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Report of the Council on a revised constitution for the Local Examinations Syndicate: Notice

11 June 2001

The Council have considered the remarks made at the Discussion of this Report on 29 May 2001 (p. 773). They have sought comments from the Local Examinations Syndicate and have taken those comments into account in presenting the following response.

Dr Evans requested clarification of the implications of the scheme and referred to the proposed collaboration with National Computer Services, Inc.

At present, the work of the UCLES Group is divided between two legal entities, the Local Examinations Syndicate, which is a part of the University and OCR, which is a company limited by guarantee and of which the University is the sole member. OCR is an exempt charity administered on behalf of the University. The implications of the proposal are that the members of the Syndicate will also serve as the members of the board of OCR. This will ensure that the governance of the LES and OCR are exactly aligned, thereby strengthening the ability of the Syndicate to exercise responsibility for all the activities of the UCLES Group. A majority of members of the Syndicate will continue to be drawn from the membership of the Regent House. Furthermore, the role of the Treasurer, in UCLES as in the University Press, is to ensure that the University's interests are protected in the running of its major businesses.

There is no comparison between the present proposals and the abortive proposal to undertake a joint venture with National Computer Services, Inc. The Syndicate remain of the view that it was appropriate to explore the possibility of establishing a joint venture to assume responsibility for most of the administrative work of OCR. For reasons explained at the time, it was necessary to make public the fact that negotiations were in progress. The Syndicate also remain of the view that it was right to terminate the discussions when it became apparent that the proposal would not have been in the best interest of the UCLES Group or the University. They see nothing unusual or embarrassing in this train of events, because the Syndicate are aware that in the world of business from time to time proposals are announced which are not brought to fruition.

The Council accept the minor drafting point raised by Professor Edwards and have therefore agreed, with the concurrence of the Local Examinations Syndicate, to remove the word 'University' from line 1 of Regulation 4 for the Syndicate and to submit a Grace to the Regent House (Grace 8, p. 821) for the approval of the amended recommendations in this Report.

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Cambridge University Reporter, 13 June 2001
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