I am stuck on a rather delayed train from London to Leeds and while I’ve been sitting here, I’ve been reflecting on the academic induction I did yesterday. In common with other institutions Leeds Beckett University offers an induction for all staff (which I haven’t done yet but you’ll see from the title of this post that I am keeping my option open for blogging on that one too!) as well as a full day induction for new academic staff. That full day was yesterday.
So, organisational issues aside (you know me, poor organisation drives me just a little crazy and there were one or two issues) here are my thoughts.
- Academic inductions are impossible, just impossible to get right
- I would have liked to be given a pack or folder with the information in and just left alone to read. There was nothing there that I couldn’t have just read and in fact I have forgotten a lot of the stuff we were told already and will have to find it again on the website or in the various bits of literature we were given
- I am not sure what I would put into an academic induction
- I am not sure I would have two slots for the Quality people. I say this in spite of the two short talks by the Quality team actually being amongst the better ones of the day. Somehow it sent the wrong message
- Graduate attributes are a funny concept – they are supposed to distinguish graduates of the same subjects from different universities but this presumes that institutions have different graduate attributes. It struck me how similar those of my previous and current institutions are – they just use different terms to describe them
- The research people got it – they brought leaflets, said a very quick hello and then left. I now have names which I can link to faces and leaflets to remind me as and when I need information
- It’s good to have a slot about equality and diversity – if we have to have slots at all. I still maintain that a new academic staff folder that you’re given when you start would be better! Maybe with a networking lunch or something where new academics can meet key people.
- While it was probably useful to be given an overview of services etc by central university teams there was a fair amount of stuff that referred us back to School based teams/people. It would be more useful for me to meet them but not right now, when I need them because otherwise I will just forget
- I have not been that bored in a very very long time. I feel awful saying that but I really was bored stupid. It was all so pointless. Yes, I am back to the folders idea.
- Ok, I’m trying not to be negative. Was there anything good – well I met a few people I’ll probably not see again; I touched based with the Centre for Learning and Teaching; I… nope, that’s it I think
I do wonder if everyone feels like this about the induction or whether this is me being particularly cynical again. Am I just being the proverbial cat that doesn’t want to be herded in any way at all? Do I underestimate the level of experience I have in HE and does that impact in how useful I think the induction was? I also realise that I may have tuned out a whole load of really useful information and that this might all come back to bite me when I really need to know something and can’t find the answer!