Universities and colleges look to support business with Business Tailor

The Business Tailor website was released recently – it is a university and college collaboration project that aims to provide a gateway to nine of the east of Scotland’s universities and colleges – a one stop shop aimed at streamlining the engagement and enhancing access to knowledge, expertise and consultancy.

On the plus side, I think this is a really positive move by the sector that shows that universities and colleges are keen to work with and support business and they are trying to make the interface simple and supported. And the offer to ‘provide tailored solutions to ensure your exact requirements are met’ is a strong statement of intent.

The challenge for the sector though is relevance and awareness. I’ve spoken to various contacts across industry sectors and although I believe there is interest in the knowledge and expertise in our universities and colleges – however I don’t think they quite get or believe that there is a big enough commercial benefit to justify full engagement.

Hopefully the Business Tailor is a step in the right direction and the service will help bridge the gap between universities and industry. Do you think it will be useful and more importantly, will you use it?


Social media policy – do you have one?

Social Media policies are an interesting and necessary addition to digital governance.

I was in the middle of developing an upbeat two pages guide on how to use social media effectively, when I was asked by HR to support them in developing the overall social media policy for the university – this is a bit more serious and specifies what you can and cannot do and the disciplinary issues that can result from inappropriate use of social/professional media.

Does your organisation have a social media policy?

One of the biggest challenges is the variety of digital resource that exist, how easily it can be utilised, and where does a policy covering social media start and finish particularly given the blurred distinction between personal/corporate and who people represent when they communicate via social media? The issues are highlighted via  Academics behaving badly? Universities and online reputations blog – it  gives an overview of the challenges of controlling brands online and defining what is and what is not acceptable exploring the boundaries between expression of academic freedom and the obligation academics have to their institutions. It also provides a number of high-profile cases of academic trouble in cyberspace.