Vice-Chancellor's Office

Updates and events both on and off campus

Topic: Visits to departments

VC visits Computing Services

📥  Visits to departments

The Vice-Chancellor’s final visit of 2016 was hosted by Computing Services.

Accompanied by the Director, Andrew Lee, the visit started at the Help Desk in the Library, recently remodelled - with the help of our architecture students - to provide an up-to-date and welcoming space. Sherilyn Elmes, Service Manager, explained how the team dealt with an impressive 150 calls and online requests each day, assisting 2,000 people during induction alone.

29121 VC Visit to Computer Services 23 Nov 2016. Andrew Lee Director of Computing Services shows the VC around. Client: Ben Harris - Corp Comms

The VC with Andrew Lee, Director of Computing Services

Rob Hyde, Service Manager (AV), showed how the Audio Visual Unit helped students to access online learning, advising that 19% of campus-based lectures were now recorded, with significant expansion underway and further enhancements planned for the next academic year.

The visit continued in 4 East South, where approximately two thirds of Computing Services staff have been based since the building opened in the summer. Steven Chapman, High Performance Computer Manager, explained how his team works closely with researchers to understand their needs and assist with data analysis across disciplines. Mark Acres, IT Security Manager, showed Dame Glynis how information is safeguarded. There was also a demonstration of Skype for Business - a messaging, meetings and screen sharing platform which is being rolled out across the University.

Andrew Lee said: “The visit was a wonderful opportunity for the professional teams in Computing Services to demonstrate our significant achievements to date as well as showcase some of the new technologies we will introduce over the next year to help deliver the University’s strategy.”

Dame Glynis commented: "Computer systems are now fundamental to all that we do as staff and students of the University. I was impressed to see that Computing Services is focusing on ways to improve our experience and support our ambitions. Technology has advanced so much over the University’s first half century and it is reassuring to know that the Department is ready to support us as we embark on our next 50 years."

 

VC visits Sports Development & Recreation

📥  Visits to departments

On 2 November, just a week after the impressive rugby victory at The Rec which brought our 50th anniversary day celebrations to a fitting close, the Vice-Chancellor visited the Department of Sports Development & Recreation.

The Department has played a crucial role in building the University’s reputation as one of the leading centres in the UK for high performance sport, a reputation enhanced by the six Olympic and four Paralympic medals won in Rio by athletes based on campus.

Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport, guided Dame Glynis on a tour which took in all aspect of the Department’s activity including Training & Development, Physiotherapy & Sports Science, Facilities Sales, Reception and Operations.  There was an opportunity to view the 50th Anniversary timeline on the Sports Training Village concourse, and to hear about the sports development project in Zambia and the campaign to improve our British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) ranking.

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Dame Glynis views the 50th Anniversary timeline on the Sports Training Village concourse

Rachel Smith, Athlete Support Officer, an Olympian and Bath graduate, introduced two student athletes - Jan Gosiewski, who balances a Mechanical Engineering PhD with international judo, and Nick Bell, who was identified as a top level rower in the British Rowing’s Talent ID programme.

Barry Edwards, Physiotherapist, and Luke Vella, Strength & Conditioning Coach, demonstrated their multidisciplinary focus on injury prevention with the help of rower Nick, using a combination of manipulation and exercises to improve his range of movement and address muscle imbalances.

The VC watches as rower Nick, using a combination of manipulation and exercises to address muscle imbalances

The VC watches as rower Nick Bell is put through his paces to address muscle imbalances

Catherine Evans, Facilities Sales Manager, explained how the Facility Sales Team balances the competing demands of students, high performance athletes and community activities before team members showed Dame Glynis the booking system in action.

Dame Glynis said: “What you do is tremendous. You provide our students with the opportunity to pursue sport at the highest level but also encourage those who wish to engage in sport for enjoyment or just to keep fit.

“11,160 students activated their Sport Passes in 2015/16 and this demonstrates the inclusive nature of your approach.  You are also key to our partnership with the City, providing an excellent range of facilities and services which benefit the local community.”

 

Vice-Chancellor’s visit to Hospitality

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📥  Visits to departments

Fresh from a 50th anniversary rugby shirt presentation on 12 October, the Vice-Chancellor was met by Jane Loveys, Director of ahs (Accommodation & Hospitality) and guided through a timeline of photographs showing hospitality outlets, events and staff over the last 50 years.

Wessex Restaurant was packed with colleagues who gave an insight into what happens behind the scenes to keep the University’s bars, eateries and catering at the top of their game.

Jonathan Bowker, Deputy Hospitality Operations Manager introduced a film on 24 hours in Hospitality - from early breakfasts to late night events.  Serving 1,250,000 people a year is a big task and good customer service and team work are essential.

Mike James, Head Chef, said: “When I joined 13 years ago I used think of it as school dinners, now I’m serving royalty and developing our vegan offering - it’s all about keeping the customer happy.”

The department has a strong focus on ethical values and Patricia Echegaray, Deputy Hospitality Operations Manager, joined Anna Harvey, Team Leader Staff Catering Operations, to explain how they balance this with customer demand. Highlights include the Leave No Trace campaign with munch boxes being served at the end of the day to save food from going to waste, and a fourfold increase in the use of reusable coffee cups.

The Vice Chancellor visits Hospitality services for presentations in Wessex Restaurant.

The Vice Chancellor visits Hospitality services for presentations in Wessex Restaurant.

Piero Stobbia, Deputy Hospitality Operations Manager, and Paul Harvey, Bars & Restaurant Manager, spoke about the growth of hospitality, expansion of the outlets and the Eat & Drink scheme.  There was also a quick plug for the 50th Anniversary beer, now offered in the Parade Bar & Grill and Lime Tree.

Sarah Cashell, ahs Deputy HR Manager, then spoke about ‘delivering the experience’ and there was an opportunity to meet old and new members of staff.

Dame Glynis said: “Seeing the photos from the last 50 years reminds me that there has been a real sea change in hospitality at the University.

“Everything shows you are looking forward to the future.  This is the most important thing for the University - being ahead of the curve, innovating.

“It’s so important to think not just about what we do on the Claverton campus but how we can build on this as we move into the city and London.

“In our 50th year, it is great to know we have the right people delivering our hospitality.”

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VC visits Student Recruitment & Admissions

📥  Visits to departments

Student Recruitment & Admissions has introduced a series of developments since Mike Nicholson, Director of Student Recruitment & Admissions, joined us in 2014.

The department took the opportunity to show Dame Glynis new work underway to support the University’s strategy for recruiting undergraduate and graduate students. After a brief introduction to section heads, Dame Glynis visited each one to find out more detail.

Florin Bisset, Head of Learning Partnerships, talked about developing our links with opportunities for research collaboration between the Department of Health and the Royal Academy of Dance, and launching the new International Foundation Year with Bath College. This provides a route for international students to progress to the University whilst remaining in the same city for the duration of their study.

Dame Glynis then met four of the almost 200 student ambassadors who help the department: Oliver Au-Yeung, Josh Bee, Hannah Crosby and Rebecca Cwiklinski. They explained how they talk to potential and new students at a variety of events including the On Track to Bath programme, encouraging and supporting students to apply to Bath who may not have done otherwise.

Dame Glynis chats with student ambassadors

Dame Glynis chats with student ambassadors

Robbie Pickles, Head of UK & EU Student Recruitment, took the VC from people to hard data with a snapshot of recent work mapping applicant outcomes by location and which will provide the basis for more targeted student recruitment activity in the coming year.

Former President of the SU and Bath Mathematics graduate David Howells, recently appointed as Head of Undergraduate Admissions, then introduced the Vice-Chancellor to the University’s own online paperless undergraduate admissions scheme. Kelly Lockheed, Senior Admissions Administrator, showed Dame Glynis the system in action and talked the Vice Chancellor through the process of making offers whilst ensuring fairness and consistency in admissions decisions.

Dame Glynis was able to share the news that VCG had just approved a proposal to develop the same system for graduate admissions.

The theme of graduate admissions continued with Kim Spencer, Admissions Manager, and Dr Bruce Rayton, School of Management Admissions. Kim described how the team support the graduate admissions process, and detailed the arrangements for the upcoming arrivals weekend to assist induction and create a positive experience for our international students.

Dame Glynis then spent time with department staff and the student ambassadors over lunch: “It’s been wonderful to see you in such good spirits and I’ve learned an enormous amount; it’s been really interesting.

“You are the dynamic heart of our University. Recruiting the right students for the right course with the right experience at the right time has been key to getting us to number 1 in the NSS.

“If you didn’t do what you do so well, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

 

VC visits Faculty of Engineering and Design Professional Services

📥  On campus, Visits to departments

The Faculty of Engineering & Design welcomed the Vice-Chancellor recently and showcased their use of digital technologies. Management, administration and specialist teams gave demonstrations on a range of new initiatives for student recruitment, exam setting and placements. The morning acted as a celebration for innovative practices and collaborative working across the Faculty in line with their new mission statement.

Dame Glynis enjoyed presentations from:

·       The Placements Team who explained how they match students and companies to ensure the best fit for both parties.

·       The Learning Technologists and Learning Enhancement Advisor who spoke about how they use the latest technologies to support academic staff.

·       The Graduate School who described how they now create and set exams using Moodle, rendering a complex and slow process much more efficient and secure.

·       The Marketing Team who demonstrated how they use augment reality through the Aurasma App and blogging to showcase student projects and experiences.

·       The Faculty Executive Support Office who exhibited new methods for keeping staff updated.

·       The Department Offices who talked about their social media channels.

Dame Glynis hears from

Dame Glynis hears from Yvonne Moore about the support they offer academic staff with using the latest technologies

Dame Glynis also spoke with the Faculty’s first Business Administration Modern Apprentices; Hajraah Qureshi and Mitch Rose. Hajraah demonstrated a social media training module she had developed for staff.

29026 VC Visit to Faculty of Engineering 21 July 2016. Ian Forster-Smith, Director of Administration for E&D, shows the VC around. Client: Ben Harris - Corp Comms

Sarah Sempala-Ntege and Beth Jones from the Marketing team with Iain Forster-Smith and the VC

Addressing everyone over tea and a specially commissioned cake, Dame Glynis said: “It has been fascinating to find out so much about the new things you are doing. I am especially keen to create opportunities to help people develop, and it is great to hear how well your Modern Apprentices have been doing.

“I would ask you to share your work with colleagues across the faculties and the School of Management.

“Collaboration and inclusion are key to establishing innovation as the norm. The sky really is the limit when you start to work with everyone across the University. What you do here is fantastic.”

29026 VC Visit to Faculty of Engineering 21 July 2016. Ian Forster-Smith, Director of Administration for E&D, shows the VC around. Client: Ben Harris - Corp Comms

The Faculty of Engineering & Design Professional Services team

 

VC visits Academic Skills Centre

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📥  Visits to departments

Dame Glynis joined Maggie Ward Goodbody, Director of the Academic Skills Centre, as they stepped into a teacher training session to see the Centre in action.

Twenty-three academics from Brazil were learning how to teach academic writing to their colleagues and students, led by Diana Hopkins, Academic Skills Course Leader. The course is a unique collaboration with Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), an international partner and among the leading universities in Latin America.

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Dame Glynis meets colleagues from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp)

Dame Glynis said: “It’s wonderful to see you here. I’m very pleased our two universities are working together and I know, having spoken to your VC, how important this training is for Unicamp.”

As well as studying hard, she encouraged the group to “get out and enjoy our great city”.

Moving along the 1 West corridor, Dame Glynis met with colleagues over refreshments to hear about other elements of the Centre’s work.

Dame Glynis chats to staff from the Academic Skills Centre

Staff from the Academic Skills Centre talk to the VC about their work

Jo Lewis, Head of Pre-sessional, spoke about the programme, which acts as a springboard to a range of courses, helping overseas students develop their academic skills and understand the expectations of study in the UK.

Miranda Armstrong, Head of Academic Skills Programmes, talked about the help students receive to attain the highest levels of academic achievement. Tom Reid, Academic Skills Course Leader, added that new sessions developed and delivered in conjunction with the Faculty of Engineering & Design were building students’ real world skills.

Jackie Dannatt, Writing Centre Leader, and Justin Alam, Teaching Fellow, outlined the Writing Centre’s provision for postgraduates and Dame Glynis encouraged them to contribute to the activities in the new graduate study space in 10 West.

Dame Glynis with Bev Howard, Finance & Admissions Officer

Dame Glynis with Bev Howard, Finance & Admissions Officer

Head of Academic Skills Resources, Sarah Turpin, gave Dame Glynis an advance look at the Reflective Writing e-learning project offering online learning that can be easily adapted to provide subject-specific resources.

Dame Glynis said: “Thank you, it has been fascinating. It is good to see such a commitment to ensuring students successfully manage the transition on to our courses, something we will need to further focus on as we welcome more postgraduate students.”

 

VC visit to the Bio Sciences Service Unit

  

📥  Visits to departments

For her next department visit, Dame Glynis visited part of the Faculty of Science Technical Services, and met the dedicated team who look after the Bio Sciences Service Unit.

After donning clogs and a lab coat and passing through the dust-free ‘air shower’, the Senior Technician guided Dame Glynis around the Unit which houses a variety of rodents to support health and medical research at the University.

The tour covered the purpose-built facilities designed to meet the very latest guidelines on animal health and welfare, showing where staff carry out their research work and the animals are housed, with each species given in its own carefully controlled climate environment.

A series of posters lining the walls demonstrated some of the ongoing research projects, including understanding a human disease gene using zebrafish genetic models and investigating early embryonic development using a mouse model.

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A five-day-old zebrafish embryo informs research into human disease genes

Members of the team, with over 100 years of animal care between them, chatted to Dame Glynis and explained how the animals are looked after.

As part of promoting openness on animal research, the Unit has hosted a number of 'getting to know animal research' visits by local schools and others and regularly supplies information on animal research in response to enquiries.

More information on some of the current research projects is available online.

Understanding earlyembryonic development using a mouse model and alternative methods

Understanding early embryonic development using a mouse model

 

President & Vice-Chancellor visits Academic Registry

  

📥  Visits to departments

For her latest visit, Dame Glynis headed to one of the most connected professional services – the Academic Registry.

Creating innovative and prestigious graduate programmes was the first topic up for discussion. As John Harris, its Director explained: “Colleagues ask us for basic information on starting new programmes, and because we have so much experience in what’s required we can help shape their ideas.

“Conversations like this early on means the more formal element of creating and delivering the programme is much more straightforward.”

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John Harris introduced Dame Glynis to members of the management team including James Arthur, Head of Student Records & Examinations, and Assistant Registrars Amy Cavanagh, Jon Davies, Lisa Isted and Caroline Turrell, alongside Rachel Sheer, Executive Assistant, and James Olver, Personal Assistant.

Lorna Joscelyne, Business Process & Systems Support, was first stop on a tour of the Academic Registry’s history of developments, describing how the Student Systems team works with both users and developers to extract maximum value from the SAMIS database.

Valerie Jukes, Administrative Assistant, then gave an insight into ensuring effective liaison between our students and the Student Loans Company, especially in the complexities of changing course.

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The jigsaw puzzle of timetabling was covered by Caroline Turrell, Assistant Registrar, who highlighted the My timetable app which lets students and staff customise and download their timetables and has seen 8,000 logins since it launched in September.

Dame Glynis was offered a peek behind the scenes at Ceremonies thanks to Liz Evans, Student Records Officer, and Ella Richardson, Examinations Assistant. They gave the Vice-Chancellor a chance to stamp her own official University seal using the original machine from the very first days of the University.

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Dame Glynis then met with the whole department: “This has been a real delight, thank you - I have learned a lot.

“With the new funding routes and changes in research councils, we are increasingly looking outside traditional routes for new opportunities.

“And when we look outside traditional models we innovate - in the people we talk to, the partnerships we create, and the delivery of our teaching.

“Your experience and knowledge is vital to making these new ideas happen.”

 

VC visits Development & Alumni Relations

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📥  Visits to departments

It was the turn of Gavin Maggs, Director of Development & Alumni Relations, to escort Dame Glynis, the President & Vice-Chancellor, to the East Building for her latest visit, and a look behind the scenes of events where she is usually centre stage.

Martin Cornish, Alumni Communications Officer, introduced a discussion on how they manage an event from inception to finish.

With the purpose decided - be it fundraising, stewardship or engagement – Andreea Stangu, Prospect Research Officer, described how her team works with academic colleagues to help create the guest list, Sarah Kilgallon, International Events Assistant, covered managing invites and Zoe Whitten, Events Assistant, talked about the all-important details like seating plans.

Dame Glynis discusses event planning with staff in Development & Alumni Relations

Dame Glynis discusses event planning with staff in Development & Alumni Relations

Kirsten Buckley, Head of Corporate Partnerships, focussed on the post event follow up, such as the 15 new meetings arranged after the Department’s recent Windsor Castle event and Martin wrapped up describing how he publicised the event to our 100,000 alumni by email, on Twitter and in print.

Kirsten then offered Dame Glynis a virtual tour of Raiser’s Edge, the database of detailed information on alumni and donors. Every interaction with an individual is recorded alongside biographical information to build up a complete picture of their relationship with the University.

The power of this data was brought to the fore when Dame Glynis stepped into the Telethon call centre.

Liz Foot, Fundraising Officer, explained how Raiser’s Edge data was used to match student callers to alumni by identifying connections such as degree or society, to create conversations that as well as raising money, offer opportunities to make connections and for careers advice.

Alex Joseph, Senior Student Caller, described recruiting and training the student callers for the 303 shifts that raised £221,000 last year over, and Kit Stone, Data & Analytics Officer, unpicked how profiling and prediction modelling helped the most suitable alumni to approach.

Everyone then gathered for tea and cakes, with the Vice-Chancellor complimenting Chris Andrews, Departmental Administrator, on her outstanding orange polenta cake.

Dame Glynis said: “The £66million Look Further campaign fundraising target is ambitious. But I know you, and we, will achieve it. It is a clear demonstration of how you are enabling the Strategy and its transformational change of the University.

“I am asking you to maintain the momentum, not just to demonstrate the impact of the campaign but because it will build a platform for the next stage and where you go next.”

A useful Q&A session was rounded off by Dan Graves, Alumni Relations Assistant and fervent Leicester City FC fan, with the question of the moment - what does the University have to learn from their success?

Dame Glynis said: “I was just in South Africa with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester so, as you can imagine, I heard a great deal about this.

“It shows what you can achieve by working strongly as a team and getting the whole community behind you. You need determination, consistency - and you can’t worry about what everyone else says about you.”

 

VC visits Student Services

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📥  Visits to departments

To get the latest VC visit underway Anthony Payne, Head of Student Services, and his management team met Dame Glynis for a ‘big picture’ look at the advice and support they offer our students, from help with visas to counselling.

Barbara Furnival, Disability Service Manager, who joined us in March, described how 10% of our undergraduates have a disability, attracted by our compact campus and the support on offer.

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The VC meets staff who work in the 4W Roper Student Services Centre

Fellow new arrival Andrew Ayers, Counselling & Mental Health Services Manager, spoke about how his team helps students normalise the ups and downs of student life while providing specialist support for complex mental health issues.

Catherine Bailey, Operations and Student Money Advice Manager, gave an overview of their ‘whole person approach’ that ensures coordinated support and case management.

Dame Glynis then popped into the 4W Roper Student Services Centre to hear from Emma Nash, Acting Operations Team Leader and Angela Toms, Student Adviser, about the front of house student services.

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Jessica Scott describes the provision we offer international students.

Jessica Scott, Team Leader for International Student Advice, took Dame Glynis into one of the soundproof ‘pods’ to talk about the advice and support the team offers international students.

Across The Parade in the new 1W Student Services area, Susan Fielding, Team Leader for Disability Advice, described the service’s impact using the hypothetical example of ‘Jo’, a AAA student with a mild visual disability. Susan ran through the support and adjustments that would be put in place for Jo, both before her arrival and once she had started studying.

Hayley Mutchell, Student Mental Health Worker, elaborated on Jo’s story and explained how counselling and support would increase Jo’s mental resilience to help her through her transition into student life.

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Dame Glynis chats to Student Services staff over tea and cake after her visit

The whole department, minus the few who kept the service running, then gathered to chat with Dame Glynis over tea, coffee and cake.

Dame Glynis said: “Thank you for your time today, you have given me a real insight into the valuable support that you provide for our students.”