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19 July 2013 | Issue 619

LU Text will be published once during August on Friday 16 August and the weekly service will resume on Friday 6 September 2013. Please ensure you check the Facilities News website regularly as there is a lot of work taking place across the campus that might affect you. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

See the Press Office news and blogs pages here

Contents: News| People| Job Opportunities| Lancaster in the news| Work on Campus| Sports news| Food & Drink| Training & Courses| What's On| Adverts|


Graduation success

Congratulations to all our students and staff who received degrees this week. More than 2, 500 degrees were conferred by the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor in ten ceremonies which took place over four days. Students were accompanied by more than 6,000 guests who watched the ceremonies in the Great Hall or in a live web link in the Faraday Lecture Theatres.

The Vice-Chancellor paid tribute to Pro-Chancellor Bryan Gray, who is leaving this year, at the Graduation Dinner held in recognition of the honorary graduates.

This year is also the first time that Alumni Awards have been presented, to Clare Amsel, Gary Foxcroft and Andrew Leaitherland.

LUSU President Joel Pullan graduated with his twin brother Laurence, LUSU Vice President Union Development, following in the footsteps of their father Tim who graduated from Lancaster in 1987. Full story.

Almost 300 staff from across the University took part in the ceremonies and the Ceremonies and Events Office would like to thank everyone involved for their support.

Podcast of the Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on MOOCs

The VC Forums provide opportunities for staff and students to meet with Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith to consider and debate topics that are of strategic importance to Lancaster. June’s VC Forum focused on the strategic implications of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) for Lancaster University, and the broader impact on the higher education sector. Learn more.

Listen to the audio podcast and join the debate. An audio podcast is now available to listen to online, offering some reflections on the first VC Forum. As there was so much interest in the topic of MOOCs, we hope that you will share your views with us.

Email us with topic suggestions for future forums. Topics will be short-listed for selection by the Vice-Chancellor. Students and staff members whose proposal is selected will automatically be given the opportunity to attend that session.

“One of the greatest mysteries in the Universe” nearer solution

An international experiment investigating one of the biggest mysteries in fundamental physics – why the amount of matter greatly exceeds the amount of antimatter in the Universe - has made a leap forward. Lancaster University is one of eight UK partners involved in a global scientific collaboration called the T2K experiment based in Japan.Full story.

Email traffic gives clues to workplace threats

Employees carrying out an insider attack at work can be identified from the language they use in emails according to Lancaster psychologists. These attacks include everything from workplace theft to fraud, hacking and sabotage, resulting in the loss of millions of pounds to companies. Full story.

The British Academy to support Mandarin project

The British Academy has announced its support for a research project designed to improve the teaching and learning of Mandarin as a foreign language. The three-year initiative, which presents a pioneering approach to Chinese language teaching and learning, will further develop and strengthen the recently established partnership between Lancaster University and the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS). The joint bid was submitted by Dr Richard Xiao, Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute and a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, and Professor Hai Xu, from GDUFS . Full story

Flexible Benefits 2013/14

Annual enrolment for Flexible Benefits is approaching. This year sees several new changes to the scheme, including the introduction of two new benefits:

  • The Purple Card from LUSU, it entitles holders to discounts at retailers in and around Lancaster and further afield.
  • The EAT Staff Card, a pre-credited dining card that also offers holders a discount at University catering outlets.
  • In addition, following enthusiastic feedback from staff, a second enrolment window will be offered in February for the Cycle to Work scheme, to take effect in March.

Staff are encouraged to log into employee self-service to check that their contact details are up to date.

WH Smith

The University is pleased to announce that it has agreed terms with WH Smith who will provide a newsagents service for students, staff and visitors. The new outlet will be located in the corner of Alexandra Square and will open in a few weeks’ time.


Dr Ioannis Chatzigeorgiou (School of Computing and Communications) has secured EPSRC funding for a project entitled "Network error control for Rapid and Reliable Data Delivery ". The project was ranked first among competing First Grant proposals and will develop unified channel and network codes to deliver high reliability, low decoding complexity and increased security in next generation networks to satisfy the increasing demand for streaming and downloading of high quality media.

Job Opportunities

Vacancies which have been released this week include:

Undergraduate Coordinator| Senior Venue Assistant| HR Assistant| Lecturer in Property Law | Lecturer in Statistics | Research Associate in Accelerator RF Engineering |

Lancaster in the news

All Africa reports that Creative Writing lecturer Jennifer Makumbi has won 'Kwani?', a new literary prize for African writers. Also in the news is Professor Geraint Johnes, Dean of Graduate Studies is in The Conversation writing about rising wages in an economic recovery.

To see other news items featuring colleagues follow the link.

Work on campus

Further information about all the following work and other work on campus is available on the Facilities news webpage, or by contacting the Facilities helpdesk, 01524 593333.

Improvement work to the roads and pathways across campus

Work will start week commencing 22 July. Access will be maintained at all times but it may involve some diversions and delays. To view where they will be taking place see here.

Closure of Edward Roberts Court staircase

The staircase from outside the LUSU and Spar shops down into Edward Roberts Court will be painted this weekend (20 and 21 July). They will be out of use while the work is carried out, please use the ramp near the Venue to gain access during the work.

Closure of underpass

Work is scheduled to start from Sunday 21 July for three weeks. The underpass will be closed to ensure your safety during the work. To view the travel and traffic arrangements during this time see here.

Partial closure of Bigforth Drive (main drive) for pedestrian walkway improvements

Between Monday 22 July and mid-September work will start on a new pedestrian walkway over Lake Carter to connect the main footpath directly to the Sports Centre without having to cross the road. The following traffic arrangements will be in place.

For the University Visit Day on 28 August all of Bigforth Drive will be open as normal.

Sports news

The Legacy goes on at the Sports Centre.

Children’s summer holidays activities

There is an extensive range of activities for children at the Sports Centre, to keep them entertained throughout the summer holidays. For information about Children’s Intensive Climbing Lessons, Intensive Swimming Lessons, or Mad4Kids Multi-Activity Days and weeks then visit the Sports Centre website.

Food & Drink on Campus

Food and drink during the summer vacation

Training & Courses

Organisation and Educational Development

Please find below upcoming staff development opportunities that may be of interest. For further opportunies later in the year please visit the OED website or email directly

  • New professional development opportunity for managers - ILM level 5 award – Management Development Programme

    This new Management Development Programme (MDP) has been developed to match institutional needs, by engaging managers in development activities that encourage strategic thinking and foster business improvement. The MDP is part of a new ‘stepped’ suite of Leadership and Management programmes, which aim to increase the support available to managers and leaders at all levels within the University. See here for further information and deadline for applications.

  • College Advisor Workshops - 19 September, 10.00am - 12.00pm.
  • Researcher Day – Research in a Difficult Climate: How to Thrive and Survive as a Researcher in the 21st Century - 26 September, 9.30am - 4.30pm – Management School.

Staff IT training

The following FREE IT taught training sessions run by ISS are available during the summer. All training sessions take place in the Library Training suites and require booking online, unless otherwise stated.

Interested in gaining Microsoft Office Specialist qualifications? Please see our MOS webpage for details.

More information is available on the ISS Staff IT Training pages.

What's On

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

Narrative approaches to neurological conditions

The Lancaster Doctorate in Clinical Psychology will be co-hosting a CPD event in collaboration with the Neuropsychology Special Interest Group. It will be held on 11 November 2013, and be considering the application of narrative approaches within neurological settings. Keynote speakers for the event include Ava Easton, CEO of The Encephalitis Society; Rozanne Barrow, Head of the Speech and Language Therapy Department at Beaumont Hospital; and Narrative Therapist, Sarah Walther. For further information and registration details see here.

‘Teaching silkworms to spin’: Ruskin and Textiles

An exhibition including examples of Victorian textiles and contemporary pieces, inspired in various ways by the work of John Ruskin. Open on weekdays until 13 September, at the Ruskin Library. 10.00am - 4.00pm. Admission free. Further information


All adverts posted by staff.