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27 April 2006

MEETING OF THE BOARD OF SCRUTINY

MINUTES

Thursday, 27 April 2006 at 12.00pm

New SCR, Selwyn College

 

Present: Dr Nick Holmes (Chair); Dr Elisabeth Leedham-Green (Secretary); Miss Emma Easterbrook (Support Officer); Mr Frank King; Dr John Little; Professor David Phillipson; Dr Catherine Pitt; Dr Nick Pyper; Mr Richard Stibbs; and Mr David Yates.

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Mr Nick Downer; Dr Margaret Glendenning; and Mr Michael Kuczynski.

2. Minutes of meeting on 9 March 2006

Approved with one minor amendment.

3. Meeting with Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alison Richard

The Board welcomed the Vice-Chancellor and invited her to suggest topics for discussion and/or report.

(i) Governance: She reported that Lord Wilson, Professor Badger, Professor Bell and Lord Simon were preparing a paper. A further paper was being prepared on the relations of Schools, Councils of Schools, etc.

(ii) 800th Campaign: The Cambridge 800th campaign was running well, and had met with enthusiasm from friends and alumni world-wide. It was hoped that funds could be attracted that were not tied to particular buildings or projects.

(iii) Meetings: Meetings with politicians had revealed a renewed interest in higher education.

(iv) Finance: The university's finances were approaching a healthier state, and it was expected that the chest would be approximately in balance at the end of the financial year.

4. Matters Arising

(i) The possible future portfolios of the next generation of Pro-Vice-Chancellors;

(ii) Potential conflicts between governance and accountability;

(iii) The more effective use of committees as against managers;

(iv) Working relations with the colleges, e.g. in the field of admissions;

(v) Percentages of EU and Overseas students, and the manner of their funding;

(vi) The contrast between courses here and in the US;

(vii) The status of Cambridge Masters programmes;

(viii) The possible advantages of having an external Chair of Council;

(ix) The standing of the Regent House;

(x) The necessity for mechanisms for the discussion of strategic issues, as, for example, about the development of NW Cambridge;

(xi) The standing of the Board. The Board expressed its gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor for her time and her openness to discussion.

5. Next Meeting

Thursday, 11 May 2006 at 12.00pm in the New SCR, Selwyn College Work on the Annual Report

Emma Easterbrook

Support Officer

25 May 2006