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24 October 2002 Minutes

Board of Scrutiny

 

Minutes of the Meeting Held at Noon on

Thursday 24 October 2002 at Selwyn College

 

Present: Stephen Cowley, David Howarth, Robin Lachmann, Susan Lintott, Jack MacDonald, Timothy Milner, Christopher Forsyth, Elisabeth Leedham-Green, Oliver Rackham, Jennifer Rigby, John Spencer, Helen Thompson.

 

 

1)      Minutes of the meetings of 27 September 2002 and 10 October 2002. These were approved after minor corrections.

 

Matters arising (not covered elsewhere):

 

i)        CAPSA/CUFS. The Chairman has been invited to an executive meeting of Council in early November.

Action: Susan Lintott to pass date to Chairman.

There was a discussion concerning the Lauterpacht Research Centre which overspent by over £300,000 allegedly on the basis of incorrect information provided by the Finance Division. It was resolved to discuss the matter with Andrew Reid when we next met. It was agreed that the continuation of the CAPSA/CUFS sub-committee would be worthwhile, with a membership of the Chairman, Jennifer Rigby and Oliver Rackham.

Action: Chairman to write to the Registrary.

 

ii)       Discussion of Seventh Report. It was reported that this had been deferred again. A draft version of the Chairman’s intended remarks was circulated. It was noted that we had been given notice of no major complaints by the central bodies. It was resolved to note at the Discussion that the press coverage of our Report had given us no pleasure. 

 

iii)     Buildings. Susan Lintott reported that her letter re the English building was still in draft form. There was a discussion of the proposed visitor centre, e.g. costs. It was agreed to ask EMBS whether there was any information available.

Action: Secretary to write to EMBS re the visitor centre.

 

iv)     Visits to officers. It was reported that a date had been fixed for the Chairman and Susan Lintott to meet with Pro-Vice-Chancellor Malcolm Grant (the Secretary may also attend). David Howarth agreed to provide a list of measures for coping with a deficit. It was agreed that it would be more appropriate for Helen Thompson, Jennifer Rigby and the Proctors to meet with the Director of Personnel. The Secretary was to provide information to these members.

Action:  David Howarth to provide list of measures to Chairman.

Action: Secretary to provide data to Helen Thompson.

 

v)      Administrative help. It was reported that there was a job specification somewhere. It was agreed that David Howarth would try and find it, and that the Chairman would then write an advertisement and send it to the Registrary.

Action: David Howarth to track down the job specification.

Action: Chairman to write advertisement.

 

2)      IPR. It was noted that most speeches at the Discussion had not been in favour of the proposals. It was agreed that it was only equitable that the University should share in any financial reward of an invention developed in university time and/or with University facilities, but that the way the Report had been presented seemed to have further broken down the trust between different sections of the University. This seemed to be another case where expertise within the University had not been fully exploited. It was agreed that the Chairman would write to the Registrary observing that it would make good sense to employ the expertise within the University on committees.

Action: Chairman to write to Registrary.

 

3)      Top-up fees. Susan Lintott had circulated an appeal to alumni from the Chairman of CUSU asking them to not to give to the University until the University agreed not to impose top-up fees. The Secretary reported that the University were going to put out a press release stating Council’s opposition to top-up fees. It was understood that the VC was opposed to them unless it was forced on us by HMG.

 

4)      Conduct of ballots. It was noted that for the third time in two years there had been an infelicity in the conduct of a ballot (in this case the flysheets on one of the two ballots had not gone out, and some members of the Board noted that they had not received their ballots yet). It was agreed that the Chairman would write to the Registrary expressing some concern.

Action: Chairman to write to Registrary.

 

5)      Any other business. There was a discussion as to whether we should ask for the Board to be added to the circulation list for the Minutes of Council, General Board, the Finance Committee and the PRC. It was agreed that this was not necessary if the [unreserved] Minutes were on the WWW.

Action: Secretary to check whether Finance Committee Minutes on the WWW.

 

It was agreed that the previous Chairman and Secretary would hand on their records to the new post holders.

 

It was noted that there had been a hic-cup with the new library software as a result of someone hacking into the system. However, it was reported that when it worked the new software provided much improved facilities. A concern about access to electronic journals was raised. Robin Lachmann agreed to provide details for next time.

Action: Robin Lachmann to investigate electronic journal access.

 

6)      Date of next meeting.The meeting ended at 1.45 p.m.  The next meeting will be held at noon on Thursday 7 November 2002 at Selwyn College.