Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6464

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Vol cxlvii No 30

pp. 505–521



20 May, Saturday. Congregation of the Regent House at 10 a.m.

21 May, Sunday. Easter Term divides.

25 May, Thursday. Ascension Day. Scarlet Day.

30 May, Tuesday. Discussion at 2 p.m. in the Council Room (see below).

4 June, Sunday. Whitsunday. Scarlet Day. Preacher before the University at 11.15 a.m., Dr Belay Guta Olam, President of the Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa (Ramsden Preacher).

Discussions at 2 p.m.


30 May

20 May, Saturday at 10 a.m.

13 June

21 June, Wednesday at 2.45 p.m. (Honorary Degrees)

27 June

28 June, Wednesday at 10 a.m. (General Admission)

11 July

29 June, Thursday at 10 a.m. (General Admission)

30 June, Friday at 10 a.m. (General Admission)

1 July, Saturday at 10 a.m. (General Admission)

21 July, Friday at 10 a.m.

22 July, Saturday at 10 a.m.

Discussion on Tuesday, 16 May 2017: Cancellation

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that the Discussion announced for Tuesday, 16 May 2017 will not take place as there are no Reports ready for discussion.

Discussion on Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 103) to attend a Discussion in the Council Room, on Tuesday, 30 May 2017, at 2 p.m., for the discussion of:

1. Report of the General Board, dated 8 May 2017, on the establishment of a Professorship of Organic Chemistry (p. 513).

2. Report of the General Board, dated 8 May 2017, on the introduction of a Master of Accounting Degree in the Judge Business School (p. 513).

Notice of an additional Discussion on Tuesday, 27 June 2017

5 May 2017

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice of an additional Discussion on Tuesday, 27 June 2017, at 2 p.m. in the Council Room. This Discussion has been added to the schedule of meetings in order to enable earlier consideration of the Budget Report, the publication of which has been delayed owing to the embargo on the contents of the HEFCE grant letter until 9 June 2017; confirmation of annual funding allocations by HEFCE to individual institutions for 2017–18 has been postponed in the run-up to the General Election.

Those who wish to speak at a Discussion but are unable to attend in person can ask the Proctors to read their remarks on their behalf; remarks should ideally be sent to the Senior Proctor (email: by 2 p.m. on the Monday before the Discussion.

Amending Statutes for Sidney Sussex College

5 May 2017

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that he has received from the governing body of Sidney Sussex College, in accordance with the provisions of Section 7(2) of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923, the text of proposed Statutes to amend the Statutes of the College.

The proposed Statutes are available on the College’s website at: Paper copies may be inspected at the University Offices until 10 a.m. on Friday, 26 May 2017.

Elections to the Council and the Board of Scrutiny

10 May 2017

Council of the University

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that a bye-election is to be held to fill a casual vacancy on the Council in class (a) (Heads of Colleges) under Statute A IV 2, following Professor White’s decision to step down with effect from 18 July 2017. The elected member is to serve from 19 July 2017 to 31 December 2020.

The Council is the principal executive and policy-making body of the University. It has general responsibility for the administration of the University, for defining its mission, for the planning of its work, and for the management of its resources. The Council deals with relations between the University and the Colleges, and conducts negotiations with outside bodies on many matters (other than those relating directly to the educational and research programmes of the University, which are dealt with on its behalf by the General Board of the Faculties). It is responsible for the appointment or nomination of certain members of internal and external bodies, and for many student matters (excluding the selection of entrants, which is a College concern). Further information about the Council is available to members of the University on the Council website ( Questions about its work can be addressed to the Acting Registrary by emailing

Duties and responsibilities of Council members

Council membership offers a particularly rewarding and demanding experience. The University is both an exempt charity,1 and a corporation established by common law. As such, Council members are both charity trustees of the University and, effectively, its corporate directors. They have associated legal responsibilities and duties, and are required to promote the interests of the University and act with integrity, care, and prudence.

It is strongly recommended that those considering standing for nomination review the Handbook for Members of the Council, which sets out the Council’s primary responsibilities. Section 1 of the Handbook provides advice and guidance to members of Council on their legal and other responsibilities. The Handbook is available to members of the University to download from the bottom of the Council webpage at Potential nominees might also wish to familiarize themselves with the key aspects of the University’s Statutes and Ordinances (, the most recent Budget and Allocations Report (Reporter, 6426, 2015–16, p. 525), and the Annual Report and Financial Statements (Reporter, 6448, 2016–17, p. 201).

Further useful information is provided by HEFCE (, and the Charity Commission ( This information includes details of the extent of a charity trustee’s personal liability. Instances of personal liability are rare and unlikely to occur, providing trustees act honestly, prudently, in good faith, and in the best interests of the University, and in compliance with legislation and the University’s governing documents. Nonetheless, it is important for nominees to recognize and accept the obligations that Council membership would confer upon them.

Board of Scrutiny

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice of an election of four persons to serve as members of the Board for four years from 1 October 2017. Members are to be elected in the following classes under Statute A VII:

one member in class (c)(i) (a person who has been a member of the Regent House for not more than ten years on 1 October 2017);

three members in class (c)(ii) (members of the Regent House).

The Board of Scrutiny consists of:

(a)the Proctors;

(b)the two Pro-Proctors nominated by the Colleges;

(c)eight members of the Regent House elected by the Regent House.

Under the provisions of Statute A VII 4, no person may be a member of the Board of Scrutiny who is a member of the Council, the General Board, or the Finance Committee of the Council, or who holds any of the University offices of Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University Advocate, Deputy University Advocate, Registrary, Assistant Registrary, or Secretary of a School. The Statute further prohibits from membership holders of offices with primarily administrative duties designated by Ordinance: Directors and Deputy Directors in the Unified Administrative Service and Assistant Treasurers have been designated as such prohibited offices. A retiring member of the Board who has served for four or more consecutive years is not eligible to serve again as a member in class (c) until one year has elapsed after the end of her or his previous period of service.

If no nominations are received in either case in accordance with the timetable below, the Council shall be asked whether it wishes to appoint a member to any vacant place or for another election to be held, in accordance with Regulation 3 of the regulations for the election of members of the Board (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 112).

Further information about the Board of Scrutiny can be found in the Statutes and Ordinances as noted above, on the Board’s website (, and obtained from Dr Lydia Drumright (email, Chair of the Board until 30 September 2017.

Nomination procedure and election timetable

The nomination procedure and election timetable for the elections to the Council and the Board of Scrutiny is as follows.

In order to be eligible, a candidate for election in each case must be nominated on a paper sent to the Vice-Chancellor at the Old Schools so as to be received not later than 12 noon on Friday, 26 May 2017. The nomination paper must contain (a) a statement signed by two members of the Regent House, nominating the candidate for election and specifying the class in which he or she is nominated, and (b) a statement signed by the candidate certifying that he or she consents to be so nominated. Forms to facilitate the nomination process are available on the governance website (see The candidate is also required to provide a statement of her or his curriculum vitae by the same date (see below). No one may be nominated for election in more than one class. The Council has agreed to make known its view that two periods of four years should normally be regarded as the maximum length of continuous service for elected members.

The Vice-Chancellor would be obliged if nominations could be delivered to the Registrary in the Old Schools during office hours. Nominations will be published on the Senate-House Noticeboard as they are received; the complete list of nominations will be published in the Reporter on Thursday, 1 June 2017.

In accordance with the regulations governing the election (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 110), each person nominated for election is required to send to the Registrary, not later than 12 noon on Friday, 26 May 2017, a statement of her or his curriculum vitae for distribution to members of the Regent House with the voting papers. It is suggested that such a statement should be of not more than 500 words in length, and that it should cover the following points:

the candidate’s present position in the University;

previous posts held, whether in Cambridge or in other universities or outside the university system, with dates;

a note of the candidate’s particular interests within the field of University business.

The election will be conducted by ballot under the Single Transferable Vote regulations. Online voting will open at 10 a.m. on Monday, 5 June 2017 and close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, 15 June 2017. Hard-copy voting papers and supporting materials will be distributed not later than Monday, 5 June 2017 to those who opted by 3 November 2016 to vote on paper; the last date for the return of voting papers will be 5 p.m. on Thursday, 15 June 2017.


  • 1The University has charitable status but is exempt from the statutory requirement which otherwise obliges a charity to register with the Charity Commission. HEFCE is the principal regulator of the University as regards its compliance with its legal obligations in exercising control and management of its administration as a charity. 

Review of three areas of governance: Regent House membership, Council membership, and Discussions

8 May 2017

As noted in the Council's Annual Report of 2015–16, the Council has commissioned a review of certain aspects of the University’s governance, focussing on three topics: the membership of the Regent House, the membership of the Council, and the format of Discussions.1 A working group has been appointed to conduct the review; the membership of the group and its terms of reference are set out below. Meetings of the group will commence when the Vice-Chancellor Elect takes up office on 1 October 2017, and it is anticipated that one of the group’s first steps will be to prepare a report setting out proposals for consultation, which will be followed by an opportunity to make comments on that report at a Discussion.

In the meantime, as part of an initial information-gathering exercise, members of the University are invited to send any comments they wish to make on one or more of the three areas to be covered by the review to by Friday, 28 July 2017 (respondents are asked to indicate whether they wish their comments to remain anonymous). Responses will also be solicited from Heads of Schools, Heads of Departments and Chairs of Faculty Boards, and Heads of Colleges.

Terms of reference

(i)To consult members of the University about the current membership structure of the Regent House, its size, and its representation of the staffing groups in the University, and whether and what changes should be proposed as a consequence.

(ii)Taking into account the Group’s conclusions about the membership of the Regent House, to consider whether and what changes should be proposed to the membership of the Council, including the balance between categories, the overall size of the Council, and the arrangements for ensuring that those standing for membership and the Regent House are provided with the best information about the duties, responsibilities, and priorities for the Council. In discharging this term of reference the Working Group may wish to consult beyond the current membership of the Council, including those who have recently served as members or stood for election.

(iii)To consider possible changes to the arrangements for Discussions to ensure that contributions from those members entitled to contribute can be most easily made taking into account options for the use of digital contributions compared with the current arrangements where – except in a few recent exceptional instances – all contributions are read out at the time when Discussions are held.

(iv)To consider any matters related to these terms of reference on which the Working Group wishes to report to the Council.


Mr John Shakeshaft, T (Chair, Council member in class (e))

Professor Michael Proctor, K (Council member in class (a))

Professor Fiona Karet, DAR (Council member in class (b))

Dr Stephen Cowley, EM (Council member in class (c))

Dr Nick Holmes, T (Council member in class (c))

Dr Alice Hutchings (Council member in class (c))

Professor Abigail Fowden, G (General Board member not on the Council)

Professor Christopher Young, PEM (General Board member not on the Council)

Professor Mark Elliott, CTH (Professor of Public Law, Law Faculty, as a person with relevant expertise)

Professor Eilís Ferran, CTH (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations)

In attendance: the Acting Registrary, the Head of the Registrary’s Office as Secretary to the Review Group, the University Draftsman, and the Deputy Head of the Legal Services Office.


  • 1Further information on the Regent House, Council membership, Discussions, and other aspects of University governance can be found on the governance website at 

Working group to consider questions relating to disinvestment

8 May 2017

In a Notice published on 11 January 2017, the Council reported on its consideration of a Grace initiated by members of the Regent House, which was submitted as Grace 1 of 11 January 2017 and subsequently approved by the Regent House on 20 January 2017 (Reporter, 6450, 2016–17, pp. 292 and 307). The Grace reads as follows:

That the Regent House, as the governing body of the University, resolves that none of the University's Endowment Funds should be invested directly or indirectly in companies whose business is wholly or substantially concerned with the extraction of fossil fuels, and requires the Council to publish a Report to the University within twelve months setting out how this is to be achieved.

In the Notice, the Council observed that the Grace could not operate as a mandate in respect of the exercise of Council members' fiduciary responsibility for the University's investment practice. In light of this, and recognizing the strong feeling among the signatories to the Grace, the Council proposed to commission a report 'specifically into the advantages and disadvantages of the policy of disinvestment which the Grace supports'.

At its meeting on 24 April 2017, the Council approved the following terms of reference and the shape of the membership of a working group to take forward this investigation.

Members of the University are invited to send any comments they wish to make for consideration by the working group to

Terms of reference

In establishing the Group, the Council is mindful of the report from the working group on investment responsibility established by the Advisory Committee of Benefactions and External and Legal Affairs, the recommendations of which the Council accepted on 13 June 2016. That working group, chaired by Mr John Shakeshaft, was asked to consider whether any changes should be recommended to the University’s Statement of Investment Responsibility. Its report focussed on the University’s investment policies and management and their integration with environmental, social, and governance considerations (Reporter, 6430, 2015–16, p. 636). The report made nine recommendations, now substantially implemented and reviewed.

The Council does not wish to repeat this careful and detailed work on the University’s investment practices. Instead, noting the continued interest among some in the University in disinvestment from businesses involved in fossil fuel extraction, as demonstrated by Grace 1 of 11 January 2017 and the Discussion on 2 November 2016 of the Topic of Concern (Reporter, 6446, 2016–17, p. 164), the Council has asked the Group to consider the question of disinvestment from such businesses more broadly. In particular, the Council has asked the Group to consider:

(i)the different approaches the University might take to issues associated with disinvestment from fossil fuel industries; and

(ii)how those approaches might impact upon the University’s mission ‘to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence’.

The Council has also asked the Group:

(iii)to consult widely across the collegiate University;

(iv)to invite individuals and representatives of the Group’s choosing (including those from outside the collegiate University, if the Group so wishes) to meet with, and/or provide written comments to, the Group;

(v)to aim to produce its final report, which will include recommendations, within twelve months but, if that is not possible, to provide a preliminary report to the Council within that timeframe; and

(vi)to produce the final report for the Council in a form that may be distributed to the Regent House, if the Council so decides.


The membership is as follows:

(a)Professor Dame Athene Donald (Chair);

(b)Mr John Shakeshaft, Deputy Chair and external member of the Council;

(c)a Council member;

(d)two signatories to the Grace;

(e)two student representatives;

(f)two academics in relevant fields;

(g)a Head of College.

The Group may co-opt others and/or call upon expert advice as it considers necessary. The full membership will be published in the Reporter once all appointments have been made.