University Executive Board minutes - 21 June 2022

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Date:

21 June 2022

Present:

Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), J Jones (JJ), Professor S Hartley (SH), Professor J Litster (JL), Professor C Newman (CN); Professor M Vincent (MV),Professor C Watkins (CW)

In attendance:

T Wray (TW), I Wright (IW) (for items 2.3-13); B Abrams (BA) (item 2); C Vernon (CV) and S Thompson (ST) (item 3); M Nolan (item 4); SU Officers (item 13)

Apologies:

Professor D Petley (DNP), R Sykes (RS), Professor G Valentine (GV), Dr T Strike (TS),

Secretary:

D T Swinn (DS)


  1. Closed Minute and Paper

  2. Closed Minute and Paper

  3. Closed Minute and Paper

  4. Access & Participation Update 2022

    • (MN in attendance for this item)​​​​​​​

    • UEB discussed an update on progress against the current University Access and Participation Plan for the year 2021/22, noting that the OfS had confirmed that their monitoring process was complete and that there were no matters to be drawn to the University’s attention or any further action required. Members also considered proposed variations to the plan for 2023/24 as a result of changes made by the OfS to the process and approach. The OfS’ expectations around variations for 2023/24 were uncertain at present but it was anticipated that only high level information would be required at this stage, given the OfS’ intention to reduce the period of existing plans to four years (to complete in 2023/24).

    • It was noted that the OfS had advised that universities were not required to submit monitoring returns in 2022 in respect of their APP for 2020-21 but that that internal monitoring should continue. UEB also noted the priorities announced by the OfS’ new Director of Access and Participation in March 2022, which the OfS had asked providers to take into account in preparing and submitting variations to their plans for the year 2023/24. Furthermore, the OfS had suspended their invitation for Students’ Unions to make a voluntary, independent student submission as part of the annual monitoring process and neither would the OfS be generating standardised impact reports for publication.

    • Following discussion, in which UEB was pleased to note the positive overall progress made against the APP targets, UEB approved the update report for submission to Council. UEB also approved proposed variations for the year 2023/24, which had been requested by the OfS as part of a three phase approach that would complete upon submission of a new APP for approval by Council in Summer 2023.

  5. Closed Minute and Paper

  6. Closed Minute and Paper

  7. Project Development Process and Governance

    • ​​​​​​​UEB considered proposals intended to address challenges within the current system of developing, overseeing and approving major capital projects, whereby the University could achieve greater agility, transparency and rigour in decision making processes, whilst ensuring that appropriate governance controls continued to be applied through the existing structure. Members also considered a related proposal to increase the financial thresholds for delegated authorities for capital approvals, which had remained unchanged for over ten years, for recommendation to Finance Committee and Council, and the establishment of a central commercial team to support these activities.

    • UEB endorsed the proposals. In particular, UEB recommended that that strategic fund panel agree to fund the establishment of a central commercial team to support the Commercial Director, comprising two FTE. UEB also agreed to recommend to Finance Committee and Council the proposed increases to the financial approval thresholds.

  8. Report of the UEB Sexual Violence and Harassment Group

    • ​​​​​​​UEB received and approved the report, including a recommendation to publish sexual violence data, with appropriate supporting narrative to contexualise the data, on a regular basis, utilising the Report and Support platform as a base for this information. UEB also noted updates on other areas of activities as set out in the report.

  9. Industrial Action: Report from Incident Management Team

    • There were no matters to report. ​​​​​​​

    • Actions:

      • Further updates would be taken under Round Table, as required.

  10. Update on Ongoing Compliance with Condition C1

    • ​​​​​​​UEB received and noted for information an interim update on institutional compliance with OfS ongoing registration condition C1 and the impact of mitigating action following the recent period of industrial action.

  11. Students’ Union Officers: Update from 2021-22

    • ​​​​​​​(SU Officers in attendance for this item)

    • UEB received a presentation from the outgoing Students’ Union Officers in which they set out their achievements during the year 2021-22 against their initial objectives.