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Report of the General Board on the establishment of certain Readerships in the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The Report of the Council on the financial position of the Chest, recommending allocations for 2005-06 (Reporter, 2004-05, p. 699), made provision to set aside £2m to facilitate staff restructuring, including positioning for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), for which the census date is 31 October 2007. The Report also made provision for an additional amount to be allocated in 2006-07 in respect of steps that the University might wish to take in preparation for this RAE. The Report's recommendations were approved by Grace 2 of 6 July 2005. These non-recurrent allocations will enable a limited number of offices to be established, from 1 October 2006, or as soon as possible thereafter, in anticipation of vacancies which will occur through retirement not later than 30 September 2009.

2. As part of this process, the Council of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences have proposed the establishment, from 1 October 2006, of four Readerships in three institutions within the scope of the School. This follows a lengthy and exhaustive consultation exercise within the School to determine the most appropriate measures to benefit RAE performance. The three Departments concerned, Social Anthropology, Education, and Sociology, all received a 5 rating in the 2001 RAE and recognize the need to strengthen their performance in the forthcoming 2008 Exercise. The School have formed the view that the establishment, and filling, of these Readerships from 1 October 2006 in areas that will enhance research activity will both support these Departments in this goal and facilitate succession planning.

3. The proposed establishment of two of these Readerships will be funded in the longer term for the most part through the suppression of University Lectureships that will be released from abeyance on 1 October 2008 on the retirement of Professor C. O. Lane in the Department of Sociology and on 1 October 2009 on the retirement of Professor A. D. J. Macfarlane in the Department of Social Anthropology. The other two proposed Readerships, in the Department of Education, will be funded through the suppression of the University Lectureship that will fall vacant on 1 October 2008 on the retirement of Dr J. Beck and through the suppression of a number of other posts in the Department. Until such time as the posts identified are suppressed, a contribution at a level equivalent to the cost of a University Lectureship will be made towards the stipends of the new Readers from the allocation for RAE preparations, as detailed in paragraph 1 above. Any shortfall arising from the permanent establishment of the offices at the Readership level will be met by the School from funds made available to them for strategic purposes.

4. The General Board have accepted the proposal from the Council of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences for the establishment of four Readerships. The criteria for appointment to a Readership through open competition will be identical to those for appointment through the Senior Academic Promotions Procedure. The Appointments Committee will be constituted as specified in the regulations for Readers and Readerships (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 692).

5. The General Board recommend:

I. That a Readership be established in the Department of Social Anthropology from 1 October 2006.

II. That two Readerships be established in the Department of Education from 1 October 2006.

III. That a Readership be established in the Department of Sociology from 1 October 2006.


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Cambridge University Reporter 4 May 2006
Copyright © 2006 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.