Contents of this section:

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

Return to Contents Page of this issue


The following Diploma of the Degree of Doctor of Civil Law was read by the Public Orator when the degree was conferred in a Congregation held on Thursday, 22 October 1998.

His Excellency VÁCLAV HAVEL, President of the Czech Republic





CVM diu ex more nobis fuerit civitatum externarum Praesides praecipuo aliquo honore quantum possumus insignire, eosque praesertim qui propter morum praestantiam humanitatisque studium inclaruerint:

CVMque Vir Excellentissimus VÁCLAV HAVEL, Rei Publicae Bohemicae Praeses, civitati praesideat nobiscum firmissimis societatis amicitiaeque vinculis coniunctae:

CVMque patriae suae temporibus iniquissimis, quibus ipse temporis cursus haerere atque impediri videbatur, signifer exstiterit eorum qui libertati civitatique populari desperare nolebant:

CVMque idcirco identidem magnis terroribus sit vexatus, in iudicium vocatus, pravis legibus circumventus, in carcerem coniectus:

CVMque tyrannide ista conlabente aliquando et corruente unus fuerit quem patriae suae conservatorem destinabant cives universi:

CVMque maximis impendentibus periculis rem tam sollerter gesserit ut citra sanguinis effusionem nova rei publicae forma constitueretur, mox civitas ipsa in duas partes divideretur:

CVMque Praeses omnium consensu primus creatus fidem confirmarit, leges saluberrimas tulerit, libertatem atque iustitiam reduxerit, inimicitias ultionisque voluptatem bono publico condonarit:

CVMque se Europae artius coniungendae conglutinandaeque fautorem praestiterit acerrimum:

CVMque in orationibus tam foris quam domi habitis gentibus dominatu impotenti laborantibus libertatis spem offerat, totius orbis terrarum paci saluti valetudini consulat:

CVMque fabularum scriptor sit ingeniosissimus, quae ita vitae humanae speculum praebent ut tyrannidis rationes exponant, tyrannorum administros satellites tortores irrideant:

NOS ERGO, tanti viri humanitatem fortitudinem prudentiam admirati, in frequenti Congregationis Domo praedictum Praesidem DOCTOREM in Iure Civili renuntiamus eumque omnibus iuribus et privilegiis adficimus quae ad hunc gradum spectant.







WHEREAS it has long been our custom to confer some special honour on the Heads of foreign States, and in particular on those who are distinguished for their character and their culture:

AND WHEREAS His Excellency VÁCLAV HAVEL, President of the Czech Republic, is the Head of a State linked with ours by the firmest ties of alliance and good will:

AND WHEREAS in a dark period of the history of his country, when time itself seemed to have come to a standstill, he became the standard bearer of those who kept alive the hope of democracy and independence:

AND WHEREAS he was on that account repeatedly threatened, brought to trial, sentenced under those infamous laws, and imprisoned:

AND WHEREAS when that tyranny finally began to collapse he was the one man to whom all his fellow citizens turned as the saviour of their country:

AND WHEREAS in the midst of the gravest perils his handling of affairs was so skilful that there was no violence as a new constitution came into existence, and then as the nation divided into two:

AND WHEREAS when he was by general consent elected as the first President he restored public confidence, passed excellent laws, established freedom and justice, and abandoned enmities and the pleasure of revenge for the good of the nation as a whole:

AND WHEREAS he has proved himself to be a doughty champion of the unity of Europe:

AND WHEREAS by speeches delivered both at home and abroad he has brought hope to peoples suffering under tyranny and has shown concern for the environment and health of the world:

AND WHEREAS he is a gifted playwright, whose work reflects human life and holds up to satirical laughter the ways of tyrants and the doings of their agents:

NOW THEREFORE WE, in admiration of the humanity, courage, and wisdom of this great man, do here in this full House of Congregation proclaim the aforesaid President a DOCTOR in our Faculty of Civil Law, and by the power and force of this Diploma do hereby invest him with all privileges and rights of this Degree.

President Havel's address

HIS EXCELLENCY made the following reply:

Chancellor, Ladies and Gentlemen, the fact that I have the honour to speak in such a famous centre of European education as Oxford, and at such a renowned university, virtually impels me to dwell here upon the theme of `the intellectual and politics'—a subject that I have often had occasion to think about and to discuss. So, to start with: who, in fact, is an intellectual?

Let me suggest one possible definition. An intellectual is a person who—thanks to the range of his interests and his education—perceives things in a broader context than is usual. It is someone who attempts to get below the surface, to grasp the deeper meanings, relations, causes, and effects, to recognise individual items as part of larger entities. And more than that: in my tentative definition, an intellectual, conscious of the broader and deeper connections, also derives from this awareness a broader or deeper sense of responsibility for the world.

Does an intellectual who meets this definition belong in politics? I would not go so far as to say that he belongs there. Putting it that way would create the impression that I consider it the duty of every intellectual to engage in politics. Claiming or demanding something like that would, of course, be a nonsense. Politics also involves a number of other special requirements, relevant to this vocation only. Some people meet these requirements and others don't, regardless of whether or not, or to what extent, they are intellectuals. Furthermore, nobody can be forced to enter into politics. Those who engage in it are, and will always be, people who want to do so, and this is as it should be.

I would say something else. An intellectual of the kind I have just defined should, as a matter of principle, be welcome in politics. Politics should not disdain him and he should not disdain politics. Never before has politics had a greater need for people who recognise, understand, and, in one way or another, experience the universal interconnections. For the first time in the history of the human race, all people of this planet live in one global, interconnected civilisation that is threatened by many serious, equally interconnected dangers. When if not in such a situation does politics call for people who are aware of their responsibility for the world as a whole? Nowadays, almost every political decision, even those that appear to be of a limited, partial or short-term nature, and to affect only a few people, can indirectly influence the fate of all humanity!

It is my profound conviction that the world requires today more than ever truly enlightened and thoughtful politicians who are bold and broad-minded enough to consider also those things which lie beyond the scope of their immediate influence in both space and time. We need politicians who would be truly willing and able to rise above the horizon of their own power interests or of the particular interests of their parties or states and to act in accordance with the fundamental interests of today's humanity—that is, to behave the way everyone should behave, even though most of the others may fail to do so.

I am convinced that our globally connected and globally threatened world badly needs this type of politician—all the more so since the same world, through the various consequences of the development of its civilisation, is almost systematically destroying them. Probably never before has a place in politics been so dependent on the given moment, on the fleeting moods of the population or the media. Never before have politicians been so impelled into the pursuit of short-lived, and therefore often short-sighted concerns and interests! It often seems to me that the life of many politicians has to proceed from the evening news on television that presents their political existence to the public to the morning opinion poll that, in turn, affects their image on television the next evening. I am not sure whether the present era of mass media encourages the emergence and the growth of politicians of the stature, for instance, of a Winston Churchill; I rather doubt it, though there can always be exceptions.

To sum up: the less the present time favours politicians who practise long-term and truly global thinking, and the more such politicians are needed now, the more should intellectuals—at least those meeting my definition—be welcomed in politics, and supported there. Such support could come, among others, from those who—for whatever reason—never enter politics themselves, but who agree with the former, or at least share the ethos underlying their actions.

I hear an objection to this: a politician must be elected, and people vote for the person who thinks the way they do. Consequently, if someone wants to make progress in politics, he must pay attention to the general condition of the human mind; he must respect the so-called ordinary voter's point of view, share that perspective, and develop it. So, a politician must, whether he likes it or not, be mainly a mirror, or an embodiment, of the prevailing sentiment or of particular short-term interests. He cannot be a herald of unpopular truths or a propagator of something which, while it may be in the interests of the future of humanity, most of his electorate do not see as in their interest at the present moment, or that they may even regard as a threat to their current pursuits.

I do not think it would be right to accept this as an unquestioned dogma. I even believe that doing so would, in a way, amount to renouncing the original definition—the good definition of politics. I am deeply convinced that the purpose of politics does not consist simply in fulfilling the short-term wishes of the people. A politician should also seek to win people over to his own ideas, even when they are unpopular. He should explain those ideas and defend them before the public. Indeed, I think that politics entails, among other things, convincing the voters that there are things which the politician recognises or comprehends better than they do, and that it is for this reason that they should vote for him. People can thus delegate to a politician certain issues which they—for a variety of reasons—do not sense themselves, or do not want to worry about, but which someone has to take upon himself on their behalf. Of course, all seducers of the masses, potential tyrants, or blind political fanatics have used precisely this argument to make their case; the communists did the same when they declared themselves the most enlightened sector of the population and, by virtue of this alleged enlightenment, arrogated to themselves the right to rule arbitrarily over everyone else.

I would therefore venture to offer for your consideration the following thesis: the true art of politics is the art to win people's support for a good cause even when the pursuit of that cause may interfere with their particular interests at the moment. This, however, should happen without impeding any of the many ways in which we can continually check that the objective is truly in a good cause, and ensure that trusting people are not led to serve a nonsense, and suffer disaster as a consequence, in an illusory search for future universal prosperity.

It must be said that there are intellectuals who possess a very special ability for committing precisely this kind of evil. They tend to elevate their own intellect arrogantly above everyone else's, and themselves above all human beings. They tell their fellow citizens that if they do not want to understand the brilliance of the intellectual project offered to them, it is solely because they are of dull mind, and have not yet risen to the heights inhabited by the proponent of the project. After all that we have gone through in the twentieth century, I think it is not very difficult to recognise how dangerous is this intellectual, or rather quasi-intellectual attitude in the historical context. Let us remember how many intellectuals helped to create the various modern dictatorships! Indeed, almost none managed without their assistance or direct leadership.

Let me put it another way. A good politician of the future should be able to explain without seeking to seduce; he should humbly look for the truth of this world without claiming to be its professional owner; he should alert people to the good qualities in themselves, including a sense of the values and interests which transcend the personal, without giving himself an air of superiority and imposing anything on his fellow humans; he should not yield to the dictate of public moods or of the mass media, while never hindering a constant scrutiny of his actions.

In the realm of such future politics, intellectuals should, to my mind, make their presence felt in one of two possible ways: they could—without finding it shameful or demeaning—accept a political office and use that position to do what they deem right, not just to hold on to power. Or they could be the ones who constantly hold up a mirror to those in authority, to make sure that the latter truly serve a good thing and that they do not begin to use fine words as a cloak for evil deeds, as happened to so many intellectuals in politics in the past centuries.

Dear friends, Oxford is the home and the workplace of a brilliant intellectual with whom I have been debating the subject of `the intellectual and politics' for years. I am sure you will understand that this, among other things, has led me to raise this question once again today.

I thank you for the great honour you have accorded me today, as well as for the attention you have given to these remarks despite the fact that my pronunciation is a far cry from Oxford standards.

Return to List of Contents of this section


The following speech was delivered by THE PUBLIC ORATOR in a Congregation held on Saturday, 24 October 1998, in presenting for the honorary degree of MA


Decem paene lustra sunt ex quo hic quem produco inlustri illi opificum ingeniosorum catervae accessit sine quorum opera viri physici nostri ne unum quidem pedem progredi possent, adeo subtilis inusitatae formae machinas excogitant fabricantur procurant. nam vehementer errat si quis hodie acutissimum quemque physicum sibi fingit sub malo sedentem, nova inventa acumine tantum atque ingeni viribus proferentem. sed hic cum non contigisset ut studiis academicis adulescens vacaret, se ipsum instituere atque erudire tam felici eventu coepit ut mox propriam sibi peritiam, propriam scientiam vindicarit: princeps enim eorum factus qui lucis ope freti imagines fingebant, omnium paene primus intellexit quantum hoc artis genus proficere posset, quanta incrementa, quot novas provincias posset acquirere. quid si hunc dicam in eo imaginum photographicarum genere esse versatum quod imitatione nondum contentum ipsarum rerum corpora, et quidem inauditarum, producit in luminis oras? insanire scilicet viderer, nisi id hodie tritum esset quod hic cum paucis aliis olim somniavit. machinas computatrices tamquam digitos suos novit, digitalibus autem quae dicuntur ita abutitur ut imagines producat quae si quid in rebus ipsis obscuritate delitiscebat id hac luce clarius reddunt. haud mirum igitur si homines physici Oxonienses hunc honore quam maximo volunt insignire, qui cum erga professores ac scientiae peritiores tum erga novissimum quemque tironem semper se comem, adfabilem, officiosum praestiterit; sed omnium Musarum homo non potest angustis unius disciplinae finibus contineri, qui cum annalium scriptoribus picturarumque studiosis subvenerit, tum medicis hominibusque aegrotantibus imagines utilissimas auxiliumque praebuerit optatissimum. quem hodie togae nostrae honore adfectum animo gratissimo salutamus.

Praesento virum de Academia optime meritum, ingenio inlustrem, fide eximium, Cyrillum Gulielmum Band, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Magistri in Artibus.


It is almost fifty years since Mr Band joined that invaluable group of people, the technicians who make possible the work of our department of physics. It would be a serious mistake if anyone were to imagine that nowadays most physicists sit beneath an apple tree and work out intellectual advances by brain power alone. He did not have an academic education in science, but he set to work to educate himself, and did so with such success that he soon possessed his own area of expertise and became Head of the Physics Photographic Unit. He was among the very first to realise the potential power of photography and the wide range over which it could be applied. It almost sounds like fantasy when one says that he creates photographic images which do not remain simply copies but themselves form part of newly created and unprecedented physical objects, but thanks to the pioneering work of Mr Band and others this is now a familiar procedure. Computers have no secrets from him, and he exploits digital photography to produce images which present the original objects in a novel light and so reveal unexpected properties. Our physicists are naturally eager to honour a man who has been consistently obliging, helpful, and good humoured to them all, whether Professors or Freshers. But he is too versatile to be limited to a single faculty. He has been of the greatest assistance to many researchers in the humanities, both archaeologists and scholars in fine art; and he is responsible for applications of photography which have been important to medical science and the treatment of the sick. We are glad to honour him today in token of our gratitude.

I present an outstanding servant of the University, ingenious, versatile, and devoted, Cyril William Band, for admission to the honorary degree of Master of Arts.

Return to List of Contents of this section


The Prize has been awarded to MICHAEL B. TAIT, St Benet's Hall.

Return to List of Contents of this section


Consultation process on proposals for the development of integrated library services within the University: further report from the Libraries Committee

The following report is made further to the notice which appeared in the Gazette of 30 July.

Following from the recommendations of the Thomas [1] and Kenny [2] Reports in 1995, and with the approval of Council and Congregation, [3] the Libraries Committee of Council and the General Board and the Director of University Library Services and Bodley's Librarian have, since January 1997, been working towards a greater degree of integration of library services within the University in the context of a three-year interim framework.

This activity has been independent of, but is now being informed by, relevant aspects of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry (the North Report) and the resultant proposals of the joint working party on governance now submitted for wider consultation within the University.

1. The consultative process

With a certain amount of temporary restructuring having taken place within the provisional remit of the Libraries Committee (including the creation of a Library Services Directorate and the implementation of a new subcommittee structure), the committee approved the Director's proposals for a wider and more detailed consultation process with the relevant library authorities and librarians within the University. This proceeded over the Long Vacation with the involvement of the following representative groups:

—The Librarians of the Libraries Committee libraries

—The Library Committees of the non-Bodleian Libraries Committee libraries

—Library staff across the University (including appropriate departmental and college librarians) with overtly subject-based responsibilities

—All interested parties, who have been invited to comment.

In addition, the following groups have been consulted by the Director:

—The Advisory Sub-committee of Librarians (AdLib)

—The Bodleian Senior Management Group (BSMG)

—The academic-related staff groups of the Bodleian (PSALM and ALM), including the Librarians of the Bodleian's dependent libraries.

Library users and external user representatives are already in membership of the Libraries Committee; but these constituencies will be more widely consulted as the formal proposals for further restructuring of the libraries sector emerge. Faculty Boards are being formally consulted during the Michaelmas Term, with the University authorities (Council and the General Board) and Congregation being consulted at subsequent stages. The Libraries Committee itself, the Sub-committee for the Bodleian Library, and the University Library Services Directorate will also continue to be involved at every stage in the development of proposals for moving towards a more integrated library service.

2. The timetable

Whilst the timetable for consultation on the proposals for the development of integrated library services within the University is laid out in the Gazette notice of 30 July, it is envisaged that the proposals themselves, following iterative discussions with all the relevant constituencies during the remainder of 1998, will be formally presented for discussion by the University during the course of 1999, with a view to implementation, if approved, beginning in the year 2000.

3. Progress report on consultations

With the completion of the sequence of consultation meetings held over the Long Vacation, the Libraries Committee is pleased to be able to report a large measure of consensus on the part of those involved in the discussions to date in relation to the Director's proposals for the formal integration of the libraries sector.
Discussions with librarians of Libraries Committee libraries
Areas of agreement have included:

(i) That the consultation timetable is appropriate

(ii) That all proposals designed to move the library system towards integration ought to satisfy the criterion that they should result, either directly or indirectly, in service benefits to library users

(iii) That it makes sense to recommend that all staff in Libraries Committee libraries should become part of an integrated staff structure, with line-management responsibility to the Director

(iv) That it would be appropriate, in the context of any proposals on revised arrangements for library governance, to recommend that new library committees should be formed for the Libraries Committee libraries, which would report both to the Libraries Committee and to the relevant Faculty Boards, and that these committees should include in their remit a cross-sectoral responsibility to advise the Libraries Committee and the Director on subject-related library issues relevant to the libraries concerned

(v) That the discussion of subject-related issues represents a valuable way forward in the development of an integrated system.

Discussions with representatives of the local management committees of the non-Bodleian Libraries Committee libraries
Meetings have been held with representatives of all of the library management committees concerned in this exercise. In each of them, there was agreement on the following principal points:

(i) That it would be appropriate to propose that the staff of each Libraries Committee library should be made line-managerially responsible to the Director, and that the library should be administered as part of an integrated University Library Service

(ii) That the existing committee for each library should be remodelled (with a Chairman nominated by the relevant Faculty Board and appointed by the Libraries Committee) as a joint committee of the Faculty Board and the Libraries Committee.

Note: In the case of Social Studies/Economics, the above arrangements are already partially in place, and are in the process of being implemented in consultation with the Faculty Board.

Discussions between subject-based library staff
Each of the four subject-groupings of library staff has met at least once, and some intend to meet again shortly to continue their discussions. In summary, the conclusions reached so far suggest that there is a large measure of support among library staff for at least an element of subject emphasis in an integrated library system, that there would be a very large agenda for more formally co-ordinated subject groups to work through, with clear benefits for readers, and that, although there would need to be differences of emphasis in the different broad subject areas, perhaps with smaller sub-groups addressing the specific needs of certain users, there was value in devising a common overall structure to enable the emerging agenda to be addressed.

[The Subject Groups were convened as follows:

Science: Dr Peter Leggate (Radcliffe Science Library)
Medicine: Dr Judith Palmer (Health Care Libraries Unit)
Social Science: Ms Margaret Robb (Social Studies/Economics)
Humanities: Ms Elizabeth Chapman (Taylorian)]

4. The next steps

The following steps need to be taken before Christmas 1998:

(i) Presentation of outline proposals on integration to the Michaelmas Term meetings of relevant faculty boards and other appropriate bodies.

(ii) Ongoing cycle of meetings during Michaelmas Term (AdLib; BSMG; PSALM/ALM; Directorate; Subject Groups; Libraries Committee, etc.), to consider, as part of their agenda, draft proposals on integration as they emerge.

At a special meeting to be held on 28 January 1999, the Libraries Committee will consider the formal responses received, with a view to drawing up a report to the University, for wider consideration.

Comments are welcomed at any stage from all interested parties. Such comments, together with any requests for further information, should be addressed to Mr L.C.C. Reynolds at the University Offices (telephone: (2)70199, e-mail:


[1] Report of Council's Working Party on Senior Library Posts (Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4373, 21 September 1995, p. 37).
Return to text

[2] Report of the Advisory Group on the Management Structure for an Integrated Library System (Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4380, 13 November 1995, p. 339).
Return to text

[3] Gazette, Vol. 126, pp. 706, 728.
Return to text

Return to List of Contents of this section


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: 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.

Return to List of Contents of this section



Lorca's Spain

NICHOLAS CLAPTON (counter-tenor) and TOM KERSTENS (guitar) will give a recital of poetry and song-settings, with works by David Bedford, Simon Holt, Federico Garcia Lorca, Manuel de Falla, and others, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 11 November, in the Holywell Music Room. Tickets, costing £9 (£6 concessions) may be obtained from the Playhouse, Beaumont Street, or at the door.

Return to List of Contents of this section


The Oriental Institute and Eastern Art Libraries will be closed on Wednesday, 4 November, owing to essential electrical work associated with the construction of the Sackler Library. The librarian apologises for the inconvenience to readers and asks them to refer any particular problems to library staff. The Institute for Chinese Studies Library in Walton Street is unaffected and will be open as usual that day.

Return to List of Contents of this section