Ordinary People

On Thursday evening last week, I represented the University at Sheffield’s vigil for Holocaust Memorial Day in the Winter Gardens. Drawing together an audience of civic leaders and citizens, the event commemorated the victims of genocide around this year’s theme of ‘ordinary people’. As Cllr Terry Fox, the leader of Sheffield City Council put it…

Decisions

I enjoy my job leading the University. I enjoy its place at the heart of a great city and its engagement with its region. I enjoy arriving at work early in the morning, locking my bike up and chatting to the security, domestic and catering teams on my way through our buildings. I enjoy the…

Twelve Days of Christmas 2022

Hallam Twelve Days of Christmas 2022 Most of us have our festive traditions – the family meal, the Boxing Day walk, the family board games, the silly sweaters. My definition of a tradition is that it begins when something happens two years in a row for the same reason. And so, here, once again are…

Honorary Doctorates

Here’s your pub quiz question for the day. What connects Hilary Mantel, Dickie Bird, Robert Winston and Geri Horner? The answer, of course, is that they have all received honorary degrees from Sheffield Hallam University. Whilst I don’t recommend playing your joker on the pub quiz round on ‘recipients of honorary degrees from UK universities’,…

Cost-of-living crisis

The news crashed in day after day: a Chancellor of the Exchequer sacked by the Prime Minister, largely for implementing policies on which the prime Minister has campaigned; a new Chancellor junking the entire contents of a budget published just a couple of weeks before; Home Secretary fired for elementary security breaches; chaotic scenes in…

Performance

On Tuesday evening last week, I met Jade, Sameer, Lewis, and Ross, and seventy-two other Hallam students at an event in city campus’ new atrium. Jade, reading for an MA in International Relations and Global Crises, is a heptathlete who won a bronze medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Sameer is a BSc Nursing student…

Re-animating the campus

One day last week, I stepped into Hallam Café and heard something I’d not really heard for two years. It sounded – to my ears – beautifully musical. I took out my phone and recorded the sound. For the rest of the day, I was playing it to anyone I met in the course of…

The Queen

This is an extraordinary moment: a nation changing before our eyes.  For all the sense that we knew that this day would come, the death of the Queen is nonetheless a momentous occasion.

Knowledge, applied

I was knocked off my bike ten days ago, cycling back from our research nursery in Shirecliffe to city campus. There was more damage to the bike than to me, and I recovered reasonably quickly. Even so a longish wait in the Minor Injuries Unit and some painful bruising made it impossible for me to…

Seventy

David Kynaston’s superb book on the post-war years, Austerity Britain provides some stark reminders of just what it was like. There were no teabags, and no sliced bread. The war may have been over, but sweets, chocolate, sugar and meat were all still rationed. There were no dishwashers or automatic washing machines. There were no…