See annexe, sections 3.2 - 3.6
23. The working party has given careful attention to the composition of the key central bodies. It has considered in particular the balance of elected and ex officio members. It has also noted that a number of respondents have expressed concerns about the proposals of the Commission of Inquiry in this area, and has tried to ensure that its own proposals reflect properly the full range of interests, including those of the colleges.
24. For the new Council, the working party has adopted the broad lines of the Commission's proposals in so far as its membership would include the Vice-Chancellor, the Proctors and the Assessor (recognised by the working party as members elected from college communities and with a traditional role of representing grass roots opinion), the heads of the four large academic groupings, two external members (these would be appointed by Council, subject to the approval of Congregation), and provision for up to two co-opted members. In addition, however, the working party believes that the Chairman of the Conference of Colleges should be a member ex officio, and that there should be, as now, three junior member observers. Where the Commission proposed 12 further members simply elected by Congregation from its own members, the working party believes that some refinement is required. The working party proposes that the 'constituencies' from which these 12 members come should be defined more closely to provide an even subject spread as between the arts and the sciences, as is the case for elections to the General Board under the current system: the working party believes that the spread of 'representation' between different subject-areas on the General Board is very valuable and should be carried over to the arrangements for the new Council. The working party also notes that separate arts and science constituencies are also likely to produce something of a balance between those whose primary academic focus is at the level of the college on the one hand and at the level of the university department on the other. Moreover the working party believes that there should be a further constituency for elections to Council, namely members of Congregation who would choose to stand from a non-divisional perspective. This would be a route which heads of house or senior college officers, and others, could choose for election to Council, and would enable the University's main executive body to benefit from the expertise of those who would not necessarily be appropriate or eligible candidates for a subject-based constituency. This would further enhance the way in which the new Council reflects the range of interests and concerns in the wider University. The working party therefore proposes that the 12 directly elected members of the new Council should comprise four from each of three constituencies: arts, science, and 'non-divisional'. All of the members of Congregation would have a vote in each constituency contest; candidates in the arts and science constituencies would have to be members of arts or science faculties, as appropriate; non-divisional candidatures could come from any member of Congregation; no candidate could stand for election from more than one constituency at any one time. Elections would be for four-year terms (the first ones being staggered): on expiry of the term individuals would be eligible for re-election (the working party, unlike the Commission, does not believe that there should be a limit on the length of overall service by individuals, this being properly a matter for Congregation to determine through its votes). The overall composition of Council would then comprise 12 members elected by Congregation; three members elected by their colleges (the Proctors and the Assessor); six ex officio members (the Vice-Chancellor, the Chairman of the Conference, the four heads of divisions); two external members; and up to two co-opted members. Assuming there are two co-opted members the size of Council would therefore be 25. The working party believes that this is reasonable and that the composition it proposes is well balanced from the point of view of democratic control.
25. Before turning to the composition of Council's committees the working party discussed the question of senior academic officers who would assist the Vice-Chancellor. The working party does not endorse the Commission's proposal to call the heads of the large academic groupings 'Deputy Vice-Chancellors', the role of the working party's 'heads of divisions' in the central structures being more similar to that of the other members of Council and its committees (albeit with the heads of divisions making specific contributions as a function of their additional local office): nor does the working party believe that a further Deputy Vice-Chancellor should head an overall committee for the Academic Services (favouring an alternative structure in that area, on which see sections 46-50 below). However the working party has in the context of the composition of Council considered whether there should be other officers in addition to the Vice-Chancellor and the academic heads of divisions to assist in the management of the central University. In particular, the working party has considered whether there should be a post of Deputy Vice-Chancellor. On balance the working party believes that although such a post might be useful as a transitional measure, it would in the longer term be preferable to retain the basis of the current system whereby the Vice-Chancellor may appoint Pro-Vice-Chancellors (usually from among members of Council) for various purposes. It is the view of the working party that this system should be developed somewhat, to permit the Vice-Chancellor, with the support of the Council, to allocate specific functional responsibilities to individuals in the light of developing circumstances (which would relate to the combination of duties the Vice-Chancellor could realistically discharge, the range of pressing strategic and management issues from time to time, and the expertise available: such responsibilities could either be ongoing or respond to short-term issues). Within such a system it would be a question of assigning to suitably qualified individuals day-to-day responsibility for oversight of particular issues, subject to consultation with, and report to, the Vice-Chancellor and the relevant university body or bodies: the working party has in mind in particular a possible post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Services), which it thinks would be of particular usefulness and importance, and the possible extension of this model to areas such as Educational Policy and Standards, and External Relations and Fundraising.
26. Moving on to the composition of Council's major committees, the working party has refined the proposals of the Commission of Inquiry for the composition of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (along similar lines to its modifications in respect of Council). It believes that the Chairman of the Estates Bursars' Committee should be a member ex officio, and that the six members drawn from the directly elected members of Council should be carefully chosen to take account of the full range of activities and interests of concern to the committee. The working party also believes that the four academic heads of divisions should be voting members of this committee. It has noted that the Commission of Inquiry believed they should attend but not vote, and has also considered whether there would be a conflict of interest if the heads of divisions were to vote on the plans and budgets proposed by their own divisions. In the view of the working party such concerns are misplaced, and are based on a misunderstanding of the role of the heads of divisions in the new structure. It is of crucial importance to appreciate that the heads of divisions should be not solely, or even primarily, representatives of narrow local interests. They must equally be integral members of the central bodies, and thus intimately involved and implicated in central decision-making. Making the heads of divisions voting members of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee underlines this dual role, and ensures that they will be as much advocates to their divisions of overall university priorities and policies as advocates to the centre of local desiderata. This reflects the current position of members of the General Board (who are elected from subject constituencies but clearly take a broad view on questions of academic management); it also reflects the way in which the new divisional boards will take on responsibilities now located at the centre. It is also significant in this connection that the heads of divisions will not be bringing to the centre their personal visions of local requirements, but rather the considered plans of the broadly based divisional boards which they will chair, which will in turn have to reflect the full range of grass roots opinion. The considerations here reflect the working party's consideration of the meaning of delegation and devolution (reported in more detail in sections 39-45 below).
27. For the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, the working party has noted that the Commission's proposals included a high level of college representation and only one member of Council alongside the Vice-Chancellor. The working party proposes considerable changes here: it believes that the chairmen of the Senior Tutors' Committee and of the Committee for Tutors for Graduates should be members ex officio, and that the (four) directly elected members should be drawn from the directly elected members of Council (one of whom should chair the committee, to relieve the burden on the Vice-Chancellor).
28. The working party believes that the General Purposes Committee should include the Chairman of the Conference of Colleges ex officio, and that the number of the directly elected members of Council it includes should be increased from the Commission's two to four.
29. The working party believes that the Personnel Committee should comprise two members of Council (one of whom would chair the committee), the four heads of divisions, four individuals appointed by the divisional boards, the Chairman of the Senior Tutors' Committee ex officio, the Proctors and the Assessor, and up to five members co-opted to ensure that the committee reflected the range of interests and concerns in university departments and faculties and the academic services.
30. The working party has considered the question of the low proportion of women who currently serve on major university bodies: it believes that it is highly desirable to move towards a better gender balance, and while it would not think it appropriate for the choice Congregation makes in electing members of Council to be constrained through formal mechanisms designed to equalise the position, it would welcome in the future consultation the views of the Equal Opportunities Committee among others on informal steps which might be taken to encourage more women candidates, and on other equal opportunities issues such as representation of ethnic minorities and disabled people. On the position below Council, the General Purposes Committee (as successor to the Standing Committee on Standing Committees) will have a formal role not just in populating other central committees but explicitly in attending to gender balance along with the other issues of representation it will consider in this connection. Open and transparent procedures for the appointment of heads of divisions should ensure equality of opportunity in the selection of those who will serve as ex officio members of key committees.)
31. The working party believes that it will be essential for key officers (from within and outside the central administration) to attend meetings (or parts of meetings) of relevant central and divisional bodies, in addition to those who directly service them. It has in mind officers such as the Directors of the Development Office and of the External Relations Office, and in particular the Director of Library Services: in the working party's view it is crucial that the Director or his nominee should be present when any major issue relating to libraries is discussed by Council, its committees, or the divisional boards.