in brief header feb 16
In Brief is a monthly all-staff news
round-up, giving you concise summaries
of the essential information you need.
All articles are short and are clearly categorised as ‘for action’,
‘for information’ or simply ‘nice to know’.
Contact for more.

UEB visiting School and Service meetings

Alongside the twice-yearly formal all-staff briefings, the Vice-Chancellor and other University Executive Board (UEB) members would like to visit School and Service meetings during the year to hear from colleagues across our campuses about their current priorities, achievements and concerns.

To request a member of UEB to come to your School or Service meeting, please talk to your Head of School, Department or Function before contacting Rachel Helsby in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.

The dates for the spring term all-staff meetings are below:

9 May 2016, 14:00-15.00, National Grid, Greenlands
11 May 2016, 13.00-13.50, Madejski Theatre, Whiteknights
12 May 2016, 13.00-13.50, G11, Henley Business School, Whiteknights

Contact Rachel Helsby for more.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption policy

The University Council recently approved a revised Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy. The policy applies to all University employees and those working for it, such as agents. It sets out the responsibilities of the University and those working for it in recognising, preventing and reporting concerns relating to bribery and corruption. Please take the time to read it carefully.

Training on the policy and associated responsibilities will be provided to appropriate colleagues in the Spring Term.

If you have any questions relating to this policy, please contact Richard Messer, the University Secretary or Julie Rowe, the Director of Legal Services.

Become a record breaker for our 90th anniversary

90th anniversary

The University is set to celebrate its ninetieth anniversary on Thursday 17 March. We need your help to make the occasion even more memorable – come and break a world record with us!

During our lunchtime celebrations on 17 March, we will attempt to break the world record for the 'most simultaneous human cradle lifts’ in the presence of the Guinness World Records team. Staff and students, in groups of three, will simultaneously perform a 'four-hand seat carry,' inspired by a photo of our first Vice-Chancellor being ‘chaired’ by students. Have a look at the video.

To take part in this exciting event, sign up on our 90th anniversary website by Thursday 10 March.

Contact events for more.


University of Reading Malaysia formally launches

The University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM) and Henley Business School Malaysia were formally inaugurated on Thursday 25 February by the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell.

90th anniversary

The official opening ceremony was held at the University’s state-of-the-art purpose-built campus at EduCity, Iskandar, and was attended by over 400 guests, staff and students. As part of the ceremony, honorary degrees were awarded to the High Commissioner Vicki Treadell and Ong See Lian, the first non-British President of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a University alumnus.

UoRM is the University’s first multi-disciplinary overseas campus and has capacity for 3,000 students.

Visit the Staff Portal for more.

New Diversity and inclusion targets set for 2020

New targets have been set to promote stronger gender and racial representation across the University. Set by Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell and Deans of Diversity and Inclusion Professor Ellie Highwood and Professor Simon Chandler-Wilde, the targets for 2020 include:

At least 30% of either gender in all key University committees and boards;
All key University committees to match academic staff BAME representation;
Over 70% of UK-based staff to declare sexual orientation.

The full list of targets is available here. Information sessions on these targets began in early March, with two further sessions planned for:

Wednesday 9 March, 13:00–14:00, National Grid, Greenlands
Wednesday 16 March, 13:00–14:00, LO22 G01, London Road

Contact Diversity for more.

Support funding available for School and Function events

This academic year, the Vice-Chancellor has allocated £10,000 from the University’s Endowment Fund to support staff and students running departmental, school or function events involving the public or external stakeholders. Up to £1000 can be granted per event.

To apply, send a short email to which:

Details what you need and how you will use it;
Explains how the event will help deliver the School’s or Function’s vision as stated in the 5-year plan; and
Demonstrates an external focus, either locally or with key stakeholders.

Approved funding will be allocated directly to the department, school, or function budget. A short post-event evaluation will be required.

Contact Rachel Helsby for more.

KPI dashboard sessions to be held in April

Professor Robert Van de Noort will be hosting three staff briefing sessions this April on the new Key Performance Indicators (KPI) dashboard, and explain how staff can get full access to this.

The dashboard is based on existing data from the University and some others sources, and will provide an overview of a School’s performance against key metrics - both in comparison with other Schools within the University and with comparable Schools at competing universities. More information will follow in due course.

The briefings are scheduled for:

Wednesday 6 April, 13:00–14:00, L022 103, London Road
Friday 8 April, 13:00–14:00, Agric 1L08, Whiteknights campus
Monday 11 April, 13:00–14:00, URS 2s21, Whiteknights campus

Contact Robert Van de Noort for more.

Increase in malicious spam emails – please be vigilant!

Information Technology have reported an increase in malicious spam emails with attachments containing ransomware. Opening attachments found on these emails can cause serious technical damage and may compromise your personal security. IT have taken measures to stop the download of malicious software, but encourage staff to be extra vigilant.

The emails are typically sent from a ‘supplier’ and have an ‘invoice’ attachment, potentially disguised to resemble something familiar to your working environment. Please check the sender and, if in doubt, either confirm with the sender that the email is genuine, or check the sender’s email address on Google to see if it is listed as spam email.

Contact IT for more.

New recruitment applicant tracking system to pilot in May

HR Operations have appointed Jobtrain Solutions to supply a new recruitment Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for the management of recruitment activity.

The new ATS will offer different ways of working to better suit our recruitment needs. Anticipated benefits include a reduction of manual administration, a streamlined user experience, and capacity for user updates during the recruitment process. A pilot is due in May and will be applied to vacancies within Mathematics & Physical Sciences, Built Environment, Library, IT and ICMA. Following the pilot, we hope to launch the new system to the wider University during the summer.

Workshops are planned for April, with further information sessions held throughout the year.

Contact Nicola Johnson for more.

Revised procurement website

Following a first phase of improvements to the procurement website last year, further changes have now been made which are intended to make it even easier to use. Sections include:

A list of the most frequently-bought items, with simple links to how to buy them
Information on how to pay for goods or services
A step-by-step approach to buying, so that you know what you need to do and how the team will support you
Which team member to speak to about which topic
Questions for you to consider to make purchasing quicker and easier

Visit the site for more.

Safety Matters re-launched

Health and Safety Services are pleased to announce the re-launch of Safety Matters, their quarterly news bulletin. It will provide information, updates and advice on safety matters across the University. We hope that these regular updates will give you a better understanding of our work, increase engagement with the team and help us towards our common goal of continual improvement in Health and Safety performance. Topics covered in the March issue includes accident trends, incident reporting, overseas travel and information on forthcoming learning opportunities.

The March edition can be found here.

Health and Safety Services are located in Rooms 110–114, JJ Thompson.

Contact Moira Simpson for more.


Celebrate our 90th anniversary on Thursday 17 March

On Thursday 17 March the University will turn 90, and we invite staff, students and alumni to join us in celebration across the day.

Between 1–2pm, a lunchtime reception will be held in the Palmer Quad, with cake and refreshments available for all to enjoy. The world record attempt for the ‘most simultaneous human cradle lifts’ will also take place during this time, so please come and join in! Have a look at the video.

Later, a special meeting of the University Court will be held in The Great Hall. The ballot for places has now closed, and we are in the process of notifying those who have been successful.

Please visit our 90th anniversary website for full details.

Contact Events for more.

Professor Roberta Gilchrist voted Archaeologist of the Year

Professor Roberta Gilchrist, Research Dean for Heritage and Creativity, has become the first woman to win the ‘Current Archaeology’ award for Archaeologist of the Year.

The award recognises Roberta’s ground-breaking research on the archaeology of Glastonbury Abbey, with the winner chosen entirely by public vote. In her research, Roberta found that several of the Abbey’s best known archaeological 'facts' were in fact myths themselves, perpetuated by excavators influenced by the abbey's legends.

This year marks the second consecutive year that a University of Reading professor has won the award. Professor Michael Fulford won the award last year.

Read the news story for more.

RUSU Excellence Awards

The RUSU Excellence Awards aim to recognise members of teaching and learning staff whose actions have far exceeded our students’ expectations, serving as a way for our students to give thanks to our staff for their hard work.

Winners of the RUSU Excellence Awards will receive a prize of £500, a trophy, and will be commended publicly by the University at our Graduation ceremonies.

The award categories are:

FAHSS Teaching Excellence
HBS Teaching Excellence
Life Sciences Teaching Excellence
Science Teaching Excellence
Personal Tutor Excellence
Support Staff Excellence
Research Inspired Teaching Excellence
Technological Innovation Teaching Excellence

Nominations are cast through the RUSU website. Closing date is Friday 18 March.

Contact Niall Hamilton, RUSU Education Officer or Victoria Bundy, Academic Representation Coordinator for more.

Social media advice from Tim Watkins

Social Media Manager Tim Watkins runs our main social media channels. His job is to showcase the huge range of activity here, as well as providing information and answering queries to applicants, students and staff.

He is now working with social media owners across the University to build schools and departments’ profile, to share best practice and build our knowledge. If you need support, advice or want to promote your work to a wider audience, please get in touch with Tim.

Contact Tim Watkins for more.

Event highlights for March

Highlights across March include:

• Edith Morley Lecture: In conversation with Karen Blackett OBE, Tuesday 8 March. Karen Blackett OBE will be in conversation with the VC for this special event in memory of Professor Edith Morley. Also part of our 90th anniversary celebrations. More information here.

• The Great Debate: Can Renewables Meet Our Electricity Needs? Monday 14 March. Join the debate on whether renewable energy really can meet our electricity needs. Part of British Science Week 2016. More information here.

• Annual Cole Lecture: Wild Life in a Warmer World, Wednesday 23 March. Professor Camille Parmesan hosts the annual Cole lecture. Also part of our 90th anniversary celebrations. More information here.

See the full event listing page here.

Contact Events for more.

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