University Executive Board minutes - 18 May 2021



18 May 2021


Professor G Valentine (GV) (in the Chair), Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH), Professor M Hounslow (MJH), H Fraser-Krauss (HFK), J Jones (JJ), Professor C Newman (CN), Professor D Petley (DNP), R Sykes (RS), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW)

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), I Wright (IW), T Wray (TW), Dr S Want (SW) (item 2), D Barcroft (DB) (item 3), T Flaherty (TF) (item 3), L McCarthy (LM) (item 3)


Professor K Lamberts (KL)


M Borland (MB) / N Button (NB)

  1. Minutes of UEB held on 4 May

    • UEB approved the minutes as an accurate record, subject to a minor amendment on point 2.3 and noting that policy discussions at the Travel Group would come back to UEB in June.

  2. Knowledge Exchange Update

    • (Dr S Want in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered a paper updating them on the University’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) performance following the formal publication of the KEF. Attention was drawn to the strong performance of the University both in absolute terms and within its cluster, the weaker than expected performance in Research Partnerships, and the mixed feedback on how useful were the metrics used to measure certain performance indicators.

    • During discussion, UEB raised the following points:

      • There was a need to clarify both how CPD was calculated and the institutional policy towards it.
      • The rules around in-kind contributions and how they were accounted for should be tightened.
    • UEB noted the update, confirmed the institutional ambition relating to KE performance as measured by the KEF, and confirmed the focus for KE support going forward
  3. Undergraduate Confirmation, Adjustment and Clearing, and Postgraduate Confirmation period 2021

    • (D Barcroft, T Flaherty, and L McCarthy in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered an early forecast position for the September 2021 student entry and recommendations for overarching Confirmation principles for the year. Attention was drawn to the challenge of forecasting this year, given Covid disruptions.  It was recommended the University did the following in response to its current recruitment position:

      • The University would strive to be as close to targets as possible, applying flexibility to borderline PGT applications.
      • Flexibility in undergraduate recruitment would supplement the postgraduate position, with adjustments made as the recruitment position became clearer closer to the June deadline.
      • The use of contextual admissions would be enhanced, with targeted support for certain groups.
    • During discussion, UEB raised the following points:
      • There were specific capacity issues within certain Departments that needed to be considered.
      • The University would consider the whole intake position and not just individual cohorts, with staged admissions continuing.
    • UEB noted the recruitment update and approved the Confirmation principles contained in the paper.
  4. Closed Minute and Paper

  5. A Proposal to Review Estates Governance

    • UEB considered a draft proposal to Council that it agree to conduct a review of how it will discharge its responsibilities for the University estate, as the Governing body of charitable trustees, and how the Executive will perform its executive responsibility for the development and implementation of the University’s Estate Strategy, and for the effective management of the estate.

    • During discussion, UEB affirmed the importance of good stewardship of the existing Estate, not least for student recruitment, and as a place where people work, study and research. There were strategic questions regarding the future size and shape of the Estate, the changing pedagogical approaches to teaching and education, including new technologies, which would impact on the Estates Strategy. This would require executive and academic input as to the way forwards, through and from UEB. Particular issues around environmental sustainability, energy usage and efficiency, space utilisation, inclusion and accessibility were also identified as priorities. There was a need to ensure the correct order of consideration of matters internally, to ensure UEB was sighted on issues such as the Estates strategy prior to the Council Estates Committee. In particular, UEB or its sub-group ECSG, should be engaged in these discussions to formulate and agree proposals.

    • UEB agreed to recommend to the President & Vice-Chancellor that the proposal go to Council’s July meeting.

  6. Closed Minute and Paper

  7. Report of UEB Sexual Violence and Harassment Group

    • This item was deferred.

  8. Coronavirus Update

    • General Update

      • In KL’s absence, this item was not taken.
    • Update from the Major Incident Group
      • UEB was informed that in order to enable statutory annual maintenance to the Octagon it would not be available to be used as a mass vaccination centre for a four-week period. During this period, people would be referred to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trusts for vaccination. Guidance for the sector on autumn reopening was anticipated to be published at the end of June. Following rule changes in DfE guidance the University guidance on facemasks had been updated.
      • UEB reiterated its commitment to enable overseas students, but not family members, to claim from the University the cost of hotel accommodation if they were required to quarantine.
    • FVP Update
      • UEB received updates from the Faculties.
      • UEB agreed to recommend to the President and Vice Chancellor that communications be developed regarding staff returning to work on campus.
  9. Round Table

    • UEB / HoDs meetings: GV reported that a reminder would be provided on which posts could attend the meetings. HoDs were able to nominate up to two colleagues to receive information and it would be assumed that the Departmental Manager would be one of the two, unless informed otherwise

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