• Thursday 14 May 2015
  • NO. 5096
  • VOL. 145

General Notices

Consideration by Personnel Committee of comments on the EJRA made by the University's Appeal Court

The University has operated an Employer-Justified Retirement Age (EJRA) of 30 September before the 68th birthday for all academic and academic-related staff since October 2011. The policy includes a process under which individuals may apply to extend their employment beyond the EJRA, such applications being considered by the EJRA Panel. If the panel declines a request, the individual may appeal to the University’s Appeal Court. It was agreed that the EJRA would operate for an initial period of ten years with an interim review after five years. In addition, annual reviews are undertaken by the Personnel Committee. As reported in the Gazette of 25 September 2014, the University’s Appeal Court has recently heard an appeal which has raised some issues regarding the EJRA policy and procedure. The decision of the Court is binding only in relation to the appeal of the individual concerned, and does not create any binding precedent on the University as a whole. The other observations of the Court on the EJRA policy are for the University to use in its consideration of the future of the policy.

In the Gazette of 25 September 2014, the Personnel Committee reported that it would consider in Michaelmas term how to respond to the issues raised in the judgment. In the Gazette of 13 November 2014, it was reported that the Personnel Committee had met and held an initial discussion as to whether the five-year review should be brought forward from 2016/17. The committee, mindful of the importance of giving the issues raised in the judgment careful and thorough consideration, decided that it needed further information before making its decision.  The Personnel Committee met again in seventh week and discussed this matter further.  It was concerned to ensure that any review of the over-arching EJRA policy has the benefit of sufficient data on which to base reasoned recommendations to Congregation should any changes be considered desirable. The Committee decided that it would oversee the data collection required to inform a wider review of the EJRA in 2016/17 and that it would bring proposals to Council to set up a working party to undertake that review. It is anticipated that the working party will consider the extent to which the EJRA is meeting the Aims identified when the policy was established, whether the EJRA is appropriately set at the 30 September before an individual's 68th birthday, and whether it applies to the right staff groups. These issues, and any others that seem relevant, will be considered in the context of case law at that time and data concerning the impact of the EJRA at Oxford and in comparison with other higher education institutions with and without a retirement age. Council considered and endorsed this plan of action at its meeting in eighth week of Michaelmas term.

Personnel Committee was also aware that those matters raised by the Appeal Court that could be considered in the short term should receive attention as soon as possible. In this context, the committee decided that, in the course of 2015 and with detailed work carried out by a sub-group with some co-opted members, it would consider whether the aims of the EJRA need to be clarified; whether changes are needed to the Considerations (the criteria) for extensions to employment; and whether there should be other procedural changes relating to the process for considering requests for employment beyond the EJRA. The sub-group met three times in Hilary term, in weeks two, four and six. After giving careful consideration to these issues, the sub-group reported its proposals to Personnel Committee at its meeting in seventh week of Hilary term.  

Personnel Committee has given its initial consideration to the recommendations of the sub-group. The Committee has now consulted divisions to inform them of the emerging proposals and to gain their views on the sub-group's proposals for clarifying the Aims of the EJRA and for revising the procedures to be used for managing requests for extended employment beyond the EJRA. It is anticipated that these, or similar proposals will be adopted in time for the next round of applications for extended employment.

In parallel with this consultation, discussions have taken place with the Legal Panel of Conference of Colleges in order to review the inter-relationships between the draft revised procedures and those currently in use by Colleges, with particular attention to the implications for the employment of holders of joint appointments.

Final proposals for revisions will be presented to Council during fourth week of Trinity term 2015. The clarified Aims and revised Procedure for managing requests for extensions should be ready for publication during Trinity term with the intention of implementing them from 30 September 2015. Some academic-related staff may currently be preparing applications for extended employment beyond their due retirement date of 30 September 2016 (the current deadline for these applications being 30 September 2015): any such applications will be assessed against the considerations published in the existing procedure.

Guidelines for leave for academic staff

Academic staff are reminded of the guidelines for applying for and taking leave, which were published in full in the Gazette of 13 November 2014 and are published on Personnel Services website:

Visiting Professorships

Medical Sciences

The Medical Sciences Board has conferred the title of Visiting Professor of Immunology on M Takiguchi, MD, DMedSci, for a period of 3 years from 1 May 2015.

Electoral Boards

Composition of Electoral Boards

The composition of the electoral boards to the posts below, proceedings to fill which are currently in progress, is as follows:

Drue Heinz Professorship of American Literature    

  Appointed by
The President of Corpus Christi   Mr Vice-Chancellor1
The President of St John's  ex officio
Professor S West  Humanities Division 
Professor W Brown  English Faculty 
Professor L Marcus English Faculty 
Professor S Perry  English Faculty 
Professor J Goldsby  Council 
Professor J Sexton (after consultation with the donor)  Council 
Dr P Hayes  St John's  

Professorship of Social Policy   

  Appointed by
The Principal of Somerville Mr Vice-Chancellor1
The Acting Principal of Green Templeton ex officio
Professor R Goodman Social Sciences Division
Professor J Allmendinger  Department of Social Policy and Intervention
Professor B Nolan  Department of Social Policy and Intervention 
Professor M Seeleib-Kaiser  Department of Social Policy and Intervention 
Professor Sir John Robert Hills  Council  
Professor H Sutherland  Council  
Professor M Daly Green Templeton 
1Appointed by Mr Vice-Chancellor under the provisions of Statute IX, Sect 10 and 11.

Musical and other Events


Organ recitals

The following recitals will be given at 5.15pm on Sundays; admission free. More information:

17 May: David Maw, Director of Music, Oriel

24 May: Mark Purcell, Libraries Curator, National Trust, and freelance organist

31 May: Maks Adach, Senior Organ Scholar


Museum of the History of Science

until 18 October: 'Dear Harry…': Henry Moseley: A Scientist Lost to War. Marking Moseley's great contribution to science and the impact of his death on the international scientific community and its relationship with government and the armed forces

Museum of Natural History

until 24 August: Biosense. Celebrating the University's leading science research by combining scientific stories with incredible images and previously unseen museum specimens. A number of public engagement events will be held as part of the exhibition at 2pm on various Saturdays. 

Pitt Rivers Museum

16 May–11 October: Architecture for All: The Photography of Paul Oliver. Capturing an inclusive and cross-cultural understanding of architecture including images of landscapes, buildings and architectural details, monumental as well as ordinary