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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. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

| 17 September 2010 | Issue 492

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


Lancaster University climbs global league tables

Lancaster University has been ranked 124 in the world top 200 universities in the THE World Rankings – the highest level that Lancaster has ever achieved in global tables. This comes after Lancaster broke into the top ten in all three UK league tables for the first time this year ranking 10th in the Times , 8th in the Independent’s Complete University Guide and 6th in the Guardian League table. Full story. See the full rankings here.
Opinion by Professor Paul Wellings, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster and chair of the 1994 Group.

Launch of £6.5m study to reduce agricultural river pollution

Lancaster University is leading a £6.5m environmental scheme to reduce water pollution from agriculture. The five-year project is being funded by Defra with support from the Environment Agency. The river Eden in Cumbria has been selected as one of three test river catchments in the UK along with the Wensum in Norfolk and the Hampshire Avon.

Central to the project is the University of Cumbria’s Newton Rigg Farm which will be the base site for the research consortium. The experimental farm will be used to develop ways of preventing farm waste and chemicals from polluting the river Eden and will act as a demonstration farm to engage with local farmers and landowners. The involvement of farmers and landowners is an essential part of the study, which aims to bring together researchers, farmers, water companies and policy makers to develop a common approach to tackling water pollution.

The launch was covered by ITV Border, who sent a TV crew to Newton Rigg and interviewed Professor Phil Haygarth (LEC) for an item due to be broadcast on the evening news programme between 6 and 6.30pm on September 17. Prof Haygarth was also interviewed by BBC Radio Cumbria, September 16, and the Westmorland Gazette Full story

Global Food Security Meeting at Lancaster

Lancaster University has hosted The International Food Security and Safety Meeting from September 13-15, where experts gathered to address the problems of global food production at a time of population growth and climate change. Themes included Food Security in China and Africa, Sustainable Intensification and Europe’s Response to the Food Security Challenge. The plenary speaker was Dr Gebisa Ejeta from Purdue University, Winner of the 2009 World Food Prize, while other contributors included Lancaster alumnus Professor Jianhua Zhang from the Hong Kong Baptist University, who was featured as one of five crop researchers who could change the world in “Nature”.

Speakers from Lancaster University included Dr Saskia Vermeylen (LEC), Professor Felix Wackers (LEC) , Dr David Tyfield (Sociology), Professor Brian Wynne (Sociology), Dr Ken Wilson (LEC) and Professor Larry Busch (Michigan State University/ Lancaster University).

The meeting was organised by Distinguished Professor Bill Davies (LEC) together with the Society for Experimental Biology, with support from the Royal Society, Research Councils UK, Waitrose, the Journal of Experimental Botany, The Horticultural Development Company and the British Council. Please follow link for a photograph of some of the participants.

HR Excellence Awards for LUMS

Two professors from Lancaster University Management School have been ranked among the leaders in their field at HR magazine’s Excellence Awards 2010 at Claridges in London. Professor Cary Cooper CBE has been ranked 7th in the category of Most Influential HR Thinker in the UK ; in terms of UK academics, he was ranked 3rd. The Director of the Centre for Performance Led HR at LUMS, Professor Paul Sparrow, was ranked 13th in the same category. Professor Cooper was also ranked joint 7th – with Lord Leitch, the chairman of BUPA – in the list of Most Influential HR Thinkers over the past five years in a list headed by the broadcaster and lecturer Charles Handy. Lancaster alumnus David Fairhurst, senior vice president/chief people officer at McDonald's Restaurants Northern Europe, was voted HR magazine's Most Influential HR Practitioner for the third year running.

Woodland Trails & Trim Trail

On Monday 20th September work will start on a project to improve the amenity and use of the parklands and woodlands on campus. This will include a new ‘Trim Trail’ which will provide dedicated activity points for staff and students to use free of charge. It will also include formalisation of existing entrance points onto campus through the boundary woodlands with the installation of wooden ‘kissing gates,’ signage and surface improvements. For more details about the project including a map of what will be happening where and visuals of the new ‘Trim Trail’ click here.

Car Parking News

Flexible Benefits applicants should note the following:

Staff not eligible for Flexible Benefits (e.g. staff not on a salaried contract with the University) should contact the Parking Office in Security in person or by telephone (X92179) between 09:00 and 12:45 from Monday 20th September to be flagged to apply for a permit online or choose one of the other parking options such as the Staff Car Share Permit for free scratchcards for regular walking, cycling or motorcycling commuters. This also applies to any staff that have missed the Flexible Benefits deadline.

Termly Parking Permits – available all year round (not part of Flexible Benefits) for £57 per term. Click here for more information.

Parking Scratchcards – from October 1st the current one-day parking scratchcard will become the new Staff Scratchcard, valid only in the Staff Zone. A new one-day Visitor Scratchcard is available from Security, valid only in Visitor Zones. Both scratchcards will cost £5 each. During September it will be possible for departments to trade in existing scratchcards for the new Visitor Scratchcard at no extra charge at the Car Parking Office, Security. If traded in after September 30th then a £2 charge per scratchcard will be made as the new £5 charge will be in force.

Visitor Parking – staff are reminded that from October 1st visitors will only be permitted to park in the designated visitor parking spaces and not in staff or student parking areas. Over the coming weeks the parking machines, signage and road markings will be changed to reflect the new policies and parking zones. By the end of October all machines will offer tickets for 2 hours at £2 or for a full day at £5. Payment options at the machines will include coin and chip & pin card payment. More details will follow in next week’s LU Text.

New Travel & Car Parking Policy for 2010/11

Visit Day

8200 prospective students and their parents will visit the campus on Saturday. The Visit Day, organised by the UK Student Recruitment and Outreach office, will give the visitors information about courses and a flavour of what it is like to study at Lancaster. This follows the Visit Day in August, where due to Lancaster’s rise in the league tables there was an increase of 30% in bookings with 6,500 attending. Feedback from that event was positive with 65.3% saying they would apply to Lancaster.

Lancaster in the news

Contributions to the media this week include Dr Hugh Tuffen (LEC) who is featured in the cover story in Science News and Dr Mark Levine (Psychology) on BBC Radio 4. Follow link to see further contributions for this week.


Lancaster University weather experts have been contributing to the BBC’s Wild Weather week. Dr Rob MacKenzie, Reader in Atmospheric Science at Lancaster Environment Centre, featured on BBC Lancashire news online 13 September 2010. Meanwhile historic weather diaries belonging to LEC lab technician Christine Valentine will be included in a one-off documentary on Monday, 20 September on BBC One at 19.30 hrs as part of the BBC's Wild Weather week. Dr MacKenzie and Christine Valentine were both interviewed by the documentary crew earlier this year.

Professor Allyson Fiddler (DELC) gave a plenary lecture and led an open discussion on politics and 21st-century literatures at the University of St Andrews this week. The conference focused on the theme of ‘Twenty-First Century European Literature: Mapping New Trends’.

Staff Changes in Colleges & Student Life, Student Based Services: Geraldine Caldwell has now moved from Accommodation to Colleges and Student Wellbeing as Departmental Officer, tel 92381. Sue Dunkeld has moved from Pendle College Residence Officer to Departmental Officer in the central Accommodation Office, tel 94694. Gill Sudlow has moved within Accommodation from Guest Rooms to Acting College Residence Officer, Pendle College, tel 94502. We wish them all well in their new roles.

LUMS Management Science PhD Graduate Arne Strauss has won the Operational Research Society prize “for the most distinguished body of research leading to the award of a doctorate in the field of OR in the UK” for 2009. Arne, who was supervised by Joern Meissner, has since been appointed at LUMS under a PhD Plus Fellowship and will soon start a position as Research Associate under the LANCS Initiative.

Allotments on campus - A group of staff and students are discussing with the University the possibility of extending the existing organic garden at the north end of the campus. The idea is to use it in a similar way to an allotment garden, but with 'quarter plots' (5m x 10m) rather than full sized plots. The group estimates that to keep a plot productive and reasonably tidy will require roughly 4 to 5 hours per week or every lunch time. The group is gauging the potential demand for plots. Please register your interest by contacting Richard Wadsworth


New Student Complaints Procedure now available online

With effect from 1st July 2010, Lancaster operates a revised student complaints procedure – details are available here. The main changes are at the first formal stage of the process, when a student lodges a complaint with a particular department, college or division. There have also been some changes to the composition of the standing complaints panel from which individuals are selected to investigate second stage complaints on behalf of the University. For more information contact Jackie Hughes tel: 01524 5-92987 or email:

Web content moves, from CELTWeb to Secretariat

With effect from today (Friday 17th September), a large amount of web material has moved from within CELTWeb to the Academic Standards & Quality website within Secretariat, accessible via This work has been underway over the summer break and includes new homes for:

In addition, MARP 2010 will also be accompanied by a ‘recent changes’ page (to indicate what’s new in MARP that may have an impact on your work) and a full Glossary of University terms is also being developed, to appear with MARP later in the year. Re-directs have been arranged from CELTWeb to the new locations for the coming year – but please update any onward links from other pages over the coming weeks and months. Contact Jackie Hughes on tel: 01524 5-92987 or email:

Campus Road Repairs

On Monday 20th September ‘Briscoe’ contractors will start work to repair the worn out areas of road around campus. The work will be completed by Friday 24th September. Disruption is expected to be minimal. If you have any queries about the work please contact the Facilities helpdesk 01524 593333,

Bus news

Declaration of philanthropic income 0910

The University’s HEFCE matched funding claim is currently being prepared. The matched funding scheme allows the University to receive £1 for every £3 donated, up to a maximum of £2.75m over the 3-year period of the scheme – the matched funds are being used to finance the new PhD studentships being introduced this academic year. In order to ensure that the HEFCE claim is correct, please could you ensure that the Alumni & Development Office has been informed of any income your area has received in the financial year 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2010, that you believe may be philanthropic (e.g. grants or donations). If you are unsure as to whether some income can be classed as philanthropic, please let us know and we can review the details to determine if it can be included in the claim. More details about the matched funding scheme are available here. Deadline for receipt of this information is Friday 1 October 2010 in order that we can process the claim in time. Please contact either: Rachel Davis / ext.94897 or Katharine Robinson in Finance / ext. 93424.


For a full list of all items submitted for What's On, please see Events.

Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT)

There are still a few places left available on the following programmes:

For details on our one day Survival Skills workshops, visit website.

Professional & Leadership Development

Our NEW Development opportunities for staff guide will be distributed shortly. The guide includes programmes that are scheduled over the next 12 months with new editions and exciting opportunities. To have a sneak preview of the guide and for your chance to register your attendance early please visit

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Signature Lecture Series – Professor Vanessa Toulmin

The next Faculty signature lecture series entitled 'Professor Vanessa's Peculiar Entertainments: Early Film and Edwardian Entertainment', will be held on 18 October 2010 at 6pm in the Elizabeth Livingston Lecture Theatre.

The lecture will be delivered by Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Sheffield University. Professor Toulmin is Director of the National Fairground Archive (NFA) at the University of Sheffield Library and Chair in Early Film and Popular Entertainment. Originally from a show family who ran the Winter Gardens Fairground in Morecambe, she founded the NFA in 1994. The Archive is now the largest collection of ephemera, photographs and books relating to the history of circus and fairground entertainment in the UK.

Professor Vanessa's Peculiar Entertainments will offer an overview of the world of illegitimate entertainment culture, out of which grew circus, sideshow and variety performers. Covering mysterious beasts, performing wonders and highly-skilled performers, her lecture will be illustrated with rare visuals from the NFA, including moving footage of bizarre entertainments such as boxing kangaroos, dancing pigs, jugglers and contortionists. For more information please visit, All are welcome to attend.


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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 Laura Mitchell (01524) 592103.

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