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10 October 2002 Minutes

Board of Scrutiny


Minutes of the Meeting Held at Noon on

Thursday 10 October 2002 at Selwyn College


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


Apologies: David Howarth.


1)     Election of Chairman and Secretary. John Spencer was nominated as Chairman by Susan Lintott and seconded by Robin Lachmann. Stephen Cowley was nominated as Secretary by Robin Lachmann and seconded by Susan Lintott. Both were elected nem com.

Action: Secretary to inform the Registrary.


Action: Previous office holders to transfer records, etc. to new office holders.


2)     Minutes of the meeting of 27 September 2002. Signing of the minutes was deferred to the next meeting.


Matters arising:


a)     Appointment of new VC: conflicts of interest. Correspondence with the Chairman of the Search Committee was noted. No further action was deemed necessary.


The University’s Register of Interests was discussed. It was decided to inspect the current Register of Interests.


Action: Secretary to ask the Registrary for a copy of the Register of Interests.


b)     CAPSA/CUFS. Susan Lintott reported on the current legal position.


A list of the inadequacies of the Research Grants Module was reported.


Dissatisfaction was expressed concerning the response of Council to our Report on CAPSA because it had not responded to many matters of substance.



3)     Forthcoming Discussion of the Seventh Report on Tuesday 15 October 2002. It was agreed that the Chairman would make some opening remarks briefly summarising the Report.




4)     Governance reforms. There was a brief report of the Discussion of 8 October 2002. It was noted that most speakers opposed the reforms, and that Anthony Edwards had questioned their legality.


5)     Council elections. It was noted that there are Council elections this term.


6)     Possible programme of work.


a)     Follow-up of matters in hand.


i)        Decision making about buildings. There was a discussion over the events leading up to the Report on, and Discussion of, the new English Building. It was agreed to write to the Registrary to ask whom it would be appropriate to approach both for an explanation and for the documents.


Action: Susan Lintott to draft letter to Registrary.


There was a discussion of the new Cancer Research UK building, e.g. as to how far the University were committed before the Report on the new building was to be Discussed. Similar questions may be relevant to the new primate building on Huntingdon Road.


Action: Susan Lintott and the Secretary to check where the proposal for  the primate centre has got to in the University’s decision-making process.


Marconi building. The Secretary will take up certain matters with the Registrary


ii)      Staff numbers. Figures for new staff had been calculated by the personnel office. These suggested that there had been a significant increase in both academic and academic-related staff paid for from central funds at a time when it was already known that the University was going into deficit. The Board decided to follow up with a visit to Peter Deer by the Secretary, Helen Thompson and Jennifer Rigby.


Action. The Secretary to arrange a meeting with Peter Deer.


b)     Visits to Principal Officers and Directors. In addition to visiting Peter Deer, it was also agreed to ask Malcolm Grant if he would be willing to meet with the Chairman, Secretary and Susan Lintott to discuss the deficit.


Action: Chairman to seek a meeting with Malcolm Grant.


c)      Intellectual property rights (IPR). It was noted that the Council’s Report had generated much discussion in the University and the Press. It was not clear whether the Board should take an interest in this subject. However, it was agreed that Christopher Forsyth would report on the legal position at the next meeting.




d)     Archives. At the suggestion of Elizabeth Leedham-Green Board, the Board resolved to raise with the Registrary matters relating to records management in the University.


e)     Time allocation survey. It was reported that the University had been unwilling to provide the definition of a working week. It was surmised that this might have something to do with the IPR issue.


f)        Legal matters. In the light of correspondence from a member of Regent House, the Board resolved to make enquiries about the current practices of the University in obtaining outside legal advice, and progress towards setting up its own internal legal service.


g)     Other ideas. There was a discussion as to how the stipends are set for the Deputy Directors.


7)     Working methods. It was agreed that the methods adopted last year had worked well, and the Board would continue to follow them


8)     Any other business. It was reported that an advert for administrative help should appear in the Reporter.



The meeting ended at 2.15 p.m.  The next meeting will be held at noon on Thursday 24 October 2002 at Selwyn College.