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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.

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| 23 September 2011 | Issue 535

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


Lancaster University and The University of Liverpool: Consultation on Collaboration

Staff will be aware that The University of Liverpool and Lancaster University have been exploring the potential benefits of closer collaboration.

Discussions have been focused on ways in which the two universities can collaborate in their long-term strategic interest, and how closer working could be of benefit in terms of research power and quality, the student experience, and international presence.

At the last meeting of Council on 1 July, I presented a paper summarising discussions with senior colleagues at The University of Liverpool.

A ‘Green Paper’ has been developed for consultation and is available for staff to read here. This will be used to form the basis of discussions at Council on 7 October and Senate on 12 October. The University of Liverpool is also consulting staff on the contents of this paper.

In making the case for closer collaboration, the paper recognises that both Lancaster and Liverpool are successful research-intensive universities with ambitions to consolidate and improve their standing among the world’s leading institutions. The closer collaboration under discussion builds on the position of strength each institution enjoys, and focuses on ways in which we can sustain excellence in the longer term. We are clear that we will only pursue the collaboration if it adds value to both institutions in terms of our research and the student experience we can offer in the context of our wider Strategic Plans.

Your views are extremely important. Please take time to review and send any comments on the paper to I will continue to keep staff, students and other key stakeholders informed of progress on a regular basis.

Professor Paul W. Wellings

International partnerships give UK students a global perspective

Student volunteers from Lancaster University are getting a leg up in the increasingly competitive global jobs market with an international volunteering programme. This month, 55 Lancaster University students have flown out to two of Lancaster’s partner institutions - GD Goenka World Institute, India and Sunway University in Malaysia - to take part in a scheme which sets out to develop global leaders of the future. The project is just one part of an international student volunteering programme set up by the Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) Involve – the UK’s biggest and most successful university volunteering unit. Full story

Taking leadership at Lancaster to a different level

Leadership development at Lancaster is about to enter an exciting new era with the launch of the Lancaster Leadership Programme (LLP). This is a brand new 18 month programme that brings together Academic and Professional staff who want to make a real difference to leadership, both here and in the wider sector. LLP will feature input from some of leadership’s most thought-provoking experts and will focus on issues at an international, local and personal level. Throughout the programme, in addition to the innovative core modules, participants will be supported by mentors and challenged by individually-assigned external coaches. Change, collaboration and communication will be key themes of the programme which will be launched by a dinner hosted by the Vice-Chancellor. Participation in this first cohort has already been confirmed through line manager nomination/invitation and the programme team is in the process of meeting all participants. Questions about the programme should be directed, in the first instance, to Jo Willmott.

Public Engagement in Research

The University is keen to bring some cohesion to the several strands of public engagement with research that is carried out by our staff and students. This can range from involving the public in research projects, public lectures, work in schools or involvement in policy development. For more information please see here.

If you are involved in these activities and/or would like to be involved in developing the institutional approach and support mechanisms, please contact the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor Trevor McMillan.

Foursquare on Campus

The University now has an official Foursquare on Campus page. Foursquare is a location-based social networking service that allows people to ‘check-in’ at venues via mobile devices to earn points and badges, discover tips and unlock offers. The network can be particularly useful to students who are new to the university, helping them to orient themselves and discover what the campus has to offer. For businesses on campus, the network allows for special offers to be created that can be obtained by Foursquare users. Useful visitor metrics are also available.

Most lecture theatres, public spaces, university establishments and sports areas already have dedicated venue pages set up on Foursquare. The university holds a supply of Foursquare window decals that can be used to encourage people to check-in at these venues – if you’d like some of these, or want to find out more about promoting your venue, then please contact Russell Reader, Digital Marketing Manager via

Tropical biodiversity study finds no substitute for primary forests

Undisturbed primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity, according to a study published in Nature (14 September). Primary tropical forests with little or no human disturbance are diminishing due to conversion and degradation by human activities and in many locations they have been replaced by agriculture, plantations and secondary forests. But an international team of researchers, including Dr Jos Barlow of Lancaster University, has concluded that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity, and secondary forests are poor substitutes for primary forests. Full story.

Record attendance at Physics Masterclass

Lancaster Girls' Grammar School pupils Zoe Harding and Jess Goodfellow, both 16, were among a record number of 230 students to attend Lancaster University's annual Masterclass in Particle Physics. Other schools included Ripley St Thomas CE High School, Lancaster Royal Grammar School, and Holy Cross College in Bury. The Masterclass, organised by the Department of Physics, included a general introduction to Particle Physics, a lab-based computer session with the Lancaster Particle Physics Package, a discussion of the experiments at the international laboratory CERN, and a quiz with book prizes. Photograph.

September Undergraduate Visit Days

Last Saturday, 17 September, over 9,000 visitors were warmly welcomed to the University. Marketing and External Linkages would like to thank everyone involved including all academic, support and student staff, with special thanks going to Facilities, colleges, Central Services, porters, Security, cleaners and all who volunteered to help at what were overwhelmingly successful recruitment events. Despite the weather, feedback from the event is very positive. From the online feedback questionnaire dispatched to visitors 70.3% of respondents have indicated they will definitely now apply to Lancaster.

Investing in people brings Silver success to KEST

Lancaster University’s Knowledge Exchange Support team (KEST) has achieved the prestigious Investors in People (IIP) Silver award, acknowledging their progressive approach to organisational improvement through individuals.

The team are now part the of exclusive 2% of Investors in People recognised in the UK that have achieved Silver recognition. With 15 employees, KEST is based in the Research & Enterprise Services Division and is made up of 3 distinct teams (Project Support Unit, Enterprise Team, Strategic Partnerships) all dedicated to promoting the exchange of knowledge between Lancaster University and its business, public sector and community partners.

For more information on the services KEST provides please contact Dion Williams (Tel 01524 94204 or

Helena Thorley

We regret to report the death of Helena Thorley on 20 September from cancer. Helena worked at Lancaster in a number of senior administrative roles in the 1990s, before leaving in 1998 to work at Keele University, where she later became Academic Registrar. In February 2011 she moved to Salford, to the post of College Registrar. Helena was still in touch with many people at Lancaster and will be sadly missed. Details of the funeral will appear in the Lancaster Guardian and will be circulated.


Professor Philip Levy symposium

Members of the University, colleagues and friends held a symposium in memory of the founding chair of the Psychology Department, Professor Philip Levy, on Wednesday 20 September. Paul Harris (Lancaster 1973-6, now Harvard: pictured far right) and Martin Conway (Leeds: second left) recalled Professor Levy's influence on a number of individuals who have become major figures in contemporary British psychology. Jim Ridgway (Lancaster 1973-1996, now Durham: centre right) worked with him on projects helping the RAF and government agencies in test construction and selection. Alexander MacRae (Birmingham, second right) discussed his contributions to research design across a wide range of domains of psychology and Derek Blackman (Cardiff, far left) recalled their days in setting up the first RAE or 'Research Selectivity Exercise'. Prof Levy's daughter, Lucy Stooksbury is also pictured above (centre left) and she responded in a style reminiscent of the grace and humour of her father. Peter Morris (Lancaster) charted Profesor Levy's contribution to the British Psychological Society, as its president during some difficult years in the late 1970s. University historian, Marion McClintock, described Professor Levy's lasting impact at Lancaster as a research institution. As first Chair of the University Research Committee he was largely responsible for the University's entry into the top tier of universities in the 1992 RAE. link to group photograph

The European Sociological Association has just held its largest ever conference with close to 3000 delegates in Geneva in early September. Professor John Urry (Sociology) was one of 3 speakers in the opening session where he delivered a plenary lecture on ‘Social Turbulence and Peaking’. In the closing ceremony Professor Sylvia Walby (Sociology) gave one of the 2 plenaries on ‘The Future of Capitalism’. Half a dozen other colleagues from the Sociology Department also gave significant talks/papers elsewhere in the programme.

Professor John Quinton (LEC) was part of the United Kingdom delegation at the launch of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) held at the UN-Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome. The GSP will seek to establish an intergovernmental panel to coordinate future global activities to protect and restore soils worldwide.

A new book edited by Dr Sophie Krossa (European Languages and Cultures) called Europe in a Global Context has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book provides an analysis of European culture, society and politics in a global context, with all contributions written by Lancaster colleagues in European Studies, German Studies, History, Philosophy, French Studies, Politics, Religious Studies, Law, Geography and Sociology.

Lancaster in the news

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

The opening of the €1m Aeroflex laboratory at InfoLab21 has been widely reported in the electronics industry media while Dr Robin Gilmour (Psychology) is quoted in the Times of Oman about the health benefits of happiness.


Bus route changes for the weekend of Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September.

As a result of the campus road refurbishment works this weekend all buses on Saturday and Sunday will serve Alexandra Park bus stops ONLY. Buses will not serve the Chaplaincy Centre this weekend. Passengers travelling by bus to and from the Sports Centre should use the bus stops on the A6 by the main University entrance. All University buses will be stopping here to and from Alexandra Park. Bus services will resume normal routes and stops from Monday 26 September.

Research and Enterprise Services Division re-location

On 28 and 29 September the Research and Enterprise Services Division will move to new office accommodation on B Floor, Bowland Main.

The Research Support Office (RSO) currently based in University House and also Roderick O’Brien, Gavin Smith and the Contracts Office currently based in Bowland Tower South will also be moving on 28 September to B Floor, Bowland Main.

The office will be closed from 12 noon on Tuesday 27 September and all day on Wednesday 28. Anyone submitting proposals to funders with deadlines on these 2 days should liaise with their RSO contact and arrange to complete their applications and approvals by Monday 26 September.

The office will reopen on Thursday 29 September in its new location: B Floor, Bowland Main (access can still be gained through University House).

On Thursday 29 September, PSU will be moving from Furness College to B Floor, Bowland Main. In case of an emergency the following staff from PSU can be contacted on their mobile phones:

All extensions will remain the same and we hope the move will not be too disrupting.

Steps – Winter 2011

Articles and information are now required for inclusion in the next edition of Steps (mailed to c.65,000 Lancaster graduates). Please let Sally Nelhams know if you or your department has anything you would like to be considered e.g. topical research/projects/profiles and general interest stories. PDF versions of Steps are available here. In the first instance please contact Sally by email or phone on 01524 592556 with your ideas. Steps will be mailed in December, so completed articles will be required by late October.

Campus Roads Update

Please refer to the campus map on the website for more information – this is a live document and is being updated as the work progresses.

Car Parking

The Flexible Benefits enrolment period has now closed and the process for collecting your passes is as follows:

Subsidised Unirider Bus Passes – Applications for subsidised staff bus passes have now closed for 2011/12. Eligible staff that have applied for a subsidised bus pass through Flexible Benefits should visit the LUSU Information Desk in Slaidburn House from Thursday 22 September to collect their bus pass. From Friday 30 September all Staff Uniriders applied for through flexible benefits are to be collected from the LUSU Finance Office. Staff must take a valid Lancaster University library card with them to collect their bus pass. Subsidised route-specific passes have been prepared in advance showing the home location area according to HR records. LUSU will also be selling termly and annual bus passes for the full price as normal to both staff and students with a valid Lancaster University Library card. Note that the passes are not valid until 3 October.

Race for Life

Lancaster women who took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life are being urged to make every step count – by returning their sponsorship money as soon as possible. Last year, just under half the women who took part in Race for Life didn’t return any sponsorship money.

More than 900 women took part in Race for Life at Lancaster University in July. There are three ways to return sponsorship money:


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

Asian Religious Values and Social Justice

An international conference organised by the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion on the theme of “Asian religious values and social justice” takes place from September 26-28. The conference, held at the Storey Creative Industries Centre in Lancaster, will address contemporary issues and historical debates about democracy, human rights, social justice, peace, gender, the environment and the common good. Academics and religious leaders from India, China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, the US, Canada and Europe will take part in a discussion about social justice from viewpoints derived from Asian religious, cultural and moral perspectives. For more information contact Dr Hiroko Kawanami.

Archbishop of York to Visit Lancaster University

The Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Dr John Sentamu will be visiting the Chaplaincy Centre and Lancaster University on Thursday 6th October. At 15:30 there will be an open question and answer session with the Archbishop in the Chaplaincy Centre, followed by refreshments. If you would like to attend please email

Professor Becky Francis - Gender and Social Justice in Education: Current Issues and Future Agendas

Thursday 27th October 2011, Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University. 4.30-6pm followed by a drinks reception Anyone is welcome, and this event is free of charge, but places are limited so please reserve a place by emailing


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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.

LU text is usually published on Fridays. On occasion it is necessary to delay publication until the following week. ITEMS FOR INCLUSION SHOULD BE EMAILED TO THE EDITOR BY 12PM THURSDAY BEFORE PUBLICATION. Adverts are limited to University members and we are unable to check incorrect contact numbers or email addresses. All attempts will be made to include adverts sent via email, but no guarantee is made. The editor reserves the right to edit copy. The opinions expressed in this bulletin are not necessarily those of the university management.

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