Would executive consider going ‘back to the floor’?

QUESTION:
Many organisations use ‘back to the floor’ exercises as a way of senior managers keeping in touch with the reality of delivering an excellent service to customers. Would Executive consider asking all senior managers (including themselves) to participate in this type of exercise, to help to make sure that we are genuinely ‘putting students at the heart of everything that we do’ in practice?
ANSWER:
Thank you for the question. We have discussed the notion of back to the shop floor recently and will explore this further. One area, for example teaching, was highlighted as a role that we expected senior managers to undertake as part of the faculty restructure and we have reflected this in job descriptions. Executive are also very happy to guest lecture if requests are received. We will further consider how we could roll this out further.

 

Why have self-serve salad boxes been removed from catering outlets?

QUESTION:
I have been into Bush House today and was looking forward to using the salad bar and choosing my own salad. It is no longer available. I have asked staff and they explained that Bush House are discontinuing the salad bar and only offering pre-made salad boxes. These boxes start at £2.49 each- over double the price of a basic salad tub (from last academic year) and more to the point, they are filled with mayonnaise, croutons and cheese which are all high in fat.

The primary food offering in the Food for Thought today seems to be chips, pizza, burgers and other hot or fried foods. What options are there for staff who want to eat a healthy/low fat diet for medical and health reasons?

How can we promote healthy living amongst staff and students when such a limited range of food is being offered on campus? It leaves us with no other option but to use external outlets, which have a wider choice, but obviously this will impact on the income from on-campus outlets.

 
ANSWER:
Many thanks for your comments regarding the offer in Bush House. In terms of the salad bar offer we decided to remove this due to lack of sales and as a result introduced the pre packed salad boxes as an alternative due to higher sales experienced in other areas.

I accept your point regarding the increase in price for the salad boxes, but to be fair, these products are better quality with a lot more filling and indeed are selling much better than the previous Bush House salad bar offer.

In terms of the hot food offer, we do have a daily special which includes Jacket Potatoes, a casserole or freshly made curry of the day, burgers (which again are available with freshly prepared salad etc), fresh fruit pots and a host of wraps with assorted fillings.
I accept that we also sell fish and chips, but I do believe that this is the only unhealthy thing and we do need to offer some indulgencies.

The “choose your own” salad Bar is still available in the Pavilion and we are currently planning the menu and offers for the new food court in the Brindley Building, and indeed we will be offering a much wider selection of salad and deli including fill your own salad boxes and daily breads from March onwards.

 

Why didn’t the website reflect faculty changes?

QUESTION:
The new faculty structures came into being on 1 August – why did the university web site on 13 Aug still show the old structures? Surely it should have been prepared ready to reflect the new faculties at 9am on the 1st? http://www.staffs.ac.uk/faculties/

 

ANSWER:
To update the Faculty changes across the website, printed materials and campus wayfinding, is a considerable project and will be rolled out over the coming months.

The website is the biggest project and will be relaunched in December – as there are thousands of page changes to be made.

In the short term a micro-site will outline the new faculty structure for both staff and students with relevant disclaimers highlighted on faculty pages. You can now visit the microsite to keep up to date with all campus changes: http://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/shapingthefuture/faculties/

Can we support local charity fundraising activities?

QUESTION:

Hi,
The Dougie Macmillan Hospice, Barlaston, along with Signal Radio, are organising a ‘bring a pound to work’ day on 12th October. I wondered whether the University could be part of this?

I thought, perhaps, the Stoke Campus could take part in the Dougie Mac ‘bring a pound…’ while Stafford Campus colleagues might perhaps bring a pound for their local Kathryn House Hospice.

Could this be organised and coordinated?

Thank You.

ANSWER:
We have begun implementing our corporate and social responsibility 5-year plan, in which we anticipate that support for charitable activities will be considered.  It is important that we communicate to all University stakeholders that we have a transparent decision-making process, aligned to our policies.

We will be collecting data on the many organisations who currently benefit from our community action, to inform our future plans.  It is impractical for 2012 at this length of notice at a corporate level, but please keep in touch with the date for 2013.  I will ensure that the ‘bring a pound to work day’ is included in our planning, but you can, of course, offer any support on a faculty/service level.

Can we stop Weston Road High School pupils using our gate?

QUESTION:

Dear Executive,

I am extremely concerned about the safety of Weston Road High School pupils who are using the Stafford campus as a shortcut in the mornings, exiting at the bottom gate below the Nelson Library and then trying to cross the very busy A518 Weston Road at this point where there is no official pedestrian crossing.

Often they cross half way and are then in a very dangerous position in the middle of the road. I have contacted the school about this but was told that although they can advise the pupils about the danger, they cannot physically control the situation. Would it be possible for the University to lock this gate in the mornings to prevent this happening?

Regards.

ANSWER:

Whilst sharing the concern about the safety of the Weston High School students, closing the gate to the University would create access problems for our students and staff as they need to use the gate at the same times as the schoolchildren.

We encourage students and staff to walk between our Beaconside campus and Blackheath Lane facility as a healthier and more environmentally friendly approach than using their cars and this entrance substantially reduces the distance.

Have the University stopped rewarding long service?

QUESTION:
Have the University stopped rewarding long service?

Just as I approached the 20 year landmark, the University stopped giving paper weights for 20 years in service. I have now just passed the 25 year milestone and not received an invitation to Celebrating Staff Success (I’m sure 25 year service awards were presented at the CSS awards last year).

It is a shame if the University have stopped rewarding loyalty. I thought it was a nice touch and a tradition that, it would appear, continues in industry.

 
ANSWER:
The University’s Long Service Award Policy is available at the following link: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/assets/internal/long_service_awards.pdf.

The University recognises 25 years’ service at 31 March each year and presents the awards at the Celebrating Staff Success event in September.

If you have a query regarding you own circumstances please contact Kerry Ellis, Personnel Services ext 2758.

Will the cycle-scheme be re-launched?

QUESTION:
Are there any plans to re-introduce the cycle scheme?

 
ANSWER:
The University is pleased to announce that Cyclescheme will be re-launched and available to staff from Tuesday 4th September.

This scheme had been suspended whilst further advice was sought as a result of a number of HMRC rule changes to the cycle to work scheme. Terms and conditions apply. Further information is available at www.staffs.ac.uk/cyclescheme or tel. 01782 294664.