University Executive Board minutes - 20 September 2022



20 September 2022


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Hartley (SH), J Jones (JJ), R Sykes (RS), Professor C Watkins (CW), I Wright (IW)

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), J Strachan (JS), T Wray (TW), V Jackson (VEJ) (items 1-2), M Marshall (MM) (item 7)


Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor J Litster (JL), Professor C Newman (CN), Professor G Valentine (GV), Professor M Vincent (MV)


D T Swinn (DS)

  1. Minutes of UEB held on 21 June 2022

    • The Minutes were approved as an accurate record.
  2. Minutes of UEB held on 26 July 2022

    • ​​​​​​​The Minutes were approved as an accurate record.
  3. Closed Minute and Paper

  4. Academic Leaders Reward Policy update

    • ​​​​​​​UEB discussed an update on changes to the University’s approach to academic leaders’ reward that had been agreed by UEB previously, and the respective responsibilities for ensuring that these were applied and maintained in future. UEB also approved job descriptions and leadership allowances for the Deputy Vice-President roles and agreed to apply the guaranteed end-of-terms uplift that had been agreed for HoDs and Faculty Director roles.
  5. Cost of Living Crisis Response

    • ​​​​​​​UEB considered an update and related proposals resulting from three workstreams to identify potential institutional responses to the increased pressures on staff caused by rising personal costs. UEB noted the increases in staff pay as a result of the national pay bargaining process, institutional action on minimum pay rates and grade boundaries, and the additional need to support students’ increased personal costs, including PGR students. The extent of any additional financial provision would be significant and likely require material changes to the financial forecast and budget and, therefore, Council approval.
    • Following careful discussion, including reflections on an approach that would be most helpful to the majority of staff and the importance of demonstrating to staff and students in a meaningful way the value the University placed on them, UEB agreed

      • (a) to apply £2.5m of the existing contingency budget to enable a £3m fund to support students, based on specified criteria and eligibility, which would be developed alongside additional guidance and advice for students about how to  minimise the impact of increased living costs; and

      • (b) to provide University staff, excluding UEB members, an additional, pro-rated payment of £1k payable over ten months, subject to further details on the precise nature and costings in advance of seeking approval through Council Finance Committee and Council.

  6. Framework for informal lunches with staff

    • ​​​​​​​UEB endorsed a proposed approach to engaging academic colleagues by more informal means, including increased opportunities for access to KL and GV. It was noted that initial findings from ongoing work around research culture had identified engagement as particularly important for various different groups of staff, and UEB noted the importance of offering professional services staff similar opportunities in future.

    • Action:

      • (a) Following an initial focus on academic colleagues, opportunities for professional services colleagues would be considered in due course.

      • (b) Further thought would be given to the structure and format of the sessions.

  7. University Regulation: Degree Algorithms

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

    • UEB received and noted a paper proposing amendments to the University’s General Regulations for First Degrees to refine and consolidate the institutional approach to degree algorithms, ahead of consideration by Senate Learning & Teaching Committee and Senate. It was noted that the changes were intended to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, align with sector good practice, reduce the number of exceptions to the General Regulations and increase transparency and understanding for students and other key stakeholders.
  8. Report of the UEB Risk Review Group

    • ​​​​​​​UEB approved the report, including updated terms of reference and membership and the proposed corporate risks for 2022/23.
  9. Round Table  

    • Staff Survey: IW provided an update on the latest response rate to the Staff Survey and Members were encouraged to promote the survey to colleagues. FVPs were also invited to nominate colleagues to access appropriate survey data. UEB also noted plans to share a range of quantitative data with the campus trade unions.

    • ITM Power: KL reported on the latest developments.

    • University Secretary: KL thanked TS, who was attending his final meeting before retiring from the University.