Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6587

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Vol cl No 29

pp. 530–566



  1 October, Thursday. Michaelmas Term begins. Congregation of the Regent House: Vice-Chancellor’s address and the election and admission of the Proctors.

  6 October, Tuesday. Full Term begins.

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

It is anticipated that an extraordinary issue of the Reporter will be published in late September 2020 and that the usual weekly publication schedule will resume from the start of Michaelmas Term 2020, with the first ordinary issue due on Wednesday, 7 October 2020.

Discussion on Tuesday, 13 October 2020

The Vice-Chancellor invites those qualified under the regulations for Discussions (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 105) to attend a Discussion in the Senate-House (unless otherwise advised) on Tuesday, 13 October 2020 at 2 p.m., for the discussion of:

1.First-stage Report of the Council, dated 28 July 2020, on a University of Cambridge Solar Farm at Lord’s Bridge (p. 551).

Further information on Discussions, including details on format and attendance, is provided at

Dates of Discussions, 2020–21

27 July 2020

The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that Discussions will be held in the Senate‑House on the following days in the 2020–21 academic year:

Michaelmas Term 2020

Lent Term 2021

Easter Term 2021

Long Vacation 2021

13 October

26 January

4 May

13 July

27 October

9 February

18 May

10 November

23 February

1 June

24 November

9 March

15 June

8 December

23 March

22 June

Statutes approved: Governance of postgraduate student matters

24 June 2020

The Registrary has received notice from the Clerk of the Privy Council that Her Majesty the Queen, at a Council held on 23 June 2020, was pleased to approve amendments of Statute A IX 3(b)(ii) and Statute A V 19, which were submitted under the Common Seal of the University in accordance with Grace 4 of 24 July 2019 as amended and approved by ballot in December 2019 (Reporter, 6570, 2019–20, p. 155).

The proposals approved by ballot included the dissolution of the Board of Graduate Studies and the transfer of its responsibilities to the General Board, to take effect from 1 October 2020. The changes to the Statutes replace references to the Board of Graduate Studies with references to the General Board from the same date.

Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the titles and structure of academic offices: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

6 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received on 9 June 2020 (Reporter, 6585, 2019–20, p. 462) on the above Report (Reporter, 6582, 2019–20, p. 419). It has consulted with the General Board on the preparation of this response.

The Council notes the comments in support of the proposed change to the titles and structure of academic offices, including from Professor Ferran as the sponsor of the changes, as well as others. These commentators note the benefits in terms of aiding national and international understanding of the University’s roles, believe that the change in name from Reader to Professor (Grade 11) is a necessary one, and also observe that the title of professor is understood in the UK and many parts of the world as a signifier of tenure and status.

The Council also notes the remarks made by Dr Roulet, Dr Munir and Dr Rogerson that misunderstanding about the seniority of those holding the current lectureship and readership titles limits the participation of Cambridge academics in relevant international communities and leads to denial of opportunities such as media appearances and editorial roles. The Council shares Dr Munir’s expectation that a change in titles is likely to boost the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) colleagues in senior positions, and will also open up more opportunities for BAME colleagues to occupy other senior positions internationally. The Council agrees with Professor Ferran that, if adopted, the impact of the new titles structure on under-represented groups should be monitored to help ensure that the University’s recruitment and progression policies and practices are aligned with its commitments to equality, diversity and inclusion. The Council also notes that the experiences of colleagues at Oxford and Imperial, who have implemented similar changes to titles, may be helpful in realising the benefits and avoiding any potential problems when taking forward the new arrangements.

The Council notes Dr Rutter’s concerns about the suggested change of title from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor on successfully completing probation and whether it would be better to wait until the probation scheme was accepted as working smoothly before making this change. The Council confirms that the review of the probationary procedures mentioned in the Report of the General Board on arrangements for the implementation of the Academic Career Pathways (ACP) scheme (Reporter, 6547, 2018–19, p. 562) has been taken forward with a proposed implementation date of 1 October 2020 (see the Report, Reporter, 6586, 2019–20, p. 495). The Council also notes Professor Ferran’s remarks that in her view the adoption of the title of Assistant Professor would not trigger a change in the University’s approach to academic probation, which is that the University will support these valued colleagues in reaching the high standards that Cambridge sets and publicly recognise their success in doing so.

Some contributors raise concerns about the implications of these arrangements for other types of staff, such as fixed‑term lecturers, researchers and College Teaching Officers. The Council confirms that, should the proposals in this Report be implemented, all new fixed‑term lecturers will instead be called ‘Assistant Professor’ and fixed‑term senior lecturers ‘Associate Professor’. In respect of research staff, the review of the Senior Research Promotions (SRP) scheme mentioned in the Report of the General Board on arrangements for the implementation of the Academic Career Pathways (ACP) scheme has been taken forward and, if the proposals in this Report are approved, the equivalent research titles at each level will be considered in the light of the new titles for academic offices. Dr Rutter’s comments will be passed to the Working Group taking forward this work so that they can be taken into account. The Council agrees with Professor Abulafia that College Teaching Officers carry out a very important role in supervisions. This Report concerns academic offices in the University; it will be for Colleges to decide, individually or collectively, whether to change the title of College Teaching Officer in response to this Report’s recommendations.

The Council notes with concern Dr Munir’s comments about junior colleagues choosing to remain silent when the consultation exercise on the proposals in this Report was conducted. The Council refers to its decision, confirmed in the Report, to hold a ballot on the Report’s recommendations. It encourages all members of the Regent House to have their say by participating in that ballot.

Professor Evans draws attention to matters concerning temporary governance arrangements, which do not directly relate to the proposals in this Report. The Council will consider these comments when it responds to remarks made on the topic of concern on decisions taken in response to the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak (Reporter, 6585, 2019–20, p. 454).

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 5, p. 552) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report. The Council has agreed that voting in the ballot on the Grace will take place in the Michaelmas Term at the same time as the Council elections, with voting to open at 10 a.m. on Friday, 20 November 2020 and close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 1 December 2020 (a more detailed timetable will be published on 7 October 2020).

Report of the General Board on a University Senior Lecturer dual career pathway: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

6 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received on 9 June 2020 (Reporter, 6585, 2019–20, p. 469) on the above Report (Reporter, 6582, 2019–20, p. 428).

The Council notes the comments in support of these recommendations from Professor Ferran as the sponsor of these changes, and from Professor Evans.

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 6, p. 553) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report.

Report of the Council recommending provisional allocations from the Chest for 2020–21: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

27 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received by 7 July 2020 (p. 556) on the above Report (Reporter, 6586, 2019–20, p. 512).

The Council notes the remarks from Professor Cardwell, which address several concerns highlighted by Dr Cowley’s note of partial dissent.

Some of Professor Evans’ remarks, including those concerning the temporary suspension of the publication of the Reporter and of Discussions in the Senate‑House, do not relate directly to the recommendations of this Report. The Council will consider them when it responds to remarks made on the topic of concern on decisions taken in response to the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak (p. 563).

Professor Evans, quoting from Dr Cowley’s note of partial dissent, draws attention to the omission from the provisional Allocations Report of statements of Chest receipts and payments during the preceding financial year, and a revised estimate of the corresponding figures for the current financial year. The statements for 2018–19 are published below for the information of the Regent House. A revised estimate for 2019–20 was prepared on the basis of forecasts submitted by Schools and institutions in December 2019. That estimate does not reflect the impact of COVID‑19 and is now significantly out of date. The Report published next term will include the final position for 2019–20 alongside the recommended Budget and Chest allocations for 2020–21.

Dr Cowley observes that neither the Resource Allocation Model introduced in 2004 nor an alternative approach to resource distribution can have the effect of a ‘magic bullet’. The strengths and limitations of the RAM and the associated planning process have been discussed at length by the Planning and Resources Committee’s Resource Distribution Group. Developing a new way of working that meets the challenge originally defined by the Finance Working Party in 2003 – ‘to provide sufficient incentives and responsibilities to promote the culture change necessary to achieve a unified approach to the University’s finances’ – is a multi-faceted project, which will require a number of changes to the University’s current systems, policies and processes. The project will be underpinned by a comprehensive communications programme at all levels of the University.

Neither the Council nor the senior leadership of the University is complacent about the extent of the financial challenge which existed before COVID‑19 and has been exacerbated by the current crisis. This shared commitment will be reflected in the final Budget and Chest allocations for 2020–21, for which approval will be sought during Michaelmas Term 2020.

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 10, p. 553) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report.

Chest 2018–19 Actual out-turn versus budget

Original Budget

Cost Neutral Transfers

Updated Budget














Grants from the Funding Council






Academic fees






Research grants and contracts






Endowment income and interest receivable






Other operating income






Other services rendered






Net exchange gains












Allocation / Expenditure

Academic Departments






Academic institutions and services






Staff and student services






Unified Administrative Service (UAS)






Administered Funds

Teaching and research












Human resources






























Surplus / (deficit)






Report of the Council on the investment of bond proceeds held for income‑generating projects: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

27 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received on 7 July 2020 (p. 559) concerning the above Report (Reporter, 6586, 2019–20, p. 515).

The Report proposes changes to the Special Ordinance governing the application of bond proceeds arising from the authority granted by Grace 2 of 10 May 2018. Professor Evans draws attention to remarks made at the Discussion preceding that Grace. The Council, in its response to those remarks, agreed that whilst specific business cases were immature, there was confidence in the potential of the projects (Reporter, 6505, 2017–18, p. 551). This is still the case. However, projects have not advanced as quickly as anticipated, as a result of market conditions and the COVID‑19 outbreak. There are also other reasons for seeking changes to the terms of the Special Ordinance, including the opportunity to invest in projects that are expected to generate income through realised capital gains rather than, or in addition to, income from interest or dividends, and to permit investment in parties connected to the University, such as the Colleges, Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment. The scope of the Special Ordinance has also been widened to cover interim investment of the proceeds.

The underlying commitment – to use the proceeds to fund investments that will deliver a return capable of exceeding the bonds’ interest and capital repayments – remains the same, but the approach will now be to consider delivery of that commitment collectively as a portfolio of investments rather than on an individual basis. This will be subject to projects providing a minimum return of 2.35%.

Professor Evans suggests that there might be an attempt to rush the approval of this Report’s recommendations through the University’s governance process, without a response to remarks on the Report. The Council published a timetable for the approval of Graces before Michaelmas Term 2020 in the Reporter on 27 May 2020 (Reporter, 6584, 2019–20, p. 450). It did so to ensure that members of the collegiate University had sufficient notice of the relevant dates. The timetable adheres to the rules governing the process as set down in the Ordinance on Graces and Congregations and by precedent. It includes 29 July 2020 as the date by which Graces and responses to any Discussion remarks are to be published if they are to be approved before 1 October 2020.

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 12, p. 553) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report.

Report of the Council on changes to Special Ordinance concerning Congregations: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

27 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received on 7 July 2020 (p. 560) concerning the above Report (Reporter, 6586, 2019–20, p. 518).

The proposals in this Report aim to provide the alternative of a Congregation by videoconference in exceptional circumstances. As Professor Evans notes, the Council has already stressed in the Report that this option would only be considered should a Congregation as a physical meeting not be possible. The Council appreciates that degree ceremonies in the Senate‑House are valued highly by students and their families, so a decision to confer degrees other than in person would not be taken lightly.

The Council notes Professor Evans’ remarks on decisions taken in response to the COVID‑19 outbreak and will consider them in its response to remarks on the topic of concern on the same subject (p. 563).

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 13, p. 553) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report.

Report of the Council on the construction of a new freezer store at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

27 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received on 14 July 2020 (p. 566) concerning the above Report (p. 550, first published on the Reporter website on 1 July 2020).

Professor Evans makes comments on the arrangements for publication of the Report. The Council is satisfied that sufficient notice was given, initially via the Advance Notices section of the Reporter website, with an email alert sent to draw attention to its publication there. It agrees with Professor Evans that the Ordinance concerning the Reporter ought to be updated and has asked for amendments to be drafted.

The project described in the Report meets a specific requirement for on‑site freezer storage at the CRUK Cambridge Institute. The proposed works constitute a substantial alteration to the existing building, which requires Regent House approval before the project can proceed. The project is managed by the Estates Division under the scrutiny of the Space Management and Minor Works Sub‑committee of the Resource Management Committee. The Sub-committee received a report on the project at its meeting on 24 June 2020 and authorised expenditure, from the funds awarded by CRUK, to allow design development to continue pending approvals from the Regent House and the local planning authority. The Sub‑committee will receive a further report during Michaelmas Term 2020 seeking authority to proceed with the scheme to completion.

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 14, p. 553) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report.

Report of the General Board on Senior Academic Promotions: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

27 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received by 7 July 2020 (p. 561) on the above Report (Reporter, 6586, 2019–20, p. 519). It has consulted with the General Board in preparing this response.

The Council notes the remarks made by Professor Evans concerning the General Board’s approval of promotion decisions against a criterion of affordability. As set out in the response to remarks made about last year’s Senior Academic Promotions (SAP) exercise,1 decisions on where the line for promotion is drawn are based on academic judgment taking into account all the evaluative criteria: research/scholarship, teaching and general contribution. The Council confirms that the budget for this exercise has been increased in recent years and that, as for the 2019 and 2018 exercises,2 no candidate recommended for promotion by the Vice‑Chancellor’s Committee was denied their promotion because of a financial constraint.

Professor Evans’ comments on the Council’s request that the running of a ‘titular’ promotion exercise be considered as an alternative to cancelling the next Academic Career Pathways (ACP) scheme, which was mentioned in the Finance Message from the Vice‑Chancellor to University employees on 16 June 2020. The HR Committee considered the request and the Council agreed with the Committee’s recommendation that a ‘titular’ promotion scheme ought not to be adopted.

The Council also notes the remarks made by Dr Sebastian and agrees that it would be a positive step to publish Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) statistics for the outcomes of the senior academic promotions exercise in future. Indeed, it is planned that this will happen in line with the move to ACP, replacing the current SAP scheme, when using an online application system developed to support the scheme will lead to enhanced reporting capabilities. This enhanced reporting will in turn facilitate better data analysis, including of equality and diversity data. In addition, the Council notes Professor Ferran’s commitment to working with all interested parties to maximise the practical impact of the ACP scheme on equality and diversity matters, alongside other complementary initiatives.2

The Council also notes Dr Sebastian’s support for the increased transparency in the evaluation of the ACP scheme but that in her view it does not go far enough, with a need for well-defined markers and broad definitions of academic excellence as well as clearly outlined evaluation methods. The Council confirms that, in line with the University’s commitments as a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), the ACP promotions criteria acknowledge that intellectual content is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of a journal. The promotions criteria and indicators of excellence set out under the ACP scheme also seek to embody the second DORA core principle of recognising the value of all relevant research outputs and other types of contributions such as training early‑career researchers and influencing policy and practice. The Council notes that the ACP scheme provides for a wide range of examples of indicators of excellence, both central and local, and allows for limited flexibility in adjusting the weighting of the promotions criteria. This should allow applicants to provide a broad range of contributions when making their academic case. In addition, the Council notes the assurance in the 2019 Report recommending implementation of ACP3 that it is envisaged the scheme will evolve over the coming years to ensure it meets the needs of the University and staff, with the continued input and support of the academic community. This continuing review of the operation of the scheme will encompass the appeals process.

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 15, p. 553) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report.

Report of the General Board on the authority to award doctoral degrees: Notice in response to Discussion remarks

27 July 2020

The Council has considered the Discussion remarks received on 7 July 2020 (p. 562) concerning the above Report (Reporter, 6586, 2019–20, p. 524). It has consulted with the General Board in preparing this response.

Professor Evans notes the approval of the Enquiry Group’s recommendations by the Education Committee in March 2020 and suggests this is an example of a decision made under delegated authority in response to the COVID‑19 outbreak. This is incorrect; the transfer of authority that the Report describes will take effect on 1 October 2020 if the recommendations of this Report are approved by Grace.

Professor Evans also queries whether this Report’s proposals cover higher doctorates (i.e. the degrees of Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Law, Doctor of Medical Science, Doctor of Music, Doctor of Science and Doctor of Letters). The Report provides, in footnote 1, a list of the degrees within scope; it does not include these higher degrees. The Board of Graduate Studies (the General Board from 1 October 2020) will continue to approve candidates for those degrees, on the recommendation of the relevant Degree Committee.

The General Board notes Professor Evans’ comments on a right of review for decisions concerning the non‑award of higher degrees. A review of these degrees is planned and will consider this point in due course.

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 17, p. 553) for the approval of the recommendations of this Report.

Revisions to Procedure on Student Harassment and Sexual Misconduct (Informal Complaint Procedure for Student Misconduct)

14 July 2020

The Council, on the recommendation of the General Board, has approved changes to its Procedure on Student Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, as set out in Annex A. The procedure was implemented in 20171 as an option for students who wished to limit their interaction with another student because of an allegation of harassment or sexual misconduct but did not wish to pursue a formal disciplinary complaint.

The procedure was reviewed in July 2018 and a number of minor amendments to the process were made, including an amendment to the name of the procedure and removal of associated timeframes for raising a complaint (Reporter, 6516, 2017–18, p. 841). Since that review, a new member of staff has taken responsibility for the management of complaints made using the procedure and has suggested some changes based on a year’s experience of supporting its use. In addition, feedback has been received from College Tutors and students. As a result, there are a number of revisions that have been made to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of the procedure.

The amendments set out to achieve the following:

(a)A consistency of language with the revised Student Disciplinary Procedure, specifically relating to the definitions of student misconduct. The Code of Conduct associated with this procedure has been replaced with the definitions of misconduct used in the Rules of Behaviour (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 191), for example, by including physical misconduct explicitly under the types of conduct covered (replacing the previous Code of Conduct’s more implicit references, for example, to physical contact in the context of sexual misconduct or to controlling or coercive behaviour). These changes have also prompted a change to the title of the procedure.

(b)The revisions made to the Student Disciplinary Procedure approved by Graces 1 and 2 of 1 May 2019 included removing the Law Faculty volunteers as a formal, guaranteed panel of support and therefore this change has also been reflected in this procedure.

(c)The embedding of information within the procedure that was previously included in explanatory notes, so that students no longer need to cross‑refer to those notes to follow the procedure. Information from the associated policy on the use of personal information has also been repeated in the procedure.

(d)The replacement of a number of terms within the procedure, most prominently ‘Investigator’ and ‘Investigation’, which was a source of confusion to students as there is no investigation of the misconduct itself. There is also a change to the names of the two parties, to emphasise their equal status under the procedure.

(e)Clarity for the Respondent Student that there is no requirement for them to deny or admit the contents of the Reporting Student’s informal complaint.

(f)Improvements to the process by requiring the Facilitator to meet with the students following the end of the process. This is already taking place and improving students’ perceptions of the procedure.

(g)That a review of a decision-maker’s decision with which the Reporting Student is dissatisfied may be carried out under the University’s Procedure for the Review of Decisions of University Bodies, rather than a specific review stage written into the procedure. This is an approach that has been adopted for consistency across a number of formal student procedures.

(h)The removal of references to ‘alternative resolution’, as in practice this has confused students and appears to be a barrier to students considering the procedure as appropriate for their complaint.

Consequential changes to General Board procedures are noted in Annex B.

The Council is submitting a Grace (Grace 29, p. 555) for the approval of an amendment to the Ordinance concerning the procedure.



By replacing the existing Procedure on Student Harassment and Sexual Misconduct (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 222) with the following:

Informal Complaint Procedure For Student Misconduct

1.    Glossary

1.1.  In this procedure, the following terms shall have the meanings set out below:


A trained person who the Head of OSCCA will appoint to handle the consideration of the case and provide a report following such consideration


The Group that receives the Informal Complaint Form (see paragraph 6.4)

Informal Complaint Form

The Form to be used to report a complaint under this procedure


Behaviour as described in paragraph 2

Misconduct Panel

The Misconduct Panel (see paragraph 8)


The Office of Student Conduct, Complaints and Appeals

Reporting Student

A Student who has made a complaint under this procedure

Respondent Student

A Student about whom a complaint has been made under this procedure

sexual misconduct

Behaviour as defined at paragraph 2.2


A Registered Student as defined in Statute A X 2(c).1 For the purposes of the membership of a Misconduct Panel, this definition includes sabbatical officers of Cambridge University Students’ Union and the Graduate Union

2.    Types of behaviour amounting to misconduct under this procedure

2.1.  Physical misconduct is any unwanted and unreasonable contact. Physical misconduct includes pinching, punching, kicking, slapping, pulling hair, biting, pushing, shoving, using weapons and using items as weapons.

2.2.  Sexual misconduct is any unwanted and unpermitted sexual activity. Sexual activity includes sexual acts, kissing, sharing private sexual materials of another, touching through clothes, showing sexual organs and remarks of a sexual nature. Sexual misconduct can take place in physical or virtual environments.

2.3.  Abusive behaviour is any unwanted behaviour which is reasonably likely to cause harm; or have the effect of violating another’s dignity; or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that other. It includes threats, abusive comments, the use of or supply of illicit substances, making malicious accusations, repeatedly contacting someone, and abuse that takes place within an intimate relationship. Abusive behaviour can take place in physical or virtual environments.

2.4.  The behaviour covered by these forms of misconduct can include actions that appear to have been influenced by someone’s protected characteristics or their perceived protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, sexual orientation. The behaviour can take place in person or online. A non-exhaustive list of these types of behaviours include:

(a)making sexually offensive comments about dress or appearance, the display or distribution of sexually explicit material, or demands for sexual favours;

(b)engaging in harassment on the grounds of a person’s sexuality or gender (or assumptions about a person’s sexuality or gender) including making derogatory homophobic, transphobic, or biphobic remarks or jokes aimed at a particular person, offensive comments relating to a person’s sexuality, refusal to acknowledge a person’s gender or identity, or threats to disclose a person’s sexuality to others;

(c)making offensive references to a person’s race, ethnicity, skin colour, religion or nationality, dress, culture, background or customs which have the effect of ridiculing or undermining an individual or fostering hatred and/or prejudice towards individuals or particular groups;

(d)ignoring, disparaging, or ridiculing a person because of mistaken assumptions about their capabilities, or making offensive reference to an individual’s appearance, in the context of their disability;

(e)controlling or coercive behaviour, such as pressure to subscribe to a particular political or religious belief.

2.5.  The word ‘unwanted’ means ‘unwelcome’ or ‘uninvited’. It is not necessary for a person to object to the behaviour for it to be unwanted.

2.6.  The word ‘unpermitted’ means ‘not permitted’ or ‘unauthorised’. A number of behaviours can indicate where permission has been given, for example, verbal comments or physical actions. Permission for an activity can only be given at the time it is taking place and where the person has the choice to give or not give permission. Where there is disagreement as to whether an activity was unpermitted, the applicable test shall be, taking all circumstances into account, whether a reasonable person would consider the activity was unpermitted.

3.    Scope of procedure

3.1.  The University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and affirms the right of all members to be treated with dignity and respect.

3.2.  This procedure provides a mechanism to limit interactions between Reporting and Respondent Students by the agreement of both parties. This Procedure does not seek to investigate the misconduct which caused the Reporting Student to submit an Informal Complaint Form and it will not reach any findings on whether any misconduct has taken place. As a result, the procedure does not require the Reporting Student to provide a detailed account of the misconduct, nor does it require the Respondent Student to provide a response to the content of the Informal Complaint Form.

3.3.  This procedure applies where a Student (the Reporting Student) wishes to complain about the misconduct of another Student (the Respondent Student).

3.4.  OSCCA will provide procedural advice to a Reporting Student about any other complaint procedures that are available. As the purpose of this procedure is to limit interaction between a Reporting Student and Respondent Student, complaints made by a third party and anonymous complaints cannot be accepted.

3.5.  A complaint under this procedure may be brought by two or more Reporting Students and/or against two or more Respondent Students where the complaint describes misconduct arising from the same event(s). In such cases references in this procedure to the ‘Reporting Student’ or the ‘Respondent Student’ shall be construed, as appropriate, as referring to more than one person.

3.6.  A Reporting Student may choose to raise a complaint under this procedure or under an equivalent College procedure. Subject to the Group’s2 determination that this procedure would be appropriate, it is the expectation of the Colleges and the University that this procedure will normally be used where:

(a)the complaint relates to sexual misconduct;

(b)the complaint relates to conduct occurring in the context of University societies or sports clubs;

(c)the complaint is brought against Respondent Students at more than two Colleges.

3.7.  A complaint cannot be brought under this procedure where the Reporting Student has previously made a complaint about the same event(s) which has been dealt with under the University’s Student Complaints Procedure or a formal College complaints procedure.

3.8.  The General Board shall approve and keep under review a policy on the use of personal information3 under this procedure.

4.    General principles

4.1.  Any reference in this procedure to a University officer or other named role-holder includes a deputy appointed by that officer or role-holder to exercise the functions assigned to that officer under this procedure.

4.2.  The University will act reasonably in considering complaints under this procedure, having regard to the individual circumstances of the case. Every effort will be made to ensure that all parties are treated with fairness and dignity.

4.3.  Reporting Students who believe they have suffered any reprisal, or have received a threat of reprisal, as a result of making a complaint in good faith should raise the matter with the Head of OSCCA.

4.4.  The time limits set out in this procedure may be varied by the Head of OSCCA for good reason, after consultation with the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student as appropriate.

4.5.  The Head of OSCCA acting reasonably may suspend the consideration of a complaint at any stage of this procedure and/or refer the matter for consideration under another procedure including:

the University’s [Procedure to Determine Fitness to Study] < Procedure to Support and Assess Capability to Study >4 or an equivalent College procedure;

the University’s Fitness to Practise procedures.

4.6.  A complaint may be brought under this procedure whether or not it has been reported to the police. The Head of OSCCA will normally suspend the procedure pending the outcome of any police investigation and/or criminal proceedings and, if there are reasonable grounds to do so, may also refer the matter to the Academic Secretary to consider the matter under Special Ordinance D (v): Precautionary Action.

4.7.  The Reporting Student may withdraw a complaint at any time during this procedure, by notifying the Head of OSCCA in writing. Where a complaint is withdrawn no further action will be taken under this procedure.

4.8.  None of the members of any body constituted under this procedure will have any previous knowledge of the case or any material connection with either the Reporting Student or the Respondent Student. Normally, no person who is a member of the Department/Faculty or College of the Reporting Student or the Respondent Student will be involved in the consideration of the case. The holders of the offices to which this procedure refers shall appoint standing deputies to act on their behalf in the event of any conflict of interest.

5.    Support and guidance

5.1.  OSCCA will provide advice at the outset to help both the Reporting Student and Respondent Student to understand this procedure. All parties will be directed to appropriate sources of advice and support throughout the procedure.

5.2.  The Reporting Student and the Respondent Student are able to bring a supporter to any meeting held under this procedure. However, the supporter should not be someone who could be a witness to events related to the misconduct. A College Tutor or an advisor from the Students’ Unions’ Advice Service are good sources of support for all Students, and the Sexual Assault and Harassment Advisor is available to support Reporting Students reporting sexual misconduct. As this is an informal procedure it is not normally necessary for a Reporting Student or a Respondent Student to have a legally qualified supporter. However, both the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student may access and use legally qualified supporters at their own cost.

6.    Raising a complaint

6.1.  A Student considering raising a complaint may discuss or meet with a member of OSCCA who can provide a description of the procedure.

6.2.  To raise a complaint, a Reporting Student must complete and submit the Informal Complaint Form.5 Reporting Students can be assisted in completing the form by a supporter.

6.3.  In cases where the Informal Complaint Form describes conduct that could constitute a criminal offence, the Reporting Student will be informed that if the complaint is considered through a University procedure before reporting it to the police this may undermine any later police investigation and subsequent proceedings.

6.4.  On receipt of the Informal Complaint Form, a Group comprising the Head of OSCCA (convener), the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), and the Secretary of the Senior Tutors’ Committee will consider the form and determine (by a majority decision) whether to:

(a)refer the complaint for consideration under this procedure;

(b)dismiss the complaint because it is considered to be without merit, or vexatious, frivolous, or malicious;

(c)reject the complaint because it does not fall within the scope of this procedure;

(d)decline to refer the complaint for consideration under this procedure and recommend to the Reporting Student that the complaint is raised under a College procedure;

(e)decline to refer the complaint for consideration under this procedure for other reasons.

6.5.  OSCCA will normally notify the Reporting Student of the Group’s decision within a week of the submission of the Informal Complaint Form.

6.6.  If the Reporting Student is dissatisfied with the Group’s decision, the Reporting Student shall have the right to request a review of that decision in accordance with the Procedure for the Review of Decisions of University Bodies.6

7.    Consideration of the complaint

7.1.  Where a complaint is referred for consideration, this will be carried out by a trained Facilitator, appointed by the Head of OSCCA. The role of the Facilitator is to prepare a report, which sets out any undisputed facts and makes recommendations around proposed actions for resolution, based on the responses of both the Reporting Student and Respondent Student.

7.2.  The Facilitator shall determine how to handle the case, within the context of the general principles, including the duty to act fairly and reasonably, set out in paragraph 4. The Facilitator will invite the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student to separate meetings with the Facilitator. The aim of the meetings will be to establish actions with which both parties would agree and which would limit interaction between the two parties. Each meeting will be minuted and the minutes agreed with those present as a correct record (or any disagreement noted), at which point any other record of the meeting will be destroyed.

7.3.  When or before inviting the Respondent Student to a meeting, the Facilitator must:

(a)provide sufficient information to enable the Respondent Student to understand the nature of the complaint, including a summary of the complaint, the identities of those involved and the place and time where the described behaviour occurred;

(b)inform the Respondent Student that there does not need to be any response to the complaint and that no adverse inferences may be drawn from the Respondent Student’s failure to attend for interview or otherwise participate in this procedure;

(c)warn the Respondent Student that the University may be required to provide as evidence in any subsequent criminal investigation or proceedings in a court of law information regarding the complaint, including any admission made in the course of this procedure (or any subsequent disciplinary proceedings) and that any admission made in the course of this procedure may also be used as evidence in University disciplinary proceedings;

(d)remind the Respondent Student that it is not normally necessary to bring a legally qualified supporter to any meetings during this procedure. However, Respondent Students may access and use legally qualified supporters at their own cost.

7.4.  Where the Respondent Student declines to cooperate with the process, the Facilitator may continue with the consideration in the absence of the Respondent Student’s cooperation. The Facilitator will aim to provide the report to the Head of OSCCA within four weeks of the complaint being referred for consideration, but some cases may require longer, in which case the Facilitator will keep the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student updated.

7.5.  On receipt of the Facilitator’s report, the Head of OSCCA may:

(a)refer the report for consideration by a Misconduct Panel under paragraph 8; or

(b)reach a decision regarding the report under paragraph 8 without reference to the Misconduct Panel.

7.6.  The Head of OSCCA will normally refer a report involving sexual misconduct to the Misconduct Panel.

8.    Determining the outcome of the complaint

8.1.  If the report is referred to a Misconduct Panel, the Registrary will appoint three members of the University, one of whom shall be a Student, to serve on the Misconduct Panel.

8.2.  The Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel shall consider the complaint and the report prepared by the Facilitator.

8.3. Having considered the complaint and the report, the Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel (by a majority decision) may:

(a)propose one or more of the resolutions set out in paragraph 9;

(b)dismiss the complaint because it is considered to be without merit, or vexatious, frivolous, or malicious;

(c)decide that no further action should be taken under this procedure;

(d)with the consent of the Reporting Student, refer the complaint for consideration under the University’s disciplinary procedures in accordance with paragraph 10.

8.4.  The Reporting Student and the Respondent Student will be notified in writing of the decision of the Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel within four weeks of the Head of OSCCA receiving the Facilitator’s report.

8.5.  If the Reporting Student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel under paragraph 8.3, the Reporting Student shall have the right to request a review of that decision in accordance with the Procedure for the Review of Decisions of University Bodies.7

9.    Resolutions

9.1.  The Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel may propose a resolution to the complaint, which may include (but are not limited to) the following:

(a)that the Respondent Student will agree to abide by a conduct agreement issued by the Head of OSCCA. A conduct agreement may include an undertaking by the Respondent Student to refrain from contact with the Reporting Student for a specified period of time. A record of the agreement will be retained by the University. If the agreement is breached then this breach can be investigated and sanctioned under the Student Disciplinary Procedure.8 In addition, the agreement may also be taken into account if a further complaint is made against the Respondent Student under this procedure;

(b)with the prior approval of the relevant body, that the Respondent Student will take a period of intermission from study;

(c)that the Respondent Student will attend behaviour awareness training or workshops.

The relevant body for the purpose of the consideration of a request for intermission will be the [Board of Graduate Studies9 for applications concerning graduate students10] <Postgraduate Committee for applications concerning postgraduate students>11 and the Examination Access and Mitigation Committee concerning other students.12 Approval may be granted by Chair’s action on behalf of the relevant body.

9.2.  The proposed resolution will only stand if the agreement of both the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student are obtained. The Facilitator will facilitate the process of reaching agreement between the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student and will issue written confirmation of any agreed resolution(s) to them.

9.3.  If attempts at reaching an agreed resolution are unsuccessful the Head of OSCCA, with the Reporting Student’s consent, may refer the complaint for consideration under the University’s disciplinary procedures in accordance with paragraph 10.

9.4.  If there are grounds to believe that the Respondent Student has failed to comply with the terms of an agreed resolution, the Head of OSCCA shall determine whether the original complaint and/or the alleged breach of the agreed resolution should be referred for consideration under the University’s disciplinary procedures in accordance with paragraph 10.

10.    Disciplinary proceedings

10.1. Where the Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel refers a complaint for consideration under the University’s disciplinary procedures, it will be referred, with the consent of the Reporting Student, to the Student Discipline Officer or the University Advocate, depending on whether the described misconduct took place before or after 1 October 2019. The Head of OSCCA will provide information on the relevant disciplinary procedure, including the timeframe within which the Reporting Student and Respondent Student will be notified in writing of a decision about whether or not to invoke disciplinary proceedings.

10.2. All relevant material, including the report of the Facilitator and the decision of the Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel will be made available to the relevant disciplinary body.

11.    Reporting

11.1.  An annual report of complaints considered under this procedure will be made to the Council, the General Board, and the Colleges, in which references to individual cases will be made anonymously.

11.2. The Head of OSCCA will be responsible for the regular review of this procedure.

Appendix - Policy on the use of personal information under the Informal Complaint Procedure for Student Misconduct.

A copy of this appendix is to be provided to the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student at the earliest contact.

1. The overall purpose of processing personal data in the context of the consideration and resolution of complaints under this procedure is to decide what steps can appropriately be taken in response to such complaints. Personal data will be disclosed only to those persons who need to see such data for the purposes of preparing a report following receipt of a complaint, or determining or recommending a resolution, or deciding what other steps can appropriately be taken. Such persons may include the Head of OSCCA, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), the Secretary of the Senior Tutors’ Committee, the Academic Secretary, members of the Misconduct Panel, the Facilitator, solicitors in the University’s Legal Services Office, the University Advocate or Student Discipline Officer (or other relevant officer), and Officers or Reviewers appointed under a University complaint or review procedure. Documentation generated in the course of the consideration of a complaint under the procedure may not be disclosed in full to the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student except in so far as is reasonably necessary to conduct and to progress a fair consideration of the complaint, or where a person has explicitly consented to the disclosure of personal data to the extent that the data relate to her or him.

2. (a) The University shall share the Informal Complaint Form, the Facilitator’s report and agreed actions for resolution, with the Respondent Student’s College Senior Tutor (if the Respondent Student is a member of a College) so that the Senior Tutor is aware of the complaint and able to assist in providing support. In some cases, a Reporting Student’s written consent may also be sought to disclose information to the following:

The Respondent Student’s Head of Department or equivalent

The Respondent Student’s Supervisor (for research students)

(b) Where relevant, the University shall also share this information with internal bodies (for example, a fitness to practise committee), regulatory bodies (for example, the Disclosure and Barring Service), professional bodies (for example, the General Medical Council), or other organisations with whom the Respondent Student may be connected, where it is appropriate to do so (for example, where the Respondent Student holds a position of responsibility for children or vulnerable adults).

3. Where formally requested to do so by one or more of the bodies listed in paragraph 2(b), or where the University considers that someone may be at significant and immediate risk of harm, the University may disclose information received through this procedure to the police. When initiating a consideration, the Facilitator will inform the Respondent Student in writing that information about the case will be provided to the police if formally requested by the police or if the Head of OSCCA considers that there is an immediate and significant risk to the Collegiate University Community. Unless there are exceptional reasons related to the case, the Head of OSCCA will normally inform the Reporting Student of the intention to report the matter to the police and give reasons before doing so.

4. The Facilitator’s report will normally be released to the Reporting Student and the Respondent Student, but the minutes of any individual meetings will not usually be disclosed with the report. If the matter subsequently becomes the subject of disciplinary proceedings, all materials relating to this procedure will form part of the evidence in those proceedings and can therefore be expected to be disclosed to both sides in full.

5. Following completion of the procedure, the Facilitator’s report and a record of the outcome, including any conduct agreement entered into by the Respondent Student, will be retained securely in accordance with the University’s retention policy. This information will be used for the purposes of responding to any complaints regarding the application of this procedure as well as for compiling anonymous statistics regarding its use. Further, where any complaint is subsequently submitted under this procedure in respect of the same Respondent Student, giving the University reasonable cause for concern regarding an emerging pattern of potential misconduct, this information may be taken into account by the Group, Head of OSCCA or the Misconduct Panel, as appropriate, in reaching a decision under the procedure, and may also be provided to the University Advocate, the Student Discipline Officer or other relevant officer if relevant for the purposes of conducting disciplinary proceedings or referral for consideration under another procedure.

6. Nothing in this policy is intended to prejudice any rights of access to personal data which any person may have under the General Data Protection Regulations or otherwise.

7. If there are any questions or concerns about this policy, please contact the Head of OSCCA in the first instance.


By inserting the following in the Schedule to the Procedure for the Review of Decisions of University Bodies (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 219, as amended by Notice on 12 February 2020, Reporter, 6577, 2019–20, p. 337):

The following decisions made under the Informal Complaint Procedure for Student Misconduct:

Decisions made under paragraph 6.4 not to refer the complaint for consideration under that procedure

Decisions made under paragraph 8.3 to determine the appropriate action following consideration of the complaint


Matters relating to pay restraint and the University’s post‑COVID‑19 recovery plan: Notice from the Council

21 July 2020

Certain decisions, taken at the Council’s meeting on 15 June 2020, were announced in the Vice‑Chancellor’s message to staff on 16 June 2020.1 In brief these were as follows:

To limit reward and progression schemes for the year 2020–21.

The University will limit the use of its reward and progression schemes for the academic year 2020–21. The following schemes will now not run: Professorial Pay Review 2020; Grade 12 Contribution Reward Scheme 2021; University Senior Lecturer Contribution Reward Scheme 2021; and Researcher Increment Scheme 2020–21.

A more limited version of the Grade 1–11 Contribution Reward Scheme 2021 will run, with applications only open to assistant staff in Grades 1 to 5 – they will only be able to apply for one-off single contribution payments. The costs of these payments will be met by the central Administered Fund for the 2020–21 exercise.

Current reward and progression schemes – those already launched – will continue to their conclusion, including the Professorial Pay Review 2018 and the Researcher Increment Scheme.

To introduce a voluntary pay reduction scheme for staff earning over £100k involving a pay cut of 10 per cent of total remuneration for a period of six months.

The University will introduce a voluntary temporary pay reduction scheme, over six months, for senior University staff whose total remuneration exceeds £100k annually (pro rata), asking them to consider a reduction of 10% in total remuneration.

The Council, at its meeting on 20 July 2020, gave further consideration to a number of these measures in the context of wider discussions around the University’s post‑COVID‑19 recovery plan.

Pay restraint

At its June meeting, the Council had asked the HR Committee to review a number of matters, including how the University might continue to exercise restraint on recruitment beyond 31 July 2020, and whether, as an alternative to cancelling the Academic Careers Pathways 2021 promotions exercise, it would be possible to run a ‘titular’ promotion exercise through which a staff member’s title is upgraded, even if not their remuneration.

The key decisions on pay restraint were as follows:

To not run a titular-only Academic Career Pathways (ACP) promotion exercise whereby staff would receive the title but not the pay increase.

The HR Committee examined the merits, issues and risks of running a titular‑only ACP promotion exercise. While recognising that there were arguments for adopting the proposal, including supporting academic staff whose research productivity had been compromised since the lockdown had been introduced, legal advice has suggested that a titular‑only scheme would be hard to implement on equal pay grounds. There has also been strong feedback from staff representatives that receiving titles without a rise in salary would be perceived as unfair and create significant morale problems across the University’s workforce.

The Council stressed that automatic incremental progression through service‑related points would continue for all eligible staff (including academic staff).2

To continue the programme of recruitment restraint until 31 July 2021.

The recommendation to Council was based on a review of how recruitment restraint had worked over the past few months, including discussion with, and feedback from, groups considering exceptions to the general pause on recruitment. A new version of the Recruitment Protocol has been produced as a result of this review, with a number of important updates, including the exemption from the exercise of all externally funded posts. The new protocol, valid from 1 August 2020 until 31 July 2021, is available at It will be kept under review and will be subject to a full review before 30 April 2021, when a decision will be taken as to whether it should continue, either in its current form or a different form.

Further details relating to the Voluntary Pay Reduction Scheme for those whose total remuneration exceeds £100k.

It was agreed that those staff who wished to contribute to the scheme, which would involve a suggested 10 per cent contribution over a period of six months to help the University mitigate the financial impacts of COVID‑19, could do so as follows:

By donation via the University’s payroll giving provider using the online form on the University’s website;

By making a single payment or regular payments via direct donation using the online facility provided by CUDAR or by writing a cheque.

Further details on how the scheme will run will be provided to institutions in due course.

To allow exceptional market pay applications, subject to enhanced scrutiny.

The HR Committee reconsidered its previous recommendation to suspend new Market Pay awards for six months. It concluded that it could be damaging to the University if market supplements could not occasionally be offered to individuals working in a field where specialist skills are scarce and in demand.

The Council agreed the following:

the current processes for approving these payments should be revised to capture specific details about why the supplement is requested at this time and how it can be justified in light of current pay restraint measures;

the HR and Remuneration Committees undertake closer scrutiny of requests referred to them for approval;

those payments which do not currently require Committee approval are to be reported to the relevant Committee so that a fuller picture of these payments can be obtained. As part of the closer scrutiny, the Committee would require retention applications to be supported by evidence of a competing offer.

The Council agreed to keep pay restraint measures under close review.

Recovery plan

The Council received and approved the final version of the University’s post‑COVID‑19 recovery plan, available at The development of the plan has been overseen by the Crimson Recovery Taskforce, and informed by the work of the seven other taskforces3 and the regular briefing sessions run for key representatives from institutions and Colleges. The plan has an initial focus on continuing the work to return to on‑site activities in a safe and secure way, with a range of longer‑term projects tailored specifically to meet both the challenges and opportunities now facing the University and the Colleges. These are aligned with the Priorities Framework4 and are collectively focused on delivering:

An outstanding educational experience;

Insightful and impactful research;

Financial sustainability;

Support for our staff and community;

Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness.

Implementation of the recovery plan will pass to the formal University bodies with responsibility for each area of the plan. It was agreed that the General Board should have responsibility for the overall coordination and monitoring of the implementation phase, with support from a small project management team. It was also noted that shared decision‑making between the University and the Colleges through formal mechanisms such as the Colleges’ Committee was vital for the successful implementation of the plan.


Courses and Examinations, 2020–21

27 July 2020

As noted in the statement on education in 2020–21 (Reporter, 6585, 2019–20, p. 453), the University and the Colleges will be seeking to make appropriate changes to courses to respond to the changing public health situation, and teaching will be delivered by a blend of in-person and online teaching.

These changes will affect the arrangements concerning students in 2020–21. As a result, the Council is seeking the approval of Graces (Graces 20–25, p. 554) to give the General Board the discretion to suspend certain requirements set out in Ordinance and General Board Regulations during that period, should this become necessary. It is also asking for the approval of some temporary additional provisions over the same period (Grace 26, p. 555).

The General Board has asked for this authority in view of the experience of the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak in spring 2020 and its impact on courses and examination arrangements. The Council is expecting to receive a draft Special Ordinance designed to provide a mechanism for the temporary suspension of provisions in Ordinance and General Board Regulations, for presentation as a Report early next term. In the meantime, if approved, these Graces will ensure that there is an agile process in place, which is capable of managing a transition into a period of lockdown for education provision if one is announced at short notice by the government.

The Board, acting through its Education Committee, would only use the authority granted by these Graces if it considered it necessary, after consulting with all relevant parties. The General Board would publish a Notice in the Reporter confirming its decision to exercise a specific authority. That Notice would either give details of the temporary arrangements or indicate when and how they would be made available.

The discretionary authority would be in place until 31 July 2021 or the approval of the new Special Ordinance. The position would be reviewed in Lent Term 2021, to determine whether an extension of any temporary authority ought to be sought, in the light of the advice available at that time.

Update on report on the advantages and disadvantages of a policy of divestment

27 July 2020

The Council reported in October 2019 that it expected to receive the final report in response to Grace 1 of 25 April 2019 by July 2020 (Reporter, 6564, 2019–20, p. 68).

Due to the extended illness of lead author Dr Quigley earlier in the spring and the suggestion that the report undergo a full academic peer review, the Council will now receive the divestment report at its meeting on 21 September 2020. It therefore expects to publish the report shortly after that date.

Regent House Petitions site

28 July 2020

Further to the Council’s Notice dated 26 May 2020 (Reporter, 6584, 2019–20, p. 449) a new site to help members of the Regent House circulate and sign proposals relating to the University’s governance processes is now available to those on the current Roll:1 [Regent House members only]

Detailed guidance and example petitions are available from the Petitions site homepage along with general links to information on the role and powers of the Regent House. Information about the Petitions site and the pdf guidance documents on raising and signing petitions have also been added to the University governance site, which is publicly accessible (see

The Petitions site is available only to current members of the Regent House,1 who should use their University UIS account ( to log in. The site is hosted in the University’s SharePoint Online environment; any members who have yet to use their University Microsoft account may need to sync their accounts to gain access to the Petitions site (see