Department audit

September 24, 2004

Peter Golding, head of department, gives the low-down on social sciences at Loughborough University

* Total number of academic staff: about 70, including research staff (see below).

* Number of permanent academic staff: 34 on full-time university payroll.

* Number of academic staff on fixed-term contracts: our research staff are mostly on rolling contracts not tied to specific projects.

* Number of hourly paid/casual academic staff: fluctuating number of teaching staff, who provide a fairly small input into teaching and who number about 20

* Number of professors or senior lecturers (including readers): 25.

* Number of ethnic-minority academic staff: 0

* Number of ethnic-minority academic staff who are professors or senior lecturers: 0.

* Number of female academic staff: 11

* Number of female academic staff who are professors, senior lecturers or readers: 6.

* Research assessment exercise rating: 5*grade A

* Last teaching quality assessment: 1996, 23 marks out of 24. The interdisciplinary nature of programmes was singled out for praise. More recently, the department was the subject of a discipline audit trail bythe Quality Assurance Agency - again it was given full endorsement for quality of teaching.

* Current and approved vacancies for the next 12 months? Lectureship in criminology and social policy; lectureship in communication and media studies.

* Significant staff changes in the past six months: appointment of two young staff - Graham Farrell to a chair in criminology and Sabina Mihelj to a lectureship in communication and media studies. Promotion of Sarah Pink to senior lectureship, Barbara Bagilhole and Jim McGuigan to personal chairs.

* Research projects: awards from the Economic and Social Research Council, including two in the research methods programme, one in the e-society programme and two in the identities programme. The Centre for Research in Social Policy has 19 staff and annual funding of just under £4 million.

* The main preoccupations of the department over the past six months: We are concerned about the potential impact of requirements for full cost recovery in relation to external research funding. This could have devastating effects on researchers involved in social research. Increasing workloads arising from audit requirements make maintenance of the highest standards of teaching and research more difficult.

* Anything else? As a top research-oriented department, we are concerned about the impact of government policyto concentrate research funding.

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