Getting off my bike…

A rather challenging ride for a very good cause

As previously noted here I faced a major cycling challenge on Sunday as part of Life Cycle 3:

During the last two summers a team from the University of Nottingham led by our Vice-Chancellor cycled ridiculously long distances to raise money for good causes. The team did not include me and they have sensibly overlooked me again as they cycle round the capital cities of the British Isles, starting and ending up in Nottingham. However, I am joining them on September 1st for the last leg of the journey, from Nevill Holt in Leicestershire back to the University, a mere 55 miles.


The Life Cycle 3 website has full details of the latest adventure which this year is raising money for stroke rehabilitation research. Stroke is the commonest cause of death after cancer and heart disease. Around 130,000 people suffer a stroke every year. A third will die; a third will make a full recovery; a third will suffer serious disability. No age group is immune – an average of six children under 16 suffer a stroke each week. Experts from The University of Nottingham are leading the way in stroke rehabilitation research. The work addresses the often neglected needs of stroke survivors following hospital care, and the need for stroke specialist provision of rehabilitation at home.

Anyway, I made it. I think it turned out to be a bit more than 56 miles and the headwind was pretty strong for much of the way. And there were some pretty tough (for me at least) hills.

It was great to join with 150 other leg riders on the route and to offer support to the Life Cycle team led by the Vice-Chancellor. I realise mine was a pretty modest effort but do please consider supporting me and donating via this Just Giving site. My pedalling came to an end for a while at least last weekend but do please join the others who have been kind enough to sponsor me and support this very worthwhile cause.

And for those who are interested here is part of the playlist I enjoyed en route.

With many thanks



Sustaining Excellence conference

2011 APM Conference – Sustaining Excellence

A brief note on what felt like a really good event, building on the success of first APM conference last summer and involving nearly 300 professional services staff from across the University.


In the main sessions we heard about the development campaign from Professor Jane Seymour together with an outline of the formal campaign laumch week in October and details of lifecycle, the John O’Groats to Land’s End ride being undertaken by the Vice-Chancellor and colleagues in August.

Chris Thompson, CFO, updated everyone on fees, funding and finances, highlighting the many financial challenges we are facing and how we are responding. We remain in a strong position but there is absolutely no room for complacency.

Professor Wyn Morgan, Director of Teaching and Learning, reported on the range of initiatives currently under way in teaching and learning including how we all have a part to play in delviering a world class student experience.


There were some great workshops on offer, with the lean and speed-dating sessions proving extremely popular:

Workshop 1: An Introduction to Lean Process Methodology & Its Application Within The University
Workshop 2: Virtual Tour Of Campuses In Asia, Teaching Partnerships And Internationalisation
Workshop 3: Professionalising Marketing And Recruitment In Changing Times
Workshop 4: What Is Research Margin And Why Does It Matter?
Workshop 5: Why Do Universities Need To Make A Surplus?
Workshop 6: Speedy Professionals: Putting A Face To A Name
Workshop 7: Go Greener
Workshop 8: Balancing The Demands Of Work And Non-Work Commitments
Workshop 9: Building Positive Working Relationships: Why Do Colleagues In Teams Have Differences At Work?

Final session

We also had an entertaing Q and A session covering car parking, IT, marketing and environmental issues.

And finally the Vice-Chancellor wrapped things up, stressing the critical contribution made by all professional services staff in supporting the delivery of the University’s strategic plan.

Thanks are due to all the speakers, panellists and those staffing the stalls as well as the organising committee, headed by Hannah Robinson. Particular thanks too Karen of Classy Cupcakes for running the charity cake sale.

I hope colleagues found the day useful, met people they had not come across before and learnt something new.