University Executive Board minutes - 8 December 2020



8 December 2020


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair) Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF) (items 1-4)), Professor J Derrick (JD); Ms H Fraser-Krauss (HFK); Professor S Hartley (SH), Professor M J Hounslow (MJH) (via videolink), Ms J Jones (JJ), Professor C Newman (CN), Professor D Petley (DP) Mr R Sykes (RS), Professor G Valentine (GV), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW)

In attendance:

Mr I Wright (IW),




Mr David Swinn (DTS)

  1. Coronavirus Update

    • UEB received and noted an update from the Major Incident Team. With respect to rent paid by students who were advised not to return to the University until the second travel window, in January, it was agreed not to make any commitment pending further information and guidance. UEB also agreed to support funding for international students to obtain a PCR test for international students to enable their early release from quarantine when they arrived in the UK from a country that was not on the exemptions list.
    • The Testing Centre would remain open until at least 18 December. Consideration was being given as to whether testing could be offered for students remaining in Sheffield over the Christmas period, in response to the latest Government guidance. However, this would depend on the ability to staff the centre since most workers were students. Having noted the current capacity and volume of tests taken by students, UEB also agreed that the University should allow Sheffield Children’s Hospital staff access to the Testing Centre.
    • It was reported that a meeting of JUCC on 9 December was expected to receive confirmation that the Trade Unions had agreed to conclude their collective grievance against the University. With respect to plans to increase the level of face to face teaching in Semester 2, further clarification, guidance and support continued to be offered to departments, e.g. to address any capacity constraints for certain activities. Although there remained compelling data that there was minimal risk of Covid transmission through face to face teaching activities, which had been shared via the staff newsletter, there was a need for dedicated and targeted communications on specific issues.
    • Actions:
      • UEB would receive further details about Semester 2 start dates, particularly for PGT students, during the week of 14 December.
      • The approach to communications would be addressed through discussions with Corporate Communications.

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