Driving Future Economies

I’ve written about my dad in this blog before. He sadly died last year, a few months after his ninetieth birthday. He had left school in 1941 when he was fourteen. He worked first for a small engineering company and then, after national service, for most of his working life in a textile factory. I…

La Trobe

I’m writing from Australia, where I am a few days into a fortnight of working abroad for the University.  In this blog post, I want to explain what I’m doing. Universities are rooted in place. The first thing I spotted about Sheffield Hallam when I came to look around before my interview for the job…

Feedback matters

Sitting at the back of a cupboard, we’ve got several boxes full of very old 35mm slides – most of them accumulated when we had to clear out my parents-in-laws’ house.  They are a fairly defunct technology now, but it turns out that you can buy slide scanners which convert the slides into picture files…

Making a difference

I remember a leadership development programme I participated in. We’d been talking about difference, about leading teams made up of people of different temperament, approach, background, heritage, culture. ‘What’s the difference’, asked the facilitator, ‘that makes a difference?’. In one sense, it’s just a clever phrase but Chris Seeley, who lead this discussion, was superb.…

The Heart of the Region

Look very carefully and you might spot some new arrivals on campus this week.  New, and appropriately heart-shaped lapel badges will appear as a visual symbol of our Heart of the Region campaign, celebrating the importance of Sheffield Hallam University to Sheffield and South Yorkshire. We are, as a university, at the heart of this…

The Hallam Fund 2018

There is a rhythm to the year which is recognisable, sometimes reassuring – we all feel good about the familiar – and sometimes mildly irritating – time cannot fly by that fast, surely. So the Easter eggs appear in the shops as the Christmas decorations are put away – squeezing the Valentine’s cards in between…

Students at the centre

Years ago, the New Statesman used to run weekly literary competitions. One of the best was the competition to write new proverbs – and a collection of these was published under the wonderful title provided by one of the winning entries, ‘Never Rub Bottoms with a Porcupine’. The anthology included such classics as ‘it’s an…

Life, death, LEO and employability

There’s a probably interminable debate about what universities are for, which provides a backdrop to working in them.  The historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto covered virtually all the bases in a piece he wrote in 2011: “there are only two worthwhile objectives for everything we do, in the university and out of it: enhancing life and preparing…

When you can’t click your fingers: a strategy update

Perhaps the best sporting headline of all time appeared in 2000.  Inverness Caledonian Thistle had – remarkably – beaten Celtic 3-1.  The Sun headline writer had a field day: SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC – CELTIC ARE ATROCIOUS.  It is pure genius wordsmithing, which works on every level.  It’s striking, it’s memorable, and, of course, it references…

Moving more, more often

We are programmed to move.  To survive in a harsh environment full of natural and human obstacles and enemies, early humans not only had to run, but also walk, balance, jump, crawl, climb, lift, carry, throw and catch things. Our ancestors routinely moved more than we do now: more people worked physically harder in their…