University Executive Board minutes - 9 February 2021



9 February 2021


Professor G Valentine (GV) (in the Chair for items 1-3)

Professor K Lamberts (KL) (attended and in the Chair for items 4-10)

Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH), Ms H Fraser-Krauss (HFK), Professor C Newman (CN), Professor D Petley (DNP), Mr R Sykes (RS), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW)

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), Mr I Wright (IW), Professor Lorraine Maltby (item 1), Dr Neil Harris (item 1), Rob Gower (item 3), Al Carlile (item 4), Michelle Nolan (items 8.4 and 8.5)


Professor M Hounslow (MJH), Ms J Jones (JJ)


Mr M Borland/Ms K Sullivan

  1. Researcher Development: Recommendations of the Researcher Development Strategy Working Group

    • (LM and NH in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered a report from the Researcher Development Strategy Working Group. The report summarised the work of the group since UEB approved the strategic approach to researcher development in autumn 2019 and made recommendations for Researcher Development provision and associated institutional actions.
    • UEB recommended to the President and Vice-Chancellor the following six of seven proposed recommendations set out in detail in the report:
      • An induction process be set up for newly promoted entrants to both mid-career and Professorial level staff career stages.
      • A central signposting portal is developed that provides access to all University development resources and training regardless of the career stage of the staff member or the department/service from which the provision is delivered.
      • A “Professional Development Needs Analysis for academics”, a behavioural framework through which an individual can map their learning pathway, with linked resources, be developed.
      • SRDS incorporate the Professional Development Needs Analysis
      • To develop or amend guidance for SRDS reviewers to specifically recognise that career discussions with individuals should recognise that a professorship is not the ultimate goal of every researcher, and SRDS conversations should focus on supporting and capitalising on individual strengths.
      • Individuals should be reminded of the University’s commitment as a signatory to The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers that recommends 10 days per annum of provision for staff.
    • UEB also recommended to the P&VC endorsement of the proposed next steps as set out in the report.
  2. Knowledge Exchange Project Business Case

    • UEB considered an update UEB on the business case for the Knowledge Exchange Service Design Review.
    • UEB recommended to the President and Vice-Chancellor:
      • Approval that current and planned faculty and department reviews of support for Knowledge Exchange activity be integrated into the Knowledge Exchange project.
      • Approval that staff currently on fixed term contracts funded by HEIF be moved to open-ended contracts.
  3. ACP Interim Review

    • (RG in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered a report updating on the outcomes of the interim review of the Academic Career Pathway and making recommendations for changes to the framework and promotion process to improve the process in 2020/2021.
    • Following discussion, UEB recommended to the President and Vice-Chancellor the 14 recommendations as set out in the paper, subject to the following:
      • To develop specific guidance on the process, including on census dates, and to share with Faculty Vice-Presidents
      • To review the ACP guidance, specifically in relation to Covid.
      • To collate examples of good practice regarding flexible leadership in relation to teaching.
      • Following the REF results in 2022, the criteria be rebalanced so that high quality outputs criteria was higher and the impact criteria was lower.
  4. Closed Minute and Paper

  5. Student Recruitment

    • This item was deferred.
  6. Closed Minute and Paper

  7. Report of UEB Estates and Capital Sub-Group

    • (Meeting held on 12 January 2021)
    • UEB approved 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.
  8. Coronavirus Update

    • General Update
      • A verbal update was provided on a serious incident in University run student accommodation which involved local police action and adverse media coverage.
      • During discussion, UEB considered the range of options available to the University, including how the disciplinary process would operate in these circumstances. It was noted that the issue was complex and that the University’s relationship with students had generally been positive during Covid restrictions compared to the issues faced by some other institutions.
      • Action
        • A report would be prepared by the Major Incident Team and provided to Council which would include an update on the incident, follow up actions, and set the incident in the context of student behaviour during Covid-19 restrictions. The SU would be consulted as part of the work.
    • Update from the Major Incident Group
      • A report from the Major Incident Group would be circulated to UEB.
    • FVP Update
      • No updates were provided.
    • Regulating during the current phase of the CV-19 pandemic
    • (MN attendance for this item)
      • UEB considered a proposed approach in response to the OfS request that the University review its compliance with ongoing condition C1 (guidance on consumer protection law). The outcome of the Review would be shared with Council.
      • It was noted that the scope of the work was greater than that strictly needed for regulatory purposes, but the work would be useful in its own right in terms of providing assurance.
      • UEB agreed the approach, including establishment of a small task and finish group.
    • Process for Managing Extraordinary Changes to Semester Dates 2020/21
      • Following Senate recommending to Council ‘to delegate to the President and Vice-Chancellor the facility to change the 2020-21 semester dates for students, by Faculty or by Department, if required’, UEB considered the process for departments, where changes to the standard and non-standard semester dates and for specific programmes impacted severely by Covid 19, may be the only viable means of delivering learning outcomes.
      • UEB discussed the proposal and endorsed the recommended approach for managing requests for extraordinary changes to the published Semester dates to mitigate Covid 19, ahead of communication to Heads of Department.
  9. Round Table

    • Academic Career Pathway: IW reported on changes to the process regarding the ACP reward process.
    • Student Support Services: RS provided a staffing update
    • Research: SH provided an update which covered recent Russell Group UKRI discussions; Horizon Europe; TRAC; Official Development Assistance; REF.

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