Department audit

December 17, 2004

John J. Joughin, head of department, gives the lowdown on humanities at the University of Central Lancashire

* Total number of academic staff: 51

* Number of permanent academic staff: 42

* Number of academic staff on fixed-term contracts: nine

* Number of hourly paid/casual academic staff: 14

* Number of other academic staff: 0

* Number of professors or readers: eight professors and seven readers.

* Number of ethnic minority academic staff: three

* Number of female academic staff: 21

* Number of female academic staff who are professors or senior lecturers/principal lecturers: two professors, three readers, one principal lecturer and nine senior lecturers.

* Research assessment exercise rating: 4 in history, 3a in English language and literature and 3b in American studies.

* When was the last quality assessment? Subject reviews: 1995-96 in linguistics 22/24, 1997-98 in American studies 24/24; a successful institutional audit in April 2004, including a discipline audit trail in English where we were commended on our "proactive learning, teaching and assessment strategy" as well as on "the quality of provision".

* Current and approved vacancies for the next 12 months? We have just had a successful round of fresh appointments in linguistics and English literature.

* Significant staff changes in the past six months? A number of promotions including: three professors, one reader and one principal lecturer.

* "Star" teachers or researchers?

Geoff Timmons (history) received a National Teaching Fellowship. One of our postgraduate students has just received the British International History Group prize for the best history PhD thesis.

* Research funding? Recent successes include £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project based on "Archiving the ephemeral culture of Asian struggle" and £40,000 Science Research Investment Fund 2 funding to develop a language and performance lab. The department hosts Amatas, a Higher Education Funding Council for England-funded project based on Americanisation, which has received nearly £165,000 in grants.

* What have been the main preoccupations of the department in the past six months? We are a merged department (formerly located in the departments of cultural studies and historical and critical studies) and this has encouraged exciting cross-disciplinary initiatives including an Arthouse cinema venue.J

* Anything else? The department hosts the British Shakespeare Association website, and we have launched e-learning programmes in Shakespeare studies and family history. We have a new programme in creative writing and our humanities postgraduate community is thriving, with more than 40 students registered.

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