University Executive Board minutes - 4 May 2021



4 May 2021


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

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), Ms T Wray (TW), Mr I Wright (IW), Mr A Riggs (AR) (Item 1), Mrs L Tidswell (LT) (Items 1 and 2), Dr M Watson (MW) (Item 2)




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

  1. University of Sheffield Procurement Strategy 2021-2025

    • (Andy Riggs and Liz Tidswell in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered the draft University Procurement Strategy 2021-2025. The Strategy had been produced following an external benchmarking exercise that identified some areas of improvement in the University’s utilisation of its procurement processes. The related paper set out the underpinning pillars of the Strategy and its intention to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of procurement at the University by improving procurement structure, capacity, capability, processes, procedures, and performance. The enabling role that the Procurement Strategy could play with respect to the University’s Vision and Strategy 2020-2025 and other institutional strategies was highlighted. To support the delivery of the Procurement Strategy, it was proposed that the Procurement Team would co-create and implement a Procurement as a Service (PaaS) approach across the institution in collaboration with individual Faculties and Professional Services areas. This model would aim to recognise local procurement requirements and provide additional value through enhanced procurement governance, capacity building, data management, KPIs, and the sharing of best practice.
    • During discussion, UEB raised and noted the following points:
      • Some of the KPIs proposed were ambitious, and would require close working with Faculties and Departments through the proposed PaaS approach to realise.
      • It would be beneficial for the Procurement Strategy to be promoted to staff through targeted communications and thereby made more visible.
      • Research funding based procurement was often ad hoc and specialised, and further thought could be given to how the Procurement Strategy and its accompanying processes could support this area.
      • There were broader opportunities within Research to make procurement more efficient, which included greater oversight over the location and maintenance of research equipment and possible sharing arrangements with peer institutions.
      • The implementation of the Procurement Strategy was not anticipated to entail substantial additional resource.
      • It would be desirable for the Procurement Strategy and related policy to provide a clear steer to colleagues on preferred suppliers.
    • UEB:
      • Endorsed the Procurement Strategy.
      • Endorsed the co-creation and implementation of a PaaS approach.
      • Approved the Action Plan attached to the Strategy.
    • Action:
      • To give further consideration to the development of communications for the Procurement Strategy.
  2. Sustainable Business Travel

    • (Liz Tidswell and Matt Watson in attendance for this item)
    • UEB received and noted an update on the work being undertaken to progress the recommendations contained in both the Sustainable Travel Task and Finish Group report and the actions emerging from the Sustainability Strategy. It was proposed that the University develop a suite of sustainable business travel procedures, processes, and guidance, buttressed by a Sustainable Business Travel Policy, to achieve its aims in this sphere. Specific actions were set out in the related paper; the substantive Travel Policy would be presented to UEB in due course.
    • It was highlighted that the timescale for the development of the Sustainable Business Travel Policy and the associated procedures, processes, and guidance had been brought forward earlier than originally anticipated with the aim of informing the University’s approach to business travel in a post-pandemic environment.
    • UEB noted and endorsed the actions being undertaken with regards to sustainable business travel.
    • Actions:
      • To draft the Sustainable Business Travel Policy for consideration at UEB in due course.
      • To raise the subject of potential cross-university approaches to sustainable business travel with other vice-chancellors.
  3. Closed Minute and Paper

  4. Coronavirus Update

    • Update from Major Incident Team

      • UEB discussed the University’s testing regime, particularly in the context of the expected return to campus of all students from 17 May. The key principles were to ensure that tests were easily accessible and collectable for all students. To that end, UEB agreed to adopt the hybrid approach of an asymptomatic testing centre and an LFD collection point, and to increase the number distribution centres in strategic locations.
  5. Round Table

    • Student rent: UEB discussed rent charges for students in University-owned accommodation who were able to return to campus from 17 May but did not do so. UEB agreed that those students could be released from their contracts and that the current policy that would allow students to choose whether to make use of their accommodation would continue.

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