Department audit

November 19, 2004

Ann Holmes, dean and faculty director of learning and teaching, gives the lowdown on the School of Law at Staffordshire University.

* Total number of academic staff: 40 (pending new appointments)

* Permanent academic staff: 38

* Number on fixed-term contracts: 0

* Number of hourly paid/casual academic staff: 2

* Number of professors/principal lecturers: 8 (pending appointment)

* Number of ethnic minority academic staff: 2 (excluding Welsh, Irish and Scots).

* Number of ethnic minority academic staff who are professors/principal lecturers: 0

* Number of female academic staff: 20

* Number of female academic staff who are professors/principal lecturers: 4

* Research assessment exercise rating: 3a

* When was the last quality assessment? June 2003. We were one of the first law undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the country to be scrutinised under the new Quality Assurance Agency review system and achieved the highest rating - "commendable" - in all categories. We achieved the highest rating of "excellent" from the Law Society assessment of the Legal Practice Course in November 2003, putting the school of law in the top six providers.

* Current and approved vacancies for the next 12 months? Lecturer/senior lecturer, readership and two principal lectureships. Appointment to two of these posts is imminent (we hope). Apart from being able to cover the core subjects, those who fill the vacancies will need to have expertise in the areas of family law, sports law and land law.

* Significant staff changes in the past six months? Peter de Cruz has moved to Liverpool John Moores University. Ro Evans, previously LPC award leader, has taken up a post with the Law Society. Martin Hannibal has been award appointed director of the legal practice course.

* Research projects? The university's research strategy is underpinned by its various research centres. The Institute for Social Justice Research is a research forum for law staff and provides support for staff research activities and related staff development activities - for example, conference support. The Law School continues to hold its annual conference in January on family and childcare law, hosted by the Centre for Family Law and Social Policy.

* What have been the main preoccupations of the department in the past six months? Recovering from the various assessors' visits and embedding the new faculty structure, which has involved changed responsibilities for some staff.

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