Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6367

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Vol cxlv No 11

pp. 186–223

Fly-sheets reprinted

The following fly-sheets, etc. are reprinted in accordance with the Council’s Notice on Discussions and Fly-sheets (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 116).

Fly-sheets relating to the ballot on Grace 1 of 25 June 2014 (Report of the Council, dated 17 March 2014, on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University)

The Report of the Council, dated 17 March 2014, on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University, was published in the Reporter on 19 March 2014 (see Reporter, 6343, 2013–14, p. 452). For the result of the ballot, see p. 207.

Report of the Council on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University

Placet Flysheet

The Sports Syndicate, and its precursor the Athletics Syndicate, have been established for over 50 years. The role of the Syndicate, as laid down in Ordinances, is to advise the Council and the University about the policy, facilities, and arrangements for sport in the University. However, there is little evidence that the Syndicate has offered or has been asked for, advice, and its terms of reference are extremely limited; it apparently has no role in thinking about sports facilities for staff or for the local community, and it has limited control over the University’s physical facilities which are largely independent administratively. It has mainly restricted its activities to the small-scale distribution of funds to traditional sports. There is no effective over-arching supervision of sport in the Collegiate University, nor is there apparently a strategic vision. Furthermore, the Syndicate is not well placed to represent a coherent picture of Cambridge sport to alumni or other interested parties, or to coordinate philanthropic fund raising. The contrast in sports fund-raising success from alumni and foundations between Cambridge and Oxford is stark. The central position of sport in students’ lives, and its funding, may have been taken for granted 50 years ago, but now the case needs to be argued in competition with other demands for resources. The Syndicate has become isolated in reporting terms and membership from the University’s strategic and decision-making bodies, and that has limited its ability to make the case for sport, so it is unclear even where its limited current funding will come from in future.

The Council has therefore recommended that a University Sports Committee should be established as a joint committee of the Council and the General Board. It should be given overall responsibility for all aspects of University sport, including funding and organisation, and health and safety and reputational risks; the Committee should also take over some responsibilities from the Proctors. Council believes that students should be the primary focus for our sports investment, but that the maximum benefit will be only realised from that investment if more serious consideration is given to the needs and participation of staff and the wider community.

In common with other important committees, the Sports Committee should be chaired ex officio by a senior University figure — given the student focus, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education is proposed — with a broadly representative membership. Much of the current sub-committee structure is likely to be carried over unchanged, but it will need to be augmented to reflect increased responsibility.

The current Department of Physical Education should be renamed the Sports Service. It should provide more comprehensive administrative and infrastructure support to sports activities at every level, and it could do so more effectively as part of the UAS, in common with other student and staff services.

In short, we believe that this reform will lead to broader participation in sport by students and staff, better integration with other student and staff services, more effective fund-raising, and a more modern and coherent strategy and presence for Cambridge sport. We therefore urge you to vote Placet to this proposal.

M. P. Bullock

W. A. Harris

P. Maxwell

B. M. Stocking

J. L. Caddick

D. P. Hearn

M. J. Millett

R. K. Taplin

M. J. Daunton

J. M. Holmes

J. N. Morris

G. J. Virgo

A. C. Davis

D. J. Ibbetson

R. Padman

G. C. Ward

A. K. Dixon

F. E. Karet

S. A. Pearce

I. H. White

C. M. Dobson

S. Laing

R. W. Prager

R. D. Williams

E. A. Drayson

R. J. Lingwood

J. M. Rallison

A. D. Yates

R. J. Evans

D. Lowther

J. H. Runde

C. J. Young

P. Fara

M. McDonald

J. K. M. Sanders

S. J. Young

L. F. Gladden

I. J. Maddison

J. C. Shakeshaft

A. S. Grabiner

D. J. Maskell

M. C. Skott

Report of the Council on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University

Placet Flysheet

The Sports Syndicate has become isolated from University process, is in danger of becoming moribund and has thus contributed to, instead of preventing, the marginalization of sport in Cambridge over recent years. Currently, there is neither line management nor clear and defined strategy for sport in the Collegiate University. The current separation between the Department of Physical Education and the Sports Syndicate has been counter-productive. The latter has mainly restricted its activities to the small­ scale distribution of funds to traditional sports and has even become detached from both major sports and from College sport. Health and safety and reputational risks are inadequately managed. Integration with other student and staff services has been lacking.

We therefore welcome the Report of the Council, and we believe that the reforms proposed to the governance and management of sport will be an important first step in addressing the issues above. Integrating sport into the University’s considerations, under a Pro-Vice-Chancellor as chair and with access to the funding round is vital and the Report proposes that. Likewise, integration with fundraising and the total student experience, as well as offering more to staff and alumni, as the Report seeks to ensure, have our full support. Cambridge has woefully lagged Oxford in these respects. Making the new Sports Committee, rather than the Proctors, responsible for the registration and monitoring of sports clubs is plainly right and the proposal that it should itself determine and put in place the optimum operational arrangements, while maintaining much of the present sub-committee structure, is well-judged. The lack of a clear reporting line for the Director has been evident for some time and this is at last provided.

The consequences of this Report not being approved would be dire. Inevitably, marginalization of sport would become still greater and the appetite of the University for reform and even to consider the case of sport would be lost, not to mention the financial and fundraising penalties.

In short, we believe that this reform is hugely to be welcomed by students and staff, that it will lead to better funding, more effective fundraising, and the creation of a vision and strategy. lt is overdue and in the interest of Cambridge sport. We therefore urge you to vote Placet to this proposal.

P. Abrahams

P. Abrahams

D. Lowther

S. Summers

S. Ainger-Brown

S. Ainger-Brown

S. J. Morris

L. M. Thompson

N. J. A. Downer

N. J. A. Downer

G. T. Parks

P. Warren

A. Enticknap

A. Enticknap

B. S. Pilgrim

I. H. White

P. Fara

P. Fara

J. H. Runde

K. Willox

P. ffolkes Davis

P. ffolkes Davis

D. S. Secher

D. Griffin

D. Griffin

J. M. Soskice

M. J. Hackett

M. J. Hackett

S. K. F. Stoddart

Report of the Council on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University

Non Placet Flysheet

This report is about the suppression of the Department of Physical Education and the Sports Syndicate, and the creation of a so-called `Sports Service’ under the centralised control of the Unified Administrative Service (UAS) and the Registrary. The proposal is in keeping with a long-term strategy of placing all but purely academic activities under the control of the UAS as foreshadowed in a Review of the UAS in 2010. We hope you will share our concern about this increasing centralisation of control in our federal and collegiate University and vote non placet.

The ostensible reasons for the proposed changes include the suggestion of better representation of sport at a senior level, the hint of more money (better bidding opportunities, allegedly) and transfer of registration and regulation of the semi-autonomous University sports clubs away from the overloaded Proctors, with the supposed result that health and safety procedures will be more streamlined. There is no evidence of non-compliance by clubs with health and safety requirements, but even if there were perceived to be a problem, this could easily be solved by making registration of a club dependent on compliance with national health and safety requirements for the relevant sport. Indeed, health and safety audits are already compulsory for clubs seeking grants from the Sports Syndicate and are carried out by people with a specialist knowledge of sport. All these potential changes could in fact perfectly well be implemented within the existing structure, with the advantage that those with enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, University sport would retain much greater influence than appears likely under the proposed major reorganisation. As it stands, the proposal thus risks alienating those senior members who voluntarily devote much of their time to University sport and may very well fail to have any genuinely beneficial impact on the success and diversity of Cambridge’s sporting endeavour.

The Physical Education Department, like the Careers Service, the University Library and University Information Services (UIS), is not suited to centralisation under the UAS. The Physical Education Department provides sporting facilities, advice and instruction to students, staff and the wider community. Its strength lies in its ability to respond rapidly to funding opportunities and changes in sporting safety requirements and codes of practice. In contrast, a central bureaucracy would most likely be run by managers without qualifications, training, interest or understanding of sport. The decision-making process would also be slower and the ‘Sports Service’ would have to compete for funds directly with other UAS services, which are already squeezed financially. Another important consideration is that the PE Department is increasingly contributing to research within the University, a role that has the potential to grow. Placing sport under the auspices of the UAS would prevent further exploitation of the burgeoning field of sports science.

A better proposal would be for the Vice Chancellor, who is the nominal Chair of the Sports Syndicate, to appoint a Pro-Vice Chancellor, or other suitable senior member of the University, as Chair of the existing Sports Syndicate. We believe there is no alternative but to ask the Council to think again. Indeed, even within the Council, there are misgivings about this proposal, as evidenced by the Note of Dissent by two members of Council, which is reproduced below in italics. Please vote non placet.

Extract from the Note of Dissent (Reporter, 25th June 2014)

All agree that change is needed, and all agree with the need for high-quality sporting facilities benefiting all members of the Collegiate University, as well as the local community. Members of the Regent House with commitment to, and knowledge of, all levels of sport, from elite to community, raised cogent objections to the proposals in the Discussion. A number of relatively minor, though useful, changes have been made in response to their concerns, but the central thrust of the Report, i.e. the replacement of the Sports Syndicate by a Sports Committee, and the absorption of the Department of Physical Education in to the Unified Administrative Service (UAS) as the Sports Service, is unmodified. We are not convinced that the interests of sport in the University are best served by centralization.

The Report on Sport argues that the Sports Committee should devise a vision and strategy for sport in the University, and then hold the Sports Service to account for delivering it. However, the Syndicate could equally well, or better, devise a vision and strategy, and the Syndicate might have a chance of delivery (given that the Director of Physical Education is under the general control of the Syndicate). The Sports Committee would have little hope of ensuring delivery, since the Director of Sport would have no responsibility to the Sports Committee and instead would report to the Registrary (who is not even listed as in attendance at the Sports Committee). At least when Sir Geoffrey Howe was sent to the crease he had a broken bat; the Sports Committee looks like having none. There is a disconnect between the aims, aspirations, and principal terms of reference of the Sports Committee, and the implements it would be provided with to fulfil those objectives.

If better financial, legal, or HR support for the Syndicate is needed, it can surely be provided by the UAS without alienating those who understand the diverse nature of sport in the University and the needs of its participants, which must be the prime requisite for a body charged with devising a vision and strategy for sport.

On a wider note, we believe that the systematic concentration of power in a single point of failure is unwise. Syndicates have an important role within the University, and the apparent programme for their demise is to be regretted.

A. C. Aitchison

P. G. Harding

N. D. Mathur

M. A. Ruehl

M. V. S. M. Blackman

P. H. Haynes

M. R. Morris

P. A. Sarris

A. R. Bottomley

S. B. Holden

R. Nickl

A. Shadrin

S. J. Cowley

N. J. Holmes

N. Peake

R. W. Serjeantson

S. B. Dalziel

M. B. Holness

M. J. Perry

N. I. Shepherd-Barron

M. J. Dixon

D. P. Kennedy

A. I. Pesci

R. J. Sparkes

S. J. Eglen

J. Khalfa

S. Pitts

D. R. Spring

S. R. Elliott

N. G. Kingsbury

H. Price

A. A. Vinnicombe

F. A. Fischer

T. W. Körner

N. Radic

Y. Wan

R. E. Goldstein

A. N. Lasenby

O. Rath Spivack

P. Wingfield

B. B. Groisman

J. Lasenby

R. A. W. Rex

F. M. Grosche

A. D. Lemons

P. G. Richardson

S. K. Haigh

J. R. Lister

T. W. Ridgman

Report of the Council on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University

Non Placet Flysheet

The report on the governance for sport within the University was compiled by a review committee comprising nine individuals, very few of whom are involved in student sport on a day-to-day basis. Appendix C lists “interested parties who were approached to submit evidence to the review committee”, however it is known that some of these parties were not approached, at least not in a way that made it clear what was required and what would come of their “evidence”. As a result, only a small subset of those approached actually provided evidence to the review, meaning that it is not necessarily representative of the views of all University sportspeople. We hope you share our concern regarding this lack of meaningful consultation of students and, perhaps more importantly, those participating in sport at the University, and vote non placet.

The membership of the current Sports Syndicate includes seven junior members, six of whom are sportspeople appointed by the Blues Committees. In contrast, the proposed Sports Committee will only include two people in statu pupillari in its membership, one of whom will likely be a CUSU representative. The other junior member will be “a student representative appointed by the clubs’ sub-committee” and thus it is likely, though not guaranteed, that this will be a sportsperson. Not only are we concerned about the reduction from seven to two junior members, but we also think it is unlikely that a single person can usefully represent the views of both male and female athletes from the whole range of University sports clubs; from the large, well-funded clubs such as CUBC, to the smaller, less-well-funded clubs such as Judo.

Funding itself is something that is touched upon by the review but which is not fully addressed. There is a suggestion that the incorporation of the Sports Service into the UAS will help improve funding for sport. Recommendation 13 is that “the Sports Committee should determine what funding is needed to deliver its strategy for sport across the whole of the University and should bid to the University through the planning round, and to Colleges, to raise those funds”. However, the Department of Physical Education is already included in the planning round and thus there is absolutely no evidence of increased funding for sport as a result of the proposed structure.

At the time of writing, a petition in support of the review has 722 signatures. This petition is being undertaken by Cam Gill and Beck, “on behalf of Dr Pat Marsh who was the author of the initial report to the Sports Syndicate 2012”, a report that has not been made available to students. Although this suggests that there is some student support for the review, this number actually equates to a very small percentage of students participating in sport within the University. There are 52 University sports clubs registered with the Sports Syndicate. If those falling outside of the Syndicate are also counted, the total number exceeds 70 (depending slightly on the categorisation of sport). It is telling that only ten parties submitted evidence to the review on behalf of University Sports clubs. In addition, numbers from 2012–2013 suggest that there are 2365 students involved in 48 out of the 52 clubs that are registered with the Syndicate. This is just an indication of how many people are involved in sport at a University level – if college level sport is also taken into account the number of students with a vested interest in the governance of sport will be much greater.

The petition itself is actually intrinsically flawed; there is no way of verifying whether those who have signed were actually responsible for doing so themselves. In addition, it is not limited such that only current students can sign and it has not been set up to automatically remove duplicate entries. In fact, it has already been confirmed by those administering the petition that no fields on the petition are compulsory, duplicate entries have been received and that some signatures are linked to people without Cambridge University email addresses. Even if each signature was unique, 722 equates to 30% of the students involved in 48 University clubs, meaning that at least 70% of Cambridge sportspeople have not signed (and this is discounting college sportspeople and those not in the 48 University clubs for which we have data). If the flaws of the petition are taken into consideration then the number of Cambridge athletes showing their support by signing drops to a far smaller percentage.

Finally, the petition has been circulated to sportspeople by interested parties, with no encouragement to read the review itself, asking students to sign while failing to present them with all relevant information; we are concerned that students are being led to believe that if the review is not passed, the University will not look at the issue again for many years. We are fully supportive of a change to the way in which sport is governed at the University but are concerned about the lack of student consultation and representation and what the result might be for student sport. Please vote non placet.

C. H. G. Allen

A. Fryxell

K. T. A. Mahbubani

H. R. Simmonds

L. Allen

R. Gardner

J. Martin

N. Smith

C. Attwood

S. Gerrard

P. Matthews

K. Struthers

B. Börcsök

C. Goddard

S. Mercado

A. Stubbs

J. Chalmers

R. Gough

M. Moll

Z. Szenczi

Amanda Chen

T. Gouveia

R. Muller

M. Teplensky

Alexander Chen

L. Graham

K. Nechayeva

K. Trinh

S. Dane

M. Griffiths

T. Nelson

E. Tunney

T.-F. Dauck

C. P. Guyader

N. Novcic

H. Voolma

K. Davies

R. Heyworth

J. Ocampos-Colina

K. Wagenaar

D. Dicu

C. Ho

C. Orellana

B. Walker

B. Dosen

L. Imperatori

R. E. Ostfeld

A. Watson

A. Drew

E. Johnson

K. Pavlyuk

S. I. Willis

C.-H. Elder

R. Kershaw

A. J. Peel

K. Wolf

G. Emerson

E. Keyzer

T.-L. Precht

N. Xiao

M. Fala

A. Kouyoumdjian

H. Resemann

L. Young

R. A. Forster

R. Lazar

A. Richardson

A. L. Zhu

S. French

R. Less

R. Scheuerle

A. Zielinska

C. Fuller

S. B. Lim

R. Sevilla Martin

L. Funcke

C. Loh

J. Shilton

Report of the Council on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University

Placet Flysheet

We are aware of the petition signed so far by 8671 members of the University, young and older who are not members of the Regent House and therefore unable to vote, but strongly in favour of the Report as the way forward for sport in Cambridge and note that 71 of these are student officers who have signed on behalf of their sports clubs. We also note where prominent individual sportsmen and sportswomen indicate their support for the Report and urge those able to vote to take these views seriously.

We take the view that the Report’s authors were both representative and consulted widely and wish to see the Report implemented as soon as possible. We deplore the antagonism to the UAS manifested in opposition.

We therefore urge you to vote Placet to this proposal.

A. M. Fulton

K. L. Lee

E. Wade

I. H. White

M. J. Hackett

D. Lowther

P. Warren

A. D. Yates

C. S. M. Lawrence

S. Smith


  • 1At the time of going to press, there were 902 returns, of which 648 were from students, 28 from staff, and 249 from alumni.

The following fly-sheets were not printed in the Reporter at the time the results of the relevant ballot were published; they are included now in maintenance of the University’s historical record.

Fly-sheet relating to the ballot on Grace 1 of 28 November 2012 (Report of the Council, dated 22 October 2012, seeking authority to commence development of University land at North West Cambridge)

The Report of the Council, dated 22 October 2014, seeking authority to commence development of University land at North West Cambridge, was published in the Reporter on 24 October 2012 (see Reporter, 6282, 2012–13, p. 59). For the result of the ballot, see Reporter, 6295, 2012–13, p. 342.

Report of the Council seeking authority to commence development of University land at North West Cambridge

Placet Flysheet

The case for developing the first phase of North West Cambridge is simply stated. A shortage of all types of appropriate affordable housing is a major constraint on our academic development, limiting our ability to recruit the best in the world-wide competition for talent. We therefore need to build now many of the homes that the University is likely to need in the foreseeable future. Phase 1 is sufficiently large and diverse to be economically and socially viable in its own right. There will be around 300 graduate student rooms; over 500 postdoctoral homes, mostly 1 and 2 bed flats; around 50 homes for University staff for rental at market rates; and 700 homes to be developed privately and sold freehold.

Postdoctoral researchers and graduate students are the creative and intellectual driving force behind much of the daily research success of Cambridge, and there is intense international competition to attract the best. For several years, all the Schools have been pressing to expand their graduate student numbers, but a lack of suitable accommodation has inhibited that expansion, so we are falling behind our competitors in responding to the inevitable change in student demographics. Several colleges are involved in the planning of the graduate housing; initially they will lease space for rental to graduate students. The architecture allows for the possibility that future development, probably funded by philanthropic donation, will allow evolution of this space into an independent college.

Postdoctoral workers are the largest staff group in the University, yet most have little college-type support or lifestyle, and many are shocked by the high rents they have to pay for low quality housing. By providing affordable accommodation for our own staff we expect to reduce the pressure on rented housing elsewhere in the City region. The availability and price of homes to buy is also an increasing problem in recruiting permanent staff at all levels, placing upward pressure on salaries, and forcing new colleagues to commute many miles.

North West Cambridge presents a unique opportunity to enhance the life of both the University and the City region. High-quality architecture and public spaces will create a sustainable community in a new local centre and in residential neighbourhoods that will complement the historic City Centre. The early development of the local centre, including primary school, nursery, shops, a community hall centre, health centre and police office will create a community focus from the very beginning and provide additional facilities for local residents.

The budget for this project matches its scale. The estimated cost of Phase 1 over the next 40 years will be £281m at today’s prices, most of which is incurred in the early stages for constructing buildings and infrastructure. The project will be funded by a loan from the University, and we expect that it will repay the loan and interest in less than 40 years.

The development of North West Cambridge will demonstrate the confidence that the University has in its own future and in its local community. It will allow us to grow in a way that is coherent, sustainable, exemplary and exciting. Above all, it will help us to continue contributing at the highest level, but in a deeply practical way, to society and the economy locally, nationally and internationally.

We therefore urge you to vote Placet to this proposal.

David Abulafia

A. K. Dixon

D. A. Good

K. B. Pretty

P. M. Allmendinger

Christopher M. Dobson

A. Hopper

J. Rallison

A. J. Badger

A. M. Donald

F. P. Kelly

Duncan Robinson

N. Bampos

R. J. Dowling

Robert C. Kennicutt

J. K. M. Sanders

J. C. Barnes

I. M. Le M. Du Quesnay

S. Laing

J. M. Todd

Richard Bowring

B. J. Everitt

Robert Lethbridge

D. J. Wallace

H. A. Chase

Richard John Evans

J. P. Luzio

I. H. White

Sarah Coakley

Simon Franklin

Patrick H. Maxwell

S. J. Young

Stephen J. Cowley

C. A. Gilligan

M. Mcdonald

M. J. Daunton

L. F. Gladden

Rachael Padman

Fly-sheets relating to the ballot on Grace 1 of 22 May 2013 (Joint Report of the Council and the General Board, dated 18 March 2013, on IT infrastructure and support, as amended by the Council’s Notice, dated 20 May 2013)

The Joint Report of the Council and the General Board, dated 18 March 2013, on IT infrastructure and support, was published in the Reporter on 20 March 2013 (see Reporter, 6302, 2012–13, p. 418) and amended by the Council’s Notice, dated 20 May 2013 (see Reporter, 6308, 2012–13, p. 547). For the result of the ballot, see Reporter, 6315, 2012–13, p. 678.

Flysheet for clarifying details of implementation group

We, the undersigned, commend the IT Review Committee, the Council and the General Board on the excellent work that has gone into the most recent IT Review. The consultative processes and responsiveness to feedback in arriving at the final recommendations of the IT Review have been exemplary and we look forward to future reviews following similar paths. Much of what is proposed in the revised IT Review report (, properly implemented, will be of immense and lasting benefit to the University.

However, we feel that there is a small but significant oversight with regard to the proposed implementation group, probably as a result of the time pressures of meeting the relevant legislative deadlines. We feel that the details of the implementation group are too important not to be spelt out. Neither the Joint Report on IT infrastructure and support nor the subsequent Notice of 20 May 2013 are sufficiently clear about these details. We believe that it is vital, not only that there should be an implementation group, created in a timely fashion, but that it should be the right implementation group, with a clear, agreed membership, remit and modus operandi.

Under the current proposals, the implementation group will be operating for a significant period of time without the benefit of the proposed new governance structure for central IT. Further, nothing in the Joint Report or the subsequent Notice suggests that the implementation group would report to, or even work with, the body responsible for strategic IT (either the current body, ISSS, or the new body, the ISC). In addition, implementation of many of the recommendations of the revised IT Review should be left until the new Director of Information Services is in post. We believe that, under these circumstances, the lack of clarity around the implementation group is an oversight that could have potentially damaging consequences for the University’s IT arrangements.

We observe that the University’s IT arrangements are clearly a complex matter about which it is easy to make sub-optimal proposals, as is amply demonstrated by the significant changes between the IT Review Committee’s initial and revised reports, and between the Joint Report and the subsequent Notice. We note that these changes were made in response to feedback from the wider University community, a community which has not had a chance to have any meaningful input in the matter of the composition, remit and operating procedure of the implementation group, since no detailed proposals have yet been made in this regard. We therefore feel that this specific point should be clarified by detailed proposals in a further Report to the Regent House.

We agree that commencing a search for a Director of Information Services is urgent, and this is adequately addressed by the current Grace. We do not seek to change these arrangements. However, the matter of the implementation group, whilst clearly very important, is not as urgent. We observe that no one has put forward any arguments in favour of implementing the other recommendations of the revised IT Review prior to the creation of the new University Information Services (UIS).

We realise that there are some who may fear that a further Report would only serve to delay the implementation of the recommendations of the revised IT Review. However, we feel that the proposed recommendations are so important, and their effects likely to be so wide­ranging, that it is more important to get the details of their implementation correct than it is to attempt to implement them quickly without a clear implementation plan.

Under the original proposals of the Joint Report, the implementation group would have had 3 months during the Long Vacation to do whatever was necessary as advance preparation for the creation of the UIS. If a further Report was placed before the Regent House, this would still give the implementation group 6 months, during University Term, prior to the creation of the UIS.

Clearly the implementation group should largely be carrying out preparatory work until the Director of Information Services is in post, which will be no earlier than 31 March 2014. There is therefore adequate time for a subsequent Grace detailing the membership, remit and operating procedures of the implementation group.

WE THEREFORE URGE THE REGENT HOUSE TO VOTE FOR ANY AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD RESULT IN SUCH MATTERS BEING DETERMINED BY GRACE [option (b) on the voting paper]. We believe that not only will it be to the University’s advantage to further consider the matter of the implementation group but that it will be to its detriment to proceed without clarity around who will be responsible for implementing the IT Review’s recommendations and how they will go about it.

A. I. Altaparmakov

N. J. Harwood

J. P. King

S. Page

M. B. Beckles

R. Haynes

F. E. R. Lahr

C. Quy

K. J. Boddy

S. Houghton-Walker

M. R. Laven

J. E. Scott-Warren

S. M. Flood

S. J. Ison

J. M. Line

A. D. Stone

R. C. Franklin

C. J. Jardine

I. W. Mackey

W. D. Trotter

J. L. Gluza

K. M. Jeary

D. W. Mcbride

J. Warbrick

P. Gopal

M. A. Johnson

A. E. R. Moseley

Flysheet supporting the Joint Report on IT infrastructure and support

Grace 1 of 22 May 2013 reads:

“That the recommendations in paragraph 8 of the Joint Report of the Council and the General Board, dated 6 and 18 March 2013, on IT infrastructure and support (Reporter, 6302, 2012–13, p. 418), as amended by the Council’s Notice, dated 20 May 2013, be approved.”

After an extensive period of inquiry and consultation, the IT Review Committee has made a number of very sensible and wide-ranging recommendations for improving our IT provision. These include a new committee to oversee IT reporting directly to Council and General Board, the merger of the University Computing Service (UCS) and Management Information Systems Division (MISD), the appointment of a new Director to oversee the merged organization reporting directly to the Vice-Chancellor, minimum standards of provision for all staff and students and enhanced central provision to support these standards, greater user involvement in the design and delivery of IT services and improved career structures for all computing support staff.

The purpose of this Grace, which we fully support, is to give formal approval of these recommendations and enable the structural changes needed to implement them.

The proposed date for the merger of the UCS and MISD is 31st March 2014. In order to help prepare for this event, Council has proposed that an implementation group be formed as soon as possible. An amendment has been proposed that seeks to delay the formation of this group pending a further Report and Grace. Council has stated that the implementation group will be concerned only with the preparation of draft plans and it will consult fully with all involved including the Information Strategy and Services Syndicate. Given this reassurance, we believe that a further Report will introduce unnecessary delay and reduce the ability of the Group to consult as widely as possible with all stakeholders. We therefore strongly support the Council’s Grace as it stands and reject the amendment.

We therefore urge members of the Regent House to indicate their approval of the Grace in its original form, incorporating amendments made by the Council’s Notice of 20 May, by placing a 1 on the voting paper next to option (a).

P. M. Allmendinger

A. P. Dowling

F. P. Kelly

J. M. Rallison

N. Bampos

A. C. Ferrari

R. C. Kennicutt

D. A. Ritchie

J. C. Barnes

N. A. Fleck

R. D. Lethbridge

I. G. Roberts

J. R. Bellingham

S. C. Franklin

R. J. Lingwood

J. K. M. Sanders

J. F. Bloomfield

R. H. Friend

J. P. Luzio

J. Shakeshaft

J. L. Caddick

Z. Ghahramani

P. H. Maxwell

H. Sirringhaus

D. J. Carter

C. A. Gilligan

M. Mcdonald

M. A Thomson

H. A. Chase

L. F. Gladden

W. I. Milne

J. A. Todd

S. A. Coakley

K. Glover

F. J. D. Nolan

I. H. White

A. A. Copestake

D. A. Good

J. R. Norman

D. M. Wolpert

M. J. Daunton

M. J. Gregory

R. Padman

A. D. Yates

A. M. Donald

A. Jarvis

M. A. Parker

S. J. Young

Flysheet for a properly constituted implementation group


As explained in another flysheet, neither the merger of the UCS and MISD nor the appointment of a Director of Information Services would be delayed by such an amendment. Instead, it would guarantee that the implementation group – who will initially be given a budget of £2 million and charged with completely re-organising the University’s IT arrangements – will be properly constituted, with a well-defined membership, remit and modus operandi.

The most likely ‘detrimental’ effect of such an amendment is that the implementation group would not be formally created until after the end of the Long Vacation 2013. Thus any suggestion that this might have a noticeable detrimental effect on the implementation group, and any consultation it might undertake, ignores the reality that the University all but closes down over the Long Vacation.

Further, during the Long Vacation IT staff are either away or taking advantage of everyone else’s absence to maintain, develop and upgrade the IT systems they support. In particular, over the Long Vacation 2013, UCS and MISD staff will also be busy preparing to co-locate in the Roger Needham Building in West Cambridge. Thus, over this period most IT staff won’t have the time to give the considered response that the implementation group should require.

We therefore believe that an amendment requiring a further Grace to establish the implementation group will not have any significant detrimental effect on this group. Consequently, WE URGE THE REGENT HOUSE TO VOTE FOR ANY AMENDMENT WHICH RESULTS IN THE DETAILS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION GROUP BEING DETERMINED BY GRACE [option (b) on the voting paper].

M. B. Beckles

K. M. Jeary

J. M. Line

J. E. Scott-Warren

J. L. Gluza

J. P. King

I. W. Mackey

A. D. Stone

R. Haynes

M. R. Laven

D. W. Mcbride

J. Warbrick

C. J. Jardine

M. Leggatt

A. E. R. Moseley

Statement on behalf of the Council

The Review Committee tasked with undertaking a review of the University’s IT infrastructure and support has been commended for its consultative approach and has gathered broad support for its conclusions. The Committee examined four main areas: governance, delivery, staffing, and systems. Underlying many of the issues raised, it identified structural deficiencies that are limiting our ability to provide IT services and systems at a level commensurate with our standing as a leading university. The recommendations that would be carried with the approval of the Grace under either option (a) or (b) will provide a governance structure for IT provision in the University in line with the Committee’s recommendations, which will enable the implementation of the remaining proposals made in the final report of the Review Committee. The main structural changes proposed are:

The formation of the University Information Services (UIS), under the supervision of the Council, from the merger of the University Computing Service and the Management Information Services Division;

The establishment of a new University office of Director of Information Services, reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, as head of the UIS;

The replacement of the current Information Strategy and Services Syndicate by an Information Services Committee, reporting jointly to the Council and the General Board.

In its reply to the remarks made at the Discussion on 23 April, the Council noted the support expressed for these proposed changes and responded to the comments on the timetable for effecting the merger and the process for appointing the new Director. The Council’s amendments to the original Grace, as published in the Council’s Notice of 20 May, revise the timetable for implementation so that, if the Grace is approved, the merger and related structural changes will now take place from 31 March 2014 or on appointment of the new Director, whichever is the later. These amendments also propose that an ad hoc appointment committee will be established to recruit a new Director, in an exercise open to both internal and external candidates.

The Council has also recommended the establishment of an implementation group. The group will work closely with both the two current Directors and with the new Director once appointed. It will be led by a senior professor with both relevant experience and knowledge of academic computing and provision of IT services. The suggested principal activities of this group, as noted in the Joint Report and modified consequent to the Council’s Notice, are as follows:

(a)to prepare a draft implementation plan for the full set of review recommendations in consultation with the staff involved, relevant committees including the ISSS and in due course the new Director;

(b)to prepare a submission to the 2013–14 planning round to provide an implementation budget;

(c)to ensure good communication both within the institutions directly affected by the changes and across the Collegiate University.

It is expected that the draft implementation plan would be brought to the new Information Services Committee at its first meeting or soon thereafter for discussion and agreement.

A proposal for an amendment to the Grace has been received from members of the Regent House putting forward a change to this last recommendation. The amendment would make the remit and membership of the implementation group the subject of a separate Report and Grace.

If the amendment to the Grace is approved, it will not be possible to put the resulting Report on the agenda for a Discussion until the Michaelmas Term and therefore establishment of the implementation group will be delayed by at least five months and possibly longer if there are differing opinions on the role and membership of the group. Given that the remit of the proposed implementation group is intended to focus on advance planning and it will not have decision-making powers, the Council believes that this delay is neither necessary nor helpful.

The Council therefore invites members of the Regent House to indicate their approval of the Grace in its original form, incorporating amendments made by the Council’s Notice of 20 May, by placing a 1 on the voting paper next to option (a) and not giving a preference for the alternative options.

F. P. Kelly

On behalf of the Council