Notices

Contents of this section:

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

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PROGRESS ON ISSUES ARISING FROM, AND AFTER, THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

Note: the Report of the Joint Working Party on Governance, set up following the report of the Commission of Inquiry, has been published as Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4487 (21 October 1998).

The Report of the Commission of Inquiry raised important questions about the future of the collegiate University, and coincided with serious developments on college fees. This note sets out the current position on the major matters currently under consideration within the University.

The most significant of the Commission's proposals related to the governance of the University, including whether there should be a single body to replace Council and the General Board (the University's current senior executive and policy-making bodies under Congregation) and whether local academic administration should be placed under large `super-faculty-boards' which would have a considerable degree of authority, especially over resources, delegated from the centre. The report of the working party set up to take these issues further has been considered by Council and the General Board and is being widely circulated in a final consultative exercise, which will include a discussion at the meeting of Congregation on Tuesday, 1 December. In the light of the responses received, definitive proposals on the future arrangements for the governance of the University will be put to Congregation in Hilary Term 1999.

A further main thrust of the Commission's proposals concerned academic appointments. They principally attempted to address certain problems relating to joint University/college appointments at the lecturer level, and are being taken forward by another working party (with representatives of the General Board and of the colleges). The working party's intention now is to invite tutors in subject areas in the collegiate University (through faculty boards or their representatives on the one hand, and senior tutors on the other) to review, on a subject-by-subject basis, the current arrangements for the organisation of teaching in the collegiate University. The aim is to address the basic question how best to provide the necessary teaching in each discipline: the reviews are to cover undergraduate and graduate studies, to pay equal attention to the needs of the students and of the academic staff, and to assume full collaboration between the university and the college sides, and should not be limited by the structure represented by existing categories of academic post. When this process is complete and the working party has an overview of the similarities and differences of the agreed approaches to the delivery of teaching across representative areas, attention will turn to the question of appropriate contractual formulations to underpin those approaches. The working party believes that improving arrangements for teaching will reduce burdens on academic staff and allow them to balance the requirements of undergraduate and graduate teaching and research, improving their quality of life and easing the problems of recruitment and retention of staff which in certain areas are acute.

Arrangements for academic duties are one area of pressing concern: another is salaries. Although these are obviously linked, an initial review of academic salaries has been undertaken separately from the work of the working party on joint appointments (not least since the working party's task will be very complex and time-consuming). The Committee on Academic Salaries has so far made specific proposals about the salary structure for readers and for departmental lecturers, and a specific proposal about the age--wage relationship for lecturers which will be put to Congregation shortly. The committee will discuss later this term a broad range of very complex issues relating to salaries: these discussions will be co-ordinated with the developing approach, and the likely outcome, of the consideration by the joint working party on academic appointments of the question of academic duties and contracts.

The Committee on Academic Salaries and the joint working party on academic appointments are also considering the position of university lecturers without tutorial fellowship (ULNTFs). Specific proposals were made by the Commission of Inquiry to raise the university salaries of this category of staff to the joint maximum plus the average housing allowance, the costs to be covered by the discontinuation of funds which are currently used mainly to relieve the burdens on tutorial fellows. Council and the General Board have noted that the Commission's proposals raise serious questions about, for example, comparabilities with readers and professors, and repercussions for the joint appointments system (if there were to be no financial disincentive for most tutorial fellows to resign their college posts). The main point at issue, however, is one of equity, and Council and the General Board have agreed to implement a proposal made by the original working party on this issue (which included a number of ULNTFs), but not pursued by the Commission of Inquiry: namely to hold a job evaluation exercise to try to determine the extent to which the range of duties of ULNTFs is similar in scope and complexity to those of university lecturers with tutorial fellowships.

A further important element of the Commission's report related to teaching and learning. The new bodies which may emerge after the decisions on governance will have a key role in taking these issues forward (and will need to take account of national developments in the area of quality assurance).

The Report of the Commission of Inquiry made a number of recommendations concerning college finances (including a new financial model relating to joint appointments). These have to a considerable extent been overtaken by subsequent developments on college fees. Now that details of the settlement on this issue are becoming clearer a joint working party consisting of representatives of the University and the colleges is discussing the implications, including the basis on which funds which will now come to the central University will be transferred to spending sectors within the collegiate University in the context of the significant loss of overall income which is involved.

A further working party is considering ways of improving access to the University from suitably qualified candidates from social groups hitherto under-represented among Oxford students.

The Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar are overseeing progress on all of these issues and co-ordination of the various elements. They will also ensure that other matters of a more detailed nature in the Commission's report (for example, the position of contract research staff in so far as it is not covered by the governance working party and provision of enhanced social facilities for those staff groups currently provided for through the University Club) are pursued as appropriate alongside other key policy developments.

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APPOINTMENT OF PRO-VICE-CHANCELLOR WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR RELATIONS WITH EXTERNAL FUNDERS OF RESEARCH IN THE EXPERIMENTAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

PROFESSOR S.D. IVERSEN, MA, D.PHIL., D.SC., Fellow of Magdalen College and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, has been appointed to be the Vice-Chancellor's representative in relations with external funders of research in all areas, including social sciences, but excluding humanities.

This appointment is designed to maintain and improve the University's strategic relationships with the main external funders of university research (such as research councils, charities, and industry). Professor Iversen will represent the University's interests to these external funders, and will inform the University of their policy objectives and funding strategies, especially in regard to changes in these policies and strategies.

The regular contacts which individuals and departments have at present with funding bodies will continue, as will work currently done in relation to individual research projects. Members of the University and departments which have dealings with external funders are asked to liaise with Professor Iversen, to ensure that the University maintains a coherent and consistent approach.

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COMPOSITION OF ELECTORAL BOARD

The composition of the electoral board to the post below, proceedings to fill which are currently in progress, is as follows:

                                             Appointed by

Andreas Idreos Professorship of
Science and Religion
Law

The Provost, Oriel College            Mr Vice-Chancellor [1]
The Principal, Harris Manchester
    College                           ex officio
Professor M.L.G. Redhead              Council
Dr J.M. Soskice                       General Board
Professor J.H. Brooke                 General Board
Professor R.G. Swinburne              Theology Board
The Revd Professor
  J.S.K. Ward                         Theology Board
The Revd Professor J. Webster         Theology Board
Dr B. Mander                          Harris Manchester College
[1] Appointed by Mr Vice-Chancellor under the provisions of Tit. IX, Sect. III, cl. 2 (Statutes, 1997, p. 67).

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VIOLETTE AND SAMUEL GLASSTONE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS IN SCIENCE 1998

The Fellowship for Women has been awarded to DR SARAH WILSEY. Dr Wilsey has taken up her Fellowship in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory.

The Fellowship for Men has been awarded to DR AHMET ORAL. Dr Oral has taken up his Fellowship in the Department of Materials.

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PIRIE–REID SCHOLARSHIPS 1998

Scholarships have been awarded to PHILIP J. MATTHEWS, Keble College, JOHN G. MCLEAN, Keble College, and MICHAEL K. RIORDAN, Lincoln College.

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CHRISTOPHER WELCH SCHOLARSHIPS 1998

Scholarships have been awarded to JOHN N. BOHANNON, Balliol College, and ROBERT GRANT-DOWNTON, St John's College.

Mr Bohannon and Mr Grant-Downton will hold their Scholarships in the Department of Plant Sciences.

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FIELD STUDIES BOOK PRIZE 1998

The Prize, for the candidate who shows the greatest aptitude for zoological field studies in the Final Honour School of Natural Science (Biological Sciences), has been awarded to CHRISTOPHER VARCO, Christ Church.

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JUBILEE PRIZE FOR FORESTRY

M.Sc. in Forestry and its Relation to Land Use 1997–8

The Prize has been awarded to MS JOANNA L. HAWORTH, Green College.

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SARA NORTON PRIZE 1998

The Prize has been awarded to MS SARAH SONG, Worcester College.

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JOHN STALLWORTHY PRIZE IN OBSTETRICS 1997–8

The Prize has been awarded to MISS SALLY M.A. HAMOUR, Green College.

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PETER TIZARD PRIZE IN PAEDIATRICS 1998

The Prize has been awarded jointly to MISS SONIA GANDHI, New College, and MISS JO L. MCPARTLAND, Christ Church.

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SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL

A presentation will be given at 7 p.m. on Monday, 26 October, in the Town Hall, St Aldate's, by the architects (Mr Jeremy Dixon and Mr Edward Jones) of the proposed designs for the Said Business School, to be constructed, subject to planning permission, on the site in West Oxford adjacent to Oxford railway station. Members of the University who wish to inspect the designs are welcome to attend the meeting, at which an opportunity will be given to those present to raise questions with the architects on the designs.

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McDONNELL-PEW CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

A new award from the J.S. McDonnell Foundation, based in the United States of America, will continue to fund the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University from May 1998 for a further five years, ending April 2003. The centre links work on many aspects of brain research relevant to human cognition in several departments at Oxford and other institutions.

The McDonnell-Pew Centre encourages work in all areas of cognitive neuroscience across all relevant disciplines and embraces research on experimental, theoretical, and clinical studies of perceptual analysis, memory, language, and motor control, including philosophical approaches to cognition. Current and fuller information on the centre is available on the Web at http://www.physiol.ox.ac.ukmcdp.

The renewed centre offers several forms of support:

---One-year graduate studentships;

---Visiting fellowships, to contribute to the costs of short-term visits from distinguished researchers from overseas;

---Seminar programme;

---Workshops, for the planning of collaborative research;

---Annual Autumn School in Cognitive Neuroscience, mainly for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists;

---Annual Summer School in Connectionist Modelling;

---Network grants, to cover the costs of exchange visits for collaboration with laboratories elsewhere in the world, especially in Europe and North America;

---Research support fund, providing small grants for pilot projects and experience in new techniques;

---Pilot project grants for functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, to enable investigators to start projects at the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB);

---Travel fund, especially for costs of visits to other laboratories or to training courses to learn new techniques.

Support is normally restricted to members of the McDonnell--Pew centre but, in exceptional circumstances, applications from others will be considered.

Anyone wishing to join the mailing list of the centre should contact Harriet Fishman, Administrative Secretary, McDonnell--Pew Secretariat, University Laboratory of Physiology, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT (telephone: Oxford (2)72497, e-mail: cogneuro@physiol.ox.ac.uk).

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FACULTY OF MUSIC

Concert

THE ALLEGRI STRING QUARTET will perform the following works at 8 p.m. on Friday, 30 October, in the Holywell Music Room: Beethoven's Quartet in B flat, op. 18, no. 6; Stravinsky's Three Pieces for Quartet (1914); and Schubert's Quartet in D minor, D.810 (`Death and the Maiden'). Tickets, costing £8 (£6/£4 concessions), are available from the Playhouse, Beaumont Street, or at the door.

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UNIVERSITY CLUB

Wine-tastings

Two wine-tastings will take place this term in the University Club (6 South Parks Road), at 5.45 p.m. on the following Wednesdays. All members and their guests are welcome, the fee being £2 per person.

28 Oct.: Clarets from the 1988 and 1990 vintages.

2 Dec.: Wines for the festive season.

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