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Report of the Council on governance (chairmanship of the Audit Committee and external membership of the Council): Notice

28 July 2003

The Council have considered the remarks made at the Discussion held on 27 May 2003 (p. 991) on their Report dated 12 May 2003 (p. 920).

The Council agree with Professor A. W. F. Edwards and Mr T. N. Milner that on balance it would be best for the external members of the Council to become members of the Regent House during their period of office, and they therefore propose minor amendments to the amendment to Statute A, IV proposed in their Report and a further statutory amendment to Statute A, III, 7 (see below).

The Council confirm that the amendment of Statute A, III, 7 referred to by Professor Edwards in relation to Grace 1 of 20 November 2002 has been superseded by subsequent legislation within the University (Grace 5 of 26 February 2003) and that therefore this amendment has not been sealed and will not be submitted to Her Majesty in Council.

Mr N. M. Maclaren suggested in the Discussion that there should be more external members of the Council than the two proposed. The Council have noted that provision is being made for the Council of the University of Oxford to have an increased number of external members, from two to four. However, the proposal in the Council's Report on governance dated 17 June 2002 (Reporter, 2001-02, p. 945) for three external members to be appointed to the Council was rejected by the Regent House in a ballot. In their present Report (Reporter, 2002-03, p. 920) the Council have made a simple stand-alone proposal for the appointment of two external members and have announced that they would give further consideration later to the appointment of a Syndicate to consider aspects of governance. There is therefore no current proposal to increase further the number of external members in Cambridge.

The Council expect to propose an Ordinance for the composition and functions of the Nominating Committee in due course, and will take account of the remarks made in the Discussion in preparing this Ordinance.

Reference was made in the Discussion to the provision made in the Report for the removal of external members of the Council for good cause. The Council note that such provision should not apply only to external members, but that consideration should be given more generally to the legal requirement for the removal of charity trustees in certain circumstances. They wish to consider this further and therefore propose deleting the amendment to section 5 of Statute A, IV from the recommendations of their Report.

The Council therefore propose the following amendments to Recommendation I of their Report:

(i) That the amendments to sections 2 and 5 of Statute A, IV (the Council) set out in Recommendation I be amended as follows:

Section 2.

By replacing in line 1 of the section the words 'and nineteen elected members' by the words 'nineteen elected members, and two appointed members' and by including in the new class (e) after the words 'members of the Regent House' the words 'except under Statute A, III, 7(a)(ii)'.

As a result of these further amendments the final wording for the proposed amended Statute A, IV, 2 will be as follows:

Statute A


Chapter IV


2. The Council shall consist of the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, nineteen elected members, and two appointed members in the following classes:

(a) four from among the Heads of Colleges;
(b) four from among the Professors and Readers;
(c) eight from among the other members of the Regent House;
(d) three 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.
(e) two persons appointed by Grace of the Regent House who at the time of appointment are not qualified to be members of the Regent House except under Statute A, III, 7(a)(ii), nor are employees of the University or a College, one of whom shall be designated by the Council to chair the Audit Committee of the Council.

Members in each of classes (a), (b), and (c) shall be elected by the Regent House in accordance with section 4(a) of this Statute and in a manner determined by Ordinance. Members in class (d) shall be elected by the students in the University in accordance with section 4(b) of this Statute and in a manner determined by Ordinance. Members in class (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.

For the purpose of this Statute the terms student in the University and graduate student shall be defined by or under Ordinance.

Section 5.

By deleting the proposal to add the words 'the tenure of a member in class (e) may be terminated by Grace on the recommendation of the Council'.

(ii) That Recommendation I be further amended by the addition of the following amendment to Statute A, III, 7(a), to take effect under the same conditions as stated in that recommendation:

Statute A

Chapter III


Section 7, category (a).

By amending this category to read:

(a) (i) The Chancellor, the High Steward, the Deputy High Steward, the Commissary, and (ii) the members of the Council in class (e).

The Council now submit a Grace (Grace 2, p. 1310), for the approval of the recommendations in their Report, dated 12 May 2003, as amended by this Notice.


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Cambridge University Reporter, 6 August 2003
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