King’s College London seeks to play a part in the assessment programme.
1. King’s College London is a research university based on half a dozen campuses in Central London. It has about 13,000 students, a budget of 200 million dollars and contains the usual range of departments from medicine to law. Departments ranging from nursing to music were rated 5 or 5 star in the latest Research Assessment Exercise. Only the social sciences tend to be excluded from our programmes (not least because the London School of Economics is 100 metres from our main campus!) Most measures show it to be in the top ten of British Universities.
2. Information Services. Three years ago the Library, Academic Computing Services, Administrative Computing Services, Computer Assisted Learning and Archives were merged into the Directorate of Information Services and Systems, headed by Derek Law. It has a staff of about 200 fte’s and an overall annual budget of twenty million dollars.
3. Reasons for interest. As a multi-site university we are heavily dependent on our network and need to know more about how it is used and how effectively. UK Higher education is increasingly subject to quality assessment and quality reviews and the constant tension between input and output measures is one we are very familiar with. The College is increasingly eager to use agreed performance measures to assess service quality. We share the commitment to that approach.
4. Areas of interest.
a. We are particularly interested in comparing the effectiveness of on-line help/information about services with printed information. We shall expect to provide on-line help/information on the existing networked CWIS.
b. As you will know the UK has a substantial programme of nationally networked, free at the point of use information services. We should be interested in exploring who uses such services locally and to what extent. In particular the national site-licensing initiative for some 1200 e-journals poses many questions on how we target training and support resources. We need to determine how and what statistics to gather in order to do this.
c. We are interested in analysing e-mail traffic to investigate the role being played by e-mail in the College. This has now become a “mission critical” activity; we have just upgraded to a new system and have a major activity in transiting staff and students to the new system. This would be worth exploring.
d. We are interested in the general issue of assessing the network environment and should be happy to discuss additional or alternative areas of work. For example, we could explore the networked use of Computer Assisted Network materials which are beginning to become freely available in the UK. King’s is part of a metropolitan area network serving many institutions in the London area; its use might be explored; the national Arts and Humanities Data Service Executive is housed at King’s; the role of national services with a local institutional base might be looked at.
Final membership is dependent on exactly which measures we finish up assessing. I’m not clear how you define team membership from “different units/departments”. I have interpreted that as members of the ISS Directorate but if you wish academic department involvement that can be arranged.
Director of Information Services & Systems. Member of the Joint Information Systems Committee with national responsibility for networked services in the UK. Previous research contracts include European Commission, Spanish Ministry of Education, Gulbenkian Foundation, British Library, Higher Education Funding Council. 25 years experience of academic library and computing.
Director of Library Services. Almost 20 years HE experience. Recently appointed to the post she completed a major review of training needs last year. Currently involved in a major evaluation of performance of library services using questionnaires/focus groups and working with outside consultants to help evaluate service delivery in a networked multi-site environment.
Director of Computing Services.Over 25 years experience in HE institutions. Currently involved in major restructuring of Computing Services to increase user focus.
Assistant Director in the Computing Service with over 20 years experience in HE. Currently responsible for the new e-mail implementation as well as areas of user support. Frances Blomeley. Responsible for web implementation in the Computing Service. A “national expert” who has undertaken various projects for UKOLN. Currently a part-time researcher on a HEFCE funded project to create an animated FAQ service.
20 years experience in library user support within HE institutions.In charge of library reference and information services (including electronic services) and responsible for information about services. Has interests in user training and information management and has been fully involved in an internal and recently completed Electronic Information Services project.