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Board of Scrutiny, meeting on Thursday 10 October at Selwyn College

Stephen John Cowley
university of cambridge


Board of Scrutiny

Minutes of the Meeting Held at Noon on

Thursday 7 November 2002 at Selwyn College


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



1)      The Minutes of the meetings of 24 October 2002 were agreed
after minor amendments.


arising (not covered elsewhere):


Correspondence concerning possible continued problems with the research grants
module was noted.


ii)       Discussion of Seventh Report. The Board noted with regret
that no remarks (other than the Board’s own) were made on the deficit.


Buildings. It was agreed to investigate the question of
when, in the case of a new building project, approval of Regent House should in
principle be obtained.


iv)     Conduct of ballots. It was reported that the ballot on
discussions had been cancelled.


v)      Electronic journals. It was reported that an acceptable
solution had been reached with Elsevier.


vi)     Administrative help. It was reported that the advert was in



2)      Visits to the Central Bodies. A report was made of the visit
by the Chairman and Susan Lintott to see Pro-Vice-Chancellor Malcolm Grant (who
had indicated that he would prefer that the Secretary did not attend).  The meeting, it was felt, had been
constructive and useful.


3)      Remit of the Board. Both the Registrary (in a letter) and
Prof Schofield (in a Discussion) had raised the question of the remit of the
Board. The Board noted that, according to its Statute “the
Board shall have the right to examine the policies of the University and the
arrangements made for the implementation of those policies” in its scrutiny of
“the Annual Report of the Council (including the Annual Report of the General
Board to the Council), the accounts of the University, and any Report of the
Council proposing allocations from the Chest”. The Board felt that it had not
overstepped its Statute in being concerned in the conduct of ballots or in contributing
to the governance debate.


4)      University policy towards the disabled. It was agreed to
raise this issue in the forthcoming meeting with the Director of Personnel.


5)      Ownership of copyright (RSD email). An email exchange
between the secretary and a member of the RSD about ownership of copyright was
noted. It was agreed to raise the matter next time the Board met with the
Director of the Research Services Division (RSD).


6)      Any other business.


a)      Various
health and safety issues were discussed (including the grey water tanks on the
Downing site). The Board were concerned that decisions made in the current
period of financial distress might have disastrous long-term consequences. The
Board resolved to ask the Director of the EMBS about the tanks and other issues.


b)      It
was reported that the search for a new Vice-Chancellor was progressing.


c)      It was reported that there had been problems with graduate admissions
this year. The Board agreed to investigate.


d)      It was reported that the Director of Finance wanted to split
the Abstract of Accounts into two Parts. The Board had no objection to this as
long as it was made clear that both Parts made up the Abstract of Accounts.


e)      The Board noted with concern a matter raised in Discussion
on 30 October about a statement allegedly made by the Press Office in relation
to a particular case of intellectual property rights.


7)      Date of next meeting. 
The next meeting will take place on 21 November at Selwyn College.