University Executive Board minutes - 11 January 2022



11 January 2022


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH), J Jones (JJ), Professor J Litster (JL), Professor C Newman (CN), Professor D Petley (DNP), R Sykes (RS), Professor G Valentine (GV)

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), T Wray (TW), I Wright (IW); Steve Foxley (SF) (item 1), Keith Lilley (KL) (item 2), Mohamed Pourkashanian (MP), Melissa Ayres (MA) (items 2 and 3), Luke Reynolds (item 4), Vanessa Toulmin (item 5), Hannah Morgan (item 6)


Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW)


Matthew Borland (MB) and Kate Sullivan (KS)

  1. Closed Minute and Paper

  2. Closed Minute and Paper

  3. Closed Minute and Paper

  4. Planning Cycle Update

    • (Luke Reynolds in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered a paper which confirmed the Planning Cycle timeline and proposed a list of activities for the scrutiny of Faculty and Department Five-Year Plans and the Professional Services Planning Cycle in 2021/22.

    • During discussion, it was noted that the Estates & Facilities Management Department Plan and the IT Services Department Plan would both need to be informed by ongoing capital prioritisation work, but it was anticipated that the submission deadline would be met.

    • UEB:

      • Noted previously agreed timelines.
      • Approved the approach for the scrutiny and approval of Faculty and Department Five-Year Plans and the Professional Services Planning Cycle for 2021/22.
  5. Sheffield Player Update

    • (Vanessa Toulmin in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered a proposal for the management and curation of the University of Sheffield Player (a bespoke content management platform for hosting public-facing online events, activities and digital content from across the University) in its first year.
    • During discussion it was clarified that Sheffield Player had a search function.
    • UEB agreed the proposals as set out in the paper for the following:
      • Criteria for digital content submission
      • Ongoing management of digital content
      • Content approvals process
      • A channels system to organise content
      • Future opportunities with series and channels
      • Working with colleagues and engaging with stakeholders
      • Marketing and communications
  6. Gender Pay Gap

    • (Hannah Morgan in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered a paper which presented the annual University level Gender Pay Gap data and Gender Bonus Gap for 2021, assessing progress against 5 year reduction targets at a University and Faculty level, ahead of publishing the legislative data by the legislative deadline of 30 March 2022. The paper provided proposed text to accompany the publishing of legislative data.
    • UEB:
      • Noted the University level Gender Pay Gap data for 2021.
      • Agreed the proposed narrative to accompany the publishing of the University’s legislative data externally no later than the legislative deadline of 30 March 2022.
      • Noted the progress made on the Gender Pay Gap work programme.
      • Agreed to the next steps proposed on the Gender Pay Gap work programme, as set out in detail in Appendix 5 of the paper.
      • Noted the University level 2021 equal pay audit.
  7. Review of Estates Governance

    • UEB considered the report of a Task and Finish Group, which Council had established in July 2021 to consider how Council, as the governing body and charitable trustees, should discharge its responsibilities for stewardship of the existing estate most effectively; and how the executive should perform its responsibilities for the development and implementation of the University Estate Strategy and for the effective management of the University‘s digital and physical estate and infrastructure. Based on the Group’s findings, recommendations had been made to mitigate any risks that either the Executive and/or Council were insufficiently sighted on estates matters and ensure that there were appropriate mechanisms by which to provide assurance to Council over all estates-related issues.
    • Following discussion, in which clarification was provided about the nature of changes to certain committees and sub-groups and changes to the Council business plan to reflect and implement the Group’s findings and recommendations, UEB:
      • Agreed to establish the UEB Sustainability Steering Group as a formal UEB sub-Group of UEB and approved the proposed terms of reference.
      • Agreed to establish the UEB Capital Pipeline Prioritisation Group as a formal UEB sub-Group and approved the proposed terms of reference.
      • Agreed that the scope of the Education Space Management Group should remain as proposed given that wider space management issues could be considered by UEB and other sub-groups in the context of the Estates Strategy, hybrid working.
      • Agreed that the UEB Secretary and Director of Infrastructure would work together to propose items for the UEB business cycle so that UEB could increase its direct engagement with the development of the Estates Strategy, and management of the estates, to ensure that both the Estates Strategy and TESF support the delivery of the University’s overarching Vision and Strategy.
      • Noted the changes to the terms of reference of UEB Sub-Groups in the management structure, but agreed that further consideration be given as to whether estates matters should be made more explicit in UEB’s own terms of reference.
      • Agreed to update the membership of UEB to reflect the current convention of the Director of Corporate Communications and External Relations and the Director of Human Resources are in attendance.
  8. Proposed Sale to ITM Power Briefing

    • This item was deferred.
  9. Report of the UEB Strategic Advisory Group – Student Recruitment & Population

    • (Meeting held on 10 December)
    • UEB considered the report and:
      • Approved the recommendations for improving the New Programmes Approval Process, as set out in Section 3 of the Report.
      • Approved the recommendations for progressing the Schools Engagement Plans, as set out in Section 4 of the Report.
      • Approved the International Automatic Scholarships for 2022 Entry, as set out in Section 5 of the Report.
      • Noted and endorsed updates set out in Section 6 of the Report.
  10. Industrial Action: Report from the Incident Management Team

    • UEB received and noted the update. It was highlighted that there were between 600-700 people that took action on each of the 3 strike days in December, but so far only 11 members of staff had given notice that they were undertaking Action Short of Strike. Further developments at national level were awaited but Members noted that the University had recently met with local UCU representatives.
  11. Coronavirus: Update from Incident Management Team

    • UEB received the update and considered a proposal that the March 2022 graduation ceremonies go ahead with mitigating measures, including an initial allocation of 2 tickets per graduand and testing / Covid certification. The paper provided the arguments for and against different options.
    • During discussion, the approach of other Russell Group universities was noted. It was anticipated that the vaccine booster programme would be more advanced by March than the current position. Further details would be provided regarding expectations of how many, and which ceremonies individual members of UEB would attend.
    • UEB approved that the University should plan for the graduation ceremonies, due to start from 7 March, go ahead.
  12. Round Table

    • Online study: KL updated UEB that a growing number of requests for online study had been received from international students. The University had no plans to change its current approach and if international students were able to travel then the expectation was they would study at the University. This approach would be kept under review.
    • Examinations: KL and RS updated UEB following a request from the Students’ Union President that an additional examination window be provided at Easter. This would meant that students who were unable to take examinations in January would not have to wait until the summer to take their examinations.

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