University Executive Board minutes - 12 July 2022



12 July 2022


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH), J Jones (JJ), R Sykes (RS), Professor G Valentine (GV), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW), I Wright (IW)

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), T Wray (TW), V Jackson (VEJ) (Item 1), M Ayres (MA), S Grocutt (SG), Professor M Pourkashanian (MP) (Item 2), L Carlile (LC),  T Flaherty (TF), L McCarthy (LM) (Items 3 and 4), A Carlile (AC), E Hartley (EH) (Item 5), M Nolan (MN) (Item 6), S Duke (SD) (Items 7 and 8)


Professor C Newman (CN), Professor D Petley (DNP)


Dr E Smith (ES)

  1. Closed Minute and Paper

  2. Closed Minute and Paper

  3. Student Recruitment Update

    • (LC, TF, and LM in attendance for this item)

    • UEB received and noted an update on the University’s 2022/23 recruitment position, together with the suite of recruitment activities on which Student Recruitment, Marketing, and Admissions was leading. . Attention was drawn to recent positive developments including the Home Office’s agreement to examine the issue of priority visas and the confirmation that direct flights from China would take place, both of which should help ease potential logistical challenges for this cohort of prospective students.

    • In respect of Clearing, it was clarified that early activity for overseas students would begin in July. Advanced registration figures for the University were encouraging. Several Russell Group peer institutions were active during the current cycle.

    • Members welcomed the strong attendance at Open Days, noting however that these figures were skewed towards supporters rather than prospective students. It was also pleasing to note that new activities on the concourse had received positive feedback, and that the City Campaign being run in conjunction with Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Hallam University was registering a strong impact in the region and beyond.

    • During discussion, UEB raised and/or noted the following points:

      • It was expected that there would be increased enrolment at Pre-Application Open Days in the Autumn.

      • The University would continue to monitor the Clearing activities of sector peers.

      • The pandemic had impacted the behaviours of overseas applicants, with decisions about acceptances and pre-sessional courses made later in the cycle than in the period before 2020.

    • UEB noted that it would receive further updates on the 2022/23 recruitment position before October.

  4. Confirmation, Adjustment, and Clearing Update

    • (LC, TF, and LM in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered a paper providing an update on the forecast position for September 2022 entry as at 1 July 2022, together with proposals on the University’s approach to the upcoming Confirmation, Clearing, and Adjustment period.

    • It was noted that the University’s modelling had been made against the 2019/20 grade drop. Members further noted the overview of each Faculty’s position following the Faculty scenario planning meetings, which had informed the proposals made in the related paper.

    • During discussion, UEB raised and/or noted the following points:

      • There was a risk that A Level grades would decline compared to 2021, given the reinstatement of norm-referenced grades rather than teacher assessed grades.

      • The potential financial impact.

      • It was anticipated that the Faculties which currently had UGH shortfalls would recover these numbers.

      • The recruitment base for the UGO intake included growth markets.

    • UEB:
      • Noted the updated forecast position for September 2022 entry and the Faculty Scenario Planning outcomes.
      • Approved the recommended approach to Confirmation, Adjustment, and Clearing, as set out in the related paper.
  5. Strategic Planning: Approval of 2022/23 Action Plans

    • ​​​​​​​(AC and EH in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered the 2022/23 Action Plans for the University’s Faculties and Groups. The related paper reinforced that these plans were aligned with the broader Five-Year Plans that UEB approved on 28 June 2022, and noted the annual action planning process was intended to be iterative, with a planned review of the outcomes to take place in due course. The intended next steps included communications to HoDs and an audit of action planning quality that would commence in 2022/23.
    • During discussion, UEB raised and/or noted the following points:
      • There could be merit in assessing the Faculty 2022/23 plans against the relevant REF 2021 and NSS results in advance of final UEB approval, recognising that the Annual Reflection process for Departments/School would establish some specific actions.
      • HoDs could be engaged via the regular UEB-HoDs meetings.
    • UEB approved the 2022/23 Action Plans in principle, subject to the further work identified in Minute 5.2, above.
  6. Closed Minute and Paper

  7. Closed Minute and Paper

  8. Closed Minute and Paper

  9. Closed Minute and Paper

  10. Review of Honorary Academic Titles

    • ​​​​​​​UEB considered proposals emerging from a review of the University’s approach to honorary academic titles and their conferment. The related paper outlined the current approval processes, which varied according to the nature of the title, and the number of individuals across the University who currently held an honorary title. Particular attention was drawn to the need for a clear and consistent approach to address the significant cyber security risks associated with the high-volume usage of such titles, given that each title holder presently received an institutional email account, as well as the attendant reputational and resource risks.
    • During discussion, UEB noted the following points:
      • There could be the need for specific arrangements in MDH to ensure that the approach in place for NHS Consultants and the associated transition to any new processes was clear and robust.
    • UEB endorsed the recommendations set out in the related paper, including.
      • That the conferment of an honorary title should be restricted to those individuals whom the University would benefit from maintaining an academic relationship with post-employment, or to external individuals due to their links to a partner organisation.
      • Approval for the conferment of a new honorary title may only be granted by a member of the University Executive Board, usually the Vice-President and Head of Faculty. The Faculty Directors of One University would be responsible for ensuring that the reasons for approving the honorary title were consistent prior to formal approval being given by the FVP and Head of Faculty.
      • The period for which an honorary academic title could be awarded would be reduced to one year.
      • An associate UCard would continue to be issued to individuals with honorary titles, allowing access to University buildings. Those holding an honorary title would no longer be issued with an email account unless there was a need for student contact linked to teaching or supervising students.
  11. Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

    • ​​​​​​​UEB considered a proposal to extend the scope of the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, which was intended to empower staff and students with non-visible disabilities. The related paper provided the context informing the Scheme and the rationale for organisations to participate; the Students’ Union’s membership of the Scheme, which took effect in April 2022; and the membership options available to the University, including via extension of the SU’s membership and through a process of independent corporate membership. Attention was drawn to the fact that the second option would allow the University to provide the associated disability training via its own platforms.
    • During discussion, UEB raised and/or noted the following points:
      • With regard to the training requirements of membership, internal work was being conducted to delineate mandatory and optional courses.
      • It was not expected that the University’s participation in the Scheme would compromise existing Disability and Dyslexia Support Services (DDSS) processes. Rather, it would act as a visible signal to open a conversation between colleagues or members of staff and students.
      • It would be important to confirm to staff and students that having a hidden disability did not carry an obligation to participate in the Scheme, which would remain optional.
    • UEB approved the proposal to extend the scope of the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme at the University via independent corporate membership.
    • UEB approved the proposal to expand the scope of the scheme.
  12. Hybrid Working

    • ​​​​​​​UEB received and noted the planned work over the Summer to solicit managers’ and staff’s views on the operation of hybrid working. In distinction to previous feedback exercises, it was highlighted that staff would be asked to provide information on local challenges encountered, including those that had impacted service delivery or militated against effective community-building. Managers would be invited to participate in a survey and one of several intended focus groups.
    • UEB endorsed the proposed programme of work, noting the importance of continuing to stress the University’s long-term commitment to hybrid working while wishing to assess the principles by which it was governed.
  13. Report of the UEB IT Sub-Group

    • ​​​​​​​(Meeting Held on 24 May)

    • UEB approved the report and noted the items highlighted.

  14. ​​​​​​​Report of the UEB Strategic Advisory Group – Student Recruitment and Population​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    • (Meeting Held on 30 June)
    • UEB approved the report, including the recommended ELTC and Study Abroad tuition fees for 2022/23.
  15. Report of the UEB Information Management and Security Group​​​​​​​

    • UEB approved the report and noted the items highlighted.