University Executive Board minutes - 26 July 2022



26 July 2022


Professor G Valentine (GV), (in the Chair), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH) (items 4-12), Professor J Litster (JL), R Sykes (RS), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW)(items 1-2), I Wright (IW)

In attendance:

T Wray (TW), V E Jackson (VEJ); P Furniss (PJ) (item 1), M Butler (MB) (item 2), S Grocutt (SG) (item 3), R Gower (RG) (items 4, 5 and 7)


Professor J Derrick (JD), J Jones (JJ), Professor K Lamberts (KL), Professor D Petley (DNP), Professor C Newman (CN),  Dr T Strike (TS)


D T Swinn (DS)

  1. Talent Attraction and Recruitment Project Strategy

    • (PJ in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered proposals for a comprehensive talent attraction and recruitment strategy, and more detailed action plan. The Strategy and supporting actions sought to maximise the effectiveness of all aspects of the University’s practices around the attraction, selection and retention of world class talent whilst maintaining a focus on increasing diversity, thereby facilitating delivery of the four pillars of the University Vision.

    • UEB welcomed the proposals as highly positive. The importance of embedding a proactive and consistent talent attraction culture across the institution and at departmental level was also noted.

  2. International Steering Group

    • (MB in attendance for this item)

    • UEB discussed and approved the constitution of the existing International Steering Group as a formal UEB Sub-Group and approved the terms of reference and membership, subject to further consideration to an additional member or members to offer additional perspectives from Faculties.

  3. Closed Minute and Paper

  4. Closed Minute and Paper

  5. Closed Minute and Paper

  6. USS Governance Review Consultation

    • ​​​​​​​UEB considered and approved the proposed institutional response to UUK to inform its plans to undertake a governance review of USS as part of the 2020 USS Valuation. It was noted that the draft had been shared with UCU colleagues and reflected their feedback. UEB also noted that the University’s USS Valuation Working Group would be re-formed in September 2022 ahead of the next planned valuation of the scheme in March 2023.

  7. Staff Survey Engagement

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

    • UEB considered proposed questions and an associated timeline for the next iteration of an all staff survey to facilitate staff voice and enhance engagement, and to obtain valuable insights and data that would inform various work streams and priorities. It was noted that this approach had been used to positive effective most recently in seeking colleagues’ views in a number of discrete areas. Council had also given a clear steer over the importance of measuring and demonstrating positive organisational culture change in supporting the delivery of strategic objectives.

    • UEB discussed the draft question set and the thematic areas to which these mapped, noting that the University now had more sophisticated capability to analyse and report on the findings. It was recognised that the proposed timeline covered a busy period but the survey was intentionally short and focused to encourage colleagues to respond. The timeline would also enable the findings to be taken into account in the 2022/23 departmental planning process.

    • UEB approved the proposed list of survey questions and the proposed timeline.

  8. Closed Minute and Paper

  9. Closed Minute and Paper

  10. Interim Report of the UEB Estates & Capital Sub-Group (meeting held on 13 July 2022)

    • ​​​​​​​UEB received and approved the interim report, pending a full report of the meeting in due course, including approval to move two projects to the capital programme and the release of related fees as set out in the report. UEB also endorsed a draft review of the research capital governance process, which sought to streamline the current process whilst retaining appropriate scrutiny and controls, for further development.

  11. Report of the UEB Sustainability Steering Group (meeting held on 12 July 2022)

    • ​​​​​​​UEB received and approved the report, including in principle agreement to the pricing structure for University car parking for 2022/ and accepting the principles of a strengthening of the University’s Sustainable Building Standard (SBS) for new and retrofit development projects. Clarification was provided that the Group had considered the car park pricing structure in detail, balancing a range of factors including sustainability and cost of living challenges. It was noted that the adoption of the SBS raised challenges but it was important to be transparent about what was required to meet the necessary standards; ECSG had also discussed the SBS and endorsed its adoption.

  12. Round Table

    • ​​​​​​​Grade Boundary Negotiations: IW reported on final draft proposals for amendments to the University’s grading scheme for grades 1-9 and associated elements, following constructive consultation and engagement with the campus trades unions, which would be shared with all staff alongside the trade unions’ consultations with their membership.

    • REF Evaluation: SH reported on a detailed analysis of the University’s REF results by Research Services, and plans to communicate these to various internal stakeholders as appropriate.

    • NSS Results: MV reported that an initial analysis of institutional results undertaken by PPBI could now be supplemented by further qualitative data, and an update would be shared in due course.