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Oxford University Gazette, 23 October 2008: University Agenda

CONGREGATION 18 November 2 p.m.

Further consultation by the Task Force on Academic Employment on proposals for career progression for academics: Topic for Discussion

A Congregation Discussion will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 in the Sheldonian Theatre. The topic will be the consultative document issued by the Task Force on Academic Employment on specific proposals for career progression for academics, in the shape of a promotions system. The consultative document has been published as Gazette Supplement (1) to No. 4852 (23 July) and Supplement (2) to No. 4855 (2 October), and is available on the task force's Web site (

The intention of this Discussion is to provide an open and facilitative forum for discussion of the important issues contained in the task force's consultative document, prior to the closing date for submissions (19 January 2009). In accordance with the regulation governing topics for discussion, no vote will be taken but Council will be required to give consideration to the remarks made.

Those wishing to speak in the Discussion will be expected to limit their contributions to five minutes. As the Discussion will close at 4.30 p.m., it may not be possible to call all those who wish to speak. If you wish to speak in the Discussion, you are asked to indicate this intention in advance by e-mailing It would be helpful if you also explain briefly (in no more than twenty-five words) what issues you wish to cover. Names of those who have indicated a wish to speak, together with the issues they wish to raise, will be published on the task force's Web site ( as they are received. This sharing of information may be of use to speakers and will also be used to provide some logical structure to the order in which speakers are called. Speakers are asked to provide their information as soon as possible, and by noon on Friday, 14 November, at the latest if they wish to be scheduled to speak. If time permits, those who have not indicated in advance an intention to speak will still be free to do so.

It is intended that a verbatim transcription of the Discussion will be published in the Gazette on 27 November and, before then, on the task force's Web site ( It is also intended to make a downloadable recording available on the same site. As a result of time constraints, it will not be possible to check the verbatim report of the proceedings with individual speakers before publication. Speakers are therefore asked to provide their written texts, if available, to Ms Sarah Cowburn on the day of the Discussion, or to e-mail them to her ( by 5 p.m. on 19 November.

The task force would also welcome questions about its current proposals. Such questions should be sent to It is intended to publish frequently asked questions, and responses to them, on the task force Web site ( in advance of the Discussion.

Provided that there is enough space to accommodate members of Congregation, members of the University's academic or academic-related staff who are not members of Congregation will be welcome to attend this Discussion and to speak (on the basis set out above). For security purposes, all those attending are asked to bring their University Cards.

The Vice-Chancellor has decided that the wearing of gowns shall be optional on this occasion.

The task force will give careful consideration to all points made in the Discussion, as well as to substantive responses to its consultation document (which should be sent to by 19 January 2009).