Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6223

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Vol cxli No 27

pp. 741–752



14 May, Saturday. Congregation of the Regent House at 11 a.m. (see p. 747).

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

21 May, Saturday. Easter Term divides.

22 May, Sunday. Preacher, J. J. Lipner, CLH, Professor of Hinduism and the Comparative Study of Religion (Ramsden Preacher), 11.15 a.m.

31 May, Tuesday. Discussion at 2 p.m. in the Council Room.

Please note: Next week’s issue of the Reporter will be published on Thursday, 19 May.

Discussions at 2 p.m.

17 May

31 May

14 June

5 July


23 June, Thursday at 11.30 a.m. (Honorary Degrees)

30 June, Thursday (General Admission)

1 July, Friday (General Admission)

2 July, Saturday (General Admission)

23 July, Saturday at 11 a.m.

Notice of a Discussion on Tuesday, 17 May 2011

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, 17 May 2011, at 2 p.m., for the discussion of:

1. Report of the Council, dated 18 April 2011, on undergraduate UK/EU fees, funding, and student finance (Reporter, 2010–11, p. 698).

2. Consultation on options following the abolition of the default retirement age: a joint consultative paper, dated 3 May 2011 (Reporter, 2010–11, p. 723).

Annual Reports of the Council and the General Board, and Reports and Financial Statements for 2009–10: Notice in reply to Discussion remarks

9 May 2011

The Council has considered the remarks at the Discussion on 25 January 2011 (Reporter, p. 469) about its own Annual Report for 2009–10, the General Board’s Annual Report to the Council, and the Reports and Financial Statements for the financial year ended 31 July 2010. It has consulted the General Board on the remarks made about their Annual Report.

University Council: Annual Report, 2009–10

Dr de Lacey commented on aspects of the North West Cambridge development. The Council hopes to be in a position to report further to the University early in the Easter Term.

Professor Evans’s comments on matters relating to the Statutes and Ordinances have been passed to the Technical Review Committee.

The Council endorses the view of the Board of Scrutiny that service by the external members ‘represents a not inconsiderable gift of both time and effort’.

Annual Report of the General Board for the academical year 2009–10

The Chairman of the Board of Scrutiny referred to ‘a major restructuring of the Social Sciences’. A Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science was the subject of a Discussion on 22 March 2011 (see p. 680 and Grace 7, p. 747). The General Board hope, after consultation with the relevant Faculty Boards and intercollegiate and admissions committees, to report in the Easter Term 2011 concerning Tripos changes in the Social Sciences. He referred also to new courses at Master’s level. The General Board will, through their Education Committee, continue to look carefully at proposals for such courses, not least because they are mindful of the Colleges’ interest in Master’s student numbers.

Mr Maclaren referred to the results of the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES). The General Board and the Board of Graduate Studies take the outcomes of such surveys seriously and they will continue to engage Faculty Boards and Degree Committees where concerns arise and to ensure they are addressed. His comments on the limited mathematical skills of prospective research students will be referred to the Board of Graduate Studies’ Transferable Skills Training Steering Committee, chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Professor Evans referred to various items of business considered by the Planning and Resources Committee. On the matters of fees and bursaries, the Committee’s views are closely reflected in the Council’s Notice and Grace of 23 February 2011. So far as the supervision system is concerned, a review is currently being undertaken with the Senior Tutors’ Committee and is concerned primarily with the development of supervision norms; the Senior Tutors’ Committee’s view that one-to-one supervision should be focused on papers, such as dissertations, where the work and supervision is by academic necessity individual, is being widely discussed across the collegiate University. There is no intention to replace the supervision system with seminars. In agreeing that the Working Groups should continue their work, there is a clear understanding on the part of the General Board and the Planning and Resources Committee that any changes which might arise from the ongoing work of these Groups should not be damaging to the student experience.

Professor Evans referred also to the Unified Administrative Service (UAS). The Council has agreed that the review of the UAS should proceed as expeditiously as possible (see the Notice in Reporter, 9 February 2011).

Finally, Professor Evans commented on responses to national consultations. Responses to national consultations on matters falling within the remit of the Education Section of the Academic Division are now included on its website ( Responses to future consulta­tions will be added to that website.

Reports and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2010

The Council notes the concerns about pensions voiced by the Board of Scrutiny.

The Council is submitting a Grace for the approval of its Annual Report (which includes the General Board’s Report) (Grace 6, p. 747).

Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science: Notice in reply to Discussion remarks

9 May 2011

The Council has received the remarks at the Discussion on 22 March 2011 of the above Report (Reporter, 2010–11, p. 680) and has referred them to the General Board who have responded as follows:

Dr Greenbank commented on the pace at which the establishment of the Faculty was taking place and on the lack of clarity and transparency in the process with which the new administrative arrangements were being implemented. The Board consider that there has been ample opportunity for consultation and discussion about the new structure, following the publication of the Board’s review of the provision of teaching, learning, and research in the social sciences (Reporter, 2009–10, p. 467). In particular there have been detailed discussions about the proposals in the Report since the beginning of 2011, involving the School and the central bodies. In accordance with good practice, all administrative and support staff concerned have been kept informed throughout, receiving an explanation of the administrative structure for the proposed Faculty and an indication of the possible change in certain roles. Work has proceeded in anticipation of approval of the Report, and recruitment processes are in place to fill the senior administrative roles in the Faculty by the end of May, with the allocation of remaining staff to positions across the three Departments following thereafter. Accordingly, the General Board do not accept the assertion that there is no administrative structure for the new Faculty.

Reference was also made by Dr Greenbank to the threat to the interdisciplinary nature of the centres of area studies from the proposal to incorporate them into the Department of Politics and International Studies, which was one of the recommendations in the General Board’s Review of the Social Sciences in the University. Through the Review’s recommendations, the Board have sought to find opportunities to raise the profile of Cambridge social sciences nationally and internationally. It is the Board’s view that the establishment of this new departmental structure will ensure that areas of excellence across the Faculty have the appropriate intellectual context, and infrastructural support, to realize their potential and the distinctive contributions that they can offer. The capital investment in the new building at 7 West Road, which includes space for the Department of Politics and International Studies and the Centres, is a very clear manifestation of the University’s commitment to the field and the interdisciplinary work it subtends.

The Council, with the concurrence of the General Board, has submitted a Grace to the Regent House (Grace 7, p. 747) for approval of the recommendations in the Report.