaborative knowledge exchange initiatives to run between 1st August 2009 and 31st July 2011. Allocations of between £50-100K per annum are available for new outreach activities that align departmental and faculty strategic aims and priorities with Lancaster’s HEIF Institutional Plan. HEIF is a joint initiative from HEFCE and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills designed to support and develop a broad range of knowledge transfer activities which result in economic and social benefit to the UK. The fund builds capacity and provides incentives for higher education institutions to work with business, public sector bodies and third sector partners, with a view to transferring knowledge and improving products, goods and services. Contact Dion Williams, Research & Enterprise Services Division, for further information – 94204, d.williams2@lancaster.ac.uk

Harassment network

The Harassment Network provides confidential support for any student or staff member who feels they are being harassed or bullied. Contact the network by e-mail at HarassNet@lancaster.ac.uk or see http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/hr/equality-diversity/bullying.html for a list of network members who can be contacted by phone.

Estates notices

  • County South Refurbishment

  • A refurbishment project to upgrade and reconfigure the internal layout of County South is due to start on site over the Easter 2009 vacation. As part of the refurbishment project County Avenue will be closed to staff and students from Easter 2009 until further notice. Pedestrian access along County Avenue is unaffected. Visit the Estate Management Projects website for more information and visuals of the refurbishment. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/estates/projects/current_projects.htm#county
  • Lifts

  • Bowland North passenger lift will be out of use between 8am and 5pm Tuesday 24th March and Wednesday 25th March for maintenance. If you require assistance during these times please contact Estate Management.
  • PSC Building and Fylde and Furness Power Shutdown

  • The electric supplies to the PSC Building and Fylde and Furness residences will be switched off on Saturday 21st March from 07:45hrs for 8 hours. This is to carry out emergency repairs in the sub station. Please contact Peter Lawson in Estate Management 92948 if you have any problems

Sports Centre

Inter Department Summer Vacation Football League 6 a-side on the Astroturf lunchtimes. If you are interested in entering a team, please log your interest by emailing the Sports Centre sportenquiries@lancaster.ac.uk Details to follow if enough interest is shown.

    Easter Holiday Sports Camps - Age 8 - 14yrs
    Mon 6th April - Thursday 9th April
    Tuesday 14th April - Friday 17th April
    9.30am - 4.30pm
    £12 per day or £45 for the week
    Places limited. 01525 594000

    Easter Holiday Workouts
    Monday 5pm - 6pm Aerobics
    Tuesday 1pm - 2pm Stretch and Tone 5.30pm - 6.30pm Legs, Bums and Tums 6.30pm - 7.30pm Circuit Training
    Thursday 6.30pm - 7.30pm Circuit Training
    Friday 5pm - 6pm Aerobics


People in the news - Media coverage for Lancaster University.


Postgraduate Statistics Centre Teaching and Learning Seminar Programme

    The SOLSTICE CETL - Technology Enhanced Learning and Emerging Research Challenges Professor Mark Schofield (Academic Director of SOLSTICE - CETL at Edge Hill University)
    Tuesday, 31 March 2009, 1.00 to 2.00 pm with lunch starting at 12.30
    PSC Lecture Theatre (A54)

    This presentation is a reflection upon a conceptual model for ‘intelligent deployment’ of technologies to enhance students’ learning.

Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching

    Effective Supervision of Postgraduate Research Workshop 2: Making Progress will take place on Tuesday 24 March, 10.30-4.30. The day includes: Supervising in a team, developing student writing, problem-solving and understanding the student experience. This is the second of three workshops on effective postgraduate supervision, although it is not necessary to attend them in order. Workshop 1 which focuses on local guidelines and procedures takes place in December and summer each year. Booking requests and enquiries may be addressed to professionalprogrammes@lancaster.ac.uk http://www.maths.lancs.ac.uk/department/postgraduate/seminars

North West Researcher Futures, Lancaster University Friday 3rd April

    Early career research staff are invited to the first regional conference in the UK to focus on the career and professional development of research staff. There will be presentations from successful academics and former postdoctoral researchers, and workshops facilitated by the British Academy, The EU Marie Curie Programme and Vox Coaching. For details of the programme see http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/hr/development/files/NW-Researcher-Futures-prog.pdf On-line booking via http://www.vitae.ac.uk/nwhub For further information contact Barbara Tigar mailto:b.tigar@lancaster.ac.uk

Lectures & Seminars
Short Courses & Conferences


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