Cadman Building Teaching Room F301

Question

There is a perennial problem in this teaching room. The windows in this room do not fit in the frames, so it is impossible to close them. The students have to sit in their coats and shiver. The atmosphere is not conducive to learning!

I emailed the Repair Line about this problem at the beginning of October after the students complained on one of the first cold mornings. I received an acknowledgement, but when nothing had been done after 3 weeks I emailed again but did not receive a reply. Last Thursday morning when I last taught in this room the situation had still not been resolved.

Last year the problem was solved by putting insulating tape around the frames to hold the windows closed. Of course, in the spring the tape was removed when someone needed to open them again. This solution is only a stop gap and a more permanent one is needed.

I hardly need to say that as well as causing the students a lot of discomfort, there are other implications too. The heating is shooting straight out of the open windows at enormous cost to the university and ultimately the tax payer, while the occupants of the room freeze. It’s not doing too much for the environment either.

Firstly, I would like to ask when something is going to be done about this.

Secondly, why has it taken so long?

Answer

The opening window frames in this room do not fit particularly well within the frames so we will be draughtproofing them again with a material which will be a permanent solution,unlike previously when masking tape was used – this will allow the windows to be opened in summer.

When visited, the room was cold but only because the windows had been left open and when closed the heating system quickly returned the room to an acceptable temperature.

This work will be carried out soon and we apologise for the delay in finding a solution.

Are staff entitled to study leave?

Question

Please could you tell me whether staff who are studying an award at the University are entitled to any hours of study leave?

Answer

If a member of staff is undertaking a professional qualificaiton via the Training for Approved Qualfications Scheme, they are eligible to take paid study leave for examination days relating to the programme of study on proof of the examination dates. 

Any additional study leave for revision or project work will be at the discretion of the Dean/Director of the Faculty, School or Service.  The amount of leave granted will not exceed three days per annum.  Further information regarding the policy is available here.

What benefits or discounts are staff entitled to?

Question:

Do University staff still get discounted / free copies of Microsoft Office or Windows software for home use? I seem to remember a while ago there was a scheme like this?

Aside from the obvious remuneration, are there any other benefits / discounts that University staff receive and where can I find out details on these? I know about the Cyclescheme and I understand there is a similar scheme for childcare, but there doesn’t seem to be one place where this information is held for a quick glance. Also do we have preferential rates with the local football teams, theatres, gyms, restaurants etc or even discounts with national companies such as the Vauxhall Partners discount scheme http://www.partnersprogramme.co.uk/offers/Vauxhall/

 

Answer:

The University’s Microsoft Campus agreement allows staff to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office or Windows at home for work purposes providing they purchase the media for the installation through the 3800 Service Desk this costs £23.00 – the professional version of Office for example has a RRP of £429.99

Discounts also apply for any other software which is used throughout the University although the discount can vary between products

Students can also purchase at educational discounts from our vendors Phoenix Software at the URL below
http://www.phoenixs.co.uk/software-market-sectors/HEFE.aspx

The University offers a wide range of benefits that are available to staff and is constantly keeping these under review. We recognise that these have not been communicated in a comprehensive way in the past and will early in the New Year be launching a guide to these benefits for existing and new staff.

Watch this space!

Could the X1 bus service and inter-site travel be improved?

Question:

We all know that car parking is an issue, and people have been encouraged to use alternative methods of travel, especially inter-site travel, but the X1 seems to be really under utilized, and very removed from the university in terms of where is collects and drops off passengers.  I understand that this service is subsidized by the University.

I live in Derby, and Derby uni have taken to running their own small branded buses, which run between campus’s all day, leaving the commercial bus services to take care of the station routes etc… would it be worth while looking at buying a couple of small buses, and having estates drive them between the 3 main sites on a rotation basis, making the collection / drop off points actually on the Leek road campus, college road site, Blackheath lane and Beaconside.

If a bus stop could be marked out on the internal campus road system, it would help people actually find where it stops, and also prevent people from parking from down both sides of the road if they KNOW a bus will turn up. By owning the bus, the University could also livery them in corporate branding, raising the profile of the university and promoting any marketing messages, show a reduction in carbon footprint and expenses for internal travel, and could even install wireless connections etc… (see Trent Barton bus company) onto them to improve productivity while in transit.

Answer:

We recognise that the X1 bus service,which is partially funded by the University, could be improved to ensure it better meets the needs of both student and staff users and there are ongoing discussions taking place to review performance,costs,environmental issues and future developments.

A decision about the continuation of the contract beyond it’s current expiry on 31st July 2011 will need to be taken shortly.

We are evaluating the practicalities and costs of a combination of train and bespoke shuttle bus link from Stafford station to Beaconside as an alternative to the X1 and and this will inform the decision on the current service.

Running a bus service internally within the University has been considered but not pursued because we do not have the capability or capacity of the commercial bus companies to run an efficient and effective service.