Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6501

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Vol cxlviii No 25

pp. 465–495

Fly-sheets reprinted

Fly-sheets relating to the ballot on Grace 1 of 7 February 2018 and an amendment (age limit on membership of the Regent House)

In accordance with the Council’s Notice on Discussions and Fly-sheets (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 110), the fly-sheets from the ballot on Grace 1 of 7 February 2018 and an amendment (on the age limit on membership of the Regent House) are reprinted below. For the result of the ballot, see p. 473.

Fly-sheet on Grace 1 of 7 February 2018 (age limit on membership of the Regent House) and amendment

Grace 1 of 7 February 2018, submitted by 51 members of the Regent House, requires the return of Statute A, III, 10 on the membership of the Regent House to its state before the age-limit of seventy was introduced in 1996. This proposal was first made on 7 December 2010 in a Senate-House Discussion on the Report of the Council on membership of the Regent House (age limit). Other speakers agreed, or at least raised difficulties if the limit were to continue. The submission of the required Grace was formally proposed during the Discussion of the Council’s Annual Report on 24 January 2017. The University Council has recently expressed agreement with the Grace (Reporter, 6495, 2017–18, p. 379) for the same reason as advanced by the initiators, that the status quo is age­-discriminatory. No non-placet was called on the Grace, which would therefore have passed without opposition if an amendment had not been moved.

The amendment to the Grace signed by 27 members opposes this simple change by introducing a novel discriminatory requirement for class (d) Fellows of Colleges. The amendment is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Regent House, whose constitution as the Governing Body of the University (subject to certain reserve powers of the Senate since discontinued) was determined by the Statutory Commission established by the Oxford and Cambridge Act of 1923. The Commission created the Regent House in the 1926 Statutes from two elements of the Collegiate University: (1) University officers and some senior University employees who did not fall into that category, and (2) Fellows of the Colleges. The Commissioners ensured a symmetrical relationship in which Fellows of Colleges having a statutory responsibility within their College are members of the Regent House just as University Officers are by virtue of holding their Office.

The University Council circulated a consultation paper to Colleges on 16 October 2017 on the Grace. Opinion was sought on a proposal taken from the Grave Report (Reporter, 1967–68, p. 336) that ‘active participation in the University’s affairs’ be introduced as a condition for membership of Regent House. We point out that successive Councils declined to submit a Grace to change Statutes to implement this proposal, presumably intentionally. The Wass Syndicate (Reporter, 1988–89, p. 614) lifted the quotation from the Grave Report but failed to mention that an implementing Grace had never been submitted.

The response of the Colleges to the proposal to introduce a criterion of ‘active participation in the University’s affairs’ was mixed. An amendment was nevertheless submitted, signed by 27 members of the Regent House of whom only 11 were Council members. Unlike the consultation document there is no attempt to define the meaning of ‘active participation’.

Apart from the objection in principle, if the amendment were approved it would change the status of a very large number of College Fellows who currently qualify automatically for membership of Regent House: Research Fellows, Deans, Chaplains, Development Directors, Directors of Studies, supernumerary Fellows without Office, College Lecturers who are not full time, and many other classes of Fellows who are not associated with the standard Offices. All would need to be certified every year by their Head of House that they ‘actively participate in the University’s affairs’ (according to undefined criteria) and be submitted for the Roll of the Regent House with an asterisk against their name.

The amendment represents an unprecedented assault on the Collegiate University and the historic checks and balances in its governing structure. We invite you to vote placet to the Grace and non-placet to the amendment.

A. B. S. Abulafia

D. M. Holburn

J. M. Maciejowski

A. J. W. Thom

D. S. H. Abulafia

C. J. Howe

R. J. Miller

D. Thom

R. J. Anderson

J. R. Howell

W. P. Nolan

J. R. Y. Thurlow

S. Annett

H. P. Hughes

K. M. O’Shaughnessy

J. T. Tiffert

A. T. Archibald

H. E. M. Hunt

R. G. Reason

S. P. Tomaselli

A. D. Bond

I. M. Hutchings

P. Robinson

R. P. Tombs

N. Collings

T. P. Hynes

R. L. Roebuck

C. P. Turner

A. R. Fersht

P. T. Johnstone

J. E. Sale

D. J. Wales

C. F. Forsyth

M. Kalberer

F. E. Salmon

C. D. Warner

R. J. Gibbens

K.-T. Khaw

P. N. Schofield

H. E. Watson

D. A. Giussani

N. G. Kingsbury

D. S. Secher

J. A. Williams

S. J. Godsill

J. Lasenby

J. E. Smith

P. Wingfield

E. M. Guild

C. E. Latham

M. C. Smith

P. T. Wood

S. K. Haigh

I. C. Lestas

Richard J. Smith

D. A. Woodman

W. J. Handley

P. Anne Lyon

B. J. Stapleton

A. D. Yates

H. Hedgeland

B. J. McCabe

D. K. Summers

T.-T. You

D. R. Hewitt

M. E. McDonald

J. P. Talbot

J. A. Zeitler

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

Grace 1 of 7 February 2018 was submitted by 51 members of the Regent House under Special Ordinance A (i) 5. It proposed removal of the provision in Statute A III 10 that imposes an age limit on certain classes in the membership of the Regent House.

We agree with the signatories of the Grace that the age limit should be removed. However, we asked ourselves why the limit had been introduced in 1996. We believe that introduction of an age limit was a surrogate measure to limit Regent House membership to active participants. Such a recommendation was made originally in the Report of the Grave Committee (Reporter, 1967–68, p. 333) and later endorsed by the Wass Syndicate (Reporter, 1988–89, p. 623). These bodies were set up to consider matters of University governance, including membership of the Regent House.

We argue that a requirement for ‘active participation’ is still a reasonable expectation for membership of the University’s governing body. Therefore, we suggest that an alternative means of stating this principle should be substituted. This is what the amendment proposed by 27 members of Regent House is designed to achieve.

There has been some suggestion that this new requirement will disenfranchise certain College Fellows. The consultation submissions forwarded by the Heads of the Colleges, who would determine the new requirement, suggest that this will not be the case. Like the unamended Grace, the amendment does not change the categories of membership. It will not mean that individuals will have a new asterisk against their names on the Roll. The provisions for the Roll of Regent House in Ordinances, Chapter I, p. 104, include

‘in any College: persons holding the office of Tutor, Assistant Tutor, Steward or Bursar or Assistant Bursar; or College Lecturer (if held full time in a College or Colleges). The Head of any College shall certify in writing to the Registrary by 1 October each year the names of such persons;’

and Heads of Colleges already provide lists of Fellows who meet the residence requirement. None of this will change if the amendment is approved, but by providing such lists the Heads of the Colleges would now also certify that Fellows actively participate in the University’s affairs.

We believe that this amendment simply states a sound principle. We urge members of the Regent House to vote placet to the Grace in its amended form.

P. M. Allmendinger

N. J. Holmes

A. D. Neely

H. E. Thompson

R. Anthony

A. J. Hutchings

R. Padman

G. J. Virgo

R. Charles

F. E. Karet

R. W. Prager

S. Weller

S. J. Cowley

S. Laing

M. R. E. Proctor

M. R. Wormald

E. V. Ferran

M. J. Millett

S. K. Rankin

J. M. Wyburd

A. L. Fowden

J. N. Morris

F. J. Russell