Big community reaction to Eleanor Hurton’s story

Communications received a number of emails this week from young people with disabilities who were inspired by the story of Eleanor Hurton, reported in The Star newspaper recently.

Communications put Star reporter Jess Gibson in touch with Eleanor because she’d won two Blues awards and seemed an ideal fit for the newspaper’s new ‘Young & Successful’ column.

Eleanor is an amazing disability advocate as well as a Master’s of Sociology student who has an auditory processing disability herself.

The young people who emailed us had disabilities themselves or were looking for more information for siblings with disabilities. Many of them had been told they wouldn’t succeed at university – even those at the top of their class! – due to their disabilities. They had never seen a positive representation of someone ‘like them’ and were so excited and inspired that is was quite humbling. Many of our email writers are now applying to UC!

Communications replied to the emails and shared our equity and disability webpage links for further information. Eleanor is already part of the UCMe campaign launching at the start of 2020, so that also is very inspiring for young people with disabilities.

Takeaways from this experience:
One news story can make a huge difference to someone’s life.
Young people with disabilities don’t often see successful examples of people like them.
There may be some misinformation out there about who can succeed at university.

An Excel Formula to Avoid a #VALUE! Error

If you’re using Excel, this one may be for you.

In M15, you need a formula that multiplies quantity (in, let’s say,  K15) by price (in, let’s say,  L15), but the price column also contains text entries such as Out of stock.  So the formula K15*L15 is not satisfactory because when you multiply a number by a text value (such as “Out of stock”) you get the #VALUE! error.

You could use an IF function to check for text, but there is a shorter solution.

The N function has a single argument: a value. It returns the value if the value is a number, or 0 if the value is text.

So, in M15, use the formula =K15*N(L15).

Thanks to Able Owl Excel tips for this one.

For other great time-saving tips, look up:
Being more efficient with your technology
Technology Information for Staff website

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Got some suggestions? Please leave a comment below or let me know.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

A New Staff Recruitment Platform is coming!

Tēnā koutou katoa,

In line with the UC Staff Recruitment Strategy and as part of an ongoing commitment to operational excellence and continuing process improvement, Human Resources has reviewed the current continuing and long-term fixed term staff recruitment system (currently UCPeople/PeopleSoft Recruitment Module).

The detailed investigation of potential technical solutions, to address some of the challenges we currently face, focused on how to:

  • improve the candidate experience and engagement
  • make the system more user-friendly for applicants and Hiring Managers
  • future proof the system to grow with UC’s needs and supports the Staff Recruitment Strategy
  • enable UC Hiring Managers to be more actively involved in the recruitment process
  • create a talent pool
  • automate and speed up manual processes

Following due diligence and a detailed research phase, we are delighted to have found a technical solution that meets UC’s needs.

We have now commenced on a project to replace the current UCPeople/PeopleSoft recruitment module for continuing and long term fixed term staff recruitment.

Note: University of Canterbury Temporary Vacancy System (UCTV) is not affected at this stage.

Some of the benefits of the new solution selected is:

  • easy to use,
  • mobile capability,
  • ability to build candidate talent pool,
  • opportunities to further automate and improve process for faster turnaround of staff recruitment,
  • easier and faster on boarding of new staff,
  • cloud based recruitment platform, less maintenance from UC required,
  • easy integration into UC’s HR systems

The new staff recruitment platform will go live by the end of November 2019.

You will receive further information during the upcoming weeks via Intercom and your HR Advisor and via our HR intranet site: UC Staff Recruitment Platform (staff access only).

Ngā mihi

Paul O’Flaherty

Executive Director – Human Resources | Kaihautū Matua Pūmanawa Tangata

Identity & Access Management Project Update

What is changing for existing staff and visitors!

IAM Project
IAM Project

The Identity & Access Management Programme (IAM Programme) is replacing the aging and unsupported back end solution of the current IDMS system with the aim to modernise and future proof the IAM solution within UC.

To see what is changing for which group at UC, visit the IAM Project Intranet site (staff access only) .

Benefits of the new solution are:

Providing single sign on capability – sign on once for multiple IT applications,

Faster provisioning of default access for new staff, visitors and students,

Enhancing Self-Service – new Assyst tiles for requesting additional access to resources,

The ability to streamline Access Management Services – get access to systems more easily with automation, which can be enhanced in future,

Better protecting identity and access information while the user experience is ensured,

More quickly synchronising password changes with downstream systems,

The solution is adaptable and can grow with the needs of UC,

Integrating new IT systems more easily.

By the end of this year a new IAM platform will be implemented, replacing the current solution.

With the new solution the following changes will be made for existing staff and visitors:

  • A new password tool is coming.
  • You will be able to re-set your password yourself via the new password tool if you no longer remember your password. The password tool is available 24/7. You no longer need to contact the IT Service Desk during working hours.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) will be enabled,
  • Single sign on capability for multiple IT applications will be enabled,
  • A new Assyst tile for requesting additional access to resources (e.g. All Staff Mailing List, additional Network Drive access etc.) will be made available,
  • Default provisioning for new staff and visitor access will be quicker
  • A new visitor database behind the scenes will be implemented and visitor records will no longer be entered into UCPeople/PeopleSoft .
  • New Visitor records and extensions to visitors will be made via the Service Request for Visitors (UC staff access only), which will be integrated to the new visitor database.
  • The visitor process ownership will move from HR to ITS

If you have any questions regarding the IAM Programme, please do not hesitate to email us at

Ngā mihi nui

The IAM Project Team

See previous IAM related communications:

James Logie building refurbishment completed

College of Arts staff are excited to finally begin the reoccupation of the newly refurbished James Logie Building on Monday 21 October.

Significant renovations have included the incorporation of stylish new communal spaces and kitchen facilities along with extensive energy efficiency improvements extending to new double-glazed windows, improved insulation levels and an improved radiator system.

Work will start shortly on similar renovations to the Elsie Locke Building. This work is expected to complete in June 2020.

Keeping UC staff informed