Where did that week go?


So, despite best endeavours the rest of this week just passed in a blur.

Wednesday was all about finalising the papers to circulate setting out the response to the feedback from the Corporate Review of IT Phase 1 consultation, and the outcomes. Once those were out, the rest of the time was pretty much spent talking about the papers with people wanting to understand what might happen next.

Thursday was more of a mixed day – a KIT with Clive and then the SLS Executive, which was dominated by planning and budget discussions. The new Government has already indicated that they will be looking at early cuts to reduce the deficit so it is likely that there will be some of that felt in HE, in one way or another. The Exec discussed this at some length in terms of how the University might manage any funding or other changes.

Then on to a discussion on what guidance we might need to provide to staff (and possibly students) to support their use of social media tools. Some time ago a colleague from a faculty suggested that we shouldn’t really need to have any guidelines or etiquette, likening it to the concerns raised about email that largely proved to be over-played. However, there are examples where social media, simply because of its very public nature, have led to difficulties but my colleague was right to suggest that any guidelines should be proportionate.

I believe that any guidelines we prepare should encourage the use of these tools and to people experimenting with them to find what works best for them, or for the use they want to make of them. We learn a lot from experimentation and play, even if we may make mistakes along the way. However, it might be useful to offer some simple and clear suggestions that might avoid some of the more obvious problems people can encounter. I’d summarise it as wanting to encourage people to use social media/web2.0 responsibly.

I’ve talked before about this and even put a blog policy up here setting out some of the thinking I’ve done in using this blog and also my own Twitter account. I’m sure that there are better ways to express it but it is an example of the kinds of things people might need to consider. See also Brian Kelly,  DePaul University’s guidelines, or this from the University of Salford, for example.

Friday was mostly dominated by the Corporate Review of IT. Having published the final IT Service Delivery Model and the senior leadership structure, we’re preparing for the implementation process needed to put that leadership structure in place. That means a whole raft of thinking and preparation so that the people immediately affected are supported and have the information available to them at the necessary time. The next few weeks are going to be very busy.

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