Why is it that every time I contact the central Travel team for some bookings I find that they cost much more than I thought they would? I’ve been consistently finding the quotes that Travel get to be more expensive than what I could find anywhere online. This is especially true for airline tickets, which are at least 10%-20% more expensive booked through Travel than through any respectable airline website.
Corridor conversations always stumble upon them providing ‘additional care’, but I did not find this to be true at all. I recently needed help during 2 conference trips where there were misunderstandings about the booking with the hotel. It was extremely difficult to get in touch with either Travel or Key, their provider, which resulted in frustrating experiences that required many non-fun hours of undoing with Travel and the Expenses admin team upon return.
Furthermore, I find that many times the bookings Travel make are expensive but not necessarily better. Even when I do the homework of researching hotels, flights, etc, I often end up with a sub-optimal itinerary from Travel that costs much more than expected. So on top of wasted time, I find that my hard-earned research funds are unnecessarily depleted by an aloof team that seems indifferent about spending taxpayers’ money.
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Your drones could assist Lancaster’s current management a little by unearthing the story of Lancaster’s first experiment in importing a head to a thriving department.
In an attempt to suppress the young revisionists in Sociology (such as Nick Abercrombie, the late John Urry and John Hughes) in 1972 Vice Chancellor Carter recruited Michelina Vaughan, an author of a letter to The Times attacking the 1968 LSE student protesters, to the first chair and to take over as head of department.
The rest is history…
Show me the way to go! How exciting the new high-tech, illuminated maps that have popped up all over campus are! I’ll be even more excited when the second phase is completed – and the magnifying glasses are attached so I can read the text…
Regarding your piece on sedentary professions (subtext 168). Television weather presenters. I have never seen, in this country or abroad, anyone present the weather forecast sitting down. I wonder why this is?
Lancaster University Contracts of Employment have referred to ancillary documents relating to sabbatical leave entitlement. With that detail ever changing, a request went from the VC’s forum on sabbatical leave (May, 2015) for a time-line of contractual changes. Having kept no records, HR was unable to provide that information, so leaving it for individuals to inform HR of their contractual terms. Effective from August 2017, this ‘embarrassment’ has been resolved. All earlier statements are now void. For example, an entitlement to sabbatical leave ‘as of right’ (PS/97/782 March 2007) is replaced by ‘the granting of Academic Research and Education Leave which is not an automatic right’ (http://tinyurl.com/ybxxxb2f). That it is still possible to download ‘Sabbatical Leave – 10 Question and Answers’ and ‘Lancaster University Application for Sabbatical Leave (HR111)’, shows that there is some tidying-up to do. The legal implication of losing an entitlement ‘as of right’ is beyond the layperson, whose best guess (in the case of this writer) is that the change is analogous to an individual being ‘innocent until proven guilty’, to one who is ‘guilty until proven innocent’. That the presumption of leave in the absence of any contrary argument is gone; replaced by the presumption of no leave without the approval of an HOD.
You may be interested to learn of the recent UA92 meeting (9 November) for Stretford residents. I attended in that capacity.
Your own Prof Sharon Huttly was in attendance as well as Gary Neville. They both gave bland presentations then we proceeded to question.
The background is that as part of UA92 they want to put high rise student accommodation on a small site which is currently a well-used car park. The proposed building would be out of scale with the rest of the area and right next to our two listed buildings, Stretford Public Hall and the Essoldo building. It is true that some people support the idea, and Gary Neville’s fame no doubt contributes to that. We also have a dated shopping centre with a high vacancy rate, so some people believe the student accommodation will give that a boost. The whole project is being sold by the council as ‘regeneration’.
There is also much opposition among people who think the building will be far too overbearing in the proposed location and that it will have a detrimental effect on the area in terms of amenities, etc. It seems to be these people who are attending the meetings, including myself. Both Gary and Prof Sharon looked a little shocked at the negative reaction from locals.
Since that meeting, there has been a change of tone from the council in my opinion. There has been another meeting (21 November) to discuss Stretford Town Centre, were it was stressed that nothing is decided. There was more listening, and less of the ‘selling of their plan’ approach we had initially. There are, however, obvious concerns. The council will be landlords of the student accommodation, so there’s an obvious financial incentive for the proposed site to be as densely populated as possible. It is in a Labour ward of a Conservative held council, so there’s no political backlash for the majority of Councillors to worry about. We are now coming towards the end of the consultation so we will soon find out if the Council have listened to locals. To reiterate, neither I nor the locals I speak to are against students coming here. The concerns are the very high density accommodation proposed, and the prospects for the area if this is built and UA92 does not succeed.