University Executive Board minutes - 8 June 2021



8 June 2021


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

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), I Wright (IW), T Wray (TW), H Barlow (HB) (item 5)


Professor M Vincent (MV)


N Button (NB) / K Sullivan (KS)

  1. Minutes of UEB held on 25 May

    • UEB approved the minutes as an accurate record.

  2. Closed Minute and Paper

  3. Closed Minute and Paper

  4. Closed Minute and Paper

  5. Staff Working Overseas

    • (H Barlow in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered recommendations relating to arrangements for staff working overseas. It was estimated, via self-reporting of individuals and managers, that there were around 100 members of staff not currently resident in the UK. Attention was drawn to the considerable flexibility shown by HMRC and others towards people living overseas during the pandemic, but that was likely to diminish in the future.

    • UEB agreed to adopt the principle that any staff resident outside the UK for personal preference should have returned to the UK and be out of quarantine in time for the start of the next academic year. Appropriate notice and flexibility would be given to those staff returning. The University would work with individuals and Departments to identify any specific circumstances that might require an exception to the principle.

  6. Business Continuity Steering Group Update

    • UEB reviewed an update on progress with Business Continuity and Incident Management work, noting ongoing work to embed Business Continuity Management (BCM) and to develop department level Business Continuity Plans (BCPs). Attention was also drawn to the implementation of Safezone, an app based system that allowed all students and staff to alert, contact and directly speak to the Security team in the event of an incident. The system was used by over 30 universities in the UK, including members of the Russell Group.

    • UEB noted the update and welcomed efforts to increase engagement with the development of BCPs across all departments and faculties. During discussion, it was noted that related communications should address potential concerns about data protection.

  7. Coronavirus Update

    • Update from the Major Incident Group

      • UEB discussed the update, noting in particular the ongoing need for action to address incidents in University accommodation, on which the IMT was liaising with Corporate Communications. Contact tracing was going well, with an overall success rate of 91%. Regarding its preparedness to support vaccinations for overseas students, discussions with the University Health Service were ongoing; confirmation had not yet been received on whether students could quarantine at University accommodation. It had been agreed to provide a support package for students requiring visas, including support for how they could apply in the UK.
  8. Round Table

    • RAP Process:  The approved departmental budgets, including staffing budgets, were now with departments/faculties. It was expected that recruitment within approved budgets would follow the normal process. The RAP would continue to meet fortnightly to approve anything over existing budgets and would keep a watching brief to apply the appropriate scrutiny to those cases which would result in additional costs.
    • Collective Dispute: IW provided an update on an ongoing collective dispute in the School of Languages and Cultures.
    • Student Complaints: UEB noted the current position regarding complaints, in the context of the impact of Covid-19.

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