[JISC] Weeknote 15/33

Well that was an interesting week. I awoke Monday morning to a Twitter stream full of rumors about the imminent closure of Becta and significant worries about the future of HEFCE and by implication JISC. Lovely way to start the week. As it happened the rumors regarding Becta were correct and while it is fair to say I didn’t enjoy my short experience working for them much I think it is a dreadful thing to happen to the many smart and nice people I met there. With QCDA going as well I imagine there are alot of worried people in Coventry.

Anyway as of yet none of the ill effects of the cuts have trickled down to us at JISC. There will be more tough cuts in HE and I don’t doubt we’ll feel some of that but so far so good. In fact we are even advertising for a number of short-term contracts at the moment (and I’m hoping that one of them will lead to my hanging around a little longer!)

Monday was the day of our facilitated workshop at the Hub that I had arranged. I think it went well – our facilitator Lycia did a fine job of keeping things on track (and keeping people off their phones!) and we did some useful and interesting work about how better to explain our activity in a way people might understand and who we should focus on speaking to..I rarely enjoy meetings but this one stayed interesting and mixed up the tasks throughout the day – I think we needed more time but nonetheless it was a worthwhile exercise.

Could have done with the aircon working on the hottest day of the year but other than that it was a great venue as well.

I picked up a new piece of work this week due to some stuff being shuffled around which will mean overseeing a review of a big, national project we fund. In our little corner of the world it is likely to be quite high profile and politically (with a small ‘p’) sensitive despite actually being quite straightforward but due to this I have spent quite a bit of time getting things ‘just right’ but I think I’m on top of things now and assuming I get the nod from those further up the food chain than me I can push ahead next week.

There has been quite alot of interesting in the strand of the new OER call that I’m helping out with which has been cool. I’ve had quite a few Skype calls and emails and am finding it a useful experience being involved from the very start of a Programme – especially one where I have a genuine interest in the area.

Friday we had a team meeting that was very well chaired by B and there were a couple of genuinely useful agenda items that I got alot out of. It did however feel like we’d had an awful lot of team gatherings recently and everyone (in my team at least) seemed to be fraying around the edges a bit. The last few months have been crazy busy and a little unsettling for many people and it doesn’t look like that is going to let up anytime soon so I hope everyone gets a chance to decompress a bit soon.

Next week I am in London, York and Cambridge as well as having an all day meeting in Bristol on Friday. Should have bought my iPad this weekend for the train travel 🙂