Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6496

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Vol cxlviii No 20

pp. 394–410



24 February, Saturday. Congregation of the Regent House at 2 p.m. (see p. 409).

5 March, Monday. End of third quarter of Lent Term.

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

11 March, Sunday. Preacher before the University at 11.15 a.m., Marilynne Robinson, novelist and essayist, Professor Emerita, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa (Hulsean Preacher).

Discussions (at 2 p.m.)


6 March

24 February

20 March

24 March

7 April

Discussion on Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 105) to attend a Discussion in the Senate-House on Tuesday, 6 March 2018 at 2 p.m., for the discussion of:

1.Topic of concern to the University: Standard of proof applied in student disciplinary cases (p. 396).

2.Joint Report of the Council and the General Board, dated 20 February and 14 February 2018, on arrangements for academic recruitment (p. 398).

3.Report of the General Board, dated 14 February 2018, on the establishment and re-establishment of certain Professorships (p. 408).

Preachers Before the University in 2018–19

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that the following persons have been appointed in the manner prescribed by Ordinance to preach during the academical year 2018–19.

Michaelmas Term

14 October 2018

The Revd Dr Andrew Davison, Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences.

4 November 2018

The Revd Professor Judith Brown, formerly Fellow of Girton College, Beit Professor of the History of the British Commonwealth Emerita, University of Oxford (Lady Margaret’s Preacher at Commemoration)

Lent Term

27 January 2019

Sister Jane Livesey CJ, of Newnham College, General Superior of the Congregation of Jesus.

24 February 2019

The Revd Dr Robin Steinke, of Selwyn College, President, Luther Seminary, St Paul, Minnesota (Hulsean Preacher)

Easter Term

9 June 2019

His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos OBE, Archbishop of London, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London (Ramsden Preacher)

University Sermons are delivered in Great St Mary’s, the University Church, at 11.15 a.m. on the Sundays stated and members of the University are reminded that they should wear academical dress if attending. All are welcome and those present are invited to take refreshments with the Preacher at Michaelhouse after each Sermon.

Grace 1 of 7 February 2018 (age limit on membership of the Regent House): Notice of amendment

16 February 2018

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that he has received a proposal for the amendment of Grace 1 of 7 February 2018 (Reporter, 6494, 2017–18, p. 386), signed by 27 members of the Regent House as noted in the Annex below.

The Grace at present reads as follows:

That the words 'provided always that any person who is qualified for membership in class (b), class (d), or class (e) shall cease to be so qualified at the next promulgation after he or she attains the age of seventy years' in Statute A III 10 be deleted.

The amendment proposed is as follows:

By revising Grace 1 of 7 February 2018 to read as follows:

That the words 'provided always that any person who is qualified for membership in class (b), class (d), or class (e) shall cease to be so qualified at the next promulgation after he or she attains the age of seventy years' in Statute A III 10 be deleted and replaced with the words 'provided always that such persons actively participate in the University’s affairs. In the case of those persons who qualify for membership in classes (a) to (c) and (e), such active participation shall be assumed by reason of their holding of the office, post, or appointment which qualifies them for membership. In the case of those persons who qualify for membership in class (d), such active participation shall be certified by the Heads of their respective Colleges'.

The Council has agreed to authorize submission of the amendment under Special Ordinance A (i) 7 and therefore, in accordance with Regulation 9 of the regulations for Graces of the Regent House, a vote shall be taken by ballot using the procedure prescribed in the Single Transferable Vote regulations. The Council has determined that the ballot shall be run to the same timetable as the election to fill the vacancies on the Board of Scrutiny and the Nominating Committee for External Members of the Council (Reporter, 6495, 2017–18, p. 389). Voting will therefore open at 10 a.m. on Monday, 12 March 2018 and close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, 22 March 2018.

In connection with the ballot, the Registrary will arrange for the circulation of any fly-sheet, signed by ten or more members of the Regent House, which reaches her at the Old Schools by 1 p.m. on Friday, 2 March. Fly-sheets may also be faxed to 01223 332332 or scanned (showing signatures) and sent by email to Fly-sheets must bear, in addition to the signatures, the names and initials (in block capitals) of the signatories (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 110).


The following members of the Regent House have proposed the amendment to the Grace:

R. Anthony

N. J. Holmes

S. M. Oosthuizen

T. K. Carne

F. E. Karet

S. O’Rahilly

S. J. Cowley

A. P. Kelly

R. W. Prager

J. Doorbar

A. Kirby

M. R. E. Proctor

B. J. Ferguson

N. J. Marston

D. C. Rubinsztein

E. V. Ferran

P. H. Maxwell

J. Shakeshaft

A. L. Fowden

M. J. Millett

A. Stylianides

G. M. Fraser

J. N. Morris

M. R. Wormald

N. J. Gay

A. D. Neely

J. M. Wyburd

Discussion of a topic of concern to the University: Standard of proof applied in student disciplinary cases

16 February 2018

The Registrary gives notice that she has received a request for the discussion of the following topic of concern to the University:

A discussion about whether or not the current standard of proof used in the University disciplinary regulations (beyond reasonable doubt) should be changed to proof on the balance of probabilities in student cases.

The request is supported by the following ten members of the Regent House:

R. H. Abbott

S. B. Franklin

T. L. H. Page

L. M. Delap

P. Gopal

M. Qato

P. Dominiak

M. G. Moreno Figueroa

A. L. Erickson

C. Morgenstern

The Council has agreed that this topic will be included among the matters for consideration at the Discussion to be held in the Senate-House at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 6 March 2018.

Topic of concern to the University on the University’s investments: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

19 February 2018

The Council has received the remarks made at the Discussion on 5 December 2017 (Reporter, 6488, 2017–18, p. 183) on a topic of concern concerning the University’s investments (Reporter, 6484, 2017–18, p. 108).

Mr Caddick posed a number of questions to which the Council has provided the following responses:

1. Does the Council think that the 2016 report was misleading and, if so, will it apologize to the Regent House?

Several of the speakers refer to media reports about the University’s investments, following a leak of files concerning offshore holdings known as the Paradise Papers. Several speakers suggest that the Council misled the University by endorsing the 2016 report of its Working Group on Investment Responsibility, which included statements about the level of the University’s holdings in fossil fuel industries.
   The Council, following those media reports, shared many of the concerns raised by the speakers, as Professor Anderson’s remarks indicate. It has received confirmation from the Chief Financial Officer that the statements made about the University’s investments in the 2016 report remain correct. Those statements, as quoted by Mr Caddick and others at the Discussion, cover investments that are owned and managed directly by the University and also those that are managed externally or indirectly, which are the majority. They indicate that in those indirectly managed investments, there are ‘no holdings in tar sands companies and only negligible holdings in thermal coal companies and any future holdings in such companies are expected to be negligible.’
   In the light of the reassurances given, the Council does not consider that the 2016 report was misleading.

2. To avoid any lack of clarity, will the Council immediately publish a list of all the assets the University currently holds, either directly or indirectly, in fossil fuels?

6. What steps does the Council propose to take towards publishing a full list of the University’s holdings, direct and indirect?

Following a discussion at the Council’s meeting on 20 November 2017, the Investment Board has been asked to consider how it might report more transparently about the management of the Cambridge University Endowment Fund to the Council, as the University’s trustee body, and to the Regent House.

3. Can the Council tell the Regent House how many times since the publication of the report it has engaged on issues of sustainability with companies in which it holds shares, and with what result?

4. Can the Council tell the Regent House how many of the fund managers to whom the Vice-Chancellor’s letter was sent have adjusted their investment behaviour, and in what ways?

These are matters that the Divestment Working Group is exploring with the Investment Office and on which the Chair of the Working Group reported to the Council at its meeting in January 2018. The Council does not yet have answers to these questions, but is reassured that the Working Group is considering them.

5. If the Regent House does vote for divestment from fossil fuels, will the Council commit itself now to respect and to implement that decision?

Following receipt of a Grace initiated by members of the Regent House (and subsequently submitted as Grace 1 of 11 January 2017), the Council established a Divestment Working Group in May 2017 to consider the question of divestment from businesses involved in fossil fuel extraction and to report back to the Council. The Working Group is expected to present its findings and recommendations to the Council early in the Easter Term 2018 and thereafter a report will be published in the Reporter.
   The report of this Discussion has already been provided to the Working Group and will inform that Group’s further deliberations, as an indication of the views of those in support of the Grace and other opinions such as those expressed by Dr Copley and Professor Anderson.

The Council notes the comments of Dr Kell on the University’s Statement of Investment Responsibility and draws attention to paragraph 3 and section C of the 2016 report,1 which reference the guidance of the Charity Commission, the regulator for charities in England and Wales, concerning the considerations which trustees may take into account in making decisions about their investments, and summarizes the law in this area. The Council continues to endorse that report’s conclusion that the University ‘can and should ensure that environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations and associated engagement inform its investment expectations in ways consistent with the underlying principle of seeking the best returns’, and its recommendations which support this approach.

Several speakers questioned the reasons for the University holding investments in offshore funds. The Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Finance, in their remarks, note that the University holds many of its indirect investments through overseas funds and explain that the purpose of holding investments in pooled offshore funds is to minimize costs and to enable a single level of taxation in one jurisdiction. The Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Finance also note respectively that the funds have not been used to make significant investment in fossil fuels, as the media reports appear to imply, and that the Cambridge University Endowment Fund’s holdings in energy and fossil fuel investments are less than half the benchmark level for this asset class. The Council joins in the condemnation of any illegal or unethical behaviour in connection with the use of offshore funds.

Finally, the Council takes this opportunity to remind members of the University that any further comments on the University’s investment policy and related matters should be directed to the Working Group (by email to


  • 1The Council published the report of a working group on investment responsibility established by the Advisory Committee on Benefactions and External and Legal Affairs in June 2016 (Reporter, 6430, 2015–16, p. 636).