University Executive Board minutes - 27 July 2021



27 July 2021


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH), Professor M Hounslow (MJH), J Jones (JJ), Professor C Newman (CN) (Items 2, 5, and 6), Professor D Petley (DNP), Professor G Valentine (GV), Professor M Vincent (MV)

In attendance:

T Wray (TW), D Barcroft (DB) (item 1), L Carlile (LC) (item 1), L McCarthy (LM) (item 1), H Barlow (HB) (item 2)


Professor J Derrick (JD), H Fraser-Krauss (HFK), Dr T Strike (TS), Professor C Watkins (CW), I Wright (IW)


N Button (NB) / Dr E Smith (ES)

  1. Admissions Forecast Intake Update

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

    • UEB received an update on the forecast numbers and financial position for the September 2021 student intake. The Department for Education (DfE) had been asked to amplify the message that it was safe to study in the UK, and that arrangements were in place to minimise any disruption to learning.

    • UEB noted the update and agreed to formulate a position on international student arrivals and remote study to be communicated as quickly as possible.

  2. Closed Minute

  3. Council Task and Finish Group – Departmental Reviews

    • UEB considered the proposed Terms of Reference and Membership for a Council Task and Finish Group that was intended to appraise the established processes for Department/School reviews, following Council’s decision to institute such a group at its meeting on 12 July 2021. It was highlighted that Council wanted to assure itself that the University’s decision-making procedures about the constitutional matters that were reserved to it for decision were robust. This included the timeframe and processes informing the provision of advice and other information, as appropriate, from Senate, the P&VC, or other committees, acknowledging that decisions concerning the establishment or abolition of Faculties and Departments/Schools had a strong academic basis and therefore required input from the key staff and bodies in this domain. Clarification was provided that the work of the Task and Finish Group would not take the form of a lessons learned exercise, given that Council had confirmed that it was appropriately assured about the nature and conduct of the recent review of the Department of Archaeology, including the approach to consultations. Furthermore, Council had reaffirmed its determination that the University should seek to ensure that its review processes continued to be exemplary and decided to seek reassurance that the processes in place to inform Council about ongoing Faculty and Departmental performance remained sound and that they ensured that Council was appropriately sighted on any emerging issues.

    • UEB agreed that the Terms of Reference for the Task and Finish Group should be amended to better reflect the separation of UEB’s and Council’s responsibilities. UEB would consider the revised paper in due course.

  4. Report of UEB Estates and Capital Sub-Group

    • (Meeting held on 13 July)

    • UEB approved the report, including a number of proposals set out in the related paper and accompanying business cases, subject to Finance Committee and/or Council approval where relevant in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation.

  5. Coronavirus Update

    • General Update

      • KL updated UEB about the vaccination programme for young people, with suggestions that vaccination could be made compulsory for students in order to return to higher education. On international travel, there were also discussions about regional quarantine centres that would provide some accommodation close to Sheffield for returning and new international students.
    • Update from the Major Incident Team
      • RS updated UEB on ongoing discussions about international students and quarantine facilities.
    • FVP Update
      • ​​​​​​​No update given.
  6. Round Table

    • Pay and pensions: TW updated UEB following communications from UCEA on the current situation relating to pay and pensions issues.
    • Professor Mike Hounslow: KL, along with all of UEB, acknowledged the enormous contribution of Professor Mike Hounslow to the University over a long and distinguished career, including as a Faculty Vice-President and member of UEB, and noted that there would be a formal leaving event held in September.​​​​​​​

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