In Brief november 2016
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.
FOR ACTION
graduation

Prevent duty: familiarise yourself with the University’s policy

Two key policies have been approved by the University Executive Board in relation to the ‘Prevent duty’, a statutory requirement imposed by the UK Government on public bodies including universities.

The policies are:

Safeguarding Policy
Policy on Access by Staff and Students to Security-Sensitive Material

Prevent duty requires the University to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. All colleagues are advised to familiarise themselves with the above policies.

Staff and students wishing to access security-sensitive material in connection with University-related work are required to seek approval through appropriate routes. Those already accessing such materials must seek approval no later than Thursday 1 December 2016. See the staff portal for further details.

Contact Keith Swanson for more.

Apply for funding for your 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 £1,000 can be granted per event.

To apply please complete a short downloadable form explaining the objectives, focus and benefits of your event and send it to vc@reading.ac.uk.

The deadline is 30 November for applications for events taking place before the end of the spring term 2017. A further round will be circulated in the New Year for summer events.

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

Contact Sinead O'Flynn for more.

FOR YOUR INFO
athena swan

University receives bronze Athena SWAN award

The University has received a bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to tackling gender inequality, particularly in its academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) schools.

The scheme encourages the advancement of gender equality in higher education and research. Results now show that a quarter of professors in our STEM schools are now women – at least 5.8% better than the averages for the sector and other groups. This year’s submission focused on science-related disciplines, and our next application will cover all disciplines in reflection of the scheme’s expansion. See the staff portal for further details.

Contact Simon Chandler-Wilde for more.

TEF Year Two specification and information page updated

The University has updated the Teaching Excellence Framework and Future Tuition Fees webpage and FAQs to reflect final specification for the TEF Year Two trial recently published by the Department for Education.

Three Working Groups have been established under the TEF Steering Group to progress the development of the UoR submission: Metrics Group (led by Nathan Helsby), Editorial Group (led by Rachel Stewart) and Communications Group (led by Elizabeth McCrum).

Additional details of the University’s stance on TEF and future tuition fees can be found in the recent staff portal story.

Contact Helen Williams for more.

New online expenses system launches 21 November

A new system for submitting staff expense claims via the finance system (widely known as Agresso) will be launched on Monday 21 November 2016.

Ultimately this will replace the current paper-based system, with staff having a chance to try out the new system until Tuesday 31 January 2017 – after this date, paper forms will no longer be accepted or paid. User testing has shown the system to be easy to use and support is available for those who are unsure what to do. See the Finance website for full details.

Contact Sarah Shackleford for more.

student helpers

Student worker and temporary staff changes

Campus Jobs is a new initiative from HR and Careers designed to enhance the student / temporary worker experience, ensure compliance and take work (but not control) away from recruiting managers. Feedback from student workers / temporary staff and our UoR colleagues is that the current paper process is very inefficient and can lead to delays in pay being received.

Key benefits of Campus Jobs:

Centralised advertisement of positions (if required)
Online time-sheet submission and approval
Right to work checks and monitoring of the number of hours worked completed by Campus Jobs (vital for Tier 4 visa holders)

Campus Jobs processes will be piloted in select departments in the spring with full rollout in September.

Contact Jay Russell for more.

Research staff development programme now available

A comprehensive development programme for research staff is now available for booking, with courses starting this November. The programme is open to all University researchers on all types of contract and career stage.

The Research Staff Development Programme for this year has been designed following consultation and input from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Deans, Research Staff Committee, as well as subject matter experts from across the University. The courses are delivered by internal and / or external experts in their field, many of whom have research experience. Details of the full programme and booking instructions can be found in the UoR Research Staff Development Programme guide.

Contact Lynn Moore for more.

Planning & Strategy Office website redesigned

The Planning & Strategy Office have redesigned their website to make it more accessible to colleagues. The redesigned site reflects the new structure of the office and includes a wider set of standardised reports and information.

Please visit the website to see data supporting the management and planning of Teaching and Research at the University (including data for the Research, SPS & SPELT planning processes), Equality & Diversity data (including Athena SWAN submissions), historical student numbers and admissions data, KPIs, benchmarking data (global and domestic league tables) and much more.

Contact Planning & Strategy for more.

Reminder: new car hire scheme available for staff and students

Don’t forget that University staff and students can take advantage of a new care hire scheme introduced earlier this term.

Colleagues and students can hire the Co-wheels car by the hour, and there is free membership and £10 credit for new University users. Users must hold a valid driver’s license for 12 months to apply.

A car is available at Whiteknights campus at Dunsden Crescent in Park Group halls, with an additional car available at Addington Road, close to London Road campus. See the student and staff flyers for additional details. To sign up, visit www.co-wheels.org.uk/uor.

Contact Travel for more.

Contacting the Estates & Facilities Help Desk

The Estates & Facilities Help Desk provides a single point of contact through which issues can be recorded or work requested.

The Help Desk takes work requests for the following Estates & Facilities teams: Building Maintenance, Grounds, Projects, Cleaning, Portering and Property Services. All staff and students are free to call the helpdesk.

The Help Desk can be contacted by:

Telephone: Weekdays 8.00am–4.30pm: 7000 (internal) or 0118 378 7000 (external). Call 7799 (internal) or 0118 378 7799 (external) for out of hours.
Email: fm-help@reading.ac.uk (not for use in emergencies).
Online: Help Desk request (not for use in emergencies).

Visit the Estates & Facilities Help Desk website for more.

Armistice Day Remembrance Service Friday 11 November

Each year the University marks Armistice Day with a brief service of memorial, during which we also remember colleagues and students who have passed away over the last year.

To mark the First World War and to recall all those who have died in warfare since, all members of our community, staff and students, are invited to attend one of the three short services led by the University’s Chaplains across our campuses:

London Road Memorial clock tower
Greenlands Flagpole near cattle grid
Whiteknights Flagpole between the library and Whiteknights House

All are welcome to gather at the most convenient location for them at 10.50am on Friday 11 November 2016.

Contact Events for more.

NICE TO KNOW
rainbow flag

Celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is marked annually by the University and internationally on or near Sunday 20 November 2016.

It’s a day on which we celebrate our trans staff and students, and remember those affected by violence in the UK and beyond, particularly over the last year.

All are invited to attend several special events, including:

Trans awareness training, Friday 18 November 2016, 2.00–4.00pm, Palmer 103.
Flag-raising ceremony and short speeches hosted by Vice-Chancellor, RUSU, LGBT Plus staff network, Monday 21 November 2016, 1.00–1.45pm, Whiteknights House.
Trans experiences across the generations: personal stories and Q&A. Monday 21 November 2016, 7.30–9.00pm, RUSU Café Mondial.

Details can be found in the staff portal story.

Contact Simon Chandler-Wilde for more.

slanty red line

Go green for the Green Festival this November

The University and RUSU will celebrate all things environmental during its first Green Festival from Wednesday 16 – Friday 18 November 2016. The Green Festival is an opportunity for colleagues and students to celebrate our sector-leading environmental performance while continuing to raise awareness of the positive actions we can all take to be more sustainable.

Over the three days there will be a chance to visit our new Energy Centre and see how we generate heat and hot water for many of our buildings. Dr Bike will be on hand to tune up your bicycle, and the ever-popular Blackout will return on the evening of Friday 18 November 2016.

Visit the Sustainability Services page for further details – if you’d like to volunteer as a team leader for the Blackout please see the web page or contact James Thorpe.

Contact James Thorpe for more.

blackwells offer

Double staff discount at Blackwell’s

Just in time for Christmas, University colleagues can take advantage of double the standard staff discount at Blackwell’s from Monday 14 November 2016.

Up until Christmas staff discount will rise from 10% to 20% – the offer applies to full priced items and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Please note that the discount only applies to the Whiteknights campus branch of Blackwell’s on presentation of a staff card. Additional details of the Whiteknights branch can be found on Blackwell’s website.

Contact Charlie Stroud for more.

October Open Days welcome over 9,500 visitors

The University welcomed close to 10,000 visitors over the October Open Days held last month.

There was a wonderful buzz about the campus (despite the weather at times) and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Over 1,300 pieces of feedback have been received to date, with headline statistics as follows:

99% of respondents rated the overall experience of the day as good or excellent (70.0% excellent).
99% of respondents rated the friendliness of staff/students as good or excellent (87.3% excellent).
87% of students responding said they were definitely making an application to the University (up from 34% prior to the Open Day).

The University would like to thank all colleagues and student ambassadors who helped make each day such a great success.

Contact Lissy Upton for more.

IN BRIEF
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