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Her Majesty The Queen has appointed MARILYN MCCORD ADAMS (AB Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, PH.D. Cornell, TH.M. Princeton Theological Seminary), Horace Pitkin Chair of Historical Theology, Yale Divinity School and Department of Religious Studies, to the Regius Professorship of Divinity with effect from 1 January 2004.

Professor McCord Adams will be a Canon of Christ Church.

Note: this replaces the notice published in the Gazette of 27 June (p. 1470), which incorrectly stated that Professor McCord Adams would be a Student of Christ Church.

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GEORGE LINSLEY PATTISON (MA, BD Edinburgh, PH.D. Durham), Associate Professor of Practical Theology, University of Aarhus, has been appointed to the professorship with effect from 1 January 2004.

Professor Pattison will be a Canon of Christ Church.

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The title of Professor of Probability has been conferred on A.M. ETHERIDGE, MA, D.PHIL., Fellow of Magdalen College and University Lecturer (CUF) in Mathematics, with effect from 1 October 2003.

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The Joint UK Higher Education Funding Bodies (HEFCE etc.) have conducted a review of research assessment following the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2001. The review was overseen by a steering group chaired by Sir Gareth Roberts, President of Wolfson, and is available on the Web at

It should be noted that a number of significant changes are being proposed to the way research was assessed in the 2001 RAE. The next assessment process would take place in 2007--8 and continue thereafter on a six-year cycle with mid-point monitoring halfway through the cycle. There would be several methods of research assessment, depending on the degree of research intensity in an institution/department. For research intensive institutions/departments, the process would remain one of expert peer review, to be known as Research Quality Assessment (RQA). The rule that each researcher may submit up to four items of research would be abolished, and panels would have the freedom to define their own limits. There would be an increased emphasis on the production of a research strategy statement by each subject unit as part of the assessment process. The current grading scale of 1–5* would be abandoned in favour of a `quality profile' for each subject submission, indicating the quantum of `one star', `two star', and `three star' research in each submission, with three star being the highest.

In terms of the timetable for preparation for assessment, in 2004--5 the assessment panels would be appointed and they would set and publish their assessment criteria (it should be noted that the number of panels would be reduced from sixty to some twenty to twenty- five, supported by around sixty sub-panels). Two years before the full assessment, in 2005-- 6, there would be an institution-level assessment of research competencies, to include institutional research strategy, development of researchers, equal opportunities, and dissemination beyond the peer group. One year before the assessment, in 2006--7, a set of discipline-specific performance indicators would be developed to produce indicative bandings, designed to guide institutions and departments in their choice of assessment route the following year (depending on how research intensive they are).

The joint funding bodies have set up a consultation exercise to assess the review's findings, which may be found at A university response to this consultation exercise is being co-ordinated under the auspices of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee, and the views of the divisions and the Department for Continuing Education are currently being sought. If any individuals would like to contribute their views to the response, please would they send them by 12 September to Mr Michael Sibly, Head of the Planning and Resource Allocation Section, University Offices, Wellington Square (e-mail: In particular, responses are invited to the first ten recommendations of the review and four further cross-cutting questions.

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