Congregation

  • Thursday 28 May 2015
  • NO. 5098
  • VOL. 145

Congregation2 June

2pm

Under the provisions of Part 5 of Congregation Regulations 2 of 2002, the reply to the question 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.

Question and Reply

Nine members of Congregation to ask Council:

'Oxford University Strategic Plan for 2013–2018 stresses as part of our commitment to maintaining excellence of Oxford research that the collegiate University "will enhance the infrastructure which supports research at the highest level, including libraries". At the same time, funding for university libraries, on top of a 10% reduction in 2010–2013, was further reduced in 2013/4 and 2014/5 financial years, while additional savings, characterised in Michaelmas 2014 update from the Bodleian Libraries as "significant", will need to be found in 2015/6. Amalgamation of important research libraries in the Humanities is now being implemented or proposed (notably Taylorian Slavonic and Modern Greek library, Oriental Institute library and Sackler library), with considerable potential effect on the university's ability to conduct world-class research in these disciplines and on undergraduate and graduate teaching provision.

What consideration has been given by the Council to the potential detrimental effects of further cuts to the Bodleian Libraries budgetary settlement and to the possibilities of finding additional funding to libraries' operational costs?'

Georgy Kantor, St John's
David Seifert, St John's
Barry Murnane, St John's
Julia Bray, St John's
Christopher Minkowski, Balliol
Alison Salvesen, Mansfield
David Taylor, Wolfson
James Benson, Wolfson
John Ma, Corpus Christi

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

'Council shares the view that the Bodleian Libraries are essential in order to conduct world-class research and teaching in Oxford and that the reputation and success of the University in these academic endeavours have been influenced by the collections and services provided by the libraries over the past 400 years. It remains committed to ensuring that the Bodleian Libraries can continue to provide their services to Oxford and recognises that the nature of the provision made by the Bodleian affects the academic disciplines in different ways.

Over the last five years Council has approved significant capital investments of just under £110m on library projects (funded from both University and philanthropic sources) to allow the development of the Book Storage Facility, refurbishment of the Radcliffe Camera and the Gladstone Link, the Weston Library, the Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library, and the creation of the Bodleian KB Chen China Centre Library, all of which contribute to the sustainability of the services and have enhanced the infrastructure to support research.

One of the reasons that the Bodleian Libraries are now making arrangements for accommodating required reduction through a combination of efficiencies in their existing service provision, raising additional funds, and reducing some areas of expenditure is the need for the University as a whole to maintain a sustainable financial plan. An additional reason for such change is the need to provide new services to support researchers in the University, including digital provision, open access support and research data curation and publication.

Council is accountable for the financial health of the University, for ensuring that the University has a strategic plan and an annual operating plan and budget; and that the Strategic Plan is supported by a financial and investment strategy. Council has, appropriately, addressed its considerations to the broad issue of a sustainable budget for the University as a whole, to ensure that facilities, collections and University infrastructure can be sustained responsibly into the future.

The University's Strategic Plan 2013–2018, proposed by Council and approved by Congregation, notes that to support the University's academic communities with appropriate libraries and museums, seminar rooms, laboratories, IT systems and research equipment will require significant capital investment; and to ensure that facilities, collections and University infrastructure can be sustained responsibly into the future will require a sufficient recurrent surplus. The Strategic Plan therefore aims for the University to achieve an operational surplus (calculated as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation: EBITDA) of at least 5%, taking into account the increasing cost of replacing assets through inflation or rising expectations of functional suitability.

In setting the University's budget for 2014/15, Council, informed by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee and the Finance Committee, noted that there was an anticipated shortfall against the University's EBITDA target in 2013/14 and future years. At that time EBITDA was forecast to be 4.7% in 2013/14 and about 4.5% in 2014/15 and 2015/16 without action being taken. To address this, Council required the University's budget to be set for 2015/16 with the aim of achieving the EBITDA target of at least 5% in that year. That required savings in that year across the University as a whole of the order of £9.5m.

Since growth in expenditure was the primary cause of the failure to meet the EBITDA target the necessary savings were allocated across the divisions and services pro rata to the growth in budgeted departmental expenditure between 2013/14 and 2014/15. This resulted in divisions and services being required to find savings on their submitted plans totalling £9.5m, with all service areas (Finance, Development, UAS and ASUC) required to make savings totalling £3.1m to accommodate the necessary reduction in funding.

A key element of the future strategy for providing sustainable funding, which would mitigate the negative effects of the reduction in other funding streams, is the continued development of an endowment fund. In the last five years the Bodleian Libraries' endowment value has increased from £27m to £45.5m, enabling the protection of key specialist staff positions, as well as providing funding for preservation, exhibitions, and acquisition of collections. As part of the Oxford Thinking campaign the Bodleian Libraries have been a strategic area for fundraising that has resulted in donations of £32.3m over the last five years with £4.7m cash received this year (to date). Efforts will continue to maximise income from philanthropic giving and so grow the endowment fund in support of the Bodleian Libraries. A plan to leverage external endowment for libraries and museums is under development and expected to come for discussion to PRAC this term.'

Arrangements for the meeting

The meeting will be held at 2pm on Tuesday, 2 June, in the Sheldonian Theatre. Attendance at the meeting is open to members of Congregation and to nominated representatives of the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) as agreed in advance by the Vice-Chancellor. Admittance to the Theatre will be on the production of a valid University card and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors of the Sheldonian Theatre will open at 1.45pm.

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

The Congregation website is at: www.admin.ox.ac.uk/councilsec/governance/congregation.

Congregation11 June

Elections

Contested Elections

Council

Curators of the University Libraries

Visitors of the Botanic Garden  

Delegacy for Military Instruction

Uncontested Elections

Council

Continuing Education Board 

Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum  

Delegacy for Nomination of Candidates for Ecclesiastical Benefices 

Visitatorial Board Panel

Humanities Board

Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Board

Board of the Faculty of Classics

Board of the Faculty of English Language and Literature

Board of the Faculty of History

Board of the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics

Board of the Faculty of Music

Board of the Faculty of Philosophy

Board of the Faculty of Theology and Religion

Details are in 'Elections' section below.

Congregation16 June

¶ Members of Congregation are reminded that any two members may, not later than noon on 8 June, give notice in writing to the Registrar that they intend to oppose or amend the resolutions at 1–2, the changes to Congregation Regulations at 3, the suspension of Congregation Regulations at 4 or the legislative proposals at 5 and 6 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 or the meeting has been adjourned, each resolution, the changes to Congregation Regulations, the suspension of Congregation Regulations and each legislative proposal shall be declared carried, and the meeting may be cancelled.

(1) Voting on a Resolution authorising the use of space in the Robert Hooke building

Explanatory Note

Over the last three years, the Department of Computer Science has been allocated a number of spaces in the Robert Hooke building. The purpose of the initial allocation, made in June 2012, was to alleviate pressure on the department's existing space, this being a high priority for the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, and consistent with the division's strategic aim to expand Computer Science research in Oxford.

The department has continued to attract significant external investment in research and doctoral training and subsequent allocations have been made both to accommodate that growth and in anticipation of continued expansion as new academics develop their research programmes. The allocation of further space is now recommended. As these allocations, in aggregate, exceed the threshold of 600 sq m net usable area, Congregation's approval is now sought.

Text of Resolution

That approximately 1,095 sq m net usable area in the Robert Hooke building (building number 160) be allocated to the Department of Computer Science from 17 June 2015 until 16 June 2020.

(2) Voting on a Resolution authorising the use of space in the Oxford Molecular Pathology Institute

Explanatory Note

The Sleep and Circadian Neurosciences Institute (SCNi) is the first institute in the world dedicated to the neuroscience of sleep and to advancing our understanding of how sleep and circadian rhythm disruption impacts upon health. The SCNi is currently a virtual institute, but has secured grant funding to enable it to establish a physical base.

While Congregation has previously approved the allocation of space in the Tinsley Building on Mansfield Road for this purpose, following further examination neither the SCNi nor the Medical Sciences Division wish to pursue this allocation. Consideration has therefore been given to alternative locations for the SCNi.

It is anticipated that the long-term solution for the SCNi will be found through the development of the Hans Krebs site. In the short term, it is proposed that the SCNi be established on the ground floor of the Oxford Molecular Pathology Institute. This space is currently allocated to the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology. The school has agreed to release the space on a temporary basis.

Text of Resolution

That 688 sq m net usable area on the ground floor of the Oxford Molecular Pathology Institute be allocated to the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences for the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute. This is a temporary allocation from 1 July 2015 to 31 October 2017 following which the space will revert to the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.

(3) Voting on Changes to Congregation Regulations 3 of 2002: Religious Services and Sermons

Explanatory Note

The following changes to Part 6 of Congregation Regulations 3 of 2002, made on the recommendation of the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, amend the regulations relating to Religious Services and Sermons: (i) to reflect current practice in relation to the number of sermons held at St Mary's Church in Michaelmas and Trinity terms, and to fix the date of the first such sermon (the Commemoration Day Sermon) in the University calendar to enable better publicity; and (ii) to reflect Magdalen College's wish that, for practical considerations, the sermon known as the St John the Baptist Day Sermon, which is held in its chapel in Trinity term, be held on a fixed date in the University calendar.  

Text of Regulations

In Congregation Regulations 3 of 2002, concerning the conduct of ceremonies in Congregation and certain other ceremonies, in Part 6 delete existing Regulations 6.12–6.18 and substitute (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'Sermons to be preached in Full Term in St Mary's Church

6.12 Sermons shall be preached before the University in St Mary's Church on certain days, namely:

(1) on two Sundays during Michaelmas Full Term:

(a) one to be on the second Sunday, the Commemoration Day sermon; and

(b) one to be determined by the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers;


on two Sundays during Michaelmas Full Term, to be determined by the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers;

(2) on two Sundays during Hilary Full Term, excepting the first day of Hilary Full Term, to be determined by the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers;

(3) on the first day of Hilary Full Term, the Latin Sermon (to be preached in accordance with Regulations 6.13 and 6.14 below); and

(4) on one no more than two Sundays during Trinity Full Term, to be determined by the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers; and

(5) on the first Sunday of Michaelmas Term, the Commemoration Day sermon.

Latin Sermon

6.13 On the first day of Hilary Full Term a Latin Sermon (to be preceded by the Litany read by one of the Proctors or by another member of Convocation appointed by them) shall be preached in the Church of St Mary the Virgin by persons nominated in turn by the heads of the colleges and societies, in the customary order of seniority.

6.14 If the head of a college or society to whose turn it falls to nominate the preacher should fail to do so, or if the preacher nominated should be prevented by sudden illness or other urgent cause from preaching, the Vice-Chancellor shall appoint some other qualified person to replace that preacher.

Sermons on the Grace of Humility and the Sin of Pride

6.15 The Sermons on the Grace of Humility and on the Sin of Pride, for which a benefaction was given to the University in 1684 by the Revd William Master, Vicar of Preston, near Cirencester, shall be preached on Quinquagesima Sunday and the last Sunday before Advent respectively, on one of a selection of texts specified by the benefactor.

The Ramsden Sermon

6.16 The Ramsden Sermon, for which a benefaction (now known as the Ramsden Benefaction) was given to the University by Mr J H Markland in 1847, shall be preached upon "Church Extension within the British Commonwealth".

Sermons to be preached elsewhere than in St Mary's Church

6.17 Sermons shall be preached before the University in certain colleges, on certain days, namely:

(1) in the Cathedral Church of Christ on the first Sunday in Advent and on Whitsunday;

(2) in Magdalen College, on the Sunday in Full Term nearest St Mark's Day, and on the ninth Sunday of Trinity Term Sunday nearest St John Baptists' Day, unless that is the Sunday before Encaenia, when the sermon shall be preached on the following Sunday;

(3) in Oriel College, on the eighth Sunday of Hilary Full Term;

(4) in Hertford College, the Macbride Sermon (preached in accordance with Part 40 of the Schedule to the Statutes) on the second Sunday in Hilary Term;

(5) in the Cathedral Church of Christ, when a Court Sermon is required;

(6) in Queen's College, on Trinity Sunday;

(7) in rotation, in one of those colleges and societies which have so agreed with the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, the Ramsden Sermon (preached in accordance with Regulation 6.16 above), on the fourth Sunday of Michaelmas Full Term;

(8) in rotation, in one of those colleges and societies which have so agreed with the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, the Sermon on the Sin of Pride (preached in accordance with Regulation 6.15 above), on the last Sunday before Advent;

(9) in rotation, in one of those colleges and societies which have so agreed with the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, the Sermon on the Grace of Humility (preached in accordance with Regulation 6.15 above), on Quinquagesima Sunday.

6.18 In each instance, except those detailed in 6.17(4), 6.17(5), 6.17(7), 6.17(8) and 6.17(9) above, the preacher shall be appointed by the college.

Commemoration of Benefactors

6.19 The preacher, in a prayer before the first University sermon specified in Regulation 6.12(1)(a) above after the beginning of term and in the sermon on the morning of the first Sunday of Michaelmas Term, shall make a grateful commemoration of the benefactors of the University, recalling by name those whom Council has decreed shall be commemorated in this way. The list of names shall be divided into three sections, one of which shall be read out in turn at each successive commemoration. The list shall be held by the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers and shall be presented to the committee at its meeting in each Michaelmas Term.'

(4) Voting on the Suspension of Congregation Regulations 3 of 2002: Religious Services and Sermons

Explanatory Note

The following part-suspensions of paragraphs within Part 6 of Congregation Regulations 3 of 2002, made on the recommendation of the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, suspend the regulations to remove the requirement that the Sermon on the Grace of Humility be preached on Quinquagesima Sunday1. The Sermon on the Grace of Humility will be preached on another Sunday within Hilary term 2016. Such suspensions are to be effective only in relation to Hilary term 2016. The regulation changes proposed at (3) above do not affect the regulations proposed to be suspended. For the avoidance of doubt, the text below shows the current form of the regulations and does not incorporate the changes proposed at (3) above.

Text of Regulations

In Congregation Regulations 3 of 2002, concerning the conduct of ceremonies in Congregation and certain other ceremonies, in Part 6 suspend part of Regulation 6.15 and Regulation 6.17(9) in respect of the Sermon of the Grace of Humility in relation to Hilary term 2016 only, in the manner indicated below (with the suspended wording struck through):

'Sermons on the Grace of Humility and the Sin of Pride

6.15 The Sermons on the Grace of Humility and on the Sin of Pride, for which a benefaction was given to the University in 1684 by The Revd William Master, Vicar of Preston, near Cirencester, shall be preached on Quinquagesima Sunday and the last Sunday before Advent respectively, on one of a selection of texts specified by the benefactor.

The Ramsden Sermon

6.16 The Ramsden Sermon, for which a benefaction (now known as the Ramsden Benefaction) was given to the University by Mr J H Markland in 1847, shall be preached upon 'Church Extension within the British Commonwealth'.

Sermons to be preached elsewhere than in St Mary's Church

6.17 Sermons shall be preached before the University in certain colleges, on certain days, namely:

(1) in the Cathedral Church of Christ on the first Sunday in Advent and on Whitsunday;

(2) in Magdalen College, on the Sunday in Full Term nearest St Mark's Day, and on the Sunday nearest St John Baptists' Day, unless that is the Sunday before Encaenia, when the sermon shall be preached on the following Sunday;

(3) in Oriel College, on the eighth Sunday of Hilary Full Term;

(4) in Hertford College, the Macbride Sermon (preached in accordance with Part 40 of the Schedule to the Statutes) on the second Sunday in Hilary Term;

(5) in the Cathedral Church of Christ, when a Court Sermon is required;

(6) in Queen's College, on Trinity Sunday;

(7) in rotation, in one of those colleges and societies which have so agreed with the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, the Ramsden Sermon (preached in accordance with Regulation 6.16 above), on the fourth Sunday of Michaelmas Full Term;

(8) in rotation, in one of those colleges and societies which have so agreed with the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, the Sermon on the Sin of Pride (preached in accordance with Regulation 6.15 above), on the last Sunday before Advent;

(9) in rotation, in one of those colleges and societies which have so agreed with the Committee for the Nomination of Select Preachers, the Sermon on the Grace of Humility (preached in accordance with Regulation 6.15 above), on Quinquagesima Sunday.'

(5) Voting on Legislative Proposal: Statute VIII: Libraries, Museums and Scientific Collections, and the University Press

Explanatory Note

Further to recommendations made by the Academic Services and University Collections review of the Botanic Garden, it is proposed that the Visitors of the Botanic Garden become responsible for the fulfilment of their duties to Council via the Oxford University Museums Board. At present, the Visitors are responsible 'under Council'. This change brings the legislation governing the Visitors of the Botanic Garden into line with the legislation governing the University museums.

WHEREAS it is expedient to make the Visitors of the Botanic Garden responsible to Council through the Oxford University Museums Board, THE UNIVERSITY ENACTS AS FOLLOWS.

In Statute VIII, concerning Libraries, Museums and Scientific Collections, and the University Press, delete existing section 8 regarding the Visitors of the Botanic Garden and substitute (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'8. There shall be a body of Visitors of the Botanic Garden which shall be responsible, under Council to Council through the Oxford University Museums Board, in accordance with any policies and structures set by that Board, for the safe keeping, preservation, orderly administration, finance and general policy of the garden.'

Regulations to be made by Council if the Statute is approved

In Council Regulations 3 of 2003, concerning the Botanic Garden, delete existing regulation 6 and substitute (deleted text struck through, new text underlined):

'6. The Visitors shall have authority, under Council and the Oxford University Museums Board, to make such other arrangements by standing order as are necessary to fulfil their responsibilities.'

(6) Voting on Legislative Proposal: Hensley Henson Fund

Explanatory Note

Part 28 of the Schedule to the Statutes records the governing terms of the Hensley Henson Fund. In order to comply with the Equality Act (2010) references restricting the beneficiaries of the fund to certain Christian organisations will be removed. In addition, the opportunity will be taken to update the out-of-date reference to the Board of the Faculty of Theology.  

WHEREAS it is expedient to change the existing provisions governing the Hensley Henson Fund, 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.

In the Schedule to the Statutes, delete Part 28 and substitute (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'Part 28: Hensley Henson Fund

28.1. The net income of the bequest by Bishop Herbert Hensley Henson, DD, Honorary Fellow of All Souls College, shall be used to support an annual lecturership for the delivery by an Ordained Minister of the Episcopal Church of England, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, or the Church of Sweden appropriately qualified lecturer, of not less than four or more than six lectures in the University, under arrangements to be determined by the Board of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, on the subject of 'The Appeal to History as an integral part of Christian apologetics'.

28.2. Any balance of income not required for the lecturership may at the discretion of the Board of the Faculty of Theology and Religion be applied in furtherance of the study of Theology in the University.'


1The reference to the timing of the Sermon on the Sin of Pride in Regulation 6.15 is also being suspended for clarity, but given the period of the suspension the timing for the Sermon on the Sin of Pride will not be affected.

Convocation19 June

Elections

Professor of Poetry

Details are in 'Elections' section below.

Congregation24 June

(1) Encaenia

Mr Vice-Chancellor invites Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Heads of House, Heads of Division, holders of the Oxford Degrees of Doctor of Divinity, Civil Law, Medicine, Letters, Science, and Music, the Proctors, the Assessor, the Public Orator, the Professor of Poetry, the Registrar, the outgoing President of the Oxford University Student Union, and the Presidents of the Junior and Middle Common Rooms of Keble, St Hugh's and Jesus Colleges (as being the colleges of the Proctors and the Assessor) to partake of Lord Crewe's Benefaction to the University, meeting him in the Fellows' Garden of Exeter College at 10.30am on Wednesday, 24 June. Thence they will go in procession to the Sheldonian Theatre, where will be spoken the Oration in Commemoration of the Benefactors of the University according to the intention of the Right Honourable Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham.

Note. Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Heads of House, Heads of Division and Doctors who propose to accept Mr Vice-Chancellor's invitation, and to be present in the Sheldonian Theatre, are requested to inform the Events Office at the University Offices, Wellington Square by email (events.office@admin.ox.ac.uk) or telephone (Oxford 280524) no later than Wednesday, 17 June. They are reminded that, while academic dress of other universities may (if desired) be worn at the Encaenia Garden Party, the appropriate Oxford academic dress should always be worn at the partaking of Lord Crewe's Benefaction and at the Encaenia ceremony.

(2) Honorary Degrees

Doctor of Letters

Professor Sir Richard Evans, historian, Regius Professor of History emeritus and President of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, Provost of Gresham College in the City of London, Fellow of the British Academy, Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford

Dame Hilary Mantel, author, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, two-time winner of the Booker Prize, recipient of the Bodley Medal

Professor Ruth Simmons, former President and Professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Sciences of Brown University, former President of Smith College, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, winner of the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour

Doctor of Science

Professor Wallace Broecker, PhD, Newberry Professor of Geology, Columbia University, Crafoord Prizewinner, Balzan Prizewinner, Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Foreign Member of the Royal Society

Professor Dame Ann Dowling, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cambridge, President and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Society, Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering and of the French Academy of Sciences

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, OM, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Founder and Director of Research at the Harefield Heart Science Centre, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Royal Society

Doctor of Music

Jessye Norman, soprano, concert and opera singer, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, winner of the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement, member of the French Legion of Honour

Note on procedures in Congregation

¶ Business in Congregation is conducted in accordance with Congregation Regulations 2 of 2002 (www.admin.ox.ac.uk/statutes/regulations/529-122.shtml). A printout of these regulations, or of any statute or other regulations, is available from the Council Secretariat on request. A member of Congregation seeking advice on questions relating to its procedures, other than elections, should contact Mrs F Burchett at the University Offices, Wellington Square (telephone: (2)80199; email: felicity.burchett@admin.ox.ac.uk); questions relating to elections should be directed to the Elections Officer, Ms S L S Mulvihill (telephone: (2)80463; email: elections.office@admin.ox.ac.uk).