In order to fill your otherwise empty hours, Dave Hall and I have recorded a series of podcasts covering a wide range of topics across the full range of Registrar’s responsibilities. University Registrars Talking About Stuff, for that it is what the series is imaginatively called, does pre-date the latest enormous sectoral and national Coronavirus challenge. However, it might provide a temporary diversion from other more pressing concerns.
Anyway, the episodes to date are set out below. I should add that if anyone else wants to talk with me about higher ed stuff I’d be really happy to hear from you (Dave is going to tire of me before long I’m sure).
University Registrars Talking About Stuff
The very first in the series sees Dave Hall and Paul Greatrix talk through a number of topics including:
- the role of the Registrar
- some key responsibilities of the job
- and Dave’s career trajectory from the army and rebellion in the ranks to sabbatical officer and university administrator
The shared Warwick experience – both worked at the University for a period – including their (very small) part in organising the visit of Bill Clinton visit to the institution and some aspects of ‘the Warwick Way’ are covered. A surprising encounter with Jeremy Vine is noted along with some other additional perhaps slightly curmudgeonly observations about university life today.
The second in the series has our Registrars discussing job titles, from Registrar to COO to CFO and all points in between, the most enjoyable and least satisfying aspects of being a Registrar, the excitement and challenges of a good crisis and lots of stuff about meetings and minute writing.
Leicester city fans will be delighted their team features here as will family and friends of Richard III. There’s also reference to robots and artificial intelligence but also a bit of a shout for the more traditional notice board.
The third podcast covers a number of items of registrarial interest including some of some of the more unusual aspects of the Registrar role, such as working with partners in challenging environments from Afghanistan to Ethiopia to Iraq and Malaysia and China. Some contrasts with Swedish HE are noted before things move on to the exceptional challenges of portraits, diversity and gas pipelines. Yes, really.
In this episode the focus is very much on teaching and learning. The big issues addressed include:
- are we doing the right things in the classroom and how do we know?
- what is higher education actually for – is it all about getting a great job or more to do with living a good life and being a good citizen?
- shouldn’t senior managers be focusing on all of this a bit more?
There’s lots of discussion too on curricula, community and inclusivity and the extent to which social class is still a vital issue in higher education. There are also meanderings through the corridors of the School of Life, some mention of the rankings and then the place of academic discourse in public life.
Episode 5 covers the challenging issues around supporting animal research, student protests and occupations and the impact that students can have on the local community. We look at the difficulties associated with building a new animal research facility, the desire of universities to be more open about the research they conduct involving animals and the benefits this brings together with the need to engage with those holding very different views.
Having explored why students are not snowflakes and the success of major student led campaigns around sexual violence and harassment and decolonisation the issues of student impact on local communities are also considered.
Here’s the RSS feed for all of the fun.
Do hope you like it. And please do get in touch if you want to join in.
Drop me an email: email@example.com with some suggestions about the topics you’d like to chat about and we can explore them in an online conversation – no need to be in the same room these days!