Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6544

Thursday 25 April 2019

Vol cxlix No 26

pp. 483–491



27 April, Saturday. Congregation of the Regent House at 11 a.m. (see p. 490).

4 May, Saturday. End of first quarter of Easter Term.

14 May, Tuesday. Discussion in the Senate-House at 2 p.m.

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

21 May, Tuesday. Easter Term divides.

28 May, Tuesday. Discussion in the Senate-House at 2 p.m.

30 May, Thursday. Ascension day. Scarlet day.

Discussions (Tuesdays at 2 p.m.)


14 May

27 April, Saturday at 11 a.m.

28 May

18 May, Saturday at 10 a.m.

11 June

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

  9 July

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

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

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

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

19 July, Friday at 10 a.m.

20 July, Saturday at 10 a.m.

Honorary Degree Congregation: Wednesday, 19 June 2019

23 April 2019

The Vice-Chancellor reminds members of the University that a Congregation will take place on Wednesday, 19 June 2019 at 2.45 p.m., at which the Chancellor expects to preside and admit the following to the titular degrees approved by the Regent House at the Congregation on Saturday, 23 February 2019.

Doctor of Law

The Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon
Founder and Life President of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, Chancellor of De Montfort University, champion for racial justice, police reform and strengthened community relations.

Doctor of Science

Professor Dame Rosemary Cramp
Professor of Archaeology Emerita, University of Durham, sometime President of the Society of Antiquaries, the Council for British Archaeology and the Society for Church Archaeology, archaeologist.

Dame Jane Goodall
Of Newnham College, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and Scientific Director of the Gombe Wildlife Research Institute in Tanzania, United Nations Messenger of Peace, primatologist and anthropologist.

Professor Michael Levitt
Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse and of Gonville and Caius College, Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor of Cancer Research in the School of Medicine and sometime Professor of Structural Biology, Stanford University, Nobel Laureate, structural biologist and biophysicist.

Doctor of Letters

Sir David Adjaye
Sometime external examiner in the Department of Architecture, Founder and Principal of Adjaye Associates, architect.

Professor Sir Angus Deaton
Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Presidential Professor of Economics, University of Southern California, Senior Scholar and Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus, Princeton University, Nobel Laureate, economist.

Professor Marilynne Robinson
Sometime Hulsean Lecturer and Preacher, F. Wendell Miller Professor of English and Creative Writing Emerita, University of Iowa, writer.

Doctor of Music

Sir Mark Elder
Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra, conductor.


Admission to this occasion will be by ticket only.

All members and staff (including retired staff) of the University and the Colleges are eligible to apply for tickets to attend the Congregation and Reception. In order to allow the greatest possible attendance by applicants, additional guest tickets will not be issued.

Applications should preferably be made online at:

Those who prefer may apply on paper or by email, stating a postal address and their qualifying University and/or College affiliation and any special access requirements. These should be sent to Honorary Degrees, The Vice-Chancellor's Office, The Old Schools, Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TN or (which can also be used for queries relating to the Congregation).

The deadline for applications is Friday, 17 May 2019. If demand for places exceeds capacity, all applications received by that date will be balloted. Successful applicants should expect to receive their ticket in late May or early June and further details about the day will be included on the tickets.

Applicants who discover that they can no longer attend are asked to inform the Vice-Chancellor's Office promptly so that their application can be deleted and the place offered to others. Tickets already sent should be destroyed as they are not transferable.


Ticket-holders who are not processing will need to be in their seats in the Senate-House not later than 2.30 p.m. The Congregation is expected to end at about 3.35 p.m.


There will be a Reception on the lawn in Senate-House Yard afterwards for all those attending, with a marquee to provide cover.


Members of the University attending are reminded that they are required by regulations in Ordinances to wear academical dress (although by custom others do not).

The day of the Congregation will be a 'scarlet day', so Doctors should wear their festal gowns. Graduates are requested to wear hoods. With the exception of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, High Steward, Deputy High Steward, Commissary, Proctors, Registrary, Esquire Bedells, Orator and Honorary Graduands, members of the University holding non‑Cambridge degrees may wear the dress appropriate to those degrees if they wish.


Provided that the weather allows, a procession will form in the Schools Arcade at 2.25 p.m. Those specified below who wish to process are asked to state this clearly in their application. Only holders of Cambridge Professorial Chairs or Cambridge Higher Doctorates, i.e. D.D., LL.D., M.D. (if conferred before 2014), Med.Sc.D., Sc.D., Litt.D. or Mus.D. are eligible to process as Professors or Doctors. Processional tickets cannot be guaranteed but will be issued up to the maximum seating available for the procession.

After consulting the Proctors in accordance with the relevant regulation, the Vice-Chancellor has prescribed the following order of processions prior to this Congregation:

The Vice-Marshal

Heads of Colleges

The Regius Professors of Divinity, Civil Law, Physic, Hebrew, Greek, History, Botany and Engineering

Professors who are Doctors of Divinity, Law, Medicine (if conferred before 2014) or Medical Science, Science, Letters or Music

Doctors of Divinity, Law, Medicine (if conferred before 2014) or Medical Science, Science, Letters or Music

The Librarian

Other Professors and the Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Members of the Council

The Pro-Proctors

A second procession will form and proceed immediately after the first:

The Esquire Bedells

The Chancellor

The Chancellor's Train-bearer

The University Marshal

The Registrary The Vice-Chancellor The Orator

The Proctors

(University Constables)

The High Steward

The Deputy High Steward

The Commissary

The Pro-Vice-Chancellors

The Honorary Graduands

The additional Pro-Proctors

Grace for submission to the Regent House under Special Ordinance A (i) 5 (report on the advantages and disadvantages of a policy of divestment): Notice in response

22 April 2019

At its meeting on 15 April 2019, the Council considered the Grace initiated by 324 members of the Regent House (Reporter, 6543, 2018–19, p. 455).

The Council considers that 'climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing humanity. Consistent with its mission to 'contribute to society', the University has a responsibility to use its position as one of the world's foremost academic institutions to take a leading role in achieving a carbon neutral future' (as stated in its response to the report of the Divestment Working Group; Reporter, 6511, 2017–18, p. 702). Underlining that responsibility, and in accordance with Special Ordinance A (i) 7, the Council has agreed to authorise submission of the Grace (Grace 1, p. 489). While responsibility for investment matters lies with the Council, the Council respects the Regent House's entitlement to request such a report and is willing to provide one as described in the Grace.

In the preamble to the request for a report, the Grace suggests the dissatisfaction of the signatories with the Council's response to Grace 1 of 11 January 2017. By way of reminder, the Council sets out below a summary of the key events following the approval of that Grace. In May 2017 the Council published the terms of reference and membership of a Divestment Working Group (DWG) which had been established to investigate the issues raised by Grace 1 of 11 January 2017 and report to the Council on its findings (Reporter, 6464, 2016–17, p. 509). The Council noted that a previous group had already carried out detailed work on the University's investment practices and indicated that it had therefore asked the DWG to consider the question of disinvestment from businesses involved in fossil fuel extraction more broadly. It also asked the DWG to consult widely across the collegiate University. The Council thus made clear at the outset that there would be a broad focus for the work of the DWG.

The DWG conducted a written consultation exercise in September 2017 and held two town hall meetings in the Michaelmas Term 2017. The resulting report from the DWG and the Council's response to it were published in the Easter Term 2018 (Reporter, 2017–18; 6507, p. 580; 6511, p. 702). The DWG's report noted the arguments put forward to support a policy of divestment but concluded that a strategy of considered divestment was a more appropriate and constructive course for the University to take. The DWG noted that divestment and disengagement would deprive the University of its opportunity to influence and support changes in the strategies of fossil fuel companies. In its response to the DWG's report, the Council endorsed the DWG's policy of considered divestment and made a number of commitments in support of achieving a carbon neutral future. Those commitments included the establishment of a Centre for a Carbon Neutral Future to provide a focal point for evidence-based discussions on carbon policy between the University, the public, global business and government. They also provided for the appointment of an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Officer to be a source of advice and expertise on ESG matters and to lead on applying ESG considerations to the University's own investments. In these ways, the University would be able to provide leadership that played to its particular strengths in research and policy development.

In light of the Grace and building on the work of the DWG, the Council will now commission a report to look more deeply into the advantages and disadvantages of a policy of divestment. The areas to be explored, as set out in the Grace, are matters that fit well with the initial work that the ESG Officer would be expected to undertake. Part-time support has been agreed to enable work to commence in advance of a formal recruitment to the post. Working with others as appropriate, the ESG Officer (and the part-time support in the interim) would analyse the available research on the impact of a policy of divestment from companies whose business is wholly or substantially concerned with the extraction of fossil fuels compared to other investment policies. They will build on this knowledge through further research and contact with those in Cambridge and beyond. This is likely to involve close liaison with the Carbon Neutral Future Initiative (as the Centre is now termed) and colleagues in the wider Cambridge-based research community, as well as with the Investment Office, Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge Innovation Capital and other relevant investors and investor bodies such as the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. This work would feed into the ESG Officer's consideration of the impact and the financial, moral and reputational consequences of each of the options, including divestment. The work would also provide costed estimates of implementing a divestment policy initially and on its longer-term effects, both positive and negative, on the performance of the University's investments. The Council emphasises that it wishes to receive an objective and independent assessment of these issues.

Provision will be made to seek input from members of the Regent House and from students. The Council will publish its report or a progress update by 16 October 2019.

Examinations, 2019

22 April 2019

As part of planning for the possibility of the UK exiting the EU in the absence of a withdrawal agreement, the Council has considered the impact on the University's operations, including examinations. Because of the potential for disruption to examinations and a delay in the publication of lists of candidates who have satisfied the Examiners in particular examinations, the Council is submitting a Grace to the Regent House to limit the extent of any such delay and to deal with associated matters (Grace 2, p. 489).

Similar Graces have been approved in the past in anticipation of industrial action.