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25 November 2004

Board of Scrutiny


Noon, Thursday 25 November 2004



New SCR, Selwyn College


Present: Stephen Cowley, Margaret Glendenning, Nicholas Holmes, Timothy Milner, Saskia Murk-Jansen, David Phillipson, Nick Pyper, Jennifer Rigby, John Spencer (Chairman), Helen Thompson (Secretary)


In attendance: Tessa Payne



1.      Apologies

John Little                                  


2.      Minutes of previous meeting

These were agreed.


3.      Matters arising

There were no matters arising, other than those already on the agenda.


4.      Discussion on HERA

It was confirmed that the Board’s response to the HERA consultation had been submitted and placed on the Board of Scrutiny website. It was noted that the Secretary has asked Susan Bowring to publish the url of the Board’s response in the Reporter, but had as yet had no response confirming this.  It was agreed that the Secretary would formally ask the editor of The Reporter and the Registrary whether the Board’s request had been agreed to, and, if not, ask how can the Board’s response could be made more widely available. 


It was noted that in considering the responses to HERA, the Personnel Committee had received only summarised versions of each response, rather than the full responses.  It was agreed that the Chairman would send members of the Personnel Committee a copy of the full response from the Board of Scrutiny, restating the level of the Board’s concern about the implementation of HERA.  It was also agreed that the Secretary would formally request from Peter Deer copies of the papers that were given to the Personnel Committee at their meeting on 23 November.


The Board considered the response received from Peter Deer to questions recently posed to him by members of the Board regarding HERA.  It was agrees that Stephen Cowley would respond, asking if this was a full response, and, if so, indicating that the Board felt that it did not address all the questions in a satisfactory way.


5.      Membership of the Board: by-election

The Board noted that a nomination had been received for Nick Downer, the Bursar of Selwyn, and that he was willing to stand for election.  Other expressions of interest are awaited.


6.      Ninth Report: query by the Council on staffing figures

The Board discussed the query received from the Council regarding the staff figures quoted in its Ninth Report.  The Board confirmed the method that had been used to arrive at the quoted figures, and recalled that they had been unable to obtain a breakdown of the level of increase of unestablished academic-related staff when they had requested one.  This difficulty had, however, been highlighted in the Ninth Report.


It was noted that a response from the Board by the end of the week had been requested by Susan Bowring.  It was agreed that the Chairman would prepare a short letter outlining what had been done, and the reasons for doing it, and attaching the two pages of figures that had formed the basis for the calculation.  It was also agreed that attention should be drawn to the fact that there is no definition of academic-related staff in the Statutes and Ordinances, and that it was therefore difficult to be consistent in deriving the figures.


7.      Update on arrangements for meeting with the Board of Graduate Studies

It was agreed that the Secretary would contact the Board of Graduate Studies and request a meeting to discuss CAMPSIS and graduate student admissions strategy and procedures. 


Any members of the Board interested could attend, and the meeting should ideally be held before Christmas.



8.      Dates of next meeting

The next meeting of the Board will be held on Tuesday 25 2005 January at noon.  It was agreed that the Chairman would establish whether Selwyn was able to offer a room for the meetings during the term. 


It was noted that a provisional meeting was booked for noon on Friday 14 January, to enable the Board to discuss the Annual Report of the Council and the General Board Financial Statements, should the Discussion of these documents be scheduled for 17 January 2005.



9.      Any other business

The programme of work for the Lent Term was discussed.  It was agreed that it would be helpful to establish contact with the Pro Vice-Chancellors, and that the Secretary should invite Professor Andy Cliff to join the Board for lunch at one of their scheduled meetings.


It was also agreed that the Secretary should request a meeting with Andrew Reid in the period between the publication of the Abstract of Accounts and the Discussion on them.


It was agreed that Stephen Cowley should discuss with Ian Troupe the mechanisms and timings associated with managing the University’s Risk Register.


It was agreed that Margaret Glendenning would brief the Board on counter terrorism and student selection at their January meeting.