Notices

Contents of this section:

[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

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STATUTE APPROVED BY HER MAJESTY IN COUNCIL

Mr Vice-Chancellor has received a communication from the Clerk of Her Majesty's Privy Council, stating that on 13 April 1999 Her Majesty was pleased to approve the Statute revising Title XIII, concerning university discipline, printed in Gazette, Vol. 128, pp. 1193–8 (approved by Congregation, p. 1250).

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ARNOLD ANCIENT HISTORICAL ESSAY PRIZE 1999

The prize has not been awarded.

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DISCOUNT ON PERSONAL INSURANCE POLICIES AVAILABLE TO STAFF AND MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY

Amended notice

Royal Sun Alliance, the main insurer of the University, provides discounts for members, staff, their families, and pensioners of the University of Oxford. The following savings can be achieved:

Household (buildings and/or contents: 20 per cent;
Travel (including winter sports): 12.5 per cent;
Private car: 40 per cent off premium.

The University acts solely as an introducer of business to Royal Sun Alliance, receiving no commission or other remuneration, with all savings passed on to the subscribing member. For further information, a brochure may be obtained from Graham Waite (telephone: (2)80307), or Andy Darley (telephone: (2)70110) at the University Offices. To obtain a quotation or receive specific information on the covers available, telephone Royal Sun Alliance's regional office on 0800 300 822, quoting the appropriate reference: SCH266 for car insurance; otherwise 34V0067.

Note: this notice replaces that published in the Gazette of 29 April, p. 1117.

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TEMPORARY ALTERATION TO GAZETTE DEADLINE

It is regretted that it is necessary to advance the deadline for the 27 May Gazette only, for all copy other than advertisements, to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 19 May.

The deadline for advertisements will remain at 12 noon on Wednesday, 19 May.

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GUIDELINES FOR LEAVE FOR ACADEMIC STAFF

The General Board's regulations in respect of sabbatical leave and dispensation from CUF lecturing obligations are set out in Ch. VII, Sect. I

(Statutes, 1997, pp. 384–6). Provisions for other leave are set out in the same section (pp. 382–3). The following guidelines describe the General Board's policy and practice in respect of applications for leave which do not fall within the category of straightforward sabbatical leave or dispensation, i.e. special leave.

Applications for leave to hold some public offices or certain research awards

(a) Applications for leave to accept an appointment in the public service of national importance are normally granted by the General Board, provided that the purpose of the leave can be shown to be compatible with the academic interests of the faculty, the faculty board lends its support to the application, and it is clear that the individual intends to return to university service after the period of leave. Leave for this purpose for heads of departments or professors can, however, be problematic, for obvious reasons.

(b) Applications to national bodies for prestigious and competitive research awards (such as British Academy Research Readerships and Senior Research Fellowships, EPSRC Senior or Advanced Fellowships and Nuffield Foundation Social Science Research Fellowships) should be made to the General Board through the faculty board. It is usual for such national bodies to specify that applications should be made through the employing institution, and in Oxford's case this involves routing the application via the faculty board to the General Board. The University will normally support such applications for prestigious awards, but it is necessary for the faculty board and the General Board to consider carefully what replacement teaching arrangements will be required if an application is successful.

Leave granted under (a) and (b) does not count against sabbatical entitlement: indeed the rules of some research awards specifically forbid this. However, as in other cases of special leave, the period of leave does not count as qualifying service for the purpose of calculating future entitlement to sabbatical leave, and sabbatical leave is not normally granted in the period immediately preceding or following periods of such leave, although some flexibility may be exercised in respect of periods of special leave not exceeding one year, especially in connection with the holding of research awards.


Applications for leave for other purposes

All other applications for leave are initially considered in terms of application for sabbatical leave, until entitlement to sabbatical leave is exhausted. In other words, if an individual applies for leave under this section for any term which he or she would be entitled to take as sabbatical leave, any leave granted for that term will be granted as sabbatical leave. Such leave may also be granted as sabbatical leave in advance of entitlement: in other words, sabbatical leave will be granted for a term which the applicant would not normally be entitled to take as sabbatical leave, and leave for the term in question will then be deemed to be taken in a later term (normally not more than six terms later). In this way the leave will count against an individual's sabbatical entitlement: taking the individual's service as a whole, the leave will not be in addition to the standard sabbatical entitlement. For sabbatical leave to be granted in advance of entitlement, an academic case must be made by the faculty board to the Appointments Committee of the General Board.

When sabbatical leave entitlement had been exhausted, an application has to be considered in whole or in part as one for special leave. In such cases, faculty boards are required, when making recommendations to the Appointments Committee of the General Board, to specify whether, and if so how, the grant of such leave would be in the academic interests of the faculty. Where there is no statement of academic interest, or this statement is not persuasive, special leave will not be granted.

Applications for special leave cover many kinds of situation. One would be an unrepeatable opportunity to pursue academic interests where the applicant is ineligible for sabbatical leave. In such a case it would be necessary for the faculty board to demonstrate the academic advantage (to the University rather than to the individual) of the individual being able to accept the opportunity, and for an explanation to be given of why such an opportunity could not be taken up at a later period when the applicant would be entitled to sabbatical leave. Another situation where special leave might be applied for would be where there was a need for fieldwork for a period exceeding one year, which could therefore not be accommodated within the sabbatical provisions. In such a case it would be expected, as usual, that as much of the leave as possible would be taken as sabbatical or sabbatical in advance of entitlement, and the faculty board would again need to demonstrate the academic advantage to the University of the application's being granted.

Very occasionally applications are made for leave to enable someone to accept an appointment in another academic institution (other than a routine visiting appointment held during sabbatical leave). In such instances, the faculty board would need to make an extremely convincing case as to desirability of the individual being offered reversionary rights to his or her university post for any application to be successful. Factors taken into account would include all relevant circumstances relating to the individual's role within the faculty and the consequences for the faculty, in terms of the refilling of the post, if leave were not to be granted and the individual were therefore to resign. On this latter point, it should be noted, of course, that if leave is granted and the individual subsequently resigns during the period of leave or at the end of it, the uncertainty about the long-term filling of the post will have been exacerbated. The longer the appointment in the other institution the less likely it is that leave will be granted; leave will not be granted save in the most exceptional circumstances to enable someone to decide whether to accept a permanent appointment elsewhere.

In each of the situations outlined above, applications are considered on their academic merits, but it is emphasised that the nature of special leave is that it is granted exceptionally rather than automatically. Advice on the likelihood of success of any application can be obtained from the Secretary of Faculties or the secretary of the Appointments Committee of the General Board.

The General Board takes the view that academic staff are specifically appointed to undertake both teaching and research, and (although the Board would support arrangements whereby teaching in excess of a contracted or reasonable stint was relieved) an extremely good case needs to be made in support of an application for special leave which would have the result of the individual's teaching being conducted mainly or wholly by someone else. This is a especially true given that the sabbatical leave scheme has been preserved intact throughout retrenchment, so providing the opportunity for individuals to concentrate on research in one term out of every seven. Willingness to forgo university stipend or the ease with which funding for a replacement appointment may be attracted will not be sufficient to guarantee in any way the success of an application for special leave.

It is emphasised that any application for leave, including any application for funding which might result in the need for leave from university duties to be granted, must be made to the General Board through the faculty board (and head of department, in departmentally organised faculties). In every case the academic advantage to the institution will be the general criterion by which applications will be considered: in every case the General Board requires details of any necessary substitute arrangements, including those relating to examining and graduate supervision.

It is recognised that some offers are made to individuals at short notice. Given the fact that all members of the academic staff have clear obligations to the University under the terms of their contracts, however, no such offer should be accepted without the explicit approval of the General Board under the procedures set out above: for this reason any prospect of such an offer, however indefinite, must be discussed (in strict confidence) with Dr Whiteley, secretary to the Appointments Committee of the General Board, at the very earliest opportunity. Delay in bringing to the attention of the University the possibility that an offer may be made will mean that if applications and substitute arrangements then have to be considered at short notice, this might compromise the chance of leave being granted.


Stipendiary arrangements

Leave granted under the above arrangements is normally without university stipend, but the precise implications for payment can vary. In some cases the leave is clearly unpaid, such as when appointments in the public service are held. In other cases, such as the holding of prestigious research awards, the University is expected to continue paying the individual, while the grant- giving body provides support for the University to employ a replacement: or the grant-giving body supplies a sum of money which is equivalent to that paid by the University under normal circumstances to the individual. Although this is technically special leave without university stipend, the University will continue to pay the stipend to the individual through the payroll mechanism, being reimbursed by the award-giving body. Special leave under any other arrangement will mean the University will cease to make payments of stipend and national insurance and superannuation contributions. In general, except where the rules of grant-giving bodies in respect of major competitive awards specify otherwise, it is expected that the normal result of the granting of an application for special leave will be the release to the University of the full salary and on-costs of the substantive university appointment, which may be available, with the agreement of the General Board, to the faculty board for the making of any necessary replacement appointment. This is particularly important given the University's practice of advertising temporary university lecturerships, for example, without cash-limited salary scales.

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INTER-FACULTY COMMITTEE FOR CHINESE STUDIES

Termly bulletin for Chinese Studies

The Inter-faculty Committee for Chinese Studies is producing a termly bulletin for Chinese Studies. Copies of the Trinity Term issue are available from the Secretary, the Inter-faculty Committee for Chinese Studies, the Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE (telephone: (2)78225 and (2)78222). It can also be accessed at the Web site: http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/chinese- studies/info/bulletin.htm.

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EDUCATIONAL RECORDING AGENCY

Survey of off-air recording

This notice is to inform members of the University about a survey of educational recordings in which the University is obliged to participate this year, and to request co-operation in collecting the necessary information.

The University (including its constituent colleges) is covered by an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence to record radio and television broadcasts and cable programmes for educational use, without infringing copyright. The University pays about £24,000 per annum for this licence.

It is a condition of the licence that institutions may be required to maintain for a specified period of time details of radio and television recordings made under the licence and to return this information to the ERA. Oxford University has been selected to take part in ERA's survey during the period 1 September 1998 to 31 August 1999 and the University is therefore asking all staff for assistance in collating the information required.

In each department and college, and some faculty offices, an individual has been nominated as the local co-ordinator for the survey. All staff are asked to give details to the most appropriate co-ordinator of all recordings of radio and television programmes which they make for educational purposes whether at home, in the University, or elsewhere. The information required is the title, date, and channel of the programme, and the location where the recording was made. As statistics have to be returned by the University at the end of every month, it is important that a co- ordinator is informed as soon as possible after a recording is made.

The identity of the local co-ordinator should be publicised in each department, college, and (where appropriate) faculty office. If it is not clear, the departmental administrator, senior tutor, or faculty office administrator should be able to identify the co- ordinator. In cases of difficulty, details of recordings can be passed instead to the University's central co-ordinator, Miss Catherine Long, at the ETRC (telephone: (2)70529, e-mail: catherine.long@etrc.ox.ac.uk). It is, of course, necessary to pass information about recordings only to one co-ordinator; there is no need, for example, to inform both a college co-ordinator and a faculty co-ordinator but simply the one which is most convenient.

Please note that ERA are likely to visit the University at some stage during the survey period and to monitor the information returned against recordings held by the University. It is therefore important that the required information is collected carefully and that recordings are available for inspection if necessary. It is also important to note the requirement (which is general and not just for the period of the survey) that each recording should be labelled with the date and time, and with the statement that `This recording is to be used only for educational purposes'.

It is hoped that the survey will not cause too much inconvenience, and the full co-operation of members of the University would be appreciated.

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SPEAKING BY JUNIOR MEMBERS IN CONGREGATION

Mr Vice-Chancellor has, with the agreement of Council, approved the following arrangements for junior members to speak in Congregation under the terms of Ch. I, Sect x (Statutes, 1997, p. 208), which reads as follows:
Any junior member as defined in Tit. XIV, Sect. iv, § 1, cl. 2, may speak at a meeting of Congregation, if called upon to do so by the Chairman at the Chairman's discretion, provided that the Chairman may at any time terminate a debate on the floor of the House and proceed to the final speeches and the taking of a vote.
The Chairman of Congregation will normally expect to call upon nominated representatives of the Oxford University Student Union if they wish to speak in debate, and will normally expect to call upon junior members to speak only from among those who have given advance notice of their wish to be called. Should the Chairman consider that the number of junior members who have given such notice is excessive, he or she will have to be selective in calling upon them. The Chairman will try to ensure a balanced debate in relation to the apparent spread and strength of views held by junior members. If informed selection is to be possible it is desirable that when giving notice of the wish to be called a junior member should indicate (a) whether he or she intends to support or oppose the motion before the House, (b) whether he or she would speak on behalf of any club, committee, group, or association, (c) whether he or she is supported by other junior members (up to twelve of whom might sign the notice).

If the number giving notice is small they will all be admitted to the floor of the House although this does not ensure their being called. In other cases some selection may be necessary at the stages of both admission and calling of speakers. If there is to be time to tell applicants whether they will be admitted notice will have to be received in good time. Junior members should therefore send in such notice, in writing, to the Registrar to be received at the University Offices not later than 10 a.m. on the Monday preceding the debate in question. The name of any representative nominated by OUSU should also be communicated to the Registrar, in writing, through the President by that time. A notice will then be posted in the University Offices and on the gate of the Clarendon Building not later than 10 a.m. on the morning of the debate, indicating whether all applicants will be admitted to the floor of the House or, if selection has had to take place, the names of those selected for admission to the floor.

Junior members not admitted to the floor of the House will normally be permitted to listen to the debate from the gallery. Junior members on the floor of the House will be asked to remain in their places while a vote is being taken.

Under Tit. XIV, Sect. iv, § 1, cl. 2, junior members are defined as `those persons who, having been admitted to matriculation, are residing to fulfil the requirements of any statute, decree, or regulation of the University or reading for any degree, diploma, or certificate of the University and who have not proceeded to membership of Convocation'. (Membership of Convocation is normally obtained by taking the MA degree.)

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CONCERTS

Faculty of Music

THE ALLEGRI STRING QUARTET, with students from the Faculty of Music, will perform the Debussy Quartet and the Dvorák Sextet at 1 p.m. on Friday, 21 May, in the Holywell Music Room. Tickets, costing £5 (concessions £2.50), are available from the Oxford Playhouse (telephone: Oxford 798600), or at the door on the day.

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COMMITTEE FOR THE MUSEUMS AND SCIENTIFIC COLLECTIONS (CMSC)

The CMSC considers matters of mutual interest to the museums and scientific collections, and reports to the General Board of the Faculties. The CMSC's newsletter, which is aimed at staff in the museums and collections, is now available on the Web at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/oxonly/cmsc.

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