Council and Main Committees

  • Thursday 11 January 2018
  • NO. 5190
  • VOL. 148

Council of the University

Changes in Regulations

Council has made the following changes to regulations, to come into effect on 26 January.

Regulation changes relating to the University's bond

Explanatory Note

As reported in the Vice-Chancellor's communication to all staff of 1 December 2017 and on the Staff Gateway (www.ox.ac.uk/staff/news-listing/2017-12-01-oxford-builds-future-its-first-bond-issue), the University has issued a bond. The capital from the bond will initially be invested by Oxford University Endowment Management and overseen by Council's Investment Committee.

Following that, a mechanism is needed to ensure that the funds are used only to further the University's mission and make a sufficient financial return, so that the full benefit can be taken from the bond and the interest charges can be met. Given the importance of achieving this, Council has decided to charge the Finance Committee with the task of recommending to Council whether it is appropriate to draw down the capital for particular purposes. This will ensure that Council can be satisfied that there is sufficient independent oversight of the proposals that come to it. The proposed structure is illustrated in the table below.

 

The Finance Committee will recommend to Council the apportionment of capital resources between an allocation for strategic capital investment and a budget for the annual rolling capital programme. The capital programme (which is determined following the conclusion of the annual planning round) will then be divided between the Finance Committee advised by a new group, the Strategic Capital Steering Group (SCSG), on the one side, and the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (PRAC) advised by the Capital Steering Group (CSG) on the other. The former will be responsible for strategic investment funded from the strategic capital allocation (including the bond), and the latter for smaller capital projects of up to £15m funded from the budget for the rolling capital programme.

With regard to the draw-down of the funds from the strategic capital allocation to spend on strategic investments on the University's physical estate and other academic resources, the Finance Committee (advised by the SCSG) will make recommendations to Council, which will decide whether or not to authorise the draw-down.

The membership of the Finance Committee currently consists of seven members: the Vice-Chancellor (chair); four externals appointed by Council, at least two being members of Council; one person appointed by Council from among the members of Council elected by Congregation; and a head of house appointed by Conference of Colleges. Its membership is to be augmented by an additional elected member of Council and its terms of reference have been reframed so that none of its members are also heads of division or associate heads of division (or equivalent). Heads of division will be invited to attend the meeting as business requires. The SCSG will be chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) and its members will otherwise be the Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Education, and Research and Innovation, the heads of division, two external members and the Director of Finance. The Director of Estates would be in attendance.

As part of its work in advising the Finance Committee, the SCSG is authorised to spend up to £5m on developing proposals for projects that come within its remit. So that funds are not spent on preparatory work for projects that are unlikely to be approved, SCSG will be required to seek approval from the Finance Committee for preparatory expenditure of over £1m on any project within its remit. That parallels the similar delegation given by Council to PRAC and recorded in its Standing Orders.

Liaison is provided for in the draft terms of reference of the SCSG and PRAC to ensure that the two programmes are properly coordinated. That would also be facilitated by both SCSG and PRAC being chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) and serviced by officers of the Planning team.

No changes are envisaged to the management of the IT capital programme.

Text of Regulations

1 In the Financial Regulations (Council Regulations 1 of 2010), delete regulation 1.5 (2), concerning financial limits to authorise expenditure commitments, and substitute (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'(2) Financial Limits to Authorise Expenditure Commitments

Tables B, C, D, E, and F and G below summarise the upper internal limits on authority to commit to levels of expenditure (in contract or otherwise). Table B sets out those limits in respect of non-capital departmental expenditure (the rules concerning the authorisation and approval of research projects are set out in regulation 4.1.) Tables C, and D and E set out limits in respect of capital expenditure together with reporting requirements. Table EF sets out the limits applicable to investment decisions and Table FG the limits applicable to the financial write-off of bad debts.

Table B Non-capital departmental expenditure*
Limit £000 Authorising Body/Officer Signatory
Unlimited    Council    Chair of Council
5,000 PRAC    Chair of committee
1,000* Divisional board Head of division
100* Head of unit Head of unit or delegated person

 

Table C Capital expenditure (strategic capital investment, other than centrally run IT projects)
Limit £000  Requiring University Capital Funding Not requiring University Capital Funding
Projects over 15,000
  • Strategic Capital Steering Group recommends to Finance Committee
  • Finance Committee recommends to Council
  • Council approves  
  • Strategic Capital Steering Group recommends to Finance Committee
  • Finance Committee recommends to Council
  • Council approves
Projects under 15,000 within the remit of the Strategic Capital Steering Group
  • Strategic Capital Steering Group recommends to Finance Committee
  • Finance Committee recommends to Council
  • Council approves 
  • Strategic Capital Steering Group recommends to Finance Committee
  • Finance Committee recommends to Council
  • Council approves
Under 5,000 on developing proposals for projects within the remit of the Strategic Capital Steering Group
  • Strategic Capital Steering Group approves
  • Strategic Capital Steering Group approves

 

Table DC Capital expenditure (within the rolling capital programme managed by PRAC, other than centrally run IT projects)**
Limit £000 Requiring University Capital Funding Not requiring University Capital Funding
Over 15,000 
  • See table C
  • See table C
Over 5,000–15,000
  • CSG recommends to PRAC
  • PRAC recommends to Council
  • Council approves
  • CSG recommends to PRAC
  • PRAC recommends to Council
  • Council approves
1,0005,000 ***
  • CSG recommends to PRAC
  • PRAC approves  
  • CSG recommends to PRAC
  • PRAC approves
3001,000
  • CSG recommends to PRAC
  • PRAC approves
  • Formal business case is required
  • Sponsoring division may approve*
Below 300  
  • CSG recommends to PRAC
  • PRAC approves
  • Formal business case not needed
  • Sponsoring unit may approve*

* Delegated authority given to divisional boards and heads of unit is subject to the overall budgetary limits approved by PRAC (see regulation 1.4 (1) above).

** For UAS capital projects, the Budget Subcommittee of PRAC is required to receive all proposals for review. University capital funding is defined as those funds set out in the University's Capital Plan submitted to PRAC and includes funds from the Press and HEFCE as well as the University Capital Fund.

*** The Property Management Subcommittee of PRAC has a delegated authority level for sales and purchases involving amounts of up to £2m that are for property not held as an investment and are unrelated to capital projects.

Table ED Capital expenditure (centrally run IT Projects)
Limit £000 Within the IT Capital Budget**** Not requiring University Capital Funding
Over 5,000
  • IT Committee recommends to Council
  • Council approves 
  • IT Committee recommends to Council
  • Council approves
300–5,000
  • IT Committee approves
  • Formal business case is required
  • IT Committee approves
  • Formal business case is required
Below 300 
  • IT Committee approves
  • Formal business case not needed
  • IT Committee approves
  • Formal business case not needed

**** The IT Capital Budget is determined on a three-year annual rolling basis by Council on the recommendation of PRAC. In respect of the IT capital budget, CSG's role is to support PRAC in the development of the overall capital budget, of which the IT capital budget is part, but not to make recommendations on individual projects within the IT capital budget. The respective roles of IT Committee, Capital Steering Group and PRAC in respect of the IT capital budget are set out in the regulations governing those committees.

Table FE Investment decisions
The limits in Table FE relate to making and implementing investment decisions (refer to Regulation 6.4 below)
Limit £000 Authorising Body/Officer
200,000 and over Chief Investment Officer, following approval by the University's Investment Committee, further to recommendation by OUEM 
Over 100,000 and under 200,000  Chief Investment Officer, with prior written approval from the Chair of the Board of OUEM 
Less than or equal to 100,000  Chief Investment Officer
Less than or equal to 15,000 Any OUEM Investment Director

 

Table GF Bad debts to be written off
Limit £000 Authorising Body/Officer
Over 100 Finance Committee
Less than or equal to 100 Director of Finance

 

2 Ibid, amend regulation 2.2 (6) to update the reference to Table F as Table G.

3 Ibid, amend regulation 3.1 (2) to update references to Table G as Table H.

4 Ibid, amend regulation 6.4 to update the reference to Table E as Table F.

5 In Council Regulations 15 of 2002, Part 5, concerning PRAC, amend regulation 5.4 as follows (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'5.4. The committee shall be responsible for monitoring and implementing the University's Strategic Plan, setting its annual budget, and resource allocation. In particular, it shall be responsible for the following matters:

Recurrent planning and budgeting

(1) the University's Strategic Plan, reporting annually to Council on its implementation and with any recommendations on updates, with reference to the divisional and service plans and with regard to financial sustainability; as part of this exercise, PRAC shall approve, or refer back, Key Performance Indicators and associated targets proposed by divisions, the Department for Continuing Education, Personnel Committee, Education Committee, Research and Innovation Committee and the Oxford University Museums Board related to the implementation and monitoring of the University's Strategic Plan;

(2) recommending to Council the approval, or reference back, of three-year rolling plans and budgets prepared annually by the divisional boards, the Department for Continuing Education, and three-year rolling plans and budgets prepared annually by the services, and any other spending sectors, with reference to the University's financial sustainability and against the priorities set out in the University's strategic plan;

(3) making recommendations to Council on the University's annual budget in the light of the overall plan proposed by the Finance Committee and agreed by Council, the annual operating statements from the academic divisions and other spending sectors, and other relevant information;

(4) the development, implementation, refinement and monitoring of resource allocation procedures to enable annual budgets to be set;

(5) the monitoring of the work of the academic divisions, the Department for Continuing Education and the services against their approved plans and budgets;

Student number planning

(6) advising Council and Conference of Colleges, and collaborating with Education Committee, on the development of the University's student number planning policy, as set by Council and endorsed by Conference of Colleges;

Value for money

(7) the development and implementation of strategy, policy and guidance to promote and embed within the University's processes and culture greater economy and effectiveness, collectively known as 'value for money' (VfM). The committee shall provide an annual report for consideration by the Audit and Scrutiny Committee and Council;

Capital planning and budgeting

(8) making recommendations to Council for a three-year rolling capital budget, consisting of:

(i) a budget for capital projects, other than centrally run IT projects, up to the allocation limit set out in the Financial Regulations (the rolling capital programme); and

(ii) a budget for centrally run IT projects which will be managed by the IT Committee as set out in the regulations governing that committee (the IT capital budget);

which will be set and updated on a three-year rolling basis as set out in these regulations;

(9) in accordance with the allocation limits set out in Statute XVI and the Financial Regulations:

(i) approval of expenditure on capital projects within the rolling capital programme and of associated space allocations which do not require the approval of Council; and

(ii) submitting recommendations to Council for expenditure on capital projects within the rolling capital programme and of associated space allocations that require the approval of Council;

(10) liaising with the Strategic Capital Steering Group to ensure that the proposals in the rolling capital programme are compatible with proposals for strategic capital investment;

(8) making recommendations to Council for a three-year rolling capital budget, to include an IT capital budget which will be set and updated on a three-year rolling basis and which will be managed by the IT Committee as set out in the regulations governing that committee;

(9) in accordance with the allocation limits set out in Statute XVI and the Financial Regulations:

(i) approval of expenditure on capital projects (other than those within the IT capital budget or other centrally run IT projects) and space allocations which do not require the approval of Council; and

(ii) submitting recommendations to Council for expenditure on capital projects (other than those within the IT capital budget or other centrally run IT projects) and space allocations that require the approval of Council;

Other matters

(1011) the oversight of, and the making of recommendations to Council on, the institutional financial arrangements between the University and the colleges, societies and Permanent Private Halls in relation to the provision of teaching, research, administration and services;

(1112) the consideration of termly reports on the progress of the University's fundraising for capital and recurrent purposes;

(1213) the consideration of the use of any non-capital resources which are not delegated or allocated to the academic divisions, services, or other bodies (whether trust funds, University reserves, unearmarked benefactions, capital funds or reserves of any other description), and recommending to Council major new initiatives regarding such use;

(1314) the consideration of the financial relationships between the University, HEFCE and other external funding bodies, and advising Council on actions it considers necessary regarding such relationships;

(1415) on the recommendation of the Buildings and Estates Subcommittee, and following consultation with Personnel Committee, the approval of charges for parking in University-controlled car parks.'

6 Ibid, Part 11, concerning the Capital Steering Group, amend regulation 11.2 as follows (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'11.2. The Capital Steering Group shall:

(1) develop a rolling capital programme for submission to the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee;

(21) consider and make recommendations to the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee on capital project proposals (excluding those within the remit of the Strategic Capital Steering Group (SCSG) or the IT Committee the IT capital budget approved by Council on the recommendation of PRAC or other centrally run IT projects) in accordance with the financial limits set out in the Financial Regulations;

(32) consider and make recommendations to the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee on any non-recurring revenue projects referred to the Capital Steering Group by the Buildings and Estates Subcommittee of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee;

(43) ensure business cases, other than those that are the responsibility of the SCSG or the IT Committee as set out in the regulations governing those bodies that committee, have been appropriately prepared, signed by the appropriate officers of the University in accordance with the Financial Regulations and are consistent with the University's priorities and plans;

(54) consider and make recommendations to the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee on the acquisition, leasing and disposal of land and property in the functional estate; and

(65) oversee the financial management of the design and construction of projects submitted in accordance with these regulations (excluding those within the IT capital budget or other centrally run IT projects), including the gateway approval process, subject to obtaining approval from PRAC for expenditure on gateways 1 and 2 prior to that committee's release of full project funding.;

(6) develop a long-term capital plan for submission to the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee.'

7 Ibid, insert new Part 12 as follows:

'Part 12: Strategic Capital Steering Group

1. The Strategic Capital Steering Group shall consist of:

(1) the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) who shall chair the Group;

(2)–(5) the heads of each of the divisions;

(6) the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education);

(7) the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation);

(8), (9) two external members appointed by Council, not being members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee or of the Finance Committee;

(10) the Director of Finance.

2. The Strategic Capital Steering Group shall:

(1) develop a long-term strategic capital investment plan for submission to the Finance Committee;

(2) consider the use of any capital resources which are not delegated or allocated to the academic divisions, services, or other bodies (whether trust funds, University reserves, unearmarked benefactions, capital funds or reserves of any other description), and recommend to the Finance Committee major new initiatives regarding such use;

(3) in accordance with the allocation limits set out in Statute XVI and the Financial Regulations:

(i) submit recommendations to the Finance Committee for expenditure on strategic investments in the University's physical estate, and other academic resources (other than centrally run IT projects) and any associated space allocations that require the approval of Council;

(ii) approve expenditure on developing proposals for strategic investments in the University's physical estate and other academic resources (other than centrally run IT projects) that does not require the approval of Council;

(4) liaise with PRAC to ensure that the proposals for strategic capital investment are compatible with the rolling capital programme;

(5) ensure that business cases for projects being considered by the Group have been appropriately prepared, signed by the appropriate officers of the University in accordance with the Financial Regulations and are consistent with the University's priorities and plans; and

(6) oversee the financial management of the design and construction of projects submitted in accordance with these regulations, including the gateway approval process, and obtain approval from the Finance Committee for expenditure on gateways 1 and 2 prior to that committee's release of full project funding.'

8 Ibid, delete existing Part 19 concerning the Finance Committee and substitute (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'Part 19: Finance Committee

19.1. The Finance Committee shall consist of:

(1) the Vice-Chancellor;

(2)–(5) four external persons appointed by Council, of whom at least two shall be members of Council;

(6), (7) two a persons appointed by Council from among the members of Council elected by Congregation;

(87) a Head of House appointed by the Conference of Colleges.

19.2. Subject to the approval of Council on each occasion, the committee may co-opt up to two additional members.

19.3. No member of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee or a Head of Division or an Associate Head of Division (or equivalent), may also serve as a member of the Finance Committee.

19.4. The committee shall be responsible for:

(1) the consideration of the financial resources available to the University, and the proposal of a five-year financial strategy for the University (incorporating:

(i) the overall income and expenditure budget; and

(ii) the overall capital expenditure budget) on an annual rolling basis, consisting of (a) an allocation for the strategic capital investment plan and (b) an allocation for the annual rolling capital programme;

for approval by Council and communication, in the case of (ii)(a) to the Strategic Capital Steering Group, and in the case of (i) and (ii)(b) to the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee;

(2) making recommendations to Council for:

(i) the use of any capital resources which are not delegated or allocated to the academic divisions, services or other bodies on major new initiatives; and

(ii) expenditure on strategic investments on the University's physical estate and other academic resources, other than centrally run IT projects, and any associated space allocations;

as advised by the Strategic Capital Steering Group in accordance with the allocation limits set out in Statute XVI and the Financial Regulations;

(32) the provision of advice to Council on the needs of the University as established by its plans, in order that Council can take these views into account when establishing capital investment policy;

(43) as appropriate, consideration of, and provision of advice to Council on, the HEFCE financial forecast together with aspects of the financial relationships between the University, HEFCE, and other external funding bodies;

(54) the review of, and provision of advice to Council on, University's annual financial statements, prior to their approval by Council;

(65) the review of, and provision of advice to Council on, the annual accounts of the Delegates of the University Press and the report on the accounts produced by the Finance Committee of the Delegates;

(76) the approval of the University's banking and treasury arrangements;

(87) such other action on behalf of Council in relation to the University's financial business as may be required from time to time.

19.5. Regulations 1.6 and 1.7 in Part 1 apply to this committee except that the quorum is one-third plus one of those members eligible to vote upon the business of the committee (rounded to the nearest integer).'

General Purposes Committee of Council

Changes in Regulations

The General Purposes Committee of Council has made the following changes in regulations, to come into effect on 26 January.

Professor of Bibliography and Modern Book History

Explanatory Note

The following changes, made on the recommendation of the Humanities Divisional Board, amend the regulations for the Professor of Bibliography and Modern Book History to cover the period from 1750 to the present day.

Text of Regulations

In Council Regulations 24 of 2002, concerning individual professorships, delete existing regulation §330 and substitute (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'§330. Professor of Bibliography and Modern Book History

1. The Professor of Bibliography and Modern Book History shall undertake research, lecture and give instruction in bibliography and the history of the book from 18001750 to the present day.

2. The professor shall be elected by an electoral board consisting of:

(1) the Vice-Chancellor, or, if the head of the college specified in paragraph (2) below is the Vice-Chancellor, a person appointed by Council;

(2) the head of the college to which the Chair may be allocated by Council from time to time; or, if the head is unable or unwilling to act, a person appointed by the governing body of the college;

(3) a person appointed by the governing body of the college specified in (2) of this clause;

(4), (5) two persons appointed by Council;

(6) one person appointed by the Humanities Board;

(7)–(9) three persons appointed by the Board of the Faculty of English Language and Literature.

3. The professor shall be subject to the General Provisions of the regulations concerning the duties of professors and to those Particular Provisions of the same regulations, which are applicable to the Chair.'

Congregation11 December

Degree by Resolution

This is restricted content: see Congregation: 11 December (login is required).

Council of the University

Register of Congregation

The Vice-Chancellor reports that the following names have been added to the Register of Congregation:

Allendorf, K I, Corpus Christi

Bolorinos Allard, E, Magdalen

Boulding, Dame Hilary, Trinity

Bown, A S F, Queen's

Cook, B, Primary Care Health Sciences

Cousins, T D, St Hugh's

Cuomo, R S, Public Affairs Directorate

De Alarcon, M S, Pitt Rivers Museum

Deligiannidis, G, Jesus

Dyas-Correia, S, Collections and Resource Description

El Masri, Y, Brasenose

Jeans, A F, Christ Church

King, H M, St Anne's

McGuinness, V N, Humanities Division

Mangla, A, Green Templeton

Park, S G, St Anne's

Pearson, L R, New College

Rousseau, J N, Jesus

Sedlacek, P, Christ Church

Whalley, J P, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics

Divisional and Faculty Boards

For changes in regulations for examinations see 'Examinations and Boards' below.