Board of Scrutiny
13 November 2003
Present: Mantas Adomenas, Stephen Cowley, Christopher Forsyth (chair), Nicholas Holmes, Elizabeth Leedham-Green, Saskia Murk-Jansen, , David Phillipson, Jennifer Rigby, John Spencer, Helen Thompson.
Timothy Milner and Roger Salmon.
2. Minutes of the meeting of 30 October 2003
The Board approved the minutes.
3. Matters arising.
3.1 Administrative support
The Chair reported that he had received no further reply from the Registrary.
3.2 Governance course
The Chair reported that he had written to the leader of the course offering John Spencer as a speaker for the session on 27 January 2004 and that he had received no reply.
Stephen Cowley reported that he had attended the session on the course led by Prof. Anthony Edwards. Prof. Edwards had noted that he was concerned that some Ordinances did not appear to have been updated after relevant Graces were passed. The Board expressed its disquiet at this state of affairs.
ACTION: Stephen Cowley to contact Prof. Edwards and ask for a short briefing so that the Board can pursue the matter with the Registrary on 27 November.
3.3 Meeting with the Registrary
The Chair reported that he had written to the Registrary to ask for a written up-date on the implementation of the Shattock andFinkelstein recommendations before the Board's meeting on 27 November. The Registrary had acknowledged his letter and promised to get back to him. He had since received no further correspondence.
ACTION: The Chair to renew the request.
3.4 Clarity of Council Papers
The Chair reported that he had written to the Registrary to press for an early answer to the Board's previous request and had received no reply.
3.5 Primate research facility at 307 Huntington Road
The Chair reported that he had written to the Vice-Chancellor and circulated the letter to the Board. Her secretary had replied and invited him to meet her, upon which the Chair had suggested that he be accompanied by some other members of the Board. The Board agreed that its delegation would certainly include the Chair and John Spencer and that it would chose a third person when the date for the meeting was fixed.
ACTION: The Chair to write to the Vice-Chancellor's secretary to arrange a date for the meeting.
4. IPR contracts
John Spencer presented his analysis of the issues raised by the confidential documents submitted to the Chair of the Board about IPR contracts. The Board agreed to raise the general issue of consultation between Cambridge University Technical Services (CUTS) and inventors and the question of what might constitute 'reasonable efforts' to secure an inventor's service if and when the Board meets the Director of RSD.
The Chair reported that he had received no reply to his letter to the Director of RSD.
Nicholas Holmes explained to the Board how, in his judgement, RSD works. He identified issues for the Board to pursue with the Director of RSD: (i) the status of the Cambridge Liaison Office in relation to RSD; (ii) the speed of staff growth especially in the Technology Transfer Office; (iii) the long-term funding of Cambridge Enterprise in view of the significant number of staff on short-term contracts from DTI projects; (iv) the negotiating strategy of the Contract Negotiation Group; (v) the efficiency of the Technology Transfer Office; (vi) whether CUTS effectively protects the University from legal responsibility for the actions of RSD.
The Board noted that the announced Report on RAM had, for the moment, been withdrawn. It agreed that it would like to discuss issues pertaining to RAM with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for planning and resources.
ACTION: The Chair to write to the responsible Pro-Vice-Chancellor for planning and resources and ask for a meeting. The delegation from the Board will include the Chair and Stephen Cowley and two others depending on availability once a date is fixed.
7. Any other business
7.1 QAA report
The Board agreed to discuss the QAA report at a future meeting.
7.2 Response of officers to requests from the Board
The Board noted that the Chair had received a disappointing number of replies to his letters this term.
ACTION: The Chair to compile a list of officers who have not replied to correspondence.
8. Date of next meeting: 27 November 2003