Can you let us know when staff members will be in the press?

Question:

Would it be possible in the future, to notify staff via the RSS Feeds of any interviews (radio/television) or articles in newspapers featuring staff members, before they go on air or are published?  Very often, I only hear interviews by chance (i.e. Michael Gunn’s radio interview on Wed. 30th March) or hear about them after the event (e.g. Christine King’s radio interview on Radio Stoke.)  I would be very interested in your response.

Answer:

We endeavour to inform staff of news articles through the RSS channel Today’s News, but this is not always possible as the press will often not tell us when they plan to use our articles/footage.

At the moment, you can also track our media activity by following the University Twitter account @StaffsUni and in the future, we will inform you of any upcoming press appearances  we are aware of through the University News, Events and Announcements Channel, and upload any articles to the blog once they have appeared for staff interest.

What can I do to stop smokers gathering near the building?

Question:

When I am at my desk on the second floor in Flaxman the smell of cigarette smoke drifts by me because people smoke in the doorway at the rear entrance of the building. What can I do about this as I am disinclined to approach the smokers and request they stop – and in any case, next time it will be different people?

Answer:

The University No Smoking Policy prohibits smoking within 5 metres of the entrances to premises or open windows, so therefore people smoking in prohibited areas should be asked politely to stop and advised that they are breaching University policy.

We understand why you may not willing to approach the smokers yourself.  If this is the case then you should report them to the Dean of Faculty who is responsible for taking action for breaches of this policy in their area of responsibility.

Thank you.

Are there any plans to update the ResNet service?

Question:

Are there any plans to invest in any upgrades to the ageing (some of the equipment is over 15 years old) ResNet services provided to students to account for the much greater requirement for bandwidth especially when taking into our account the university’s high proportion of media and game based subjects.

Answer:

The University is currently undertaking a tender exercise for a new ResNet service.  Subject to the outcomes of the tender it is intended to offer a much improved, managed service from Autumn 2011.

Are there plans to introduce cigarette bins by Cadman?

Question:

Are there any plans to provide a cigarette/litter bin under the Cadman archway as the number of discarded cigarette butts on the ground don’t provide a very positive impression to visitors?

Answer:

We have now provided a bin for smokers in the location and will regularly review the use of this to ensure that other issues do not arise.

Thank you.

Why have the trees outside Mellor gone?

Question:

Why have the tree’s been dug up and replaced from the pathway outside the Mellor Building? This was done not that long ago as well as tree’s on the grass directly outside the building being removed and not replaced?

Answer:

The trees/shrubs were removed some time ago because unfortunately they were diseased.

We have recently planted some new trees adjacent to the Flaxman Building and will be introducing some “green walls” around the Campus in various locations to improve the environment and provide a more pleasant appearance generally.

Who is the code entry car park at Beaconside for?

Question:

If Executive offices are at Blackheath Lane, then for whom is the car park near the entrance to Beaconside, with  code entry?

Answer:

This car park is used for visitors (access via the Lodge) and some staff who have the code.

We will be reviewing the layout and zoning of our car parks at both Stafford and Stoke in the near future and the current arrangements may well then change.

Has the University considered using a cloud-based service for student email?

Question:

I wonder if the University is considering Microsoft Live@edu service (cloud- based service) that many universities are now using for their student email?

Key benefits
• a massive mail quota of 10Gb
• an email address that can be retained after leaving the University
• email attachments up to 20Mb
• a whopping personal storage space of 25Gb, known as the SkyDrive
• access to collaboration tools such as Windows Live Messenger and the ability to create and share documents online using Office Live

Answer:

The possibility of using an external email provider such as “Live@Edu” has previously been considered, however at the time of the last review it was deemed there were a number of disadvantages with this approach. 

For example:

• A separate account is required for Live@Edu with a different username/password to that used for other university resources and it was felt that this could create some confusion. The use of a separate password would also restrict integration of email with MyPortal and prevent the use of the full Outlook email program in student computer areas.

• Use of an onsite email system also allows backup and restore of emails and full message tracking to help resolve any email related issues.

It is acknowledged that the functionality and capacity of these cloud-based services is rapidly developing, also as the technology landscape evolves it is envisioned that some of the issues identified will be resolved.  As a result, the provision of this service will be kept under review on an annual basis.