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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.

| 1 October 2010 | Issue 494

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

NEWS

Proposed changes to the Universities' Superannuation Scheme (USS)

Following a period of discussion and negotiation, a number of scheme changes aimed at securing the future sustainability of the USS were decided on by the Joint Negotiating Committee and Board of Trustees at meetings in July 2010. (See the HR website, Pensions section, for background to the changes and negotiations). The proposed changes are subject to consultation by participating employers. The following process will take place across the HE sector.

Consultation about the changes with all USS members, and potential members, is planned to commence on Wednesday 20th October 2010 and will continue until Wednesday 22nd December 2010, a period of 64 days. Information is being prepared by USS to give to members including a document outlining the scheme changes, a Q and A sheet, modellers, response form to submit views and comments, website access and assistance with presentations/briefings. Payroll and HR Division will manage the communication process for LU. Further updates will follow.

Wellbeing at Work Survey

In October 2010 University Staff will be invited to complete our first Wellbeing at Work Survey, as part of our commitment to sustaining the University as a healthy and safe place to study and work. Wellbeing at work is an important issue, which includes health promotion, encouraging a healthy life-style, work-life balance and how motivated staff feel in their work for the University. The survey will ask you what you think about the pressures you experience at work and how they affect you. Also you will be asked about motivation and sense of purpose in your work. The survey will be conducted by Robertson Cooper, independent specialists in workplace wellbeing, on an entirely anonymous and confidential basis. The survey will run as follows:

  • On 18 October University staff will be sent a personal email invitation to complete the survey
  • For staff without an email account, a paper copy will be sent, with a prepaid envelope to Robertson Cooper
  • The survey will run from 18 October to 5 November 2010

Please do take this opportunity to give your feedback on issues affecting your wellbeing at work. To help encourage the highest possible response, there is an option to enter a Free Prize Draw, with three prizes of a year’s staff premier membership of the Sports Centre to be won. Further details, including a message from the Vice-Chancellor.

Visit Day

On Saturday 18th September the second and final Undergraduate Visit Day was organised by the UK Student Recruitment and Outreach office. In total 14,464 people booked online to attend the Visit Days this year and of the 1,030 feedback questionnaire respondents so far, 94% of students are now going to probably/definitely apply to Lancaster. All the comments are overwhelmingly positive from visitors. Thank you to all those who contributed to the success.

Degree Ceremonies

Congregations for the conferment of Higher and Honorary Degrees will take place on Wednesday 15 December 2010. The full timetable is available on the website. A brochure providing detailed information about the ceremonies will be sent out shortly to all students with UK home addresses. All students will receive an email with a link to the downloadable brochure on our website. For more information, please contact the Ceremonies and Events Office on 01524 592190.

New LICA Building

As scheduled, the new LICA building is now complete and has been handed over from the contractor to the University this week. Staff have nearly finished moving into the building and students will start using the building from the beginning of term.

New Cafe for County South

A new cafe on the ground floor of County South ‘Cafe Twenty Ten’ will open its doors tomorrow (Saturday 2nd October). The cafe will offer hot and cold food and drink to students, staff and visitors. It will be open this weekend from 08:00 – 18:00 Saturday and Sunday and then from Monday 4th October it will be open from 08:00 – 20:00 seven days a week. It will also provide food for students signed up to the catered accommodation option in Bowland and County College.

Postgraduate Researchers in Science Medicine conference, 23rd September 2010

The School of Health & Medicine hosted the 7th annual PRISM conference showcasing healthcare and biomedical science research across the North West. The PRISM event, designed specifically for postgraduate researchers, was attended by over 60 delegates from institutions across North-West England and North Wales, including delegates from the School of Health and Medicine and Physics Department at Lancaster University. Researchers gathered to present conference papers, poster presentations and engage in a range of research skills workshops. The event provided an opportunity for postgraduate researchers in Science Medicine to network and to present and receive feedback on their research.PRISM has been running for 7 years and is delivered in collaboration with the Vitae NW Hub. For further information on Vitae and its activities for researchers contact Dr Louise Innes in CELT or see the Vitae website.

One Day Maths & Stats Conference

The Maths and Stats Department organised a one-day conference in the Postgraduate Statistics Centre on Thursday 30th September, aimed at school and college teachers. People from 29 local institutions attended the event called "Teaching statistics within A Level Mathematics" which gave an insight into how mathematics is used to solve problems in science and industry. As part of the Further Mathematics Support Programme, the department works closely with schools across the North West to enhance their A Level Mathematics provision.

Projects designed in partnership with employers

The work of Biomedical and Life Sciences (SHM) and CETAD to produce professional and business development postgraduate programmes for the Biomedical sector and LEC’s PGCert in Fuel and Energy Generation from Waste, have been recognised as good examples of projects designed in partnership with employers. The projects are part of the NW Higher Level Skills Partnership (HLSP) led by North West Universities Association (NWUA) which has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative award in the Times Higher Awards 2010.

Lancaster in the news

Contributions to the media this week include Professor David Denver (Politics) who was interviewed in the Learning Zone on campus for the BBC One's Politics Show and also Stuart Durkin (DELC) was interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland about the Basque separatist group ETA's ceasefire declaration. Follow link to see a list of people in the news.

People

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable has announced the appointment of Professor Paul Boyle as Chief Executive and Deputy Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Professor Boyle graduated with a degree in Geography from Lancaster University in 1986 and then studied for his PhD which modelled migration flows in the West Midlands region of England, graduating in 1991. Follow link for further details.

Three engineering students from Lancaster University have won awards from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for outstanding projects relating to Renewable Energy and Hydro Power. They were presented with their awards at the Institution’s headquarters in London by Robert Brown, Chairman of the Institution’s Fluid Machinery Group. Oliver Feather won the IMechE Best Project Award, Kingsley Adinnu won the Best Project Certificate and Sam Lomas won The Frederic Barnes Waldron Best Student Award for his project on Siphonic Hydropower. Their supervisor is Dr George Aggidis, Director of the Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group. Follow link for full story

Professor Christine Sylvester (Politics, Philosophy and Religious Studies) gave the inaugural lecture as the Kerstin Hesselgren Chair (2010-2011) at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg: "A Retrospective and Prospective Journey Across Boundaries", On 29th September.

Notices

Car Parking News

** New Car Parking Policy in operation from Friday 1st October 2010 ** Flexible Benefits applicants should note the following:

  • Annual Staff Permit at £150 – All permits applied for through Flexible Benefits have now been sent out to home addresses. The new permits are valid from Friday 1st October.
  • Staff Car Share Permit – You now need to visit the Car Parking Office in Security (open 09:00 – 4pm daily) with all vehicle details and payment (cash or cheque) to collect your Car Share permit and allocation of free Staff Scratchcards (pro rata for part-time staff).
  • 15 free Staff Scratchcards for walking, cycling or motorcycling commuters – You now need to visit the Car Parking Office in Security (open 09:00 – 4pm daily) with vehicle details to collect your free scratchcards (pro rata for part-time staff).
  • SN Permit – you now need to present satisfactory medical evidence at the Car Parking Office, Security.

Staff not eligible for Flexible Benefits (e.g. staff not on a salaried contract with the University) should now contact the Parking Office in Security in person or by telephone (X92179) between 09:00 and 4pm 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.

Important information about Visitor Parking, signs and payment machines – 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. A plan of the new parking zones can be viewed here.

Parking Signs – most of the signs are being changed between September 29th and October 4th. This includes changing the Staff Preference and Staff Standard signs into ‘Staff Zone’. Miscellaneous redundant parking signs are being removed. Other miscellaneous parking signs will be modified as soon as possible.

Road markings – New visitor parking areas will not be marked as such on the ground but will have signs to such effect at the entrances to Visitor Zones and within the areas themselves. Existing visitor parking road markings outside the Management School and InfoLab21 will be burned off over the weekend of October 9th/10th as these areas will be part of the Staff Zone. See Parking Zones Map. Temporary signs will be in place in these areas until the visitor parking markings have been removed to help avoid confusion.

Parking machines – New tariffs commence on October 1st. Parking machines located in areas other the Visitor Zone have been taken out of the use. This is because pay & display tickets and Visitor Scratchcards are now only valid in the Visitor Zones. The remaining 5 machines (Bowland Avenue South, Bowland Avenue East, Farrer Avenue, Management School (SW Drive for Gillow Avenue Visitor Zone) and Bigforth Barn) have been reprogrammed to the new tariffs. These are £2 for up to 2 hours or £5 for up to 10 hours. Charges only apply Monday to Friday 08:00 to 18:00.

A total of 8 new parking machines will be installed in late October. These will replace any existing machines in the new Visitor Zones and ensure that at least one machine is provided in each Visitor Zone on campus. The new machines will enable payment by coin or by card (chip & pin). Until these new machines are in place, it will be necessary to pay the £5 fee by either coin or by purchasing a one-day Visitor Scratchcard from Security, also £5. Note that the current yellow scratchcard is now a Staff Scratchcard and no longer valid in the Visitor Zone. A separate green scratchcard is available for visitors valid only in the Visitor Zone.

New Visitor Paypoint Information signs will be provided at each machine location once the new machines are installed.

Wheelclamping – a temporary freeze is in place for the non-display of a correct permit during Freshers’ Week. Wheelclamping for such offences will recommence on Monday 11th October on the main campus. A new wheelclamp release fee of £75 is in place with clamping occurring at the first offence with no other warnings given. Payment must now be made in full prior to wheelclamp release. A card payment facility is now in place at Security Reception.

New Travel & Car Parking Policy for 2010/11.

New temporary bus stop on North Drive

A new temporary bus stop will be introduced on North Drive by the zebra crossing from Saturday 2nd October. Buses X1, 2, 2A and 42 will be stopping here on route to the underpass. The introduction of this temporary bus stop had been delayed to allow works on the LICA building that affected North Drive to be completed.

New LICA Building

As scheduled, the new LICA building is now complete and has been handed over from the contractor to the University this week. Staff have nearly finished moving into the building and students will start using the building from the beginning of term.

New Cafe for County South

A new cafe on the ground floor of County South ‘Cafe Twenty Ten’ will open its doors tomorrow (Saturday 2nd October). The cafe will offer hot and cold food and drink to students, staff and visitors. It will be open this weekend from 08:00 – 18:00 Saturday and Sunday and then from Monday 4th October it will be open from 08:00 – 20:00 seven days a week. It will also provide food for students signed up to the catered accommodation option in Bowland and County College.

Host families

There are a very small number of late clearing students who might be in interested in Host Family accommodation. If you would be interested to offer a room in your home as part of the Host Family scheme, for the first term or longer, please contact the Accommodation Office on ext. 94910 or email: accommodation@lancaster.ac.uk.

Outgoing University Email Blocked

Some Legitimate University email is being blocked by external sites. Some people have been replying to recent email phishing attacks with their usernames and passwords. The attack perpetrators are using these 'phished' usernames and passwords to send out Spam from Lancaster University. This is causing the University to be reported as a source of Spam and blacklisted by organisations around the globe. We are now seeing our legitimate outgoing email being blocked by external sites such as: Lancaster City Council, the Open University and Hotmail.

Never respond to emails asking for your username and password. Never enter your username and password into a website (other than a known University service e.g. Webmail and LUVLE.) Anyone who has replied to a phishing attack with their username and password, should contact the ISS Service Desk as soon as possible. Further Information: [Lancaster University Email Blocked]

WHAT'S ON

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

Government Advisor Warns of Food Crisis

A former Lancashire hill farmer turned Government food advisor will give a public lecture at Lancaster Town Hall on October 14th at which he is expected to warn of a major food crisis. Professor Tim Lang, who used to farm in the Forest of Bowland, is Professor of Food Policy at City University and advises the Government on diet and the role of the supermarkets. He is a top-level advisor to the World Health Organisation, the European Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and has advised four Parliamentary enquiries into food standards, obesity and globalisation.

The event, Sustainable diets: Too complex, too nanny-state – or inevitable?, has been organised by Cesagen - a research centre funded as part of the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Genomics Network. The Centre is based at the universities of Lancaster and Cardiff. The lecture is at the Banqueting Suite, Lancaster Town Hall at 7.00pm, followed by a reception and stalls from local sustainable food initiatives Attendance is free but prior registration is required. To register, contact Keith Calvert – k.calvert2@lancaster.ac.uk, 01524 510842. Follow link for full story..

Cycle post code marking

10am - 3pm outside the LUSU offices from Monday 4th October to Friday 8th October 2010. Any staff and students that wish to come along and have their bikes marked are welcome. The bikes will be marked in a discreet location with the owner’s postcode. If the owner is ever unfortunate enough to have their bike stolen it should make identifying the bike easier if the police later recover it. www.lancashire.police.uk/neighbourhood/warton-northern-division/lancaster-university.

Department of Educational Research Seminar Series

An exploration of teaching, learning, and technology prespectives-in-practice, presented by Dr Gale Parchoma, CSALT, Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University. Wednesday 13th October 2010, 12.30-2.00 p.m., IAS MR1. Everyone welcome. For more information contact Dee Daglish d.daglish@lancaster.ac.uk, or go to the events section on the Department of Educational Research website www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/edres/event/current/.

Organisation and Educational Development

Professional and Leadership Development would like to highlight a range of programmes that are scheduled in October. There are still a few places left on the following:

  • Project management 14th October
  • Maximising your impact 14th October
  • Effective People Management 26th, 27th October & 3rd, 4th November (4 day programme)

Centre for Enhanced Learning and Teaching kindly request that you inform any postgraduates who teach of the following sessions that are available to them: www.lancs.ac.uk/celt/celtweb/sskills.

For full programme descriptions and details of how to book please visit the following link (Professional and Leadership Development) or email OED@lancaster.ac.uk (Professional and Leadership Development & Centre for Enhanced Learning and Teaching).

Language courses on campus this term

Lancashire Adult Learning (Lancashire County Council's education service), in association with Lancaster University, are offering a range of language courses on campus starting the week commencing 1st November*. Courses include Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and British Sign Language, at various levels. All courses are 6 weeks (apart from British Sign Language). The fee is £39.60. British Sign Language Introduction runs for 5 weeks and the fee is £42.00. British Sign Language Level 1 runs for 18 weeks and the fee is £277.20 plus exam fees. Concessions are available on all these courses for those in receipt of certain income-related benefits. Information on follow-on Spring Term courses will be available soon. You must be aged 19yrs or over to take part. Please note fees could be higher for non EU residents.

To enrol, or for more information, visit us at the desk on the ground floor of the IAS (Institute of Advanced Studies) building on Thursday 7th October between 10am and 12noon, or Friday 8th October between 1 and 3pm. A range of extensive language courses are also available at other venues through Lancashire Adult Learning. Please contact us for more details and a free brochure on 01524 581269, or call into The Adult College, White Cross Education Centre, Quarry Road, Lancaster. *BSL Level 1 starts 19th October.

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

'Professor Vanessa's Peculiar Entertainments: Early Film and Edwardian Entertainment', 18 October 2010 at 6pm in the Elizabeth Livingston Lecture Theatre. For more information please visit, www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/faculty/event/3401/.

ADVERTS

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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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