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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. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

| 5 June 2009 | Issue 436

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


Official launch of the LANCS Initiative in Foundational Operational Research

The formal launch of the LANCS Initiative was held at The Institution of Engineering and Technology in London on Wednesday 20 May. Hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, the event was attended by 145 national and international academic guests and representatives of UK industry and government, including British Airways, Royal Bank of Scotland, Unilever, Brawn Formula One Racing Team, Transport for London, HM Revenue and Customs and the Home Office. To view the full story

Lancaster University maintains top league table position

Lancaster is the top university in the North West in three major national league tables published this year. The latest of these is the Times Good University Guide 2010, published this week. Lancaster has also maintained its top position in this year's Independent and the Guardian national league tables. The Times ranks Lancaster 23rd out of 114 universities. Lancaster is currently top in the NW in The Sunday Times, which will update its table later this year. To view the full story

LUMS Professors ranked among global HR elite

Cary Cooper and Paul Sparrow from LUMS have both been named among the Top 20 HR Thinkers in the world by Human Resources (HR) magazine. Professor Cooper is ranked at number 6, and Professor Sparrow at number 14, making Lancaster one of only two business schools with more than one entrant in the league table. Excluding non-academics from the list, Professor Cooper is number 3 and Professor Sparrow number 9. The Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips is ranked 9th in the list of Top 20 HR Thinkers and the BBC’s Business Editor Robert Peston is ranked 20th. Meanwhile, the magazine’s list of the 30 Most Influential HR Practitioners is headed by David Fairhurst of McDonald's – whose degree from St Martin’s was accredited by Lancaster - and Clare Chapman, Director General of Workforce NHS Service, who gained an MA in Management Learning from Lancaster. To view the full story

Employment procedures

The University has recently completed an extended exercise of consultation and negotiation with campus trade unions on a suite of key employment procedures. These are: discipline, capability, grievance, redeployment, redundancy and fixed term contracts. The trade unions for their part are currently consulting their members on the new procedure documents. These documents have been placed on the HR website to enable all colleagues to view them and to facilitate discussions within the unions. The guiding principles in developing the new procedures have been:

  • There should be a single set of procedures that apply equally to staff regardless of position
  • Procedures should be fair, clear, transparent and consistent
  • Procedures should be flexible and practical
  • Procedures must be compliant with employment law and remain so, and follow good practice
  • Issues should wherever possible and appropriate be resolved at local level
  • There should be clarity as to roles and responsibilities
  • The protection of academic freedom should be enshrined as a fundamental principle

On the link below you will find the set of proposed new procedures, followed by the current procedures that would be replaced. You can also see the original drafts of the proposed procedures to view how the documents have changed as a result of the discussions. Once the outcome of the union consultation with members is known, the University will review the position, but it is hoped that people will agree that these new procedures meet the guiding principles the University and the trade unions adopted. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/hr/staff-relations/policyconsult

Postgraduate poster days in LEC

Over a hundred postgraduates at the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) have been displaying their research at their annual poster sessions. Eighty students on the Masters programmes presented posters on their dissertation project work, which covered a wide range of topics from volcanology to butterfly conservation. The prize winning students were Lucy Blades, for her poster on bats in the Forest of Bowland, Catherine Turner, for her poster describing her work using remote sensing to identify land use in the Pennines, and Janet Robinson, for her poster showing her work on the conservation needs of rare butterflies in the South Lakes. Fifty-nine PhD students also displayed their posters on subjects ranging from geology to ecology. Prizes of book tokens were awarded to the best posters by 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students and the winners were: Georgina Key with her poster on biological control for crops; Eleanor Mackay with her poster on phosphorus in lakes; and Alexandra Henderson for her poster on paleoenvironmental conditions in the Himalayas. To view the full story

Summer schools raise young people's aspirations

Over 825 young people aged 9 - 17 years will take part in 12 different residential widening participation summer schools with the Department of Continuing Education (DCE) between June and September. Some of the summer schools have been developed at the request of particular local authorities, while others are funded by Aimhigher. Groups will be attending from Lancashire, Tyneside, Greater Merseyside and Cumbria, with some summer schools being tailored towards particular target groups including Black and Minority Ethnic participants and Looked After Children. Each summer school will take place over 2 - 4 days and will provide an introduction to University life via academic taster workshops, lively information sessions and social events. Previous participants have said that the opportunity to talk to current undergraduates is one of the most useful parts of the programme.

990 pupils from 30 North West schools will visit campus this month as part of (DCE) widening participation work. The young people will be aged 9 - 17 years and each will visit campus for one day to take part in a campus tour, tasters of academic subjects and information sessions designed to raise their awareness about different aspects of being a university student and about what higher education could offer them. The events are funded as part of the Aimhigher initiative. For further details contact Wendy Harris, Widening Participation Manager in DCE, on extn 92643, w.harris@lancaster.ac.uk.

Opportunity to vote on best Alexandra Square design

As part of the ongoing development of the campus, the University is embarking on an exciting new project to enhance Alexandra Square. A public consultation was held on Thursday 14th May in Alexandra Square for staff, students and visitors to contribute to the architect's ideas and help them to understand what the square means to its users. The landscape architects have now arrived at their final designs which will go on display outside University House close to the reception from Tuesday 9th June - Friday 12th June daily from 10am - 5pm. Staff, students and visitors will be able to vote for their favourite design, with each vote being entered into a prize draw to win an iPod for staff/visitors or a pair of Graduation Ball tickets for students. The public vote will contribute 50% of the awarding score with the other 50% being decided by a panel of judges the following week. It is intended that the work on Alexandra Square will be completed by summer 2010.

Learning zone works

The Learning Zone contractors are planning the installation of the steel frame which will form the extension to the south elevation of the building. This will involve drilling into the existing building just below the first floor and is likely to be noisy. These works are likely to take up to two weeks to complete starting on Monday 8th June. In order to minimise disruption to staff and students, Estates have requested that the contractor undertakes this work between the hours of noon and 7pm only. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the Project Manager, Anna Cockman on X9334. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/estates/projects/current_projects.htm#Learning

Death notice

It is with regret that we report the death of Geography undergraduate Alan Pepperell. Alan, a Grizedale student, was found in his room in Chancellor’s Wharf , Lancaster, yesterday evening. Early indications from Lancaster Police indicate that Alan died from natural causes. His parents have been informed.


Tom Finnigan has been appointed as Director of Student Based Services. Tom is currently Director of Learner Support at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he has been responsible for the development of student provision through the innovative Saltire Centre. Tom will start his new role formally on August 3rd.

Anthony Marsella has been appointed as Director of Marketing and External Linkages. Anthony will succeed John McGovern when he retires later in the year. Anthony has occupied a number of senior positions as a Marketing Director with major companies such as IBM and Samsung. He will join the University formally on August 1st.

Dr Ruth Alcock is facilitating the new NERC Catchment Change Network (CCN) in the Lancaster Environment Centre. The Network, led by Professor Keith Beven (PI), Dr Mark Bacon and Professor Phil Haygarth will exchange knowledge of how to handle uncertainties in integrated catchment management. The initial focus will be on decision making in planning for adaptation and mitigation in flood risk, water scarcity and diffusive pollution. Ruth remains an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Management Science.

Roger Kemp, Engineering, took part in a panel discussion at the Cheltenham Science Festival this week, sharing the stage with Science Minister Lord Drayson, climate change expert Mark Maslin and physicist Bob Lowe, about technologies that could save the day.

Computing PhD student Matthew Faulkner, his supervisor Professor Stephen Pink and RA Andrew Brampton have received the best paper award for a paper entitled "Evaluating the Performance of Network Protocol Processing on Multi-core Systems", presented at this year's Advanced Information Networking and Applications conference. The paper was selected as the best paper from a total of 110 accepted publications.

The Literacy Research Centre has been successful in winning two awards in the recently announced ESRC Seminar series competition. Dr Julia Gillen is directing a network of researchers investigating young people’s digital literacies in online virtual spaces and exploring the potential for education. Professor David Barton is co-investigator of a series of seminars focusing on the impact of new digital practices in universities. Both seminar series are concerned with linking people’s informal activities with what goes on in education and they contribute to one of the Centre’s key themes, that of researching digital literacies.

Professor Denis McCaldin conducts his final concert with the Lancaster Singers and Northern Chamber Orchestra on Saturday 6th June 2009 at 8 pm in St Peter's Cathedral. The all-Haydn programme will include the Te Deum and Nelson Mass, both in his editions for OUP. An additional attraction will be a performance of the famous Trumpet Concerto, in which the soloist will John Miller, Head of Brass at the Royal Northern College of Music. Mr Miller will also give a free pre-concert talk at 7.15 in the cathedral library. Tickets and further details can be obtained from Lancaster Tourist Information tel 32878 or Cathedral House tel 384820.

Engineering graduates get married. Congratulations to Kim Hodgson and Dave Wells, both engineering graduates, who got married on May 23. After graduating four years ago, Dave Wells joined the RAF and recently obtained his ‘wings’. He is to continue training in RAF Search and Rescue while Kim is employed in traffic management systems design. Dave’s RAF colleagues and Training Officer added to the occasion with full dress uniform and an arch of Officers’ swords after the ceremony, which was held in the Chapel of Kim’s alma mater Denstone College near Uttoxeter, with a reception in the College and grounds. Among the guests was the Senior Electronics Technician in Engineering, Paul Mullineaux, who had worked with Kim on the technical team at the Grand Theatre in Lancaster. Follow link for photograph.

Three Peaks in Two Days - A charity challenge to climb the three highest peaks in Britain has been postponed until June 11th. Technicians Ian Mercer and John Statter from the Physics Department are in a team of seven aiming to break the record for climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon as well as cycling the 450 miles inbetween – all in just 48 hours. The record-breaking attempt will see the team cycle through the first night without sleep. The challenge is to raise money for the Coronary Care Unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. There are also plans for a charity coast-to-coast cycle on July 4/5 along a 171 mile route in two days. Anyone wishing to join this, or to help with either charity challenge, should contact Ian or John. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/staff/merceri/pages/3Peaks2009.html.


Invitation to Open ICT Forum

Next Wednesday, ISS is hosting an ICT Open Forum at 2pm in Lecture Theatre 8 in the Management School. There will be a short presentation outlining the plans to move services and staff to the new ISS building, followed by a presentation by Mike Berners-Lee (Small World Consulting Ltd) on 'Green IT and University Carbon Management'. The User Forum is expected to last an hour and is open to all at the University.

Friends programme funding available

Application forms can now be obtained from the Alumni and Development Office for funding available under the Lancaster University Friends Programme. Departments, colleges, and individuals can apply for funding (most grants will be in the £2,000 - £5,000 category). The next round of disbursement of funds will take place in September. Applications for funding will need to tie in with the University strategy and fall under at least one of the following categories: Priority Fund, Student Support Fund, or Research & Academic Excellence Fund. Please note: applications from individuals (academic or student) seeking support for tuition, other course fees or personal maintenance costs do not fall into the criteria for Friends Programme funding. Unfortunately we can only allow one application per college. The Friends Programme is part of the University's fundraising programme and the funds are made possible by donations from Lancaster alumni. Please note: If you are making a LUSU application (e.g. an application from a student sports group, society or JCR) it needs to be submitted via LUSU for authorisation prior to submission to the Friends Programme. For this purpose, applications must be submitted to the LUSU General Manager by Friday 31st July 2009. Please see guidelines for further details. For further information and an application form, please download the details from http://www.alumni.lancs.ac.uk/apply or call Rachel Newbury in the Alumni & Development Office on ext 92904 / email r.newbury@lancaster.ac.uk. Deadline for applications: Friday 31st July 2009

Cashier's Office closure

The Finance Division, including the Cashier's Office, will be closed between 12 noon and 14.45pm on Monday 15th June.

Notice for motorists - young people on campus

The Department of Continuing Education is running a number of summer schools between June and September: please note that at times young people will be taken from residences in Alexandra Park to the main campus. Those driving on campus are asked to pay particular attention if they see groups of young people crossing roads.

Free summer conference for PGR students - 25th June

Thesis in Progress and the Graduate College are jointly holding a free conference for all research students at Lancaster - including student papers and keynote speakers, performance by members of LICA and a chance for students to feedback on the experience of being a Lancaster student. Lunch and refreshments will be provided - for online booking see: http://createandchange.org.uk/

Language courses

10% off summer language courses for Lancaster University staff. The Department of Continuing Education is running a range of language courses in June and July (Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish) at different levels, from beginners to more advanced. There is also an introduction to Teaching English as a Foreign Language. LU staff are entitled to a 10% discount on these courses. The courses offer an ideal opportunity to learn the basics of a language quickly or brush up your existing skills. For details see http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/conted/index.htm or call extn 92623.

National liftshare day – Tuesday 9th June 2009

As part of the University’s promotion of car sharing, everybody that signs up to the University’s car sharing scheme between June 5th and June 9th will receive a £10 Gift Certificate for The Plough Inn at Galgate. The Sharedwheels scheme for Lancaster University staff and students can be accessed here. Details of how to claim your free voucher will be sent to you a few days after you have registered on the University’s Sharedwheels website. If you would like to download a poster for display in your department then please see here. For more information on car sharing at the University please see here.

National bike to work day & Lancaster University travel day – Wednesday 17th June 2009

There is a lot taking place on the next University Travel Day. Click here to find out more about the activities taking place throughout the day. A flyer and poster are available for download on the website detailing all the events.

Bus services

  • FREE bus travel for all staff working at Lancaster University during Graduation Ceremonies Week (July 13th – July 17th 2009)
  • Lancaster University has teamed up with Stagecoach to offer all its staff FREE bus travel for 7 days during Graduation Ceremonies Week this July. This includes commuting AND leisure use throughout the Bay Megarider / Lancaster Unirider travel area 24 hours a day for a 7-day period.
  • From Monday June 29th to Friday 10th July staff will be able to claim their voucher for a free 7-day Bay Megarider Ticket from the LUSU Information Desk in Slaidburn House. Staff I.D. will be required, such as a University Library card. This voucher can then be exchanged for a free Bay Megarider ticket from any Stagecoach bus driver, to start between Friday 10th July and Tuesday 14th July 2009 for a period of 7 days. For details of the areas where the free travel will apply to locally see the Bay Megarider / Lancaster Unirider map at the following link: http://www.stagecoachbus.com/uploads/NWSaverTicketBoundariesFebruary2008.pdf
  • Did you know that there are 15 buses every hour between Lancaster city centre and Lancaster University during the day? Stagecoach will be in Alexandra Square on Wednesday 17th June promoting their services – please pop down to pick up some information and ask any questions you may have about travelling to work by bus.

Surplus furniture collection – June 09

Do you or your department have unwanted or surplus furniture such as chairs, desks, tables or shelves? Furniture Matters will be collecting surplus furniture from any department across campus on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th June. See here for details (http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/estates/latest_news/index.htm)


People in the news - Media coverage for Lancaster University.


For a full list of all items submitted for What's On, please see the Arts and Seminars & Lectures LU News web pages. For some event highlights see below.

The Ninian Smart Annual Memorial Lecture 2009

The Department of Religious Studies announces The Ninian Smart Annual Memorial Lecture 2009, delivered by Martha Nussbaum Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, The University of Chicago, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School and Divinity School. ‘Equal Liberty of Conscience’. Wednesday 10th June 2009 5.00 p.m. – 6.30/7.00 p.m. Management School Lecture Theatre 1 Chair: Professor Trevor McMillan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Followed by a Reception in The Hub, Management School All welcome.

Lectures & Seminars


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