University of Oxford


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Oxford University Gazette, 10 December 2009: University Agenda

CONGREGATION 19 January 2 p.m.

¶ Members of Congregation are reminded that any two members may, not later than noon on Monday, 11 January, give notice in writing to the Registrar that they intend to oppose or amend the legislative proposal at item 1 below (see the note on the conduct of business in Congregation below). If no such notice has been given, and unless Council has declared otherwise, the legislative proposal shall be declared carried at the meeting.

Under the provisions of Part 5 of Congregation Regulations 2 of 2002 (Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4633, 9 October 2002, p. 160, as amended on 12 October 2004, 7 March 2006 and 14 October 2008, Gazette, Vol. 135, p. 214; Vol. 136, p. 669, 16 February 2006; Vol. 139, pp. 4–8), the reply to the question at 2 below shall be read in Congregation; no debate shall be permitted upon the reply, but at the Chairman's discretion supplementary questions may be asked to elucidate the reply given.

1 Voting on Legislative Proposal: Statute VI: changes to publication of examination regulations

Explanatory Note

The following Legislative Proposal, submitted by Council under Part 2 of Congregation Regulations 2 of 2002 (Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4633, 9 October 2002, Vol. 133, p. 161, as amended on 12 October 2004, 7 March 2006 and 14 October 2008 (Gazette, Vol. 135, p. 214; Vol. 137, p. 669; Vol. 139, pp. 4–8), establishes a new method for the publication of regulations. In place of the current requirement for all regulations made by Council or under its delegated authority to appear in the Gazette, two alternative forms of publication are given: an online method for the publication of examination regulations; and the current method (noted under (1) (a) and (1) (b) respectively below). Regulations made by Council and its principal committees—with the exception, if it so decided, of the Education Committee—would continue to be published in the Gazette. The right is reserved to the Education Committee to use either method.

This is one of a number of changes to the Gazette, intended to improve accessibility andusability, and to reduce the cost of publication.

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the provisions of Statute VI concerning the publication of regulations, NOW THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, in exercise of the powers in that behalf conferred upon it by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act, 1923, and of all other powers enabling it, ENACTS, subject to the approval of Her Majesty in Council, AS FOLLOWS.

1 In Statute VI concerning Council (Supplement (1) to the Gazette No. 4633, 9 October 2002, amended with effect from 8 May 2003 and 7 February 2007, Gazette, Vol. 133, p. 1335, 29 May 2003; Vol. 137, p. 788, 22 February 2007), delete existing section 17 and substitute:

'17. (1) All regulations made under sections 13 and 14 of this statute and the annulment, amendment, or repeal of any such regulation (referred to below as 'a change in regulations') shall be published in accordance with either of the following procedures (a) or (b):

(a) a change in regulations shall be published on the University's Web site, and a brief descriptive notice of the regulations, which shall include the address of the location on the University's Web site at which the full text of the change in regulations may be found, shall be published in the University Gazette; the regulation shall come into force from the fifteenth day after the date of the publication of the descriptive notice in the University Gazette (though a regulation may contain an earlier or later date from which it comes into force), unless notice of a resolution calling upon Council to annul or amend the regulation is received by the Registrar by noon on the eleventh day after the day on which the descriptive notice was published;

(b) a change in regulations shall be published in the University Gazette and shall come into force from the fifteenth day after the date of its publication (though a regulation may contain an earlier or later date from which it comes into force), unless notice of a resolution calling upon Council to annul or amend the regulation is received by the Registrar by noon on the eleventh day after the day on which it was published.

(2) If such notice is received, the regulation shall not come into force until it has been approved by Congregation.

(3) A change in regulations made or approved by the Education Committee under regulation 2.4 (1) of Council Regulations 15 of 2002 shall be published in accordance with (1) (a) above, unless the Education Committee requires otherwise.

(4) All other changes in regulations shall be published in accordance with (1) (b) above.'

2 This Statute shall be effective from a date following its approval by Her Majesty in Council, to be announced by prior notice in the Gazette.


2 Question

J.W.H. SCHNUPP, Fellow of St Peter's College, and BARONESS (RUTH) DEECH, Honorary Fellow of St Anne's College, to ask Council:

Given that the University and College Union (UCU) is the only trade union that is recognised by the University for the representation of its academic and academic-related staff, but given that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 annual meetings of the UCU's National Congress (designated by the union's Rules as its supreme policy-making body) all passed Motions which called on members of the UCU to discriminate against Israeli academics, what steps will Council take to ensure that the great many members of the University's academic and academic-related staff who wish to be represented by a trade union that abides by the law of the land, and respects the norms of international scholarship and the University's Equal Opportunities policy, can find suitable trade union representation?

The following reply to the above question has been approved by Council:

Council notes the concerns that have arisen in connection with the decisions of the UCU's National Congress, and understands that there are strongly held views on this subject.

Council's Personnel Committee has considered the question asked by members of Congregation, and has requested statements from the national UCU and from the Oxford UCU Branch in this connection: with their permission, responses from Ms Sally Hunt and from Mr Roger Undy are reproduced at www.admin.ox.ac.uk/council/ucu_hunt.pdf and www.admin.ox.ac.uk/council/ucu_undy.pdf

On behalf of the University, Council affirms its policy of maintaining open communications and professional links with universities everywhere in order best to support the upholding of the principle of academic freedom; affirms its commitment to freedom of speech, as set out in the revised policy on this which took effect from 1 October 2009 ( www.admin.ox.ac.uk/councilsec/gov/fos.shtml); and in particular affirms its commitment to the range of its equality and diversity policies (www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/policy/).

It is not for Council to try to ensure that the trade unions which are available for the University's staff to join are regarded as suitable by all members of Congregation.

Council does not at present believe that it is demonstrably true that actions that are unlawful or contrary to the University's equality and diversity or other policies have been taken by the UCU or its officers or its members at Oxford—indeed Council understands that the Oxford UCU has been prominent in opposing or trying to amend a number of motions to the UCU's National Congress.

Council does not, at present, believe that it would be appropriate to reconsider the University's recognition of the Oxford UCU for purposes of consultation and representation, but it has agreed that it would ask the Personnel Committee to do so should the union or its officers seek to implement the decisions of the UCU's National Congress in ways that are unlawful or contrary to the University's policies.

For the avoidance of doubt, Council also confirms that should individual employees of the University take actions in relation to the decisions of the UCU's National Congress or otherwise that are unlawful or contrary to the University's policies, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

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