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The Council have considered the remarks made at the Discussion of this Report on 10 November 1998 (Reporter, p. 165). They have consulted the General Board, and have agreed to make the following points by way of response:
1. The Council and the Board have noted the comments made by several speakers on the Disaggregation Analysis. They understand the speakers' reasons for introducing this topic, but they do not consider it directly relevant to the proposed early retirement scheme. They will ask the Planning and Resources Committee to give consideration to the points made in this connection.
2. The Council and the Board wish to repeat the assurance given in the Report that the scheme is to be entirely voluntary, in the sense that no one will be required to take early retirement. The Report explained clearly that individuals wishing to take advantage of the scheme would be free to apply, and that their applications would be considered by a committee of the central bodies, who would seek advice from the Head of the Department or other appropriate authority.
3. The Report set out (paragraph 4) the principles on which applications would be evaluated; in response to concerns expressed at the Discussion, the Council and the Board have agreed to modify those principles and to restate them as follows:
|(a)||The applicant's early retirement must be in the overall managerial interest of the University.|
|(b)||The institution concerned must be able to maintain its essential activity if the application is approved.|
|(c)||Approval of the application must lead either to the suppression of the applicant's post or to an equivalent recurrent financial saving, to be achieved either by restructuring the staff of the institution or by other means.|
|(d)||The purpose of the scheme is to achieve a net reduction in expenditure from the Chest, taking account of any loss of activity which would result either from the suppression of the applicant's post or from other measures adopted.|
These modifications are intended to permit greater flexibility in the operation of the scheme, as suggested by Professor Carroll and Mr Pate.
4. Several speakers commented on the proposed scheme in relation to the next Research Assessment Exercise. It is true that the current savings exercise, to which the early retirement scheme will contribute, is concerned partly with preparation for the RAE in 2001; however, the Council and the Board remind the University that preparation for the RAE is only a short-term objective, and that the changes in the structure of academic and academic-related offices which the scheme is intended to facilitate (including the introduction of Senior Lectureships and other measures designed to improve the career prospects of University officers) form part of a long-term strategy for the University, towards which the General Board, in response to pressure from members of the Regent House, have been working for several years.
5. Professor Bowring asked the General Board to re-examine the assumptions on which their proposals for restructuring are based. The Regent House has recently rejected the proposal for the establishment of a Syndicate to consider the structure of academic offices in the University, etc., and this suggests that it is the wish of the Regent House to have an opportunity to decide on the recommendations (including the introduction of Senior Lectureships, etc.; see paragraph 4 above) set out in the General Board's Report of 3 June 1998 on the recruitment, reward, and retention of University officers (Reporter, 1997-98, p. 804). The Council are submitting Graces to the Regent House for the approval of the recommendations of that Report (see the Council's Notice, below).
6. The Council wish to reassure the University on two points raised by Mr Pate. First, the proposed early retirement scheme is intended to apply both to University officers and to members of the assistant staff. Second, the scheme is to be funded from the Chest, and provision will be made for it in the estimates; the scheme will have no effect on the Contributory Pension Scheme, which is separately administered by a Managing Committee.
With the concurrence of the General Board, the Council are submitting a Grace to the Regent House (Grace 11, p. 189) for the approval of the recommendations of the Joint Report, subject to the modifications mentioned in paragraph 3 above.
23 November 1998
|ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-Chancellor||BRIAN F. G. JOHNSON||ONORA O'NEILL|
|T. S. ADKINS||D. E. L. JOHNSTON||SANDRA RABAN|
|MARTIN BOBROW||ALIX LANGLEY||MARK RHINARD|
|A. L. R. FINDLAY||JOHN A. LEAKE||M. SCHOFIELD|
|DAVID HARRISON||A. M. LONSDALE||DAVID M. THOMPSON|
|B. A. HEPPLE||C. T. MORLEY||JOAN M. WHITEHEAD|
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Cambridge University Reporter, 25 November 1998
Copyright © 1998 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.