Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6586

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Vol cl No 28

pp. 470–529



  7 July, Tuesday. Discussion deadline, receipt of written submissions by 4 p.m. (see below)

14 July, Tuesday. Discussion of a Topic of Concern, receipt of written submissions by 4 p.m. (see below).

29 July, Wednesday. Publication of an extraordinary issue of the Reporter, including Graces for submission to the Regent House.

Discussion on Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 105) to submit remarks on the following Reports by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, 7 July 2020:

  1.Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on a revised fitness to practise procedure (p. 478).

  2.Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on a revised fitness to study procedure (Procedure to Support and Assess Capability to Study) (p. 487).

  3.Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on revised probationary arrangements for academic and academic‑related staff (p. 495).

  4.Report of the Council recommending provisional allocations from the Chest for 2020–21 (p. 512).

  5.Report of the Council on the period of appointment for members of the Audit Committee (p. 515).

  6.Report of the Council on the investment of bond proceeds held for income‑generating projects (p. 515).

  7.Report of the Council on changes to Special Ordinance concerning Congregations (p. 518).

  8.Report of the General Board on Senior Academic Promotions (p. 519).

  9.Report of the General Board on the establishment of certain Professorships (p. 523).

10.Report of the General Board on the authority to award doctoral degrees (p. 524).

All Reports are dated 23 June 2020.

Discussions in the Senate-House have been suspended in response to government advice and the Council has agreed that until further notice remarks will instead be accepted for publication as written submissions (see Reporter, 6584, 2019–20, p. 449). Submissions, which should comply with the usual rules for Discussion remarks (Statutes and Ordinances, pp. 105 and 110), should be emailed to by the 4 p.m. deadline above to be eligible for inclusion in the Discussion Report. General information on Discussions is provided at

Discussion of a Topic of Concern on Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 105) as well as all employees of the University and the Colleges to submit remarks by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, 14 July 2020 on the following:

Topic of Concern to the University: Decisions taken in response to the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak (p. 472 and Reporter, 6585, 2019–20, p. 454).

The Council has agreed that until further notice discussion remarks will be accepted for publication as written submissions. Submissions on this topic of concern, which should comply with the usual rules for Discussion remarks (Statutes and Ordinances, pp. 105 and 110), should be emailed to by the 4 p.m. deadline above to be eligible for inclusion in the Discussion Report. General information on Discussions is provided at

Office of Pro‑Vice‑Chancellor

18 May 2020

The Council gives notice that, after consultation with the General Board, and on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee for the appointment and reappointment of Pro-Vice-Chancellors, it has reappointed Professor Graham Virgo, DOW, as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) for two years from 1 October 2020. The membership of the Nominating Committee comprises the Vice-Chancellor as Chair; Professor Christopher Kelly, Dr Jason Scott-Warren, and Ms Gaenor Bagley (members of the Council); and Professor Christopher Young and Professor Anna Philpott (members of the General Board).

The Vice-Chancellor, after consultation with all those appointed to the office of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, has agreed that Professor Virgo should continue to hold the title of Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Decisions taken in response to the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak on non‑student‑related matters

22 June 2020

Further to its Notice dated 17 June 2020 (Reporter, 6585, 2019–20, p. 454), the Council now publishes the second and final part of its list of the decisions taken to manage the University’s activities at the start of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The first part concerned student‑related matters; this second part concerns other matters. The Council refers members of the collegiate University to the prefatory comments included in its 17 June 2020 Notice, which also cover the decisions below. It also reminds them that it has invited the submission of remarks on a topic of concern on both these and the student‑related decisions by 4 p.m. on 14 July 2020 (p. 471).

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 1, p. 529) to ask the University to make an Order under Statute A II 1 to make an exception to the requirements of Ordinances or General Board Regulations which may have been breached and to validate the decisions and actions taken.

Matters regulated by the Statutes and Ordinances

Possible breaches of Ordinances / General Board Regulations

16 March 2020:

Government advice steps up following an initial announcement on 12 March 2020 introducing the first social distancing measures. From 16 March 2020, the advice discourages large gatherings, recommends working from home, the avoidance of non-essential contact, and frequent hand washing, and that anyone with a new persistent cough or fever self-isolates for 7 days. Those with underlying health conditions are encouraged to self‑isolate.

Confirmation that all staff (including temporary workers on assignment) will continue to be paid, including those working at home or at home but unable to work (for example, because of the nature of their work, or because of caring responsibilities).

Some staff may be asked to work from home. All reasonable requests to work from home (for example, because of caring responsibilities) will be accommodated.

Some staff may be asked to defer leave to enable business‑critical functions to continue.

Staff abroad on University business on or before 16 March 2020 whose return travel is disrupted can claim reimbursement of reasonable expenses where these cannot be claimed against insurance.

For those in University accommodation with a tenancy coming to an end but with a continuing need, a commitment is given to take all possible steps to extend the tenancy or find alternative accommodation.

A special fund is being established to support staff in short-term financial hardship related to the COVID‑19 outbreak.

17 March 2020:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises British nationals to avoid all non‑essential foreign travel.

Staff are asked to avoid any international travel on University business.

18 March 2020:

The government announces the closure of schools, colleges and nurseries from 5 p.m. on 20 March 2020 until further notice.

All staff, except those needed to continue working onsite for business‑critical activity, are to work from home from 5 p.m. on 20 March 2020.

All University libraries are to close to all users from 5 p.m. on 18 March 2020.

All University buildings are to close to students from 5 p.m. on 20 March 2020.

These arrangements are to be in place until 30 June 2020 and may be extended.

19 March 2020:

All research undertaken on University premises is paused, unless related to COVID‑19. Special arrangements are to be made to care for plants or animals that are critical to research.

20 March 2020:

The Prime Minister orders all pubs, restaurants, gyms and other social venues to close until further notice.

23 March 2020:

The government instructs people to stay at home, only going out for limited purposes. Non‑essential shops, businesses and venues are closed, gatherings of two or more people in public are banned, and all social events stopped. Police are given the powers to enforce these new restrictions.

24 March 2020:

The Old Schools is closed from 5 p.m. on 24 March 2020. A process is ongoing to classify buildings in order to identify those that are to remain open, but all other buildings are expected to close. The following are subsequently approved under delegated authority:

the categorisation of 600 University buildings into three groups:
1 – open for mission-critical activity or in the national interest;
2 – closed apart from routine access for facilities, animal and critical equipment maintenance; and
3 – closed, out of operation and made safe for reoccupation;

a matrix for the maintenance of specific functions within each category of University building;

a Standard Operating Practice (SOP) document establishing a Safe Working Protocol, for issue to facility managers within the Estates Division and locally within departments;

a protocol for the closure of buildings, for issue to heads of institutions and others responsible for buildings within the estate;

a protocol and a process for the phased re‑opening of buildings for research purposes, for issue to heads of institutions and others responsible for buildings within the estate.

Request from the University Library for £200k for ebooks is approved under delegated authority.

25 March 2020:

The Minister for Science, Research and Innovation encourages UK universities and research institutions to continue to consider whether it is possible to continue with science and research programmes, particularly to protect work that is considered of critical urgency or importance, where pausing the activity is not possible or would severely impede research delivery, or where it requires ongoing maintenance and supervision.

Changes to the process for executing deeds are approved under delegated authority. The changes allow deeds to be executed on behalf of the University on the signature of certain senior officers, without the need to affix the Common Seal of the University (which require two deputies to witness a sealing using equipment in the Old Schools). The senior officers who can execute a deed are the Vice‑Chancellor, the Pro‑Vice‑Chancellors, the Registrary, the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Finance, the Director of Estates, the Head of the Legal Services Division, and the Head of the Governance and Compliance Division.

26 March 2020:

Confirmation that the University’s classification of buildings is consistent with the message from the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation.

31 March 2020:

Purchase of a one‑year subscription to LinkedIn Learning for £104,280 + VAT approved under delegated authority.

1 April 2020:

The Interim Director of Estates is given authority (up to £0.5m in aggregate) to negotiate with individual commercial tenants should they require deferrals or waivers of rent to manage the economic disruption caused by the COVID‑19 outbreak.

A temporary derogation from the Financial Regulations is approved under delegated authority, to allow the publication of guidance for departments on spending during the period that the University is affected by the COVID‑19 outbreak, together with an addendum to the University’s expenses policy to deal with additional costs that staff may incur and for which they should be reimbursed.

Normally the Council publishes a Notice confirming any changes to its Financial Regulations (reproduced in Statutes and Ordinances, p. 1051).

3 April 2020:

Approval is granted under delegated authority of a funding request for £20k for the Staff Counselling Service to pay for two part-time counsellors (who are currently paid for by Colleges) for six months to support staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

6 April 2020:

The Council approves a Contracts Extension Scheme to support individuals whose employment contracts or assignments ended, or are due to end, between 16 March 2020 and 31 July 2020, enabling them to receive payment until 31 July 2020, whether or not they are able to work during that period.

7 April 2020:

The provision of £400k and the allocation of space within a University building is approved under delegated authority to set up the new COVID‑19 testing laboratory at the Anne McLaren Building in collaboration with AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. The funding is subsequently increased to £1.5m under delegated authority.

Approval is given under delegated authority of a funding request for £18k to transport volunteers to work in the COVID‑19 testing facility in Milton Keynes (with the timing of need dependent on volunteer recruitment).

9 April 2020:

The weekly publication of the Reporter is suspended (a Notice confirming this is published in the first issue of the Easter Term on 16 April 2020).

See Regulation 2 of the Ordinance on the Cambridge University Reporter (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 103).

16 April 2020:

The government announces that lockdown measures will remain in place for another three weeks.

Approval is given under delegated authority of the modification of the end date of a retirement extension (also subsequently approved are one further end date extension and two new retirement extensions out of round).

17 April 2020:

Two financial hardship schemes, the Staff Welfare Loan and the Staff Hardship Grant, are launched, offering interest‑free loans and one‑off, non‑repayable and taxable grants to those who have a contract of employment or a worker agreement with the University. Approval is given under delegated authority of a funding request for up to £100k as an initial budget to support the Grant Fund and subsequently for a doubling of the size of the support loan from £500 to £1000 as an extension to the existing scheme.

The conferment of degrees by incorporation and of Master of Arts under Statute B II 2 (which require a Grace to be approved) is suspended until further notice.

20 April 2020:

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme goes live. Under the scheme, the government pays 80% of employee wages up to £2,500 a month, plus employer National Insurance and pension contributions for furloughed staff.

Individual institutions within the University are subsequently asked to report whether they have any furloughed staff so that a claim can be made under the government scheme. The University is to pay the balance of the salary.

10 May 2020:

The Prime Minister announces a roadmap for lifting restrictions, with unlimited outdoor exercise from 13 May 2020 as a first step.

21 May 2020:

Approval under delegated authority of a funding request for £18k + VAT for an online counselling service tool for staff and students (the Big White Wall) to help meet immediate need, but also to trial it to see if it could be used in future to reduce pressure on face‑to‑face counselling when normal operations resume.

26 May 2020:

Publication of the Reporter resumes for governance business only and as required. Weekly publication is expected to resume from the beginning of Michaelmas Term 2020.

See above.

As public gatherings are not permitted and the guidance encourages people to limit meetings with others beyond the members of their household (and the Senate‑House is closed), Discussions in the Senate‑House are still not possible. Instead, until further notice, members of the University are invited to submit their remarks on Reports by email for publication in the Reporter (confirmed in the Reporter on 27 May 2020).

See Special Ordinance A (i) 2 (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 65).

28 May 2020:

The Prime Minister announces the reopening of primary schools (for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6) and nurseries from 1 June 2020.

Roll of the Regent House: New provision for membership

Following the approval of amendments to Statute A III 11 by Her Majesty in Council (Reporter, 6578, 2019–20, p. 348), the age limit for membership of the Regent House has been removed and will take effect from the next promulgation of the Roll on 6 November 2020. In addition, new Special Ordinance A (i) (e) introduces a provision allowing those who are about to retire, or who have retired, from an office or appointment in the University which previously qualified them for membership of the Regent House, to retain their membership of the Regent House. Membership will continue for those individuals on the receipt of written confirmation from their Head of institution1 that they remain active participants in the University’s affairs. This confirmation is required by 15 August prior to the promulgation of the Roll each year. For inclusion on the 2020–21 Roll, confirmation should be sent by email to as soon as possible and no later than 15 August 2020. Heads of institution have been contacted separately to draw attention to this deadline.


  • 1‘Head of institution’ means the Head of a Department, Chair of a Board of a Faculty not organised into Departments, Director or the authorised deputy or designated nominee, as appropriate within that institution.