Thursday, 25 February 2010

The need to walk about

A meeting finished early so with half an hour decided gto wander round e floor and see who was around. Caught up with the finance team, saint team, and three others and did a lot of business including a new income generating idea. Corridor conversations are often more productive than meetings. Now onto the next meeting!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Snow on the line

Despite snow and ice this week the daily journey by train instead of car or bike has been very reliable. More than can be said for old cars which are not so reliable but very sustainable (one is almost 20 and one is 30). Back to bike three days when the sun comes back

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A Real (Ale) Week

Last week joined many others with a bit of annual leave sometimes referred to as "half term". We did not go away this year instead seemed to find something different to do every day which involved travelling around and seeing local stuff which was great. So on Saturday four of us went cycling on Norland moor - highly recommended for a short mountain bike ride although weather was challenging that day. The highlight was the stop at the Jubillee Rooms on Sowerby Bridge station platform where they serve several pleasant ales.....On Monday it was Saltaire for a school history project including an excellent bowl of soup in Salts Mill Cafe. On Tuesday a large group came to St Georges Hall in Bradford in the evening to see Dave Gorman - excellent as always - and preceeded by a short stop at the Weatherspoons and a late curry supper at Mr Khans. Wednesday was culture night with a trip to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to see the History Boys including a shopping trip and an overnight in the brand new City Inn preceded by another trip to Aagrah Leeds. We went up to Wharfedale on Friday with extended family fourteen of us to walk the Wharfedale Triangle in the snow (Bucken, Yockenthwaite, Cray) and managed to have lunch at the White Lion complete with yet more Black Sheep and Daleside Blonde. Visiting Megan in Sheffield on Saturday we managed to get to the Kelham Island Arms which had just won the CAMRA "pub of the year" for the second year in a row for a couple of Farmer's Blondes. Sunday was a day or rest followed by a trip to Wigan with Jacob for the Spurs encounter with a three-nil win to Spurs and top four place (Super SuperPav Super Super Pav Super Super Pav SuperPavluychenko ringing in our ears). Quite glad to be back at work after all that.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

When two worlds collide (strange title)

Quote from the article: "A joiner's son from Halifax, Christoper Bailey discovered he had sophisticated tastes when he was 10 - years before he knew fashion existed. Now Burberry's chief executive he oversees every last detail of the label's output - every bag, every knit, every child-sized trenchcoat." He is 37, running a company with £1.2 Billion turnover, 6000 employees. If that wasn't enough he has also had tragedy in his personal life to deal with. Full article is here. Found it interesting with local references.

Monday, 15 February 2010

World cafe session

Two sessions looking at half a dozen specific issues followed by an interactive session on a new initiative called green impact. Lots of student views during the plenary some of them asking us to take a more holistic view on consumption etc and a very good example of meeting a 7% target by havibg a meat free monday even no meat diets. as a veggie for over 25 years thats a mo brainer for me

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Walking the Inn Way

What a great site with all you need to plan a walking holiday visiting 90 miles and 44 pubs. The Inn Way is a classic pub walk with its own route map etc.

Bradford Day Out

Some very positive press about Bradford in the Guardian Saturday Feb 13th. As our youngest son is currently doing a history project on Saltaire we shall be visiting this week. That is the third half term history project on Saltaire in our household. I suppose having the person in our house who also marks the kid's saltaire projects at the end of half term holidays means we have quite a bit of Saltaire expertise in our house!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

No Meat Athlete

Plans are firming up for a fundraising cycle ride possibly London to Paris this Summer in memory of a close friend and the charity will be MIND. Jo kindly supplied this link for Vegetarian Athletes - I am no athlete by any strech of the imagination but over 25 years a vegetarian means I fit half the criteria to visit the site. Maybe I could get into training with this sort of grub as the starting point.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Lord Mandelson at Dearing Memorial Event

Our supreme commander in all things Educational and Business made a trip to Nottingham University today and had a few words to say to the HE community about the current financial situation. There is a report here. So it appears that these modest cuts are actually about "reform". Mmmm that is quite an interesting angle on things. Quote: "They think university teachers and lecturers have a right to be set in aspic in what they do and how they do it in relation to others and are using the argument about spending reductions as a screen or a cloak behind which resistance to any sort of change and reform can be conducted." Cloaks and Daggers. Reminds me of the Aitken speech which followed his resignation, that he would fight his corner with the "sword of truth and trusty shield of fair play". But he didn't play fair and truth was far from his mind. Indeed. There was me thinking that the largest deficit since records began was because of the banks and the Treasury.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

And the winner is.....

well a silver award wasn't bad even thought we probably stretched the truth a little bit in the Greeen Impact assessment which rounded off today's conference. There are follow ups to this on Feb 11 (3pm) and Feb 25th (3pm) in the Board Room. The prize was a Google frisbee - here is a blurry image to capture the moment.

Ian Palmer Chair Energy Task Group

Joined by Mark Wrigley our energy and sustainability manager. Challenges for today establish UoB as sector leader, 10% reduction in carbon emissions and £1 million over next five years. Significant drop in CO2 from next year with the new combined heat and power facility powerong the campus. Some good positive examples like recycling, thermail imaging, solar cells etc

Co2 sense yorkshire

A keynote from Bradford alumni who is chief exec of this Yorkshire Forward quango encouraging business and SME through support, grants, information. They also support commercial customers like asda and next. Focus is on bottom line benefits for business so not green, trees or rabbits. Main message about sharing good practice between organisations and not about regional responses but individual responses.

Carbon energy conference feb 9

Opening by Geoff Layer set the scene nicely around the ecoversity "journey" and some positive examples of change. Glad I came on the cycle today desite the snow flurries so made a tiny personal contribution. couple of things that were IT related which is good and a related challenge to each area to reduce paper by 10% per annum in next five years. Basic message for today we need a bigger shift in carbon an energy.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

THE recent article on Bradford

I don't get a copy of the THE and rely on others occasionally mentioning stuff. The other day someone mentioned a league table that was worth looking at so I've now subscribed online and will try and look for myself from time to time. In searching for the article I came across a very recent piece about the university of bradford and some of the techy stuff that is supporting student experience. It brought a "tear to my eye". There was also some interesting follow up in the comments stuff which I only just read. Our Dean of Students says:

Becka Currant 15 January, 2010
In response to Muir, Thanks for the interest the article. Just to clarify, the empirical data I quoted was from the extensive internal research we have conducted into the student experience at Bradford. It did not relate to the very small sample of responses to the THE survey. We have conducted research into the student experience for the last four years, obtaining an average response rate of between 12-19% to our online surveys into the first year experience (a total of over 5000 students have responded in that time). In addition to online surveys, we have also taken a qualitative approach, using a phenomenological methodology, to asking students about their experiences. This currently involves a video diary project called U-SED where students are video blogging their experiences. Our results have triangulated with national and international work on transition e.g. Longden and Yorke, Harvey and Drew, Tinto and so on. Our most recent externally funded project (Higher Education Retention and Engagement; funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and HEFCE) which is a joint project with Nottingham Trent, Bournemouth and Bradford has demonstrated that developing friendships and support from tutors plays a crucial role in helping students settle in at University.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

How to encrypt back up files?

A USB memory stick is useful sometimes but lose it and the files could be read by anyone. Truecrypt is one possible solution and is shareware for PCs and Macs that encodes entire folders. Create a folder, open Truecrypt, selct the folder, specify a passowrd and then drop and drag files to the folder. Truecrypt encodes them as you do it. To retrieve data you need to use the same computer and enter the password, after which the folder opens like any normal one.

This is an extract from an article in the Sunday Times this week. Tried it out and it got too complicated too soon. Maybe there is a simpler way, and I thought that it would be nice and easy.

The HEFCE funding letter

HEFCE announces funding for universities and colleges in 2010-11

HEFCE announced today the main decisions made by the Board at its meeting on 28 January on the provisional distribution of funding to universities and colleges in 2010-11. These decisions were taken in the light of the Secretary of State's grant letter of 22 December 2009.

To read this item in full visit