In Brief
In Brief May 2018
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.
Welfare image

Staff Forum seeks ideas on improving staff welfare

The Staff Forum is inviting ideas from colleagues on improving staff welfare at the University. It has been granted funding by the University Executive Board (UEB) to collate ideas and support the implementation of successful ideas with funding of up to £15,000.

If you have an idea that could benefit everyone at the University, please do get in touch. This is your chance to make a difference to our thriving University community.

Please read our 3 step guide before sending your proposal to the Staff Forum by Friday 18 May. Final decisions on funding will be taken by UEB in late May/early June.

See the staff portal for more information.

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Data Protection laws are changing

On 25 May, the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) will replace the Data Protection Act 1998.

Many of the current principles of data protection will remain the same, but there are some new requirements. Please ensure that you have read the Information Security Incident Response Policy and know how to report a suspected or actual data breach.

If you are embarking on projects or activities that involve the handling of personal data, you may need to contact the University Data Protection Officer. For further details, advice and guidance, visit the IMPS GDPR webpage or call 0118 378 8981.

Contact IMPS for more information.

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Help me IT, you’re my only hope

It’s 4th May – not only is it Star Wars day (May the Fourth be with you!), it’s also the first day of a new annual IT survey designed to help make working and studying here even easier.

When they’re not battling the Dark Side, IT work to improve information services across the University – and they need your views and feedback to identify future improvements. Is there a new way of working or a new service that would improve your life at the University? Please spare 5 minutes to complete the survey online by Friday 25 May.

Contact IT for more information.

Graduation image

Register for Graduation robe hire by 15 June

Staff who wish to process at the Graduation Ceremonies this July are requested to log onto the Ede & Ravenscroft Enet robe hire system to complete their booking. Staff with their own robes still need to register their place. Please download and refer to the attached instructions (Word, 14.9KB). The deadline for hiring robes is Friday 15 June.

Please contact the Graduation Office if you have difficulty logging in or wish to attend a ceremony for a school you are not a member of.

There is high demand for some ceremonies and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contact the Graduation Office for more information.

Honorary Degrees: nominations open until 25 May

The granting of Honorary Degrees is an opportunity to celebrate individuals who help make the world a better place. We’re pleased to invite nominations from members of the University community.

Nominations should be no more than one side of A4 and should show:

(a) the eminence of the proposed individual in their chosen field;

(b) the particular relevance of that eminence to this University (currently, in the future, or both); and

(c) the timeliness of the proposal.

The nomination should be accompanied by an outline CV or Who’s Who entry of the nominee. Nominations should be received by Friday 25 May.

Contact Louise Sharman for more information.

PGT Experience Survey launches 14 May

From 14 May to 15 June we’ll be running the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), the UK’s only sector-wide survey for PGT students. The benchmarked results help identify best practice and areas for improvement.

Last year our response rate was 20.4%, down from 31.4% in 2016. This year, we’ve worked with Typography students on a new campaign and with RISIS for email communications. We’re also trialling a new incentive – for every completed survey, we’ll donate £1 to Cara, the charity supporting international academics in danger.

As with all surveys, we rely on colleagues to support promotion to eligible students. Resource packs, including template emails, will be provided to all Schools.

Contact Clare Furneaux for more information.

University logo

University initiates review of modern languages

The University has initiated a formal review of modern languages across the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies (MLES) and the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP), which is part of the International Study and Language Institute (ISLI). The review aims to develop integrated and cost-effective delivery for all modern language provision.

Led by Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort, the review is expected to report to the University Executive Board in the autumn term in 2018, with any changes in place by 1 August 2019.

Colleagues from the relevant departments will be invited to contribute their thoughts and insights to help inform the plan.

See the staff portal for more information.

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Teaching and Learning Strategy 2018-21 launches

Professor Gavin Brooks has launched the Teaching and Learning Strategy 2018-21 which sets out two clear strategic priorities for the next three years:

Delivering academic excellence; and
Offering students an outstanding learning experience.

We would like all colleagues engaged in delivering and supporting teaching and learning across schools and functions to consider, in the coming weeks, how they can support delivery of our two strategic priorities through our own work.

You can download (pdf, 1.06MB) and read the Strategy at the Teaching and Learning Strategy page. Printed copies of the Strategy are being distributed across the University through Teaching and Learning networks. Further copies can be obtained from Emily Hake.

Contact Helen Williams for more information.

Introducing the Academic Tutor System

Following detailed research and consultation, the Personal Tutor System Steering Group made 10 recommendations designed to improve the student learning experience at Reading by launching an Academic Tutor System (ATS).

Senate approved the recommendations in March and the Steering Group are now working to introduce the ATS for initial launch in September 2018. A series of staff briefing sessions will be held over the coming months (July, August and September). Staff will receive guidance and information to support them with introducing the ATS in their context.

Contact Jess Johnson for more information.

T&Cashless payments image

Most catering outlets move to cashless payments

All outlets operated by Catering, with the exception of Dol.cHe vita and Eat at the Square, have now switched to cashless payments. This includes the ICMA café and Post Room in Whiteknights House.

The use of cash has been declining rapidly across our outlets as students and staff prefer to use Campus Card, Contactless, Chip and Pin or Android/Apple Pay. All cashless venues accept international Visa/MasterCard credit and debit cards, as well as American Express.

Dol.cHe Vita, Eat at the Square and the Library Helpdesk will switch to cashless payments on 6 August 2018. The Co-op and vendors within the RUSU building will continue to accept cash.

See the staff portal for more information.

Access arrangements for Whiteknights House

Acess arrangements for Whiteknights House have recently been reviewed in order to provide a secure working environment for colleagues.

The main entrance by the reception desk will be open to visitors between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays. Outside of these hours, staff will need to use their campus cards, which need to be enabled for this purpose. All other entrances will require campus card access at all times.

All visitors should report to the reception as normal. The reception desk will contact the relevant member of staff to come and collect the visitor.

See the staff portal for more information.

T&Green News image

High Environmental Standards maintained

The University has once again impressed environmental auditors and maintain its certification to the internationally recognised Environmental Management Standard ISO14001 and Energy Management Standard ISO50001.

Auditors NQA praised the University’s energy management system, commenting that “it is clear that the University has adopted a holistic approach to environmental sustainability as evidenced by the Capital Projects processes and also the smaller initiatives such as the Sustain It bottles”. Recognition and thanks go to those who have contributed to the continual improvement of the University’s environmental performance.

For more information on how we continue to improve environmental sustainability, take a look at our Environmental Report, 2018 Environmental Policy and Energy and Water Policy.

Contact Sustainability for more information.

Retiring Activedition – May update

Over the coming weeks, the project team working on retiring Activedition will contact owners of the various University websites to identify outdated content. We have tested this process and it is effective in identifying multiple types of outdated content. Once this content has been identified, we will work with content owners to either remove the webpages or archive them.

Removing or archiving outdated webpages will help us make relevant webpages easier to find and reduce the risks associated with incorrect information being accessible. It will also reduce the number of webpages that need to be migrated to a new system, making the process of retiring Activedition simpler and quicker.

Contact Retiring Activedition for more information.

SportsPark image

Sports Hall of Fame at SportsPark

The new Sports Hall of Fame at SportsPark celebrates the achievements of some of our most successful sports men and women.

Opened on 28 April, it celebrates graduates of the University who have achieved great success in their sport, with many representing their country at the Olympic Games and at World Championship level.

Olympic gold medallists James Cracknell OBE and Alex Gregory MBE and the first female British world champion rower Catherine Bishop are among the inaugural inductees to the Sports Hall of Fame. Each inductee has a framed plaque on display, highlighting how their time at the University helped them realise their sporting potential.

See the staff portal for more information.

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Supporting our LGBT+ community

17 May marks the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBiT). At 1.00pm, a special flag-raising ceremony will take place between Whiteknights House and the Library, led by our LGBT+ Plus Network and RUSU. Please join us in support of our LGBT community.

Other LGBT themed events include:

Becoming an LGBT+ Ally: info and sign-up session, hosted by the VC and our staff and student LGBT networks. 14 May (12.00pm, Nike Lecture Theatre, Agriculture). Includes lunch. Book via Employee Self Service.
Wolfenden Seminar: “Section 28: Context, Impact, and Resistance” discussion panel featuring Rosemary Auchmuty, Eve Featherstone, Deb Heighes and Booan Temple. 24 May (4.00pm, G15, HBS). Book via Employee Self Service.
Wolfenden Lecture: “Section 28: A Poisonous Law and Legacy” by Peter Tatchell, 24 May (7.00pm, G11, HBS). Book your place online.

See the Diversity events page for more information.

T&EMA image

EMA Symposium, Tuesday 22 May

On Tuesday 22 May, (9.15am-4.00pm, Meadow Suite, Whiteknights) colleagues from across the University are invited to attend the EMA Symposium, which aims to gather a broad range of users to share good practice and support during the move towards electronic submission, feedback and grading, and the use of new assessment data.

This event is relevant for both experienced colleagues and those new to this area – you can register for the full day or just attend a morning or afternoon session. Full details of each session are available on the staff portal.

Contact the EMA team for more information.

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Events Highlights

Highlights over the coming weeks include:

Thursday 10 May: Education Studies Annual Lecture: Inside the Beast: The Politics and Law of Education (6.00pm, L22 G01, London Road)
Sunday 13 May: Harris Garden Charity Open day (Harris Garden, Whiteknights)
Sunday 13 May: MERL Spring Chickens (11.00am - 4.00pm, Museum of English Rural Life)
Thursday 24 May: Wolfenden Lecture: Section 28: A poisonous law and legacy by Peter Tatchell (7.00pm, HBS G11)
Tuesday 29 May – Tuesday 5 June: BA ED Final Degree Art Exhibition (9.00am, Institute of Education, LO4 London Road)

Contact Events for more information.

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