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Report of the Council on governance: Notice and announcement of ballot

18 November 2002

1. The Council have considered the remarks made at the two Discussions of their Report on governance held on 19 July and 8 October 2002, and the written comments sent in and published (Reporter, 2001-02, pp. 945-1139 and Reporter, 2002-03, pp. 9-14). The Council have noted that a variety of views have been expressed, ranging from the suggestion that the proposals do not go far enough (e.g. in retaining both the existing Council and General Board, rather than creating a new central body as now at Oxford), through expressions of support for various of the proposals, and to the suggestion that the proposals go too far (e.g. in relation to aspects of external membership of the Council, or to the role of the Vice-Chancellor).

2. The Council have reviewed the proposals in the light of the comments made, and believe that the best way forward, as already announced in the preamble of their Report, would be for the proposals to be voted on by the Regent House on a basis of placet or non placet. The Council believe that this will produce clarity of decision on the various aspects of the proposals, and that if any are rejected it would then be possible to consider what further steps, if any, to take. If the Grace about the composition of the Council (Grace 2, p. 323) were rejected, the Council would need to bring forward an early proposal for the appointment of an external Chairman of the Audit Committee.

3. Four Graces are therefore proposed, to be determined by ballot according to the timetable set out below, in respect of the areas identified in the revised recommendation contained in this Notice. The Council commend all the proposals, but they are formulated in such a way that rejection of one does not entail rejection of the others.

The Vice-Chancellorship

4. The Council have reviewed the original formulation in respect of the Vice-Chancellor, and have noted that the original proposed designation of the Vice-Chancellor as the principal academic and administrative officer of the University could be regarded as inconsistent with the designation of the Registrary as principal administrative officer. The Council therefore propose a revised designation of the Vice-Chancellor as the principal officer of the University.

5. The Council have also revised their earlier proposal that the Vice-Chancellor should be responsible for the 'executive management' of the University. The Council now propose that the responsibility should be for the 'management' of the University.

6. The Council wish to emphasize that the appointment of an external Chairman of the University Council is not intended to diminish the role or authority of the Vice-Chancellor: the role of the new Chairman would be limited, and in no sense executive. However, relieving the Vice-Chancellor of the duty of chairing the Council would enable him or her to play a proper and full role in University business at the Council. The Council do not envisage that the Chairman would be paid. There are many examples of such arrangements working successfully in other universities, and in other national institutions. Comparisons within the University could be drawn with the good relationship which usually exists between successive non-executive chairs of various University Syndicates and the chief officers of the University institutions concerned, such as the University Library, the University Press, and the Local Examinations Syndicate.

The Council

7. The Council understand the concerns that have been expressed about the proposed reduction of the number of class (c) members of the Council from eight to four. The Council made this proposal - which they continue to commend - having regard to the balance of membership within a Council of convenient size. However, the Council recognize that there are arguments in favour of maintaining the larger number and they therefore propose that the Regent House should vote to determine the matter. The Council believe that if a class of eight members are retained in class (c) the existing (post Wass) restriction on the class to members of the Regent House other than those eligible in classes (a) and (b) should be removed, so that the class was then open to all members of the Regent House. This would have the advantage of reflecting among other things the recent change in the composition of the Regent House through the appointment of more Professors and Readers. A provision would need to be made for a person not to be nominated nor to serve in more than one class on any particular occasion.

Minor corrections

8. Minor drafting corrections are also included. The Council are grateful to those who pointed out such points.

Statute making power of the University

9. The Statute making power of the University is stated in the University of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923 (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 101). In his remarks, Professor Edwards suggested that the University, like the Statutory Commissioners of 1923, is bound to adhere to the recommendations of the 1919 Royal Commission in making Statutes for the University. The 1923 Commissioners themselves did not follow the Royal Commission's recommendations exactly concerning the constitution of the Council (nor in other respects), and the University is not obliged to do so.

10. The Council are satisfied that the proposed amendments to the Statutes are within the powers of the University.

Ordinances

11. If Grace 1 is approved the Council will bring forward, by way of a Report to the Regent House, proposals for an Ordinance to set out a revised membership of the Regent House, as described in their Report on governance.

12. Changes to the Ordinances governing election to the Council would also be necessary to set out for members in class (b) the group (A, covering the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and B, covering science, medicine, and technology) to which each School will be assigned, and to set out detailed arrangements for the nomination of members in classes (d) and (e) and for the qualifying categories and periods of service of members in class (f).

13. The Council commend the proposals set out in the Appendix to this Notice for approval.

Recommendation

14. That subject to the approval of Graces 1, 2, 3, and 4 of 20 November 2002 (Reporter, p. 323), the corresponding amendments of Statute referred to in the Graces, as set out in the appendix to this Notice, be approved, the Common Seal of the University be affixed to them, and they be submitted to Her Majesty in Council; and that the amendments of Statute take effect subject to the approval of Her Majesty in Council on 1 October 2003, provided that if that approval is later than that date, the date of implementation shall be determined by the Council or if later than 1 January 2004 by Grace.

18 November 2002ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-ChancellorDONALD LAMINGG. A. REID
 TONY BADGERS. LEATON GRAYJEREMY SANDERS
 JOHN BOYDIAN LESLIEM. SCHOFIELD
 PETER GODDARDA. M. LONSDALELIBA TAUB
 D. A. GOODD. W. B. MACDONALDR. E. THORNTON
 GORDON JOHNSONJAMES MATHESON 

NOTICE OF A BALLOT

The Council give notice that a vote will be taken by postal ballot on Graces 1 to 4 of 20 November 2002.

In connection with this ballot the Registrary will arrange for the printing and circulation of any fly-sheet, signed by ten or more members of the Regent House, which reaches him by 1 p.m. on Tuesday, 3 December. Fly-sheets must bear, in addition to the signatures, the names and initials (in block capitals) of the signatories (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 117). Voting papers and fly-sheets will be distributed to all members of the Regent House on or before Monday, 16 December; the last date for the return of voting papers will be Monday, 6 January.

APPENDIX

Statute A

THE CHANCELLOR AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

Chapter III

THE REGENT HOUSE

Section 7.

By amending subsection (e) so as to read:

(e) persons holding appointments, either in the University or in a College, in such categories and subject to such qualifying periods of service as shall be determined from time to time by Ordinance;

By adding a new subsection (f) as follows:

(f) any member of the Council in classes (d) and (e).

Chapter IV

THE COUNCIL

Section 2.

By amending the section so as to read:

2. The Council shall consist of the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor designated by the Council, and [twenty] <: twenty-four > members in the following classes:

(a) four members elected from among the Heads of Colleges;
(b) four members elected from among the Professors and Readers, two from group A of the Schools, and two from group B of the Schools; each School shall be assigned to a group by Ordinance;
(c) [four members elected from among the other members of the Regent House;]
<Eight members elected from among members of the Regent House, provided that on any particular occasion no person shall be a candidate in more than one of classes (a), (b), or (c), nor shall any person serve in more than one of these classes at a time.>
(d) one member appointed by Grace of the Regent House who at the time of appointment is not otherwise qualified to be a member of the Regent House, nor an employee of the University or a College, who shall be designated by the Council to chair the Audit Committee of the Council;
(e) two members appointed by Grace of the Regent House who at the time of their appointment are not otherwise qualified to be members of the Regent House, nor employees of the University or a College, one of whom shall be designated by the Council to chair the Council;
(f) two members elected by and from categories of University employees who are not members of the Regent House, the categories and qualifying periods of service to be designated from time to time by Ordinance;
(g) three members elected from among the students in the University, of whom at least one shall be from among those certified by the Registrary to be graduate students.

Members of the Council in classes (a), (b), and (c) shall be elected by members of the Regent House in accordance with section 4 of this Statute, and in a manner determined by Ordinance. Members in each of classes (d) and (e) shall be appointed by Grace of the Regent House on the nomination of the Council; the arrangements for nomination shall be prescribed by Ordinance. Members in class (g) shall be elected by the students of the University in accordance with section 4 of this Statute and in a manner determined by Ordinance. For the purpose of this Statute the terms student in the University and graduate student shall be defined by or under Ordinance.

Section 4.

By relettering subsection (b) as (d), replacing the reference to class (d) with class (g), and adding new subsections (b) and (c) as follows:

(b) Members of the Council in classes (d) and (e) shall be appointed to serve for four years from a date to be determined by Ordinance.
(c) Members of the Council in class (f) shall be elected in Full Michaelmas Term to serve for four years from a date to be determined by Ordinance.

Section 5.

By adding at the end of subsection (a) the following sentence:

The tenure of a member in classes (d) or (e) may be terminated by Grace on the recommendation of the Council. The tenure of a member in class (f) shall end if he or she ceases to be employed by the University in a qualifying category determined by Ordinance in accordance with section 2(f) of this Statute.

By replacing in subsection (d) the reference to class (d) with class (g).

Section 7(b).

By replacing the reference to class (d) with class (g).

Section 9.

By amending the section so as to read:

9. (a) The Chairman of the Council shall be a member of the Council in class (e), as the Council shall determine from time to time, provided that the Chancellor shall have the right to take the Chair at any meeting of the Council at which he or she is present.

(b) If neither the Chancellor nor a Chairman appointed in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section is present, the Chairman shall be a member of the Council appointed by the Chairman to act as his or her deputy, or in the absence of such deputy some other member of the Council chosen by the members present.

Chapter V

COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL

Section 1.

By replacing the words 'the Consultative Committee' by the words 'the Audit Committee'.

Section 6.

By amending the section so as to read:

6. The Audit Committee shall consist of the member of the Council in class (d) as Chairman and other members as defined by Ordinance.

Section 7.

By repealing this section.

Statute B

MATRICULATION, RESIDENCE, DEGREES, DISCIPLINE

Chapter I

MATRICULATION

Section 1.

A. By amending subsection (iv) so as to read:

(iv) holds an appointment, either in the University or in a College, approved by the University for the purpose of Statute A, III, 7(e), and has held that appointment for such qualifying period of service as has been approved by the University for the purpose of that Statute,

B. By adding the following category (v):

or (v) is a member of the Council in class (d) or (e),

Statute D

THE UNIVERSITY OFFICERS

Chapter III

THE VICE-CHANCELLOR

Section 1.

By adding at the beginning of the section the following sentence:

The Vice-Chancellor shall be the principal officer of the University.

Section 2.

By amending the section so as to read:

2. The Vice-Chancellor shall be appointed for seven years or in exceptional circumstances for such shorter period as the University may determine.

Section 3.

By adding the following final sentence:

The Vice-Chancellor shall be responsible for the management of the University and its finances, and for the direction of University business within the framework of approved policies, and subject to the responsibilities of the Council and other bodies established by or under the Statutes and Ordinances.

Section 5(a).

By amending the subsection so as to read:

(a) the Vice-Chancellor shall be Chairman of the General Board, and of any other body of which he or she is ex officio a member, < except the Council >;

Section 7.

<By deleting the words 'the Council and' in lines 1 and 2.>

By amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

(b) The Vice-Chancellor may appoint a member of the Regent House to act as his or her deputy in any matter, including attendance at a meeting under the provisions of section 5(b) above, and may delegate to such a person any of the duties assigned to the Vice-Chancellor by Statute or Ordinance.

Chapter IV

THE PRO-VICE-CHANCELLORS

By amending this chapter so as to read:

1. There shall be such number of offices of Pro-Vice-Chancellor as shall be determined by the Council subject to a maximum determined by Ordinance. The Pro-Vice-Chancellors shall report to the Council through the Vice-Chancellor.

2. Each appointment or reappointment to an office of Pro-Vice-Chancellor shall be made by the Council after consultation with the General Board, on the recommendation of a Nominating Committee constituted by Ordinance. A Pro-Vice-Chancellor shall hold office for not more than three years and shall be eligible for reappointment, provided that no person shall hold the office of Pro-Vice-Chancellor for a total period of more than six years.

3. A Pro-Vice-Chancellor shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by Statute or Ordinance, and such other duties as may be determined by the Council, or the Vice-Chancellor.

Statute T

TEMPORARY PROVISIONS

By adding a new section 54 as follows:

54. The University shall by Grace make transitional provision for the election or appointment of members of the University Council constituted in accordance with the amendments of Statute A, IV made by Grace 2 of 20 November 2002, in respect of classes (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f). The members of the University Council in class (g) serving before this Statute came into force shall continue to serve as members in class (g) until the end of the period for which they were elected.


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Cambridge University Reporter, 20 November 2002
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