When the VC came to tea… (or coffee)


On Tuesday 10th February the VC, Professor Don Nutbeam visited the Hartley Library for morning tea (or coffee) depending on your preference; I think the VC chose the coffee! It was a chance to have an informal meeting and for library staff to ask some questions. We all introduced ourselves and then the VC introduced himself and spoke of his plans for the rest of the day. His plans involved dashing off after his library visit to catch a train to London as he’s currently looking for an artist to do his portrait (in oil). Then the VC was off to visit the Houses of Parliament to view a student poster competition Posters in Parliament 2015, where two University of Southampton students work is on display. Following that it was onto a reception and a dinner.

So our brief meeting with him was full of questions and spattered with the VC’s humour, which included looking to the clouds when people talk about cloud computing, and his interest in the cells at Winchester Police Station… During the visit we covered several topics such as the political landscape and upcoming elections, the profile of the library within the institution and the wider sector, the potential changes going on at the National Oceanographic Centre, and the growth at Winchester, 24/7 opening at the Hartley Library, journal costs (you might be astounded to know how much some of the journals we subscribe to cost!) and our Open Access Policy.

In the style of the Former Treasury chief secretary Liam Byrne, who left a note for his successor stating ”I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left” someone asked what his message for his successor would be and the VC stated “the University is in a good shape, don’t break it”.


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