Oxford University Gazette, 2 February 2006: University Agenda
CONGREGATION 16 February
Visitatorial Board Panel
The following nomination has been duly received:
DR COLIN PETER THOMPSON, MA, D.PHIL., Fellow of St Catherine's
N.C. Bamforth, Queen's
CONGREGATION 21 February 2 p.m.
Members of Congregation are reminded that written notice of any intention to vote against, or any proposed amendment to the resolution below, signed in each case by at least two members of Congregation, must be given to the Registrar by noon on Monday, 13 February (see the note on the conduct of business in Congregation at the end of 'University Agenda').
Voting on Resolution concerning the dissolution of the Life and Environmental Sciences Division
Extensive discussion and consultation has taken place on a proposal involving the dissolution of the Life and Environmental Sciences (LES) Division and the transfer of its constituent departments to the Medical Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences Divisions as set out in the resolution, the decision on the receiving division in each case being taken in the light of consideration of academic cases made in relation to each of the LES Division departments. Consideration of the proposal was prompted by a number of factors, including changing academic interests within the LES Division such that transfer to other divisions would be desirable, and changes in personnel. It may be recalled that when the establishment of divisions was first proposed in the light of the recommendations in the Commission of Inquiry into the University Governance Structures there was much debate about the optimal number of such bodies and the location of departments within them.
Various groupings were considered, the Commission proposing three (Clinical Medicine, Biological and Physical Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences); the First Report of the Governance Working Party set up to consider the proposals suggesting four (Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences); and the Second Report of the Working Party suggesting four or five (Humanities and Social Sciences (or a single Arts Division covering both), Life and Environmental Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Medical Sciences). Congregation favoured the proposal which allowed for separate Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions.
It is now the view of Council that there are cogent reasons for reducing the number of divisions to four and permitting the departments in the LES Division to move to their preferred locations. It is recognised that changes in the Statutes and Regulations are required to give full and formal effect to the proposed changes and a summary of amendments needed is set out below. The amendment of the Council Statute will require the approval of Her Majesty-in-Council but it is Council's view that this and other changes in legislation are of a technical nature and that the moves should take place with effect from 1 April 2006 in order to ensure that work, such as that needed on the RAE, may be pursued as effectively as possible. Further information on the case made to Council in approving the submission of this resolution may be found on the Web site at www.admin.ox.ac.uk/councilsec/oxonly/congregation/Congreg.shtml.
Changes in Statutes, Regulations, etc., required as a result of the dissolution of the Life and Environmental Division
Statute VI: Composition of Council (Paragraph 4): This is a 'Queen-in-Council' statute.
(a) delete Head of Division of Life and Environmental Sciences.
(b) delete Life and Environmental Sciences from the electorate for the election of science representatives.
(c) increase by one the number of elected representatives from Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Medical Sciences
Statute VII: Divisions, etc.
Paragraphs 1 and 2 describing the grouping of the academic activities of the university need to be rewritten, and any new names of divisions determined.
Regulations for Divisions (Council Regulation 16 of 2002)
Regulation 1 relating to Life and Environmental Sciences Division needs to be deleted and the relevant sub-faculties and departments included in the regulations for other divisions.
Regulations for Divisional Boards (Council Regulation 17 of 2002 and any subsequent amendments): Membership
(a) Delete Life and Environmental Sciences Board
(b) Make appropriate amendments to the membership of the boards of the three receiving divisions.
Consequential amendments: There would need to be consequential amendments to numerous other regulations including committee memberships
(e.g. language centre, health and safety management), trust funds, prizes and examination regulations.
Text of Resolution
That this House approves in principle the dissolution of the Life and Environmental Sciences Division and the transfer of its constituent departments to other divisions with effect from 1 April 2006 as follows:
instructs Council to bring forward detailed proposals for the relevant changes in Statutes and Regulations as soon as practicable.