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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.

| 15 January 2010 | Issue 463

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

The University's Annual Report is available to view online. Copies are available from the Press office. Please contact Sue Barnes.


Official opening of the Learning Zone

The £2.5m Learning Zone has been officially opened today by Sir Alan Langlands FRSE, Chief Executive of HEFCE, who said he was pleased to celebrate the University’s “latest success”. Sir Alan unveiled a plaque before 70 guests inside the Learning Zone, which provides an open plan space for over 2,000 students to study 24/7. The Zone was developed in partnership with students following a question in the 2007 Lancaster Student Survey about learning spaces. Students said they wanted quiet space but also somewhere to work in groups and practise presentations in a relaxing atmosphere. Student Ambassadors are employed to look after the Zone, which has booths for individual learning and a range of informal working spaces for small groups. Pods are bookable for meetings, presentations or group work, and other facilities include Apple Macintosh computers, colour printers, interactive white boards and data projectors. To view the full story

The Lancaster University Summer Programme

A summer programme of recreational and educational courses has been run by Lancaster University’s Department of Continuing Education for many years. However, following a careful review of the programme, the University has reached the reluctant conclusion that it is no longer financially viable and that it therefore will not run in summer 2010 and beyond. In making this decision, the University was very mindful of the programme’s long history (it has run for over twenty five years), strong reputation and of the many people who have benefited from it over the years. However, as has been the case in other universities which used to offer similar programmes, it has proved increasingly difficult to operate a sustainable programme whilst keeping fees at a level that covers all the costs involved and is affordable for participants. The staff of the Department of Continuing Education would like to express their gratitude to all those who have participated in the programme and helped contribute to its many successes.

LICA research into Satnavs

Could satnavs be as dangerous as mobile phones if used while driving? That’s the question being posed by researchers from Lancaster University and Royal Holloway, University of London, who are investigating the impact of the now widespread in-car navigation systems. Although handheld mobile phones are now banned, there is much less interest in the possible effects of being distracted by satnavs. Dr Pragya Agarwal, Reader in Design of Spaces and Places at ImaginationLancaster, part of the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, is working with psychologists at Royal Holloway on a research project to examine the cognitive impact of sat-navs on drivers, with the help of a grant from NESTA. It is hoped that the research will contribute to the development of guidelines for the design of improved in-car navigation systems. To view the full story

Electronic Payslips

Update from Sarah Randall-Paley, Director of Finance.

The University now provides on-line access to employee pay advice for all staff who have a Lancaster University user account. In the interests of efficiency and security, we will no longer produce paper payslips for staff that can access them on-line. This initially applies to staff in Pay groups A and C (your pay group is shown on your pay advice). This will cover most staff in the academic, academic related, clerical, secretarial and technical groups. The benefits are:

  • Your pay advice will be available to view at least 3 days before the actual bank credit date.
  • This is a more secure method as you will need University username and password to access the documents.
  • Your payslip history is retained so you can compare current and historical pay advices all in one place.
  • Reduces paper, printing and distribution costs so efficiency savings are realised.
  • A print facility is available (to a local printer) if you need to capture the image for bank/building society proof of earnings

With effect from February 2010, if you are in Pay group A or C (see above), you will no longer be sent a monthly paper pay advice. Access to the on-line pay advice is available here at the Employee Self-Service portal. Login using your usual University username and password. It is suggested that you save this link as a ‘favourite’ on your browser. You will also be able to view your year end P60 taxable pay statement here and update some personal information as necessary. If you have any queries please contact Payroll.

Students to race through the Amazon

Two Lancaster University students, Richard Baron and Phil Harvey, have begun training for what is regarded as one of the toughest races in the world - a 222km six-stage race through the Amazon jungle in Brazil. They will raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Kidney Research UK. Their challenge was reported online widely across the region on 12 January, including Lancaster Guardian Online. To donate or follow their training, visit their blog, Rick&Phils Jungle Ultra Marathon.

New Car Park off main drive

A new 20 space car park has been created behind Bigforth Farm, on Bigforth Drive (see project map for location). It is a designated ‘Staff Standard’ permit area and ‘Staff Preference’ permit holders can park there as well as those paying and displaying using scratchcards or pay and display stickers. A new pay and display machine has been installed in the new car park.

New LICA Building

Ground works for the new LICA building are well underway. Please see New LICA Building Newsletter 1 - January 2010 for detailed information on the building progress.

Alexandra Square Rejuvenation Designs

The final designs for the rejuvenation of Alexandra Square will be on display in University House reception area from 9am – 4pm on Friday 29th January. You are invited to come and view the designs and leave your feedback.

Parking on Departmental Open Days

Due to the increased demand for parking on campus during Departmental Open days, the newly resurfaced overflow car park on Green Lane will be opened for these events and visitors will be directed to park there free of charge. A minibus service will be in operation to transport visitors to and from the overflow car park for the Wednesday open days ONLY. This will operate between from 11:00 to 14:00 between the overflow car park and the drop-off bay outside University House. Visitors can walk into Alexandra Square and make their own way to departments. Each department may wish to provide their own student helpers in the square to meet visitors. To view the dates of the Departmental Open Days

Parking marshals will be available on the overflow car park every Wednesday between 11:00 and 14:00 to direct visitors by foot or minibus. The minibus will pick up from outside University House between 16:00 and 17:30 to return people to the overflow car park (see its location on the map) each Wednesday afternoon. The shuttle bus service to and from the Railway Station will still operate on Wednesdays, as previously communicated.

Please note that 17th February will be the busiest Open Day with up to 600 cars. Parking on this day will be seriously affected. We would be grateful if you could car share, cycle, walk or use public transport where possible. Open Days are crucial to ensure Lancaster University continues to recruit students. Please discard previous notices on Open Day parking which no longer apply. Parking for these events from the academic year 2010/11 will be co-ordinated centrally by the Division of Marketing and External Linkages to ensure it is correctly managed with departments. If you have any queries about parking on campus please contact the Travel and Environment Co-ordinator, Philip Longton, p.longton@lancaster.ac.uk

Death notices

We regret to report that former member of Council, Jim Mason, has died. He served as a member of Council from March 1990 to December 1995, which included the period when the debenture stock was being issued. He also served on the Audit Committee, including a period as its chairman. He received a CBE for services to the North West in 1999 and was also named one of the North West’s businessmen of the millennium.

We regret to report the death of Maggie Chadwick, Honorary Research Fellow in the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at Lancaster University. She was chairwoman of Cumbria Primary Care Trust and was previously principal and chief executive at Furness College in Barrow from 1990 to 2000. Maggie was a board member of the NWDA from its inception in 1999 and an Honorary Fellow with IEED from September 2002. Maggie made a valuable contribution to the early stages of the establishment of the Institute particularly in helping developing strong regional networks across the North West of England. Maggie died suddenly at home in Lancaster on January 13, and she will be sadly missed by her colleagues.

Lancaster in the news

Lancaster in the news - The Press Office monitors all media coverage and this is a selection of stories from the past week.

Dr Griet Scheldeman (LEC) has been working with BBC Science News online and with BBC Radio 4 as a British Science Association Media Fellow 2009. Examples of her stories include Bald songbird discovered in Laos and Comets 'not cause of extinctions'. Applications are now invited for the 2010 Fellowships, which are intended to create a greater awareness and understanding of the workings of the media among practising scientists, clinicians, social scientists and engineers.

Applications are now invited for the 2010 Media Fellowships which provide placements working with a national press, broadcast or internet journalist. During placements of between 3 and 8 weeks Fellows learn to produce accurate and well informed pieces about developments in science. Previous hosts have included The Guardian, Nature, BBC News and The Times. An online application form and details about the scheme – deadline March 2 - please see the Media Fellowships page on the British Science Association website.


Lancaster University’s FutureEverything - founded by Dr Drew Hemment of ImaginationLancaster at LICA - has been awarded a prestigious Lever Prize 2010. FutureEverything leads pioneering projects and international debates on themes including innovation, technology art, society and the environment. The prize includes a trophy, £10,000 cash and the opportunity of a year long collaboration with leading businesses. Previous winners include Liverpool Biennial, Manchester International Festival, Tate, and The National Football Museum. The Lever Prize is awarded by top business leaders following a rigorous selection process, which includes a Dragon's Den-style interview with CEOs of international companies based in the North West , and is presented jointly by North West Business Leadership Team and Arts & Business North West.

Professor Cary Cooper CBE has been invited to play a key role at the Davos World Economic Forum later this month, where world leaders will gather to debate global issues. The Distinguished Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health is one of the few academics headhunted for the Forum, which is an independent international organisation committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in global partnerships. He will be joined at Davos in Switzerland from January 27 - 31st by heads of state, government ministers and industry leaders including Melinda French Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. The Forum’s initiatives include Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, Global Health and Financing for Development. Professor Cooper is to chair the Council for Chronic Disease and Wellbeing, which is one of seventy Global Agenda Councils with over a thousand experts in total, whose role is to advise the Forum.

Dr Steve Constantine (Department of History) has been awarded a Personal Chair in Modern British History with effect from 1 February 2010.

Dr Fiona Measham (Applied Social Science) will take part in BBC Radio 4’s Woman's Hour programme at 10am on Tuesday 19th Jan, talking about women, alcohol and health. This is part of a series on general election issues for women.

Victoria Mason (Politics) recently had some of her co-authored research on Islamophobia highlighted by Naomi Wolf – the high-profile US political commentator and bestselling author of books such as ‘The Beauty Myth’ and ‘The End of America’. Wolf drew attention to the research on her website and blog Naomi Wolf.

Dr Nina Caspersen (Politics) gave a paper on international state-building in Bosnia at a high-level conference in Belgrade, 14-15 December ('Beyond the Wall: Twenty years of Europeanisation as seen from the former Yugoslavia'). The conference was organised by Notre Europe, a Paris-based think tank founded and presided by former president of the European Commission, Jacques Delors. Other speakers included former Italian Prime Minister, Guiliano Amato and Head of the Western Balkans Directorate at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enlargement, Pierre Mirel.

Gritting of Campus A huge thank you to the estates staff who have done a brilliant job getting the campus increasingly accessible through this icy and snowy period. Walking, cycling and driving around campus has been so much safer than in other parts of the city. Thank you for all your hard work!
Steve Charman (Methodist Chaplain) on behalf of the University Community


Extra buses through Bowerham There have been some timing and capacity issues on University-bound buses along the Bowerham route during the morning peak this week, particularly between 08:00 and 09:00. Staff feedback has been passed to Stagecoach in Lancaster who have agreed to put on two extra services through Bowerham;
     08:00 Infirmary via Bowerham to Lancaster University Underpass;
     08:35 University of Cumbria/Park Hotel via Bowerham to Lancaster University Underpass.
Please send any feedback (positive or negative) to Philip Longton, Travel & Environment Co-ordinator.

Wellbeing Promotion – 27 January, Alexandra Square, 12pm to 2pm All staff and managers are invited to drop in to this Wellbeing event. There will be a range of promotional activities as well as information about staff wellbeing, managing stress and related information.

Association of University Administrators conference If you are a secretary, administrator or admin manager in the university, you might be interested in The Association of University Administrators which is the professional body for higher education managers and administrators. Each year they hold a large conference which takes place this year at the University of Warwick (29-31 March). There will be over 130 working sessions covering a wide range of HE issues and it is an excellent opportunity for professional development and networking. Further information is available on the AUA website. A meeting at Lancaster is being held for anyone who is interested in finding out more (Management School on Wed 20th Jan at 12 noon in D006e). If you would like further information, please contact Doreen Silman, AUA Branch Coordinator, x94652.

Conference Centre offers The Bailrigg Conference Centre is offering an exceptional 24 hour rate of £65.00 per person, with complimentary plenary meeting room hire. This is available for up to 32 people for all new bookings taken for March-June 2010. For more information or to make a booking, please contact Emma Parker, One Stop Shop Coordinator, x92444.

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 or visit the Harassment and Bullying website for a list of network members who can be contacted by phone.


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

Public Lecture: What is a Novel?
Terry Eagleton. Distinguished Professor of English Literature.
Monday 25 January 201, Management School Lecture Theatre 1, 6.00 pm. To be followed by wine reception.

Esmée Fairbairn Lecture
Tim Besley, Professor of Economics, LSE and Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee 2006-9 will deliver the Esmée Fairbairn Lecture entitled 'Policy Making in the Crisis' in Lecture Theatre 1, Leadership Centre, Management School, Lancaster University at 6pm on Tuesday 26th January 2010. All welcome.

Learning and Teaching Forum – Feedback to Students
Friday 22nd January 2010, 12.00 – 13.30, LT11, Management School
Lecturers say that they spend many hours marking and writing feedback to students, only to feel that the students rarely seem to take the feedback on board. Richard Meek (Marketing) and Jackie Pates (LEC), will consider this issue and will share ideas. Bookings for the forum can be made at the CELT Booking Form.

Lecture by the Royal Geographical Society NW Region and LEC
Wednesday 27th January at 7.30 pm with Professor Danny Dorling (Sheffield University): “Why Social Inequalities Persist”. Danny Dorling is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. His recent work has been concerned with inequalities in education, income, race, housing and health. Tickets: Free - to reserve a seat please contact Tracy Quilliam x10081, direct dial 01524 510081. Venue: Biology Lecture Theatre, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, LA1 4QY

VOIP training
ISS will be running a short training session on the benefits of Audio Conferencing from telephones in use across campus. All members of staff are welcome to attend the session which forms part of the overall Green Awareness drive. The session is being run on Thursday 28th January in the LT 2 of the Management School between 1 and 2pm

Professional & Personal Development Courses
This term CETAD have a range of 2 day courses to develop and update skills and knowledge in a wide range of areas. These are lively, interactive courses delivered by practitioners, and can lead to the Certificate in Professional & Personal Development which is partially funded by the Professional & Leadership Development Team. For further details email Kerry Armstrong.

  • Negotiating & Influencing Skills 03.02.10 & 17.02.10
  • Dealing with Difficult People 16.02.10 & 02.03.10
  • Introduction to Mentoring & Coaching 05.03.10 & 26.03.10
  • Motivating Yourself & Others 09.03.10 & 23.03.10

Curry Night in Grad Bar - Every Friday 5-8pm.
Curry and a pint £4.95, Curry and a soft drink £3.95. Thursday 21st Jan - Live music with the Convulsions 9pm start.

Lectures & Seminars


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Contact Victoria Tyrrell on (01524) 594120 with items for LU text, LU News or for external publicity.
Events information should be sent to Sue Barnes (01524) 592103.

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