Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6168

Thursday 26 November 2009

Vol cxli No 9

pp. 254–289



28 November, Saturday. Congregation of the Regent House at 2 p.m. (see p. 286)

29 November, Sunday. End of the third quarter of Michaelmas Term.

4 December, Friday. Full Term ends.

8 December, Tuesday. Discussion at 2 p.m. in the Senate-House (see below).

19 December, Saturday. Michaelmas Term ends.

Visit of Her Majesty The Queen on 19 November 2009

Her Majesty The Queen and the Chancellor, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, were first received at King’s College by the Vice-Chancellor and the Provost. After entering the College, Her Majesty attended a luncheon, hosted by the Chancellor, for long-serving members of the University’s staff and their guests.

After the luncheon, a ceremony in the Senate-House took place, during which, in accordance with Grace 1 of 14 October 2009, the Chancellor presented the University’s Address to Her Majesty the Queen.

Before the ceremony at 3 p.m. two processions were formed and then entered the Senate-House by the South Door. The first procession contained the Vice-Marshal, the Heads of the Colleges, the Regius Professors, the Regius Professor of Botany Designate, and the Pro-Proctors. The Chancellor’s Procession then proceeded as follows:

The Esquire Bedells

The Chancellor       HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

The Chancellor’s Train-bearer

The University Marshal

The Orator       The Vice-Chancellor      The Registrary

The Proctors

(University Constables)

The High Steward

The Deputy High Steward

The Commissary

The Pro-Vice-Chancellors

The Nominated Members of the Deputation for the Address

The Additional Pro-Proctor for Ceremonial Occasions

In accordance with the relevant regulations, the Chancellor was accompanied in the presentation of the Address by the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrary, the Orator, the Proctors, and by the following members of the University nominated by the Vice-Chancellor: Professor The Lord Rees (Master of Trinity College), Mrs Anne Jarvis (University Librarian), The Lord Watson (Alumnus), Mr Matthew Moss (Private Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor), Ms Jennifer Harcourt (President of the Graduate Union), and Mr Thomas Chigbo (President of Cambridge University Students Union). The Esquire Bedells and the University Marshal were in attendance. The text of the Address, which was read by the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of the Chancellor, was as follows:


May it please Your Majesty:

We, Your Majesty’s most loyal and devoted Subjects, the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, offer our dutiful and heartfelt welcome as we mark the eighth century of our University, as we celebrate our history and achievements, and as we contemplate our future.

Francis Bacon, of Trinity College, wrote that scholars should enter upon learning ‘to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of men’. This philosophy has indeed guided the University in our endeavours to encourage each generation of our students in their chosen disciplines, and to prepare them for their professions and for responsible citizenship. By the most rigorous research, we continue to further our understanding of the universe, and to improve the lot of humanity as a whole. Our forerunners have brought about world-changing advances in medicine, in the sciences and engineering, and in the arts and humanities; they have provided leadership in public life, both in Your Majesty’s Kingdom and Realms, and in many countries beyond; and they have enriched the world’s artistic and cultural experience. In this celebratory year, we happily commemorate their achievements, and we are confident that the present generation has the same potential to transform tomorrow.

Our long history has witnessed many changes, some imperceptibly slow, many breathtakingly quick. Our imprint on society gathered pace in our early years, until King Henry VI’s great patronage made certain our consequence to the nation’s education. Since then our involvement has been ceaseless, and our attainments abundant. This anniversary year presents the example of Charles Darwin, of Christ’s College, born two hundred years ago, whose freedom to experiment at Cambridge led him to change the way we think about our planet, its plants and animals, and about our place in the world.  Today we continue this commitment to challenge settled thinking, for the benefit of the world.

Your Majesty’s royal forebears have been our generous benefactors and patrons throughout these eight hundred years. They have founded Colleges, they have established Chairs, and they have enriched the life of collegiate Cambridge in countless other ways. Your mother Queen Elizabeth was the first woman to be admitted to a degree in this Senate-House, and the University enjoyed Your Majesty’s personal favour when you entrusted to us the education of Prince Charles and Prince Edward. We are profoundly thankful that Your Majesty has most graciously consented to be present with us today as we recall our history, acknowledge the legacy of our predecessors, and look forward to the future with confidence. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity to reaffirm our loyalty and devotion to the Throne and Person of Your Majesty.

After the Address had been presented, Her Majesty made the following gracious reply to the University:

I am very glad to accept the Loyal Address from the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge. My family has enjoyed a happy association with Cambridge over many years. My father studied here, as you say, my mother was the first woman to receive a degree here, two of our sons studies here, and my husband is honoured and delighted to serve as Chancellor.

I am pleased to be able to join you for part of the University’s 800th anniversary celebrations. It is a wonderful occasion on which to reflect on the enormous contribution that Cambridge University has made to the life and well-being of this country, and many others throughout the world during the last eight centuries.

You have a long and proud history of service to teaching, to scholarship, and to research, and it is good to have this opportunity to acknowledge your achievements in the pursuit of learning, and the many advances in knowledge for which your graduates and academic staff have been responsible.

It is a happy coincidence that this year also marks the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, whose studies at Christ’s College helped to inspire his passion for the natural sciences, which gave rise to major changes in our perception of life on earth.

The University’s Department of Plant Sciences still holds all the botanical specimens which Darwin sent back to his mentor, the then Professor of Botany, John Henslow during his voyage in the Beagle. Mindful of this, and of the significance of these two important anniversaries, it gives me great pleasure to bestow upon the Office of Professor of Botany the style and title of Regius Professor of Botany in Our University of Cambridge.

Her Majesty then presented to the Chancellor a Warrant designating the Professorship of Botany as the Regius Professorship of Botany. The Chancellor then delivered the Warrant into the custody of the Registrary, who presented Sir David Baulcombe, Regius Professor of Botany Designate, to Her Majesty. The new Regius Professor of Botany then took his place amongst the other Regius Professors.

The wording of the Warrant is as follows:


to all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting!

WHEREAS it has been represented to Us by Our Lord Chancellor that in the eight-hundredth anniversary year of the foundation of Our University of Cambridge it would be desirable for Us to confer upon the Professorship of Botany in Our said University of Cambridge founded and erected in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty-four a mark of Our Royal Favour and Approbation.

NOW KNOW YE that We for divers good causes and considerations do hereby for Ourselves Our heirs and successors give and grant unto the said Office of Professor of Botany in Our University of Cambridge a mark of Our Royal Favour and Approbation,

AND it is Our Will and Pleasure therefore that the said Office of Professor of Botany in Our University of Cambridge shall be known during Our Pleasure by the style and title of Regius Professor of Botany in Our University of Cambridge.

GIVEN at Our Court at Saint James’s the Nineteenth day of November Two Thousand and Nine in the Fifty-Eighth year of Our Reign


Her Majesty then witnessed the closure of the final box in a set of archive boxes containing 800 ‘Letters to the Future’ written by the Vice-Chancellor and other members of the University, by Vice-Chancellors of partner universities in the United Kingdom and around the world, and by local schoolchildren. The boxes were then delivered into the custody of the Librarian.

Office of Vice-Chancellor: Notice

23 November 2009

In its Notice dated 21 January 2009 (Reporter, 2008–09, p. 402) the Council announced that it had commenced the process for the appointment of a successor to Professor Alison Richard as Vice-Chancellor. It now gives notice that it is today submitting a Grace (Grace 1, p. 286) for the appointment of Professor Sir Leszek Krysztof Borysiewicz, W, B.Sc., M.B., B.Ch., Wales, Ph.D., London, FRS, FRCP, FRCPath, FMedSci as Vice-Chancellor for seven years from 1 October 2010. Sir Leszek has been Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council since 2007 and was, immediately prior to that appointment, Deputy Rector, Imperial College London. He is an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College.

In submitting this Grace the Council wishes to record how, with the advice of its Advisory Committee, it has undertaken the process. The Advisory Committee was chaired by Professor Frank Kelly, Professor of the Mathematics of Systems and Master of Christ’s College. The Advisory Committee appointed Perrett Laver to assist the University in its appointment of a Vice-Chancellor to take up office from 1 October 2010. Following a range of preliminary discussions, including an open meeting for members of the University, the office was advertised nationally and internationally and nominations and applications were invited. As a result, the Advisory Committee considered a long-list of 35 names (29M, 6F). The Advisory Committee held informal discussions, which also involved members of the Council and senior University and College officers, with six persons (4M, 2F) after which they put forward a list of two persons (2M, 0F) for consideration by the Council. The Council held a formal meeting with each of those two persons. The Council believes that as a result of the process that it and the Advisory Committee have followed, the University can have full confidence in the openness and inclusiveness with which their nomination to the University has been determined.

The Council took the view that on this occasion the office of Vice-Chancellor should be held for a single term of seven years rather than for a shorter initial period with the possibility of renewal. Accordingly it is recommending that the appointment of Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz be made for seven years under the provisions of Statute D, III, 2.

Amending Statutes for Wolfson College: Notice

23 November 2009

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that she has received from the Governing Body of Wolfson College, in accordance with the provisions of Section 7(2) of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923, the text of a proposed Statute to amend the Statutes of the College. The current Statutes of the College and the amending Statute are available on the College’s website (see; paper copies may be inspected at the University Offices until 10 a.m. on 7 December 2009.

Continuation of Discussion: Notice

The Discussion held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 24 November (see Reporter, p. 230) will continue at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 1 December, in the Senate-House.

Notice of a Discussion on Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 107) to attend a Discussion in the Senate-House, on Tuesday, 8 December 2009, at 2 p.m., for the discussion of the Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the introduction of a degree of Doctor of Education (the Ed.D.) (Reporter, p. 281).

Discussion of a Topic of Concern on 7 July 2009: Notice

9 November 2009

The Council has received the remarks made on 7 July 2009 at the Discussion of the following topic of concern: the unpublished report from the committee reviewing teaching and learning support services (Reporter, 2008–09 p. 988); and has referred them to the General Board who have commented as follows.

The Board are grateful for the remarks of those who spoke in the Discussion. Those remarks which relate to the substance of the recommendations of the review committee will be considered, together with the responses from authorities and other bodies, by the Implementation Steering Group. With regard to the procedure followed by the Board, they do not accept the assertion of a number of speakers that the report should have been published immediately, nor do they agree with the proposition that all such reports should be routinely published. The Board, each year, establish numerous review groups, and other bodies, to undertake investigation of institutions and activities under the Board’s supervision. The Board’s normal practice after considering the reports of such bodies is to seek comments from the Councils of the Schools and other bodies concerned including the institution(s) under review; in the light of the comments received, and any subsequent modification of the proposals, an implementation plan is drawn up and, where necessary, the approval of the University sought for legislative or structural changes. To publish such reports routinely would, in the Board’s view, detract from the effectiveness of the review process.

As stated in Professor Cliff’s remarks in the Discussion, once they have come to a considered view on the review committee’s report and on the substantive changes needed to implement the report’s proposals, the Board will report, as necessary, to the University.

A number of speakers drew attention to the publication of the report on an internet site, following a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The Board have agreed that the report should be published for the information of the University (see p. 260).

The Council and the Board have agreed that the Registrary should consider the general policy on publishing such reports and advise the central bodies appropriately.