Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6204

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Vol cxli No 8

pp. 197–212



27 November, Saturday. Congregation of the Regent House at 2 p.m. (see p. 210).

29 November, Monday. End of third quarter of Michaelmas Term.

3 December, Friday. Full Term ends.

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

19 December, Sunday. Michaelmas Term ends.

Office of Chancellor: Notice

22 November 2010

The Vice-Chancellor has been informed that His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh kg kt intends to resign the office of Chancellor with effect from 30 June 2011. The Council wishes to take this opportunity of paying tribute to His Royal Highness’s distinguished service in the office, and to express the University’s sincere gratitude.

The Chancellor is elected by the Senate, which currently comprises:

the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor,

all persons on the Roll of the Regent House, and

all persons who hold any Doctor’s degree of the University, any Master’s degree of the University other than the M.Eng. Degree or the M.Sci. Degree, or who hold the Bachelor of Divinity Degree of the University (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 5).

In accordance with the regulations for filling the vacancy (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 105), the Vice-Chancellor gives notice of the following procedure and timetable.

1. The ‘Prescribed Date’ shall be Sunday, 17 April 2011.

2. The Nomination Board for the election of the Chancellor is required to publish the name of a single candidate nominated by the Board by 25 June 2011 (that is, not more than seventy days of term after the prescribed date).

3. Members of the Senate are invited to make suggestions for the Nomination Board’s consideration. Suggestions must be received in writing by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, The Old Schools, Cambridge, CB2 1TN, before 5 p.m. on Monday, 9 May 2011 (that is, within the period of twenty-one days of term after the prescribed date).

4. Such suggestions must contain the full name of the person suggested for the office. It would be helpful to the Nomination Board if those making suggestions would also include any supporting information which they would wish the Board to take into consideration.

5. Once the Nomination Board has published its nomination, Regulation 5 provides for there then to be an opportunity for other candidates to be nominated directly, by at least fifty members of the Senate, within twenty-eight days of term after the Board’s nomination is published. A further Notice about this procedure will be published with the Board’s nomination.

Notice of a Discussion on Tuesday, 7 December 2010

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, 7 December 2010, at 2 p.m., for the discussion of:

1. Report of the Council on membership of the Regent House (age limit) (Reporter, 2010–11, pp. 187–88).

2. Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the introduction of a degree of Master of Corporate Law (the M.C.L.) (Reporter, 2010–11, pp. 189–92).

3. Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the future of Ordinary Examinations and the Ordinary B.A. Degree (Reporter, 2010–11, pp. 208–10).

Board of Scrutiny: Fifteenth Report (2009–10): Notice

22 November 2010

This Notice is the Council’s reply to the Board of Scrutiny’s Fifteenth Report (Reporter, 2009–10, p. 1129) and the Discussion of it held on 12 October 2010 (Reporter, p. 79).

The Council believes that the University should be grateful to the Board for its constructive and thoughtful Report, and indeed for its thorough work during the year.

The Board’s overview, resource, and financial matters

The Council emphatically agrees with the Board that this is a critical time for the future of the University. Since the Board’s Report was published, and indeed discussed in October, the Browne report about fees and funding has been issued, there have been announcements about the Comprehensive Spending Review, and further Government announcements are being made. Some significant changes in the national constitutional arrangements for higher education are expected, a White Paper is expected to be published in the winter, followed by a Bill in due course. The University is carefully considering its position, and contributing to consultations. Announcements in Cambridge about future arrangements will be made as necessary.

The Council discussed these and other strategic matters at its strategic meeting held in September 2010, and has continued to discuss the situation at each following meeting. The Council expects to consider the position comprehensively again at its meeting in December 2010, and will make a further strategic assessment at its strategic meeting to be held in March 2011. A full assessment of the financial and resource position for 2011–12, and so far as possible beyond that, will be set out in the budget report for 2011–12, which will be published in the Easter Term 2011 on the normal timetable. 2011–12 will be a challenging year, but the previous planning and assessments by the Council and other bodies, including the Councils of the Schools, will provide a good basis to enable the University to adjust appropriately to new circumstances.

The Council is pleased to see the Board’s recognition of the excellent work of the new Investment Board and of the Investment Office (paragraph 10).

The Board expressed concern that pensions matters were not being addressed with sufficient urgency (paragraph 11). This is a highly important topic, both for employees, and the University as employer. The Council and the Finance Committee consider pensions matters regularly. Consultations are taking place with representatives of members of the Contributory Pension Scheme about the future of the Scheme. Consultation with USS members is currently underway.

The Council agrees with the comment in paragraph 13 that it is necessary to be clear about the need to prevent a temporary deficit becoming ‘embedded’. That is part of the purpose of the strategic approach which the Council is taking, referred to above.

The Board’s comments on inflation percentages (paragraph 16) and a bond issue (paragraph 19) are again noted. Bonds are not the only form of long-term borrowing. The Council, with the advice of the Finance Committee, has the possibility of borrowing under active consideration. A Report to the University will be published soon. The Council is also, prudently, developing a capital strategy which will influence the need, and timing, of borrowing.

The Board mentions North West Cambridge (paragraph 21). Planning work, including financial planning, is taking place through the Project Board chaired by Mr Alexander Johnston. It had been hoped, following the recent Discussion of the green paper, to publish a definitive Report to the University in the present term. However, recent announcements about the A14 improvement project mean that some further consideration will need to be given to some aspects of the scheme, and the Report is not now expected until later in the academical year (probably the Lent Term 2011). The Report will include financial and commercial assessments. It is important to be clear, however, that the principal strategic purpose of the North West Cambridge project is academic, in particular to provide affordable housing for University staff, especially researchers, possibly including Collegiate developments.

The Council agrees with the Board (paragraphs 22 to 25) that there are indeed distinct ‘uncertainties’ and expects such matters to continue to be explored in future budget reports. The Council intends, however, through its continued strategic work, to ensure that so far as possible the University can weather changing circumstances without damage to the fundamentals of the University’s teaching and research mission.

Administration and governance

In paragraphs 30 to 51 the Board helpfully sets out at length comments on administration and governance matters. The University’s established legislative and scrutiny procedures make it inevitable that there will from time to time appear, especially to outsiders, to be elaborate processes and some delay in dealing with matters, and also occasionally what seem to outside people to be a concentration on trivial matters. The matter of the lift was a particular such example. The Council agrees with the Board (paragraph 44) that the status of reports and other papers (green papers, formal reports making proposals, consultation and discussion documents, for example) should be clear, at the point of publication.

The Board comments on the working of the Council itself (paragraphs 45 to 50) and this was also mentioned in the Discussion. Opinions differ as to the extent to which the Council, predominantly an elected body, can adopt a corporate approach to its work, that is to say, an approach where disagreement within the Council is not visible outside, except through the resignation of a member. The Council’s business is regulated by the Statutes and Ordinances, Standing Orders, a Code of Practice, the Statement of Primary Responsibilities, and other measures, some binding and some conventional or advisory. These are, so far as they are the responsibility of the Council itself, adopted annually, and provide guidance as to the participation of members in Council business.

The Council does not agree with the Board (paragraph 50) that now is the time to revisit the statutory provision for the chairmanship of the Council. The Council will be interested in due course to hear the view of the new Vice-Chancellor about this matter, after he has had experience of chairing the Council (and the General Board and Finance Committee) for a reasonable period.

The Council has noted the comment of the Board about the ballot process (paragraph 51) and also the comments of Dr Cowley in the Discussion. Dr Cowley did not make any representations at the time to the Deputy Presiding Officer, and no question was raised about the validity of the voting in the ballot referred to.

Other matters

The Council has noted the Board’s comments on HR issues (paragraphs 52 to 58) and has referred the specific suggestion about the Senior Academic Promotions procedure (paragraph 58) to the General Board for consideration. The Council notes the Board’s comments about the Institute of Continuing Education, an institution under the supervision of the General Board, and has drawn these to the Board’s attention.

The Council is pleased to see the Board’s endorsement of the process of technical review of the Statutes, and Ordinances.

The points made in the Discussion have been addressed above so far as appropriate. In addition, the President of Cambridge UCU referred to the position of that union, which is not ‘recognized’ by the University. The Council has referred this comment for consideration to the joint Human Resources Committee of the Council and the General Board.

USS consultation – proposed consultative voting: Notice

22 November 2010

The Council has considered the annexed text submitted by 152 members of the Regent House under Statute A, VIII, 7.

It is important to be aware that the formal method for an affected person to express a view is individually; the employer (the University in this case) does not have any formal entitlement to express a view. The proposed voting is not, therefore, a substitute for the individual expression of opinion before the closing date (22 December 2010).

The Council agrees that consultative voting should take place as proposed, and is immediately setting the arrangements in hand. The Council sees no purpose in proceeding to a Grace at this stage, which, if balloted, could lead to significant delay (possibly beyond the deadline for individuals to comment). To comply with the terms of Statute A, VIII, the Council intends to report formally in due course, but in the meantime the consultative voting by affected persons can be taking place.


The following has been submitted by the signatories listed under statute A, VIII, 7 (initiation of a Grace).

The Regent House notes that the University as an employer has a statutory obligation, under the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2006, to consult affected employees on the changes that have been proposed to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The Regent House further notes:

that persons who are active members of USS or are eligible to join the scheme have received as part of that consultation process a copy of a USS document outlining the proposed changes and a document from the Employers Pension Forum for Higher Education (EPF) which purports to explain ‘why changes are needed’ and that ‘the proposed changes are considered by the employers to be right for the benefit of the scheme and its members’; and

that as the body representing all employee members of USS under the rules of the Scheme, the University and College Union (UCU) has published on its website (at criticism of the process being followed by Higher Education employers in carrying out the consultation, and (at a critique of the EPF document.

Believing that consultation, if it is to be meaningful, must seek the views of those consulted when the latter have been provided with all the information necessary for them to make an informed response, the Regent House determines that the University will:

1.publish to all affected employees the alternative proposals for changes to USS put forward by the EPF and by UCU, together with supporting arguments for each;

2.conduct a consultative ballot on those alternative proposals;

3.publish the result of the ballot to scheme members within the University;

4.send the ballot result to USS as the principal local response to the statutory consultation exercise; and

5.ensure all members of USS are able to engage in the process and that their comments are fully reflected in the institution’s response to USS and that they are published locally.

This Grace has been initiated by the following members of the Regent House:

Nabeel A. Affara

Ronald S. Haynes

J. W. Powles

Andrew C. Aitchison

Douglas Hedley

J. E. Pringle

Jim Ajioka

Anita Herle

Brenda Purkiss

R. A. Alexander

C. M. Hills

C. Quy

T. Alexopoulou

J. M. Hohmann

Carol Reid

G. Amaratunga

N. J. Holmes

K. S. Richards

R. L. Ansell

Theodore Hong

A. Richter

Aidan Baker

C. J. Howe

N. Riley

Tarak Barkawi

A. P. Jackson

Ian G. Roberts

Clare Bartlet

L. Janik

R. Rodd

David Baulcombe

C. J. Jardine

S. Rogers

W. Mary Beard

Simon Jarvis

D. Salmon

M. B. Beckles

Kate M. Jeary

George Salmond

P. Brereton

J. F. Jones

Helen Varley Sargan

G. C. Brown

Jane Karger

M. G. Sargeant

B. Burchell

Napoleon Katsos

Carole A. Sargent

John P. Carr

Adrian Kelly

A. D. J. Scadden

Mark Carrington

J. Kelly

Jon Silverman

R. L. C. Charles

I. B. Kingston

C. W. J. Smith

M. Munawar Chaudhri

A. Kirby

M. R. Smith

M. R. Clark

V. Koronakis

N. Standart

A. Cooke

Heike Laman

R. J. Stibbs

A. P. Cox

Anna Langley

A. Stone

P. D. D’Eath

Benn Lawson

A. Street

P. Digard

M. Leggatt

S. R. S. Szreter

M. Dodds

S. Lowe

E. Tanner

N. Dodgson

N. M. Maclaren

J. W. Thompson

David Dunne

S. MacRae

E. Timmers

Peta Dunstan

C. J. Maegraith

Nick Tippler

K. Edgcombe

S. J. Martin

Paul Tonks

Peter Ellis

J. Mata

C. A. Tout

Dafydd Wyn Evans

Jane McLarty

John Trowsdale

R. W. Farndale

C. McLaughlin

Isobel Urquhart

M. Field

S. E. Melville

J. Warbrick

Debbie Finucane

R. Mengham

C. G. Warnes

S. M. Flood

D. A. Midgley

Christopher J. Watson

Lynn Foot

P. Milliner

Gary W. Watson

Su Ford

Michael Minden

Ruth Watson

M. J. Franklin

Preston Miracle

Melvyn Weeks

R. C. Franklin

H. R. Mott

Daniel H. Weiss

A. M. Fulton

J. Nairn

K. M. Wheeler

A. C. Gerrard

S. Nouwen

M. R. Whiteland

Nicholas Gibson

B. K. Omotani

G. Wiedermann

J. L. Gluza

Darerca Owen

G. Wild

M. Gonzalez

J. Padley

J. M. Wilkins

D. J. Goode

S. Page

J. A. Williams

B. S. Grainger

J. Papaloizou

Stuart Wimbush

J. T. A. Greatorex

Craig Peacock

V. R. Woodley

Sophie Harrington

G. P. Pearce

Igor Wowk

D. J. Harrison

Jon Peatfield

M. A. Young

P. A. Haynes

Timothy H. Penton