University Executive Board minutes - 28 June 2022



28 June 2022


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), J Jones (JJ), Professor D Petley (DNP), R Sykes (RS), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW)

In attendance:

Dr T Strike (TS), T Wray (TW), I Wright (IW), D Harrison (DH) (Item 1), A Carlile and E Hartley (items 2 and 3)


Professor G Valentine (GV), Professor S Hartley (SH), Professor J Litster (JL), Professor C Newman (CN)


M Borland (MB)

  1. Enhancing our Health & Safety Culture

    • (DH and IW in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered a paper on the University’s approach to health and safety, and proposals to enhance the health and safety culture in response to feedback from Council, including Council’s challenge to accelerate positive progress.
    • During discussion, the following points were addressed:
      • UEB sets the tone and so the visibility of UEB members as positive role models was important.
      • The possible content of the leadership section of a future report to Council.
      • Managing health and safety issues related to fieldwork was challenging.
    • UEB:
      • Noted the feedback from Council.
      • Agreed the recommendations outlined in the paper to enhance the University’s health and safety culture.
      • Confirmed the mandatory training needs identified in Appendix 1 to the related paper.
      • The Business Case to provide the resources required for the delivery of the three-year plan would be considered as part of the strategic allocation process.
      • To provide an update to a future JUCC meeting.
      • Noted Council would receive an update at its next meeting, as well as through the Annual H&S Report in due course.
  2. Strategic planning - approval of five year plans

    • (AC and EH in attendance for this item)
    • UEB considered a paper that provided an update on the five year planning process, following UEB’s previous reviews of progress and of the draft Five Year Plans, and proposed updates to the draft plans. Faculties, groups and departments had been responding to previous recommendations and incorporating proposed changes.
    • During discussion, the following comments were made:
      • The approach to international partnerships agreed by UEB would take precedence over any alternative view expressed in a departmental five year plan.
      • With regard to the paper to Council, UEB offered a steer in a number of areas.
      • There were different processes for departments to undertake at different points of the year, which could benefit from an associated action plan. This would be the subject of a future paper to UEB.
      • There was a potential risk that significant issues for a department would be considered and managed outside of the annual planning process.
    • UEB:
      • Approved the five year plans.
      • Noted that the FICS Group five year plan would be finalised by the end of July and would incorporate previous feedback covering the relevant departments.
      • Noted that PPBI would work with faculties over the summer to complete any minor amendments to plans following strategic investment decisions.
      • Noted that Council would be updated at its July meeting.
  3. Strategic planning update and plans for 2022/23

    • UEB considered a paper which provided an update on strategic planning and outlined a proposed timetable and activities for 2022/23.
    • During discussion, the following points were made:
      • The previous approach to planning ran from November to March and meant it was not possible to evaluate the previous cycle. The revised approach would involve conversations with HoDs at the end of the academic year to inform the following academic year.
      • Years 2 to 5 of the planning process were anticipated to look different to the first year, as the first year involved diagnostic work which would not need to be repeated.
      • The sector was changing in fast and unpredictable ways and the challenge would be to keep the planning process light touch but robust in the face of this rapid change.
    • UEB:
      • Approved the annual planning cycle timeline for 2022/23.
      • Thanked departments for their engagement and effort to support the five year planning work. This would be communicated directly through the HoDs forum.
      • Agreed to hold a HoDs event to share plans and explore common themes during 22/23.
      • Agreed that PPBI would update the strategic planning Google site, confirming the timeline for 22/23 and reflecting the transition from objective setting towards action planning and the annual review of progress.
      • Noted that PPBI would work with a small number of departments to test approaches to and support for progress reviews, with an audit to review progress scheduled at the end of 2022/23.
  4. Report of the UEB Health and Safety Committee

    • ​​​​​​​(Meeting held on 26 May)
    • UEB considered and approved the report, noting the discussions and decisions taken at the Committee’s May meeting.
    • Specifically, UEB:
      • Approved the updated UEB Health and Safety Committee Terms of Reference, as set out in Section 3 of the report.
      • Approved the COVID-19 Debrief Report, as detailed in Section 4 of the report, for onward recommendation to Council.
      • Approved the Draft Annual Health and Safety Report, as detailed in Section 6 of the report.
      • Approved the following seven Health and Safety policies:
        • Assistance Dogs Policy
        • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Policy
        • Fieldwork and Overseas Travel Policy
        • Stress Management Policy
        • Electrical Safety Policy
        • Lone Working and Out of Hours Working Policy
        • Protocol for staff or students to remove themselves from a situation of serious and imminent danger
      • Agreed that further assurance regarding institutional compliance with the UUK accommodation code of practice would be reported to Council.
  5. Report of the UEB Risk Review Group

    • ​​​​​​​(Meeting held on 14 June)
    • UEB considered and approved the report, which provided a briefing on the discussions, key actions and decisions arising from the June meeting of the UEB Risk Review Group (RRG). It was highlighted that RRG had received an update on the discussions on the management of corporate risk from the recent Council Away Day. In response, the 2022/23 Corporate Risk Register would include a new column to show when mitigations would be in place or had been completed.
    • UEB noted the update and the most recent iteration of the 2021/22 Corporate Risk Register.
  6. Industrial Action: Report from Incident Management Team

    • ​​​​​​​This item was deferred.
  7. Round Table

    • ​​​​​​​Knowledge Exchange Support Service: KL provided an update. The impact on the University’s financial forecast in 2023-24 and beyond was noted.
    • Staff recruitment: KL updated UEB regarding recruitment to the post of Faculty Vice-President for Medicine, Dentistry and Health. UEB warmly thanked Professor Chris Newman for taking on the role in the interim.
    • Ministerial correspondence: KL updated UEB on a letter from the Minister of State for Further and Higher Education regarding Freedom of Speech and the Race Equality Charter.
    • Staffing: RS provided UEB with an update on a recent appointment.
    • Council: TS update UEB on recent Council appointments.