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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 communications@reading.ac.uk for more.

New information security incident response policy

The University Executive Board (UEB) and Information Security Group have approved a new Information Security Incident Response Policy, available online.

The Policy exists to ensure that necessary actions are taken in the event of a compromise of University Data. Compromises of data can range from emails being sent to incorrect recipients, lost or misplaced documents or IT equipment, through to malicious hacking of our systems. A means for any staff member to report actual or suspected compromises of University information is now available via the IMPS website.

All staff are required to read the Policy and accompanying procedures.

Contact IMPS for more.

Spam email: message from IT

Our IT systems block around 3 million spam emails per week, but some still get through. Spam emails can be malicious and opening links or attachments from them could put you at risk.

Please be vigilant and consider the following:

Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
Email addresses can be ‘spoofed’ to look like an address you trust. If unsure, check with the sender.

Other good security practice is:

Use strong passwords, including a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
Never share your password or write it down.
Don’t allow family members or non-authorised people to use your work computer.

Contact IT for more.


Graduation 2017: assistants needed

Summer graduation ceremonies will take place on Wednesday 5, Thursday 6 and Friday 7 July 2017.

Graduation is a time of celebration for all – everyone attending on the day is a guest of the University and we want them to feel welcome and have the best experience possible.

The Graduation Office is looking for people who are willing to help greet and host guests attending on the day. If interested, please look at the role descriptions and complete the graduation marshal application form by Tuesday 16 May 2017.

Additional information on Graduation can be found online.

Contact Graduation for more.

University selection process as parent or supporter

After last year's success, we are repeating our survey with those who are keen to share their personal experience of the University decision making and application process as a parent or relative.

This insight and feedback from staff has proved extremely helpful to the Global Recruitment Team, the Events Team and the Conversion Team. If you have been involved in an application process to university recently and would also like to share your experience with us, we’d be really grateful if you could take a few minutes to fill in our brief questionnaire.

Contact Rachel South for more.


Reading makes Complete University Guide Top 30

The Complete University Guide again places the University among the Top 30 UK universities.

The 2018 guide ranks Reading as joint 26th in the UK, up one place from last year. Land & Property Management remains number one for the third consecutive year, and eight subjects made the Top Ten: Building (4th), Aural & Oral Sciences (5th), Food Science (5th), Agriculture & Forestry (6th), Art & Design (8th), Education (10th) and Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design (10th). Henley Business School also rank highly in this year’s guide, with all programme areas included in the Top 20 by subject area.

Contact Planning & Strategy Office for more.

Staff Survey: UEB to receive initial results 8 May

A big thank you to all who completed the 2017 Staff Survey.

The response rate was 64% (including sessional staff). On Monday 8 May, the University Executive Board (UEB) will receive an overview of the institutional results. This presentation from Capita will be shared with the Leadership Group at its meeting on Wednesday 24 May.

Alison and her colleagues are currently developing focus group sessions to address the key issues raised in the survey in order to develop an action plan. These focus groups will take place in June and July, and details will be shared once the survey results are ready to circulate towards the end of May.

Contact Alison Hackett for more.

NSS: thank you for your help

The National Student Survey (NSS) drew to a close on Sunday 30 April.

Thank you to all colleagues who helped promote the survey within our Schools and departments – early indications show that nearly 1,700 finalists took part this year, so thanks for all of your support. The data is currently being analysed by survey hosts Ipsos Mori, and will be shared with the University this coming August.

Contact Communications for more.


Celebrating diversity through ‘Faces of Reading’

The Faces of Reading website launched on Wednesday 3 May. It aims to showcase the range and diversity of our staff, affirming Reading as a university that recruits, supports and develops staff from a wide variety of backgrounds.

We are keen to represent all parts of the University (in the UK and overseas) and our diverse staff network, and hope to feature colleagues from a wide variety of roles, career stages and backgrounds. To nominate yourself or a colleague as a ‘Face’, please read the staff portal article.

Contact the Project Team for more.


Quad redevelopment: consultation period extended

We have extended the online consultation period for the proposed quad landscapes and campus routes project. The consultation period will now run up to Friday 20 May.

The proposals are made up of two separate but closely related projects. The quads outside the Palmer building, URS and the Library come alive during the summer, but are not used as much during other times of the year. The University is proposing improvements to the quads to create a more vibrant focal point at the centre of the campus. The second project will create an integrated series of routes that facilitate safe and enjoyable walking and cycling on the campus.

Contact the project proposal page for more.

electric charging point

Electric vehicle charging points installed

Two electric vehicle charging ports have been installed at the SportsPark car park, with capacity to charge up to four vehicles at once.

To use the facilities, users will need to sign up to the Polar network under either a monthly subscription or on a pay as you go basis. Electricity will be charged at 15p/kwh for both account types in order to cover the University’s electricity costs. Each charging session will be capped to a maximum of four hours, so that we may accommodate as many vehicles as possible each day.

The standard parking permit/pay and display policy for the SportsPark car park will continue to apply.

Contact the Karen Stanbridge for more.

reed courts

Tennis facilities expand with weatherproof courts

Three brand new tennis courts are to be built at Whiteknights campus, bringing the total number of courts up to eight – making the University’s courts the most extensive tennis facility in Reading.

The new courts will be housed underneath a weatherproof dome. It will be floodlit, insulated and heated in winter, allowing for play during the colder months of the year. In addition, all five existing outdoor courts will be resurfaced and will have new floodlights installed.

The project is being part funded by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Construction is set to begin in June and will be completed in August 2017.

See the staff portal for more.

Windows 10 to rollout summer 2017

Preparations are underway to make Windows 10 and Office 2016 the standard platform for desktop computers across the University.

IT will be upgrading PCs in Labs, teaching spaces and the Library (URS) during July and August 2017. Windows 10 will become the default for new staff PCs from 2018. Microsoft support for Windows 7 ends in 2020.

In conjunction with the move to Windows 10 the method for accessing curriculum applications available is changing. The Apps Anywhere system gives students and staff greater flexibility to access curriculum applications on campus from Windows PCs and laptops (including personally owned computers).

Contact IT for more.

rainbow flag

Supporting our LGBT community

Over the coming weeks we will be holding several special events in support of our LGBT community:

Stonewall Role Models Programme 2017: Explore the importance of LGBT role models and how they inspire change in their communities. Central funding available for 8 spaces.
LGBT+ Ally information session: Members of our LGBT+ Ally network, including Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, will provide advice on promoting inclusion. Tuesday 9 May, Henley Business School, G11, 12–1 pm.
IDAHOBiT 2017: To mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBiT) on Wednesday 17 May, a rainbow flag will be mounted between Whiteknights House and the Library during a ceremony from 1–2 pm.

Further details available on the staff portal.

Contact Yasmin Ahmed for more.

HEFCE policy for open access in the REF

HEFCE policy requires that all journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 must be deposited in a repository within 3 months of acceptance to be eligible for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).

To comply, Reading researchers must:

Deposit the author’s final manuscript in CentAUR at the point of acceptance for publication (no later than 3 months after the acceptance date). This is the accepted manuscript, not the final manuscript as it appears in press. If you’re unable to do this, please contact our CentAUR team urgently for advice.

Additional information for Reading researchers is available online and in the attached poster.

Contact Alison Sutton for more.

HEA survey

PGT Experience Survey opens 19 May

Each year, our taught postgraduates have a unique opportunity to share their experiences of studying here through the national Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES). The feedback helps to identify what’s working well and what could be improved.

PTES is co-ordinated by the Higher Education Academy, and overseen by Marketing, Communication & Engagement (MCE), Planning & Strategy Office (PSO), and Student & Applicant Services (SAS). MCE will provide promotional resources to Schools and departments and we’d be grateful for colleagues to encourage participation. The more responses we receive, the more representative the feedback will be.

Eligible students will be sent survey links by email between 19 May and 16 June 2017.

Contact Clare Furneaux for more.


University awarded prestigious international environmental certificate

Our London Road and Whiteknights campuses have been awarded the internationally-recognised ISO14001:2015 environmental standard following a thorough audit by NQA.

In particular, NQA praised the University for developing “one of the best environmental management system they have seen”. The standard has been recently revised and places an increased emphasis on leadership, commitment, continual improvement of environmental performance, and an embedded focus on sustainability in everyday business.

The certification offers independent validation to the University’s environmental initiatives – for external customers, suppliers and interested parties, it offers confidence that environmental risks are being identified and addressed and that compliance is a key consideration.

Contact Anna Glue for more.


Travel by bus? New services and updates

Reading Buses have introduced three new services:

New mobile app makes travel easier: The recently launched app lets you keep track of bus journeys in real-time as well as the ability to purchase tickets (including the new 60 minute ticket).
Ticket purchase with phone or contactless card: Payments can now be accepted via contactless debit cards and their new phone app.
Take multiple journeys with new 60 minute ticket: The new 60 minute ticket is ideal for those catching more than one bus. It covers multiple journeys on the condition that the final journey must start an hour after purchase.

Further information is available on the Sustainability Services bus page.

Contact Travel for more.


Events highlights

Highlights over the coming weeks include:

LIVESTREAM – Professor Noam Chomsky on Trump: Wednesday 10 May, 7:30pm. Professor Chomsky’s lecture will be streamed live on the University’s Facebook page. Please note the event is fully booked.
Student communications drop in session: Monday 15 May, 1.00-2.00 pm, Carrington 101. Our Student Success and Engagement Team will share the latest developments with channels including the Me@Reading Student portal and Essentials. Contact Emma Kay to attend.
Global Engagement session: Tuesday 16 May, 1.00-2.00 pm, Van Emden theatre, Edith Morley. Update on the University’s Global Engagement Strategy.
Big Band Big Lunch: Sunday 4 June, 12pm, London Road campus. Come and enjoy great music and food in the historical grounds of our London Road campus.

Full schedule available on the Events Listing page.

Contact Events for more.

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