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Offices of Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Notice

27 October 2003

Following the approval by Her Majesty in Council of the statutory amendments to give effect to the increase of the number of Pro-Vice-Chancellors to five (see Reporter, 2002-03, p. 1264), the Council intend to proceed with the appointment of four Pro-Vice-Chancellors to join Professor A. C. Minson who was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) with effect from 1 August 2003. The Council wish to make appointments with effect from 1 January 2004.

The role of the Pro-Vice-Chancellors is to drive strategy and policy development and to support the Vice-Chancellor in providing academic leadership to the University and its management and direction. Pro-Vice-Chancellors will have access to the full range of administrative support available through the Unified Administrative Service but they will not be line managers for parts of the Service. They will work closely with the Registrary and Heads of Division in the Service. They will either lead activity themselves or will help ensure that it goes forward under other academic leadership, in which case they will co-ordinate, participate, and provide support as necessary. They will provide a key means of liaison between the University's institutions and the central University management and administration. They are expected to be appointed from senior academic officers within, and respected by, the University. Pro-Vice-Chancellors will take individual responsibility in their portfolio areas (see below) but will also function as a team convened by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources).

The Pro-Vice-Chancellors will:

(a) chair or attend committees and other bodies in the University relevant to their portfolios;
(b) work with the chairmen and the secretariat of those bodies to prepare forward-looking policy-focused agendas;
(c) attend meetings of the Council, the General Board, and their Committees as necessary and appropriate;
(d) be responsible for relationships with key internal and external stakeholders within their portfolios;
(e) be expected to be appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellors.


The Council have agreed the following initial portfolios for the Pro-Vice-Chancellors:

Research to include: oversight of future RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) submissions, the development of research strategy and policy, leading and co-ordinating central relationships with Research Councils and other partners, leading the planned review of the Research Services Division and the services it provides.

Education to include: undergraduate teaching, consideration of student numbers, access and admissions, graduate studies.

Special Responsibilities to include: selected University-wide initiatives, strategic planning for institutions outside the Schools (such as libraries, museums, and collections).

Personnel to include: personnel policy and procedures, promotion and reward, job evaluation.

These portfolios are not discrete and are intended to be indicative of the main areas of responsibility. It will be necessary for Pro-Vice-Chancellors to function collaboratively. It will, for example, be important for them to work together to ensure that the University's external relations associated with their specific responsibilities are undertaken coherently and as a part of other arrangements that the Vice-Chancellor will make in this area.

In making the appointments, the Council will be seeking Pro-Vice-Chancellors who:

1. hold an academic office in the University or a College with extensive experience in higher education (not necessarily all in Cambridge) and interest in one or more portfolio areas;
2. are able to demonstrate the respect of the Cambridge academic community through their career record and performance;
3. can demonstrate strong interpersonal skills with the ability to lead interdisciplinary teams of academic and administrative officers;
4. have an understanding of current policy developments in higher education in the UK and in particular how these might apply in Cambridge including the Colleges;
5. have the capacity to work intensively with high standards of personal and professional integrity;
6. can provide evidence of a high level of communication skills;
7. have and will use a clear consultative approach to problem solving.

Appointment process

Each Pro-Vice-Chancellor will be appointed by the Council, after consultation with the General Board, for an initial period of up to three years from 1 January 2004. In making the appointments the Council will be advised by the statutory Nominating Committee chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, the membership of which is as follows: Professor W. A. Brown, Master of Darwin; Dr D. W. B. McDonald, Dr L. C. Taub (members of the Council); Professor M. J. Daunton, Professor Sir Keith Peters (members of the General Board). It is expected that interested persons will be interviewed by the Nominating Committee in late November 2003. The Nominating Committee's recommendations will be considered by the Council at their meeting on 15 December 2003.

Terms and conditions

Pro-Vice-Chancellorships will be part time up to 80% of full time. The stipend payable is expected to be £90,915, pro-rata, subject to the approval of Grace 4 of 29 October 2003. Pro-Vice-Chancellors will be provided with office accommodation in the Old Schools as necessary for the performance of their duties. Secretarial assistance will be provided. The time commitment as Pro-Vice-Chancellor will be 'bought out' from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor's Faculty, Department, or other University institution or, for College officers, from their College. The arrangements to be adopted in any individual case in these respects will necessarily vary according to the circumstances and will be agreed by the Vice-Chancellor following consultation with the individual's institution or College.

The Nominating Committee welcomes expressions of interest and suggestions of names of suitable persons: these should be communicated to the Vice-Chancellor, University Offices, The Old Schools, Cambridge, CB2 1TN, by 14 November 2003.

The University is committed to equality of opportunity.

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Cambridge University Reporter, 29 October 2003
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