Month: April 2017

dangerous statues

Statue of Isabella Elder
Isabella Elder safely on a plinth. She’s in Glasgow.
Edinburgh is a city with more named public statues to dogs than women. The dogs are called Bobby and Bum. The one woman is called Victoria.

Statues of women in public places do seem to draw attention. Particularly if they are at street level. After the awful spectacle of the Fearless Girl being frotted by a Wall Street Wanker I wondered if statues of grown women at street level would suffer the same fate. I visited Dublin and learned that yes, they do. Lucky girl Molly Malone is routinely groped.*

This week the Fearless Girl is back in the news. It’s all about context. The Charging Bull’ sculptor says ‘Fearless Girl’  violates his moral rights.  It’s a derivative work, he says. Without his bull the power of her stance would not be  as significant. Her presence changes his meaning. She makes a difference.

All very interesting in the week that Edinburgh University begins to discuss signing up to the UN ‘HeForShe’ campaign.

HeForShe is the UN Women’s solidarity movement for gender equality, with the aim of “bring[ing] together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all”.


* Molly is in a song. Fearless is in our minds. Bum and Bobby lived long lives.

committee work

Wise words. Artwork created by A-M Scott (2016) Artwork owned by me 🙂 No rights reserved by me.

Programme boards, project boards and university committees make decisions about all kinds of aspects of HE business activity. I don’t think I have ever sat on so many. I’m honestly not sure whether this is a reflection of my growing role, or a symptom of a widespread rush to governance.

Currently the roles I play on such groups include: Senior Sponsor, Senior Supplier, Senior User, Senior ISG representative, Director of LTW, Assistant Principal, Service Owner, Business Service Owner, Chair, Champion, and ‘person-volunteered-in-their-absence’.  My current portfolio of boards ( around 20) include:

University Learning and Teaching Committee

University IT Committee

University Knowledge Strategy Committee

Learning and Teaching Policy Group

Service Excellence: Student Recruitment and Admissions Board

Service Excellence: Student Administration and Support Board

Digital Transformation Governance Board

Assessment & Progression Tools Steering Group

Web Governance Board

MOOC Strategy Group

Lecture Capture Programme Board

Lecture Capture Policy Task Group

Lecture Capture Evaluation and Benefits Realisation Board

Learning and Teaching Policy Group

Learning Analytics Policy Group

Learning Analytics Project Board

Space Strategy Group

Digital Scholarship Steering Group

Digital Education Vision Group

Library and Information Strategy Committee

Edinburgh Futures Institute Project Board

Information Services Senior Mangement Group

Information Services Change Programme Board

Information Services Equality and Diversity Theme Lead


…. and those are only the ones internal to Edinburgh!