University Agenda

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CONGREGATION 9 December

Degree by Special Resolution

The following special resolution will be deemed to be approved at noon on 9 December, unless by that time the Registrar has received notice in writing from two or more members of Congregation under the provisions of Tit. II, Sect. vi, cl. 6 (Statutes, 1995, p. 13) that they wish the resolution to be put to a meeting of Congregation.

Text of Special Resolution

That the Degree of Master of Arts be conferred upon the following:

PAUL BARTON RAINEY, MA status, Pembroke College

MICHAEL PATRICK ROWE, Nuffield College

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CONGREGATION 21 January 2 p.m.

¶ Members of Congregation are reminded that written notice of any opposition to the preamble of the following statute, signed by at least two members of Congregation, must be given to the Registrar by noon on Monday, 13 January (see the Guide to Procedures in Congregation cited in the note at the end of `University Agenda').

Promulgation of Statute

Statute: Composition of the Visitatorial Board

Explanatory note

Council has reviewed the present composition of the Visitatorial Board. Council is of the view that the board as at present constituted, comprising a chairman appointed by the High Steward, the Proctors and Assessor, four members appointed by Council, and four members appointed by Congregation, is undesirably large. Council believes that a much smaller board, consisting of the chairman and four other members, the four being drawn by lot from a panel of twelve, would be more satisfactory, and it notes moreover that the present quorum is only five. With the concurrence of the present Proctors, ex officio membership of the board for the Proctors would cease, given that the likely prior involvement by the Proctors in cases coming before the board would in any event render them ineligible to serve.

It is proposed that all twelve members of the panel should be appointed by Congregation. Council would thus relinquish any powers in relation to the constitution of the board; however, in order to provide an opportunity for the consideration of the balance of the panel, bearing in mind for example the desirability of ensuring that both sexes are represented on it, it is proposed that Council, as well as individual members of Congregation, should be entitled to put forward nominations for appointments to the panel for Congregation's consideration. This arrangement would obviate the need which not infrequently arises in the case of elections by Congregation for the appointments to be made, in the absence of any Congregation nomination, by the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors: in future all members would derive their authority, whether given tacitly or by vote, directly from Congregation itself.

The details of the arrangements are set out in the decree, below, which Council proposes to make if the statute is approved. It will be seen that the decree (in the proposed new cl. 3) is designed to ensure as far as possible that any board hearing a case will include at least one member of either sex. The new cl. 4 provides that the chairman and at least three other members must each attend all the meetings at which a case is considered, failing which a new board must be constituted, comprising the chairman and four new members drawn from the panel, to consider the case de novo.

WHEREAS it is expedient to change the composition of the Visitatorial Board, NOW THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, in exercise of the powers in that behalf conferred upon it by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act, 1923, and of all other powers enabling it, ENACTS, clauses 1–5 being subject to the approval of Her Majesty in Council, AS FOLLOWS.

1 In Tit. VIII, Sect. I (Statutes, 1995, p. 51), delete cl. 1 and substitute:

`1. The Visitatorial Board shall be composed of:

(1) a chairman appointed by or on behalf of the High Steward in accordance with the provisions of clause 2 below;

(2)–(5) four persons (who shall be members of the University of the Degree of Master of Arts at the least, of not less than ten years' standing as Masters of Arts) selected from a panel of twelve persons elected by Congregation under arrangements which shall be prescribed from time to time by Council by decree.'

2 Ibid., delete cl. 3 and renumber existing cll. 4–12 (pp. 51–2) as cll. 3–11.

3 Ibid., cl. 4 (as renumbered), delete `clauses 8 to 19' and substitute `clauses 7–17'.

4 Ibid., cl. 10 (p. 52, as renumbered), delete `clause 7' and substitute `clause 6'.

5 Ibid., delete cl. 13 (p. 53) and renumber existing cll. 14–19 (pp. 53–4) as cll. 12–17.

6 In Tit. II, Sect. IX, cl. 4 (p. 15), delete `Elections' and substitute `Save as is provided otherwise by statute or decree, elections'.

7 This statute shall be effective from the date on which it is approved by Her Majesty in Council, provided that the periods of office of the first members of the panel of twelve persons elected by Congregation shall be so phased as to ensure a regular subsequent annual rotation of elections.

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Key to Statute

Cl. 1 changes the composition of the Visitatorial Board.

Cll. 2–5 delete provision for a quorum for meetings of the Board, which will in future be made by decree.

Cl. 6 inserts in the statute governing elections in Congregation generally a cross-reference to the special arrangements for the nomination by Council of candidates for election to the Board.

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Decree to be made by Council if the Statute is approved

1 In Ch. XI, Sect. II, title (Statutes, 1995, p. 695, as amended by Decree (1) of 25 July 1996, Gazette, Vol. 126, p. 1426), delete `Title' and substitute `Titles VIII and'.

2 Ibid., § 1, delete cl. 1 and substitute:

`1. The Visitatorial Board (hereinafter called the board) shall be constituted in accordance with Tit. VIII, Sect. I, cll. 1 and 3. The members of the panel of twelve persons elected by Congregation shall

(a) hold office for four years, except such as shall be elected to fill casual vacancies who shall hold office only for the unexpired portion of the periods for which their predecessors were elected;

(b) be capable of re-election;

(c) be elected under the provisions of Tit. II, Sect. IX, provided always that, notwithstanding the provisions of clause 4 of that Section, candidates may be nominated by Council as well as by two members of Congregation.'

3 Ibid., insert new cll. 3–5 as follows and renumber existing cll. 3–26 as cll. 6–29:

`3. Whenever a case is referred to the board by the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar (or a person appointed by the Registrar to act on his or her behalf) shall select by lot four persons from all such members of the panel of twelve persons elected by Congregation as are not ineligible to serve under the provisions of Tit. XVI, cl. 16 (or, in the event that the case is referred to the board under the provisions of Title VIII only, as would have been ineligible if Tit. XVI, cl. 16 had applied), and the four persons so selected shall serve as members of the board for the duration of its consideration of that case; provided always that if the selection by lot of the first three of such members results in all three of those members being persons of the same sex as the Chairman, and if the eligible members of the panel then remaining include a person or persons of the other sex, that person or a person selected by lot from amongst those persons (whichever shall be applicable) shall serve as the fourth member of the board. If any of the four members of the board so selected for the consideration of a case is unable to serve, a further person shall be selected by the same procedure to replace the member who is unable to serve. Once the board has begun to consider a case, the members of the board selected for the consideration of that case shall remain members of the board for the duration of such consideration whether or not their period of office as a member of the panel has expired in the interim.

4. The proceedings of the board in respect of any case referred to it shall be valid only if the Chairman and at least three other members have each attended all of the meetings at which that case was considered, and any member who has been unable to attend any such meeting shall cease to be a member for the further consideration of the same case. If, through the unavailability of the Chairman or other members, the board is unable to comply with the provisions of this clause, the board shall thereupon be dissolved and a new board shall be constituted under the provisions of clause 1 above for the purpose of considering the case de novo; provided that no person, other than the Chairman, who has served on a board previously constituted to consider that case shall be eligible to serve on any further board constituted to consider that case.

5. In the event of equality of voting, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.'

4 This decree shall be effective from the date on which Statute (...) approved by Congregation on ... is approved by Her Majesty in Council.

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