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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.

| 21 May 2011 | Issue 523

Contents: news; Dr Zara Zaddy and Christine Fletcher; people; Lancaster in the news; notices; what's on; ads


The Guardian ranks Lancaster in top ten of UK universities

Lancaster University is ranked 7th out of 120 institutions in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2012 published this week. The Guide is designed to help students pick a course for 2012 and ranks universities according to teaching excellence. 88% of students were satisfied with teaching at Lancaster while 87% were satisfied overall.

Universities are ranked on everything from student/staff ratio, the career prospects of graduates, what grades applicants need and how content final year students are with their courses, based on the annual National Student Survey.

Lancaster University also scored highly in the Guide’s individual subject rankings: Physics and Geography & Environmental Sciences were both ranked 4th; Mechanical Engineering 5th; Mathematics and Sociology both 6th; Religious Studies & Theology 8th; Art & Design 9th; Education and Business & Management Studies both 10th; Law, Computer Science & IT and Media Studies all 11th; Drama & Dance 14th; and Social Work 15th.

Lancaster was ranked 9th in the Complete University Guide published last month. The Times league table is due out in June. Full story

Vice-Chancellor Search Committee

The election of two members appointed by Senate to the Search Committee has taken place. The successful nominees are Clare Powne and Gavin Brown, who join Mr Bryan Gray(chair), Professor Harry Thomason, Ms Lois Willis, Professor Sue Cox and Ms Fiona Aiken (secretary) on the search committee.

Heidrick & Struggles have been appointed as headhunters to assist with the Vice-Chancellor search. They have already met with a range of staff across the University so that they are fully briefed and have also taken soundings on priorities for the incoming Vice-Chancellor. If anybody else wishes to have an input into the process, particularly with suggestions for potential candidates, please contact Heidrick & Struggles on Any member of the University who wishes to put their view forward as part of the consultation process, is welcome to contact individuals on the search committee directly.

Honorary Professorial Fellowship for outstanding Alumna

The first woman to head a Saudi investment bank and one of the most influential women in the world has been awarded an Honorary Professorial Fellowship by Lancaster University. Distinguished Lancaster Alumna Dr Nahed Taher, Founder and CEO of Gulf One Investment Bank, was ranked 24th in the Financial Times’ Women at the Top Report in 2010, and was one of just four Arab women to be recognised by Forbes in its list of the 100 most influential women in the world in 2006.

Dr Taher, who has a PhD in Economics from Lancaster University Management School, was awarded an Honorary Professorial Fellowship by the Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, to mark the outstanding national and global contribution she has made to the world of banking and finance.

Dr Taher also delivered a guest lecture at Lancaster University Management School entitled “Macroeconomic Problems, Prospects and Policy Priorities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Region”, which was warmly received by an audience of staff and students. Full story

£130,000 study into how terminally ill people are cared for at home

Lancaster University has been awarded over £130,000 to investigate how people care for relatives or friends who die at home. The two year study, starting on June 1st and funded by Marie Curie Cancer Care, will feed back into the NHS End of Life Programme and inform government policy on how best to support carers. The in-depth study entitled “Unpacking the home” will involve interviews with approximately 50 bereaved carers in the North West and South West of England, where there is a large population of older people. The research will be led by Professor Sheila Payne, Director of the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University, who is a health psychologist with a background in nursing. Established in 2003, the International Observatory on End of Life Care is now a globally recognised centre of excellence for research in palliative and end of life care.

RIBA Award for Charles Carter Building

The newly opened Charles Carter Building - designed by John McAslan & Partners - was amongst five buildings in the North West recognised for their architectural excellence at the regional Royal Institute of British Architects awards on Wednesday night. The judges looked at the budget, size, complexity of brief, detail, invention/originality, contract type, client satisfaction, sustainability, social factors and capacity to engage and delight its occupants and visitors. The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize, for the building of the year, will be drawn from the 97 RIBA Award winners

Staff travel survey

Many thanks to all staff who completed the recent staff travel survey and entered the prize draw. Congratulations to the following staff who were drawn at random as survey prize draw winners:

Over 41% completed the survey and the information you provided is being analysed to help enhance the benefits provided to staff. Feedback on the results of the staff travel survey and what this means for the University will be provided shortly.

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2011

The collection of data for the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is now complete. Thanks are due to all students who responded to the survey and to the many staff who were involved in the data gathering process. Lancaster achieved a response rate of just under 30%, broadly in line with the national figure. This is a much better response than the last time the survey ran (in 2009) and analysis of the data for Lancaster promises to provide much useful information about how research students view their experience. It is hoped that the results of the analysis will be available in the summer. Thanks to everyone who played a part in encouraging students to respond.

Volunteer helpers at Graduation 19 - 22 July

During graduation week over 3,000 students will attend a graduation ceremony accompanied by over 10,000 guests. To ensure everything runs smoothly the Ceremonies and Events Office recruits a volunteer staff team. Roles include ushering guests to their seats, putting students into the correct processional order for their ceremony, or for the more extrovert, acting as Marshals to assist in directing proceedings during the ceremonies. The time commitment can be from as little as one hour. If you are interested in helping and sharing in the students’ happy day, please contact

Film society screening

Student members of Lancaster University Film Society are to showcase five of their films to the public on June 2nd at 8.30pm at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster. The films include Tea by Cameron King, Emma Ashley's The Elated Kaleidoscope Girl, shot at the Music Rooms in Sun Square in Lancaster, Effectus by Amy Charles, and Amal-Abou Setta's political satire You're Free. The fifth film, the semi-autobiographical Young Man, is by the Film Society’s founder James Harvey.


Dr Zara Zaddy

There will be a memorial reunion for Dr Zara Zaddy who died in January this year. It will be held on Wednesday 25 May at 2pm in the Private Dining Room (County South). There will be readings, music and personal appreciations from colleagues and friends. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. All welcome.

Christine Fletcher

Friends and colleagues of Christine Fletcher, who died last month, are raising funds for St John’s Hospice where Christine was cared for during her last few weeks.

Cath Smith, Teresa Aldren, Shirley Balshaw, Yvonne Nuttall, Claire O’Donnell, Sarah Purcell, Gerry Wood, Jean Yates, Charlotte Smith and Ros Borlase will take part in the 14k Moonlight Walk on Saturday 11th June, 2011. Christine died on Thursday 21st April and had worked in the Department of Management Science for 17 years, most recently as Departmental Officer.

The LUMS ladies team have set up a ‘Just Giving’ website to make donations benefit from Gift Aid. Under this scheme St. John’s Hospice can reclaim the tax made on donations, helping your donation go further without costing you more.

If you prefer to simply contact one of the walkers in the Team and sponsor that way then please do so. The site can be accessed via this link.


The Vice President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani has invited Professor Rachel Cooper of LICA to become a Member of the European Design Leadership Board, along with the heads of design for Phillips, Volkswagen and other leading companies. The Board will steer the European Design Innovation Initiative which aims to extend the benefits of design to enterprises and the public sector for the benefit of the economy. The Board’s recommendations will be important in choosing design proposals from a 3million Euro budget under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme.

AT&T Labs Inc. have signed a research collaboration agreement with Lancaster University to work together on sustainable computing infrastructures. The agreement, overseen by Professor Gordon Blair and Dr Francois Taiani (Computing and Communications), will take place in the HighWire Doctoral Training Centre.

The Hello Sailor! Gay Life on the Ocean Wave exhibition opened at the Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax Nova Scotia. The exhibit looks at gay culture as a part of seafaring life from the 1950s to present day. It is based on Hello Sailor! The Hidden History of Gay Life at Sea, a monograph co-authored by Paul Baker (Linguistics) and Jo Stanley (Sociology). The exhibit has previously travelled to Merseyside, Southampton, Tyne and Wear and Glasgow. It will be at Nova Scotia from May 19th to November 27th.

Dr Mark Lacy (PPR) and Michael Dillon (Emeritus Professor of Politics, Lancaster and Distinguished Professor of Politics at Sehir University, Istanbul) have contributed some of the first lectures to an on-line multi-media project on ‘Histories of Violence’ based at the University of Leeds. Other contributors include Noam Chomsky, Zygmunt Bauman, Kimberly Hutchings and Simon Critchley. The lectures are available here.

Dr John Welshman (History) has a chapter 'Supporting Poor Children in Working Families' in the book A Minority View: What Beatrice Webb Would Say Now (2011) which was launched at the House of Lords on Thursday 19 May. The meeting was chaired by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, and addressed by Liam Byrne, currently Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Many other peers, MPs, academics, and commentators attended the launch.

The 2011 Cycle Challenge from Stirling to Brighton goes via every International Study Group centre in the UK to raise money for Study Group Building Futures charity. On Tuesday 31 May, three LUISC staff members – Sunil Banga (Head of LUISC), Adam Mitchell (Marketing Manager) and Matthew Leedal (EAP Tutor) will cycle from Lancaster University to Huddersfield University. To find out more about this thoroughly enjoyable charity event visit the website. To donate please visit,

Lancaster in the news

Follow link to see a list of people in the news.

Professor Bill Davies and Dr Ian Dodd (LEC) have been interviewed by Russian TV about their research collaboration with Drs Andrey Belimov and Vera Safronova at the All Russia Research Institute for Agricultural Microbiology in St Petersburg. This highlighted the challenges and opportunities for food crop production against a background of climate change, which the team from LEC has been working to address.


Pendle Senior Tutor

Following Anne Stubbins’ decision to step down in July, Pendle College requires a new Senior Tutor from August 1st. Although our current Assistant Senior Tutor, Lisa Maurin, has indicated her willingness to succeed Anne, if you are interested in the role details will be available from the Principal via college office until the beginning of June.

Staff development IT training courses

Be quick! There are still some places left on the following FREE training sessions. If you wish to attend any training, please book your place online.

For more information on these and other training sessions, dates and location please look at the ISS Staff Training web pages.

Bus services on Spring Bank Holiday Monday 30th May

A Sunday level of service will operate. In Lancaster/Morecambe an enhanced timetable will operate on service 3.

Campus heating systems

The university’s District Heating systems will be turned off over the weekend 21st/22nd May and will remain off until September 2011. During this period, Facilities will start draining down the heating system and undertake maintenance works on the distribution network which includes pipework and valve replacement. Supplies of domestic hot water to sink taps should be unaffected.

Spine refurbishment works

Work has begun on the spine duct refurbishment which involves replacing all the manhole covers along the spine. These works will cause some disruption to pedestrians along the spine over the next four months (works will be suspended during Graduation week) and facilities apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Any queries please contact the Facilities help desk on X93333.

LICA Works

The Contractor will begin step replacement and re-landscaping of the embankment works onto Lancaster Square from the 23rd May for 3 weeks. Please bear with us whilst these works are going on. Any queries contact the help desk on 93333 or on

OneSearch discovery service

The Library is pleased to announce the implementation of OneSearch, a fast single search for all its information resources. Designed as a replacement for the MetaLib portal used since 2005, OneSearch exploits developments in search technology to deliver rapid searching of high quality scholarly materials, presenting them in a user-friendly contemporary interface. OneSearch is in ‘beta’ testing for the moment, with further development due next month. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for enhancements as we customise the service for full implementation next academic session.


For a full list of all events, please see Events.

Retreat on Campus - The Week of Accompanied Prayer

12th-17th June. A week to develop your spiritual life. It takes place at the Chaplaincy Centre and is a very good chance to learn more about and develop your own prayer life. The week includes workshops and a daily meeting with a ‘Prayer Guide’. The retreat is subsidised by the Chaplaincy but we ask staff to contribute £20 towards the cost. Please email - - for more information and to book a place.

Lancaster and Liverpool Psychology seminar series

Professor Charles Spence from Oxford University, will deliver a seminar 'Crossmodal correspondences: Looking for links between sound symbolism and synaesthesia and their application to sensory marketing' on Wednesday, 25th May at 4.00pm in Flyde Lecture Theatre 1. For further information please see here

A LEC/Centre for Science Studies Seminar

Science, media, policy and wildlife: the badger/bovine TB controversy, delivered by Dr Angela Cassidy, ESRC/RELU Research Fellow, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia on Wednesday 25th May, 1200-1300, in Bowland Nth SR 17. For further information see here.

DELC Research Seminar Series: Transnational – Transcultural – Global?

8th June, Bowland North SR 17, 5pm. The Spatial Turn? Towards a Relational Reading of Galician Cultural History, delivered by Kirsty Hooper, University of Liverpool. For further information see here.

Development opportunities


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