Vice-Chancellor's Office

Updates and events both on and off campus

Tagged: VC visit

Vice-Chancellor’s visit to Hospitality


📥  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.”




VC visits Academic Skills Centre


📥  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.


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.


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


VC visits Development & Alumni Relations


📥  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


📥  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.


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.


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.


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.”


VC sees Careers Service in action


📥  Visits to departments

The Vice-Chancellor and Tracey Wells, Head of the Careers Service, started off the VC’s latest visit with a look at the Service in action. The Sprint programme, which builds students’ confidence and helps them achieve their professional ambitions, had attracted 43 female undergraduates who were now filling the room in The Chancellors' Building.

Dame Glynis watches female student make presentations as part of the Sprint Training Programme

Dame Glynis watches female student make presentations as part of the Sprint Training Programme

After observing groups presenting to a panel made up of sponsors including Axa, Microsoft and Arup, Dame Glynis said: “It is wonderful to see so many talented and determined young women together in a room moving forward.”

First-year Psychology student Noor Khatijah Zafirah said: “I don’t like giving presentations, so it was good to be made to do it. The community that has been created here is really good.”

Then it was off to the Careers Service in Norwood House to meet the team.

The VC meets members of the Careers Service who are now based at our building in Manvers Street

The VC meets members of the Careers Service

Dr Ghislaine Dell, Careers Adviser, said: “There is so much to talk about that we’re proud of, from the big events like Employer Fairs to personal moments like a student coming to us feeling very anxious and leaving us confident.”

Tracey spoke about the future work of the team and highlighted some new activities including the pilot GW4 Careers Fair in Shanghai last year and the aim of holding an additional one in Beijing this year.

The team also discussed their ideas on how they wanted to support the new University Strategy and contribute their expertise, especially in growing the postgraduate offer.

Dame Glynis congratulated the team on their successes in helping students secure careers with a wide range of employers: “We have a high calibre of students at Bath but, of course, this wouldn’t be possible without you.”

“In the short term the move to Manvers Street will mean the challenge of keeping the show on the road, but the facilities there are great and you will be at the forefront of significant change for us as a university.”


VC visits Finance in Manvers Street

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📥  Visits to departments

Martin Williams, Chief Finance Officer, welcomed Dame Glynis to 18 Manvers Street on a Monday morning, and something different for the department’s start to the week.

First port of call was the Payroll Office with Rob Coles, Payroll & Pension Manager; Simon Paul, Payroll Supervisor and the team.

Simon explained how the move to Manvers Street had been a catalyst for refreshing many of their processes and Rob showed how the foot-high pile of paper timesheets was shrinking as more staff came online with e-timesheets.

As Chair of the USS Policy Committee, Dame Glynis was keen to discuss the latest developments in pensions with our new Pensions Officer, Jo Brownlow.

Moving on to the Insurance team, Simon Holt, Insurance Services Manager, ran through the benefits of the UMAL (Universities mutual insurance scheme) with Dame Glynis congratulating him on his recent appointment as Deputy Chair of the scheme.

Tony Brett, Head of Procurement

Tony Brett, Head of Procurement

The Procurement Office then demonstrated the ease of using the e-marketplace with Tony Brett, Head of Procurement; Rich Backholer, Supply chain Coordinator and Greg Derrick, Contract Manager, ordering popular items including a 3D printer and an Oligo, a customised strand of DNA.

Staff then gathered in the staff room to hear from the Vice-Chancellor and ask her questions.

Dame Glynis said: “Thank you, it was interesting to speak to so many of you and to see the move has gone remarkably well.

“Our plans for the building will make it look really good and local residents and visitors will see it and the University as an integral part of their community.

“As the University occupies more new spaces, you are at the forefront of these developments and have shown what is possible by taking the plunge.

“Our new Strategy, which you may have heard about, articulates very significant change for us. To become an international leader in graduate education we must think outside traditional models of how we operate. The old idea is of the University up on the hill. The new one is a University in the City, in Jordan, in South Africa and across the globe.

“This means we will look to you to innovate and support this change, at speed, at a very exciting time for the University, and I have every confidence in you.”


The VC speaking with the team


VC visits School of Management


📥  Visits to departments

The Vice-Chancellor’s latest visit took her the full length of the Parade as she spent time with staff in the School of Management, which now has offices at both ends of the campus.

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey gives the VC a tour of the Executive Development Suite in The Edge

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey gives the VC a tour of the Executive Development Suite in The Edge

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, Dean and Head of the School, started the tour in The Edge to see the new Executive Development Suite in action.

Dr Jan Stiles, Director for Executive Development, who joined us last year from University of Cambridge, took Dame Glynis into the side-lines of a business game that was being delivered as part of an executive development package for Nationwide Building Society. The session was led by Professor Brian Squire, Head of the Information Decisions & Operations (IDO) Group, and Professor Mike Lewis, Professor in Supply Strategy.

Nick Gittins, Senior Executive Divisional Strategy at Nationwide, said: “We are definitely a very happy client, and we’re looking to develop a deeper, broader relationship with the University.”

Dr Jan Stiles introduces Nick Gittings of Nationwide

Dr Jan Stiles introduces Nick Gittins of Nationwide

Dr Emma Brandon-Jones, Lecturer in Operations Management, then welcomed the Vice-Chancellor to the new IDO Group open plan accommodation in the adjacent East Building.

Centre for Healthcare Innovation + Improvement (CHI2) Director Dr Christos Vasilakis talked about the Centre’s focus on solving the practical challenges of health and social care systems. Christos touched on the rapid progress made with local NHS organisations, with three new Fellows joining in September, and regular ‘researchers in residence’ in place.

Dr Güneş Erdoğan, Reader in Management Science, spoke about his work on charity retail logistics, analysing the web of connections between donations and sales to identify efficiencies that save costs for the charities and reduce emissions. “Vehicle tracking produces vast amounts of data,” he said. “We are looking in this haystack of information for the needles and the diamonds.”

A brisk walk along the parade to 8 West followed, where Head of MSc Operations Navdeep Uppal, Associate Dean for PGT Programmes Dr Bruce Rayton, and the MSc team explained how they provide support for students from 51 different nationalities, and achieve a dropout rate of just two or three students a year from an intake of 500.

Ben Smith, Placements Operations Manager, then introduced the placements team, who in turn gave Dame Glynis a glimpse of the huge range of placement opportunities the School offers its students to work alongside some of the star performers of the business world.

Dame Glynis meets staff from the School over tea and cake

Dame Glynis meets staff from the School over coffee and cake

To round off the visit, the foyer of 8 West thronged with staff as they tucked into coffee and cake whilst chatting to the Vice-Chancellor.

“Thank you for taking the time to show me so much,” said Dame Glynis. “I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you what respect and admiration I have for everything you are doing.

“The fact that you now occupy buildings on both ends of the campus is a sign of your growing significance. You have been a major component of our success, and I see you having a key role in taking us forward as we move into identifying and maximising the opportunities ahead of us.”


VC visits Campus Retail & Commercial Operations

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📥  Visits to departments

The Vice-Chancellor’s latest visit began in the slightly unusual surroundings of the Fresh Grocery Store.

Ryan McCormick, Store Manager, explained the layout of Fresh highlighting two of its ‘focus areas’ - a tempting range of fruit and veg and a variety of freshly baked goods from the in-store bakery.

Dame Glynis commented: “When I’m having a tough day I come down and grab a Danish pastry. So if you see me buying one, please be nice to me.”


Ashley Barnes, Food Services Co-ordinator, gives Dame Glynis a guided tour

When asked about managing fresh foods going out of date, Ryan explained that store waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant to produce energy as part of the Cooperative Group’s recycling.

John Morgan, Head of Campus Retail and Commercial Operations, said that following the expansion in 2012 Bath is now the largest University-operated grocery retailer in the UK, with term-time turnover a lot higher than most convenience stores.

One of the store’s remaining challenges is dealing with the peaks of customer demand, when the queue can snake to the back of the store despite all tills being staffed. The department is keen to tackle this and to help speed up payments the 20p card charge will be waived from next semester – you heard it here first!

Fresh Express

Next up was Fresh Express in Norwood House, where Christine Allgood, Store Manager, welcomed Dame Glynis. She introduced her to a number of her staff including Ruth Lunt, Chemistry PhD student, who is working while she awaits to hear her degree results, and Dan Savage, first year Computer Science student who said: “I love the job, it’s a nice balance with study and I’m looking forward to coming back next year.”


Christine Allgood with the VC in Fresh Express Store

Christine explained the store was busiest at lunchtime, with Meal Deals comprising the bulk of their business. With so many visitors, branded merchandise was getting a big push, with plans in the offing for a range of commemorative goods to celebrate the University’s upcoming 50th anniversary.

The store has been in the same location for at least 30 years and Christine shared some old photos with Dame Glynis, including staff surrounded by stacks of Pot Noodles.

Pitstop, Costa, Crêpe de France

Ashley Barnes, Food Services Coordinator, then took the Vice-Chancellor on a tour of the catering facilities on level 2 of Norwood House, starting with a chat with the longest serving member of Pitstop staff Leander Hoyte, who has worked there for 16 years.

Dame Glynis then met staff from Costa before being treated to a crêpe made by Sara Collins and Habiba Moubarak Mubark at Crêpe de France.

Habiba Moubarak Mubark and Sara Collins share a joke with the VC whilst making a crepe for her

Habiba Moubarak Mubark and Sara Collins share a joke with the VC whilst making a crêpe for her

The area was closed for the department to come together for tea, cake and a chat with the Vice-Chancellor, while colleagues kept the outlets going.

Dame Glynis said: “Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing you - and trying the crêpe! It’s particularly good to see so many of our current and former students.

“Even when it is at its most busy, I get the sense that you know just what you are doing and are proud of your work.

“The services we provide on campus have improved beyond recognition. What we offer to our campus communities and visitors is so important, so what you do really does count, thank you.”


Vice-Chancellor visits Research & Innovation Services


📥  Visits to departments

The Vice-Chancellor headed to Research & Innovation Services (RIS) on her latest visit to find out how they help colleagues to win research funding and support them through projects.

To begin the tour Dr Jon Hunt, Director of RIS, introduced Dame Glynis to those involved in growing European Commission funding.


Caroline Ang, Research Development Manager, highlighted that international and European funding is at an all-time high with Horizon2020 awards growing from £11 million to £20 million in three years, including European Research Council grants secured by staff including Darrell Patterson, Tina Düren and Laurence Hurst.

Dame Glynis then met Katy McKen, Head of Research Information & Intelligence, and colleagues involved in using information and intelligence to grow targeted research applications.

Saskia Walcot, Research Impact Manager, outlined her worked with academic colleagues to build on the University’s strong focus on impact while Fi Lang, Marketing Communications Officer, described how the latest email campaign on Water research was being read by many more industry partners than the sector average.


Oscar DeMello, Industrial Partnerships Manager, and Graham Fisher, Research Commercialisation Manager, explained their work to support innovation funding.

Oscar talked the Vice-Chancellor through RIS’s work with industry, exemplified by the relationship with CGI specialists Imaginarium, whose initial approach for a small piece of research has rapidly grown into a key role in the Department of Computer Science’s new motion capture facility.


Alison Evans, Head of Research Project Management Service; Hazel Wallis, Head of Research Grants & Contracts; and Karen Giles, Research Contracts Officer, then described their efforts to improve the department’s effectiveness including improving the way research contracts are put in place, piloting Microsoft SharePoint to manage contract negotiation information, and creating a new end-to-end electronic environment from proposals to awards.

Dame Glynis spoke to staff as the whole department gathered in the Council Chamber for tea and cake. She said: “Our amazing REF 2014 results placed us twelfth overall, in among universities twice our size. Our challenge is to build on this and deliver more high quality research.

“You are doing a brilliant job. And we will need you to do even more, because what you do is critical for our future.”