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An Update from Jayne Hindle, Head of School Operations

26 May 2021

SALC PS Newsletter, May 2021

Dear Colleagues

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I wrote the opening lines for our new PS newsletter and here we are again two months on. The time really flies by and it is great to see so many local businesses opening up and be able to meet with family and friends once more. I spent a long weekend in Edinburgh recently and it was great to have a change of scenery - mooch around a different city and walk by the sea.

Closer to home, I have been spending at least one day a week on campus and enjoyed re-connecting with colleagues and helping to set up our buildings for re-opening. You will now be aware that several colleagues are working on campus and all four of our main buildings are open for restricted activity. I hope that we will be able to open further with less limited access at the end of June, and in the meantime,  as many of you continue to work from home, do start to think about what returning to campus or hybrid working might mean for you and your team.  What happens in the coming weeks will, of course be subject to Government and University guidance. If you do need to come on campus please ensure you contact your line manager for the appropriate permission and guidance.

I hope some of you were at Hannah’s open meeting last week and heard my update on hybrid working. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, there will be a HoSo School open meeting with updates on hybrid working and campus reopening at 2pm on 8 June.

I also encourage you to think about your PDR and your objectives for next year. These may be individual or team objectives and you should arrange with your line manager a suitable time for your PDR between now and the end of September. I hope you will be able to take some well-deserved leave and step away from work over the summer – we all need time to recover from the pace of change in the workplace and to re-set for the new academic year. 

So, I am pleased to share with you the next edition of our PS newsletter which I hope you will continue to find useful and interesting. I hope you will contribute to this in some way over the coming months.

Contributions to our Newsletter

All contributions are welcome – especially new content and ideas for improving and broadening the reach. Please contact Shekina Popper, marketing and communications officer for SALC with any suggestions and contributions. The newsletter will be published every two months. Please send your contributions for the next newsletter in July to by 20 July 2021.

PS Staff news

I am really delighted to welcome new members of PS to SALC and to congratulate others who have been promoted and /or moved to different roles.

In the last couple of months and later in this month we welcome - in TLSE – Dana Barringham, Karenza Blenkinsop, David Hartley, Poppy Blackett, Joanna Smith, Peter Wood, Louise Ashton and Hannah Watte – and Alison Jones joined ULC last month.

We are also delighted that Victoria Willows, Monika, Alicia, Amber, Joel, Laura Marsden, Sahir and Teresa have all remained within the School and moved to other roles. 

In the next newsletter we will provide an update on changes to our Recruitment and Admissions team as part of SEP cohort one.

We say farewell and thank you to Adam for all that he did for us in the area of estates and Health and Safety and Compliance and we will soon be advertising for a new colleague in this area.  We wish Adam the best of luck for the future.  We also say farewell to Jessica Murphy who will leaving us in June – thank you Jess for all your support and good luck in your new role.  We also want to thank Michelle de Garis for her contribution to the School’s finance support.

Some of you received recognition under the University Thank You, and REP scheme and we are delighted to announce that the PS ULC Pre-sessional English support services team, and the Admissions team (as part of a University wide nomination) were highly commended as part of the University Distinguished Achievement award. Congratulations to all our PS colleagues.  Several of you are also attending the new Humanities Future Leaders programmes or have applied for the next cohorts – and we are pleased to have your involvement. Do continue to think about your own learning and development as we approach PDRs.

Academic staff updates

We are delighted, as you know, to welcome Thomas Schmidt as our new Head of School, taking over from Alessandro on 1 July 2021. Thomas starts work on 1 June so he can spend several weeks with Alessandro as he hands over to Thomas and there will be opportunities for you to meet with Thomas over the summer.

We also have several new Heads of Department who will lead some of our departments from August and September and we welcome Professor James Garrett as Head of Music, Professor Ian Scott as Head of English, American Studies and Centre for New Writing, Professor Anindita Ghosh as Head of History, Professor Larissa Fast as Director of HCRI. In addition we welcome Dr Simon Parry as Director of Social Responsibility. We also have new Associate Director roles for Professor Sasha Handley (Research Knowledge and Impact Exchange), Dr Stephen Mossman (Assessment), Dr Ruth Morello (Academic Advising and Employability), Vladimir Kapor (Residence Abroad and International Study) and Anke Bernau (Social Responsibility) and they will all be taking over these new roles in the coming months.

I am sure you will give our new leadership colleagues your support - and the benefit of your experience - in their new roles.

Updated Phase 3 Roadmap infographic and FAQs

Keep up to date with the latest information and guidance for Phase 3.

The Phase 3 Roadmap infographic outlines the restrictions under Phase 3. Please take a few moments to familiarise yourself with the updated information.

You may also find useful a series of FAQs developed specifically for the Faculty of Humanities, updated to take account of the recent changes, which you can read on StaffNet along with a number of other resources. These FAQs will be updated as circumstances require.

If you are coming to campus we continue to strongly encourage you to get tested twice a week, as regular testing is an essential part of keeping everyone safe on the campus and the continued easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Self-test kits are available from the NHS directly and now also available from campus.

A Focus on Music and Drama

The prolonged campus closure has been challenging for students and staff in SALC, and we are very grateful for all the careful consideration from colleagues that has provided students with a fulfilling teaching and learning experience.

While most of teaching in SALC continues online, at the end of March we started to welcome our Music, Drama and Film students back to campus, of whom the prolonged campus closure has been especially challenging. Their return has been possible thanks to the efforts and generosity of colleagues across the University: we are grateful for the many colleagues who have advised on risk assessments, as well as timetabling, technical and estates teams who have helped to identify and prepare spaces for teaching. Thanks are also due to the Students Union, who have provided access to their large Academy spaces, basement club and theatre space. Between us, all as part of a great team effort, we have created a dynamic set of spaces for our student activity.

This year, staff and students in these subjects have developed a mass of approaches and creative projects impossible to imagine a year ago, genuinely positive and innovative ways of teaching and making that would not have happened had studio and lab spaces been available to us in the usual way. Read more about what our Music and Drama students have been up to.

A huge amount of planning is now going into making sure that next academic year will run as smoothly as possible, and as I mentioned earlier we look forward to welcoming our new Head of School, Thomas Schmidt, very soon.  Once again, I would like to offer renewed thanks for your hard work and commitment, after more than a year of challenges. This enables us to look forward to the future with confidence, and I very much hope to see you on campus as we progress our plans for the new academic year.

With warm wishes,