Second Report of the Joint Working Party on Governance

Expand All

1. The working party (membership of which is set out in para. 72 below) has been pleased and encouraged to note from the responses to its first report that there is a very large degree of support for the general model it suggested. Virtually all of those consulted welcomed the report, and many regarded it as a significant improvement on the Report of the Commission of Inquiry. For example, All Souls is 'positive and supportive' about the working party's proposals; Christ Church 'welcomes much of what is contained in the report'; St Edmund Hall expresses 'appreciation of the way in which the working party has sought to stress ... the need for collaboration with the colleges ... and to bear in mind the needs of the colleges, and also of the working party's attempts to provide points of access into the new bodies for collegiate views'; the Senior Tutors' Committee 'welcomes the report and is reassured that a number of concerns previously expressed in the context of the North proposals have been addressed'. The proposals 'generally find favour' with the English Board; the Oriental Studies Board is 'happier' with 'many points' in the working party's report than it was with the Report of the Commission of Inquiry; the Physical Sciences Board welcomes a 'workable model' which is a 'significant advance on the North Report'; the Biosciences Research Board 'supports the overall thrust' of the proposals and 'welcomes the establishment of a framework within which it will at last be possible to simplify and streamline decision-making [and] to achieve the necessary transparency and responsiveness'; the Committee on Continuing Education 'welcomes the proposed new structure in broad terms and considers that ... it would substantially improve the governance of the University'; the Said Business School is 'strongly supportive of both the aims and most of the specifics in the working party's report'; and the Libraries Committee welcomes the report and is pleased to see that 'the consideration of library-related matters is routinely integrated, at appropriate levels, into the University's decision-making, planning, and resource allocation procedures'.

2. Inevitably various bodies raised some concerns about the proposals. In considering those concerns carefully the working party has also borne in mind the majority view and the need not to respond to isolated criticisms in a way which risks alienating the current broad acceptance of the model as it stands.

3. The main refinements which the working party has now agreed to make to its original proposals may be summarised as follows:

  • increasing college representation on Council and certain of its committees;
  • developing the broad principles which might underlie a new resource allocation model;
  • increasing the number of science divisions to three, and providing in the arts a choice between two divisions and one, while (crucially) maintaining the arts/science balance on Council and its committees;
  • setting out the broad relative responsibilities of the centre, the divisions, and (not least) faculty boards/departments, with a governing principle of subsidiarity;
  • setting out more clearly exactly how divisions would operate; and
  • providing for a review of the operation of the new structure after it has been in place for five years, the review to pay especial attention to the structure's transparency, efficiency, and democracy, and to be conducted by a body consisting of six members directly elected by Congregation (two from the arts, two from the sciences, and two from the 'non-divisional' constituency), plus a retiring or recent Proctor as chairman.

4. The working party (a) sets out below in more detail the responses to its first report and its views and decisions on the points in para. 3 above and on the other main issues it has considered; (b) proposes a sequence of decisions on points of principle relating to the future governance of the University, for voting in Congregation; and (c) presents a revised version of the annexe to its first report as a summary of the key elements of the new structure it is proposing.

5. Some concern has been expressed, particularly by a few colleges but also by one faculty board, over the proposals to extend membership of Congregation automatically to the holders of all non-established posts in grades ALC3 and RSII and above. It has been pointed out that such individuals often have no college association and sometimes no involvement in teaching, and it has been suggested instead that they should only be able to become members of Congregation if they become members of faculties. On the other hand it has been said that the working party's proposal (which would add about 200 to the 3,240 existing members of Congregation) does not go far enough, and that membership should be extended to all established staff in ALC2 and RSIA and above and to all academic-related staff with more than five years' service (this would add about 1,000 new members).

6. The working party believes that it is important, for the reasons set out cogently in the report of the Commission of Inquiry, to involve more academic-related staff in the formal business of the University. Those holding established posts in grades ALC3 and RSII and above are already eligible for membership of Congregation, and the working party does not believe that it is justifiable to continue to exclude staff of similar seniority holding the fixed-term appointments which are the norm, for example, for the contract research staff who contribute so much to the University's academic work. The counter-proposed route of faculty membership would be retrograde in that it would deny established academic-related staff the right they already enjoy: that route is, however, perfectly adequate as the means whereby fixed-term college teaching and research staff can become members of Congregation. The working party has agreed, therefore, that the original proposal should be pursued.

7. A small number of colleges opposed the raising from 75 to 125 of the number of members present at a meeting of Congregation who are required to vote in favour of a resolution for the vote to be binding. A small number of colleges also opposed the increase from 12 to 20 in the number of members required to propose a resolution. The working party notes that opposition to these changes is isolated and confirms its support for these proposals made originally by the Commission of Inquiry.

8. A small number of colleges opposed the extension of the term of office to a possible seven years, on the grounds that this would in practice reduce the likelihood of Heads of House being able to serve. One college thought that in fact neither colleges nor faculties would release individuals for so long, and therefore that only 'professional administrators' would be appointable. Another college thought that seven years was too long for power to remain in one pair of hands. However, a third college thought that the advantages of a seven-year term outweighed any possible difficulties over limiting the availability of Heads of House, and a fourth college also argued that seven years was sensible.

9. Fewer colleges opposed the possibility of appointing an individual who was not at the time of appointment a member of Congregation, those that did believing that such an individual would not have the relevant expertise (these opponents did not accept the argument that the nominating committee would not nominate such an individual). Again, however, there was also support for this proposal, one college commenting that a wider field would be a healthy development.

10. One college opposed the reduction (vis-à-vis the current arrangements) proposed by the working party in the number/proportion of members of the nominating committee to be elected by the Conference of Colleges.

11. As will be seen, therefore, opposition to the proposals concerning the Vice-Chancellorship was not widespread and the working party believes that the changes proposed should be pursued. (The working party also confirms its view that the arrangements for the retirement of the Vice-Chancellor should be the same as for other staff, and therefore that the Vice-Chancellor would retire on the 30 September immediately preceding the 66th birthday unless he or she had a vested right (as defined) to continue to the 30 September immediately preceding the 68th birthday, and unless of course the maximum seven-year period of office expired earlier.)

12. There was very widespread support for the proposed new Council to replace the current Council and the General Board. Only one individual respondent opposed this (by reference to the need for a Chairman of the General Board to assist the Vice-Chancellor). A very much more typical response is as follows: 'The college welcomes the key proposal to integrate Council and the General Board and hopes that this will proceed with alacrity. Nothing could be worse for the University than a long period of planning blight.' The case for change here seems incontrovertible, and the working party therefore confirms its strong support for this proposal. As it said in its original report, the working party believes that it is highly desirable for there to be a single overarching executive and policy-making body for the University, under Congregation. Within the University there is at present a lack of clarity over the roles of the existing central bodies, and a pressing need for a more transparent, streamlined, and integrated structure which is able to take key strategic decisions in a proactive way and to respond swiftly, clearly, and appropriately to individual issues and opportunities. Having the present Council and the General Board fragments and complicates strategic management. In a series of crucial areas, such as planning, finance, broad educational policy, and personnel, there is inadequate co-ordination between the two spheres of influence. A new overall body would rationalise the situation. Placing the General Board's integrative role in respect of academic management at the centre of overall university governance would create a single authority, under Congregation, for the consideration of strategic issues and to oversee a coherent approach to particular functional areas and to relations with the colleges. Through its proposals for a new Council with a small number of major committees, the working party aims essentially to take the separate core operations of Council and particularly of the General Board and combine them in two ways: first, gathering within single committees functions which are currently dispersed; and second, providing a single body to oversee these functions. This will enable these committees to take a concentrated approach to the development of policy and the monitoring of practice, and will enable the new Council to harmonise the University's approach to the most crucial issues of academic and administrative governance.

13. Again there was considerable support for the major committees with the remits proposed.

14. The General Board raised the question of responsibility for overall research policy. While not disagreeing that this should be a matter for the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (as the working party had proposed), the Board felt that the issue should be given greater prominence. Its Research and Equipment Committee, while noting the role of the divisions in developing research policy, and emphasising in addition the value of 'bottom-up' initiatives, reiterated its view of the need for a long-term, centrally overseen research strategy. The working party has revised the terms of reference of this committee to give this point greater emphasis.

15. The working party has made a similar amendment to underline the importance of making rapid progress on the development of resource allocation methods, since transparency of financial flows emerged as a key issue in the consultation. It is clearly not feasible or appropriate for the working party to propose detailed revisions to resource allocation procedures: it is not possible to commit the new bodies in advance of their establishment to particular decisions either on the resource allocation methods they might adopt, or (above all) on the actual disposition of resources. However, the working party has outlined some key features of the kind of new approach which will need to be developed as a matter of prime importance by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee in consultation with all interested parties.

16. The resource allocation process will be primarily informed by transparent management information, which will be readily available throughout the University, on the income attributable to subject areas and other sectors and on the costs they incur. In this way individual areas will be able to point to any anomalies involved in the construction of financial plans which would not provide those areas with the resources which they deserve. It is intended that the resources allocated to an area will broadly be informed by income earned and activities carried out in the area, subject to the constraints outlined below. It is important both to relate allocation to income earned through basic teaching and research activities, and to provide incentives in the allocation model for the generation of additional income. Attention should also be paid to the need to ensure that areas which cannot raise substantial additional income are not thereby precluded from desirable academic developments.

17. Resource allocation under the new structures would need to be considered on at least two levels: that of the University as a whole, where, under Council, the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee would be responsible for allocating resources to divisions and to the services, and at the level of the divisions, which would be responsible for proposing the allocation of resources to the departments, faculties, sub-faculties, and other units under their aegis.

18. Notwithstanding this two-tier approach, the individual divisions under the new structure would not simply have a free hand to allocate resources without reference either to Council or to their own constituencies, nor to take major decisions about the development or curtailment of particular subject areas without similar reference. This is because resource allocation would be intimately connected with a rolling planning cycle, whereby after close consultation with their own constituencies, and on the basis of proposals elaborated by those constituencies, the divisions would put forward costed plans covering the short and medium terms, setting out in detail the approach which they wished to adopt and the funding which would be needed to implement this. The Planning and Resource Allocation Committee would consider these plans, in close consultation with the divisions and other relevant interests, and recommend for final decision by Council an overall university strategy for development which integrated the plans of the academic divisions and other sectors (e.g. IT, libraries, etc.). Academic divisions and their sub-units would only be able to proceed on the basis of approved plans (although there would be flexibility to depart from these with appropriate approval in any reasonable circumstances). The point is that the divisions, however constituted, could not arbitrarily proceed in a way which did not take proper account of the interests of all their constituents. Moreover, heads of division will be assisted in their task of academic and financial management by a combination of colleagues - by the heads of department and/or chairmen of faculty boards in the subject area, by local administrators, and by the central administration which will provide dedicated advice and support through a nominated person in each of the areas of academic planning, budget and finance, personnel, and space planning.

19. In the view of the working party, the benefits of this framework for financial and management devolution include:

  • the provision of greater transparency in respect of the current resourcing pattern, i.e. a detailed, widely available, and comprehensible description of income and expenditure in relation to each activity, in advance of the implementation of changes in resource allocation methods;
  • the ability of each sector to see how it and the other sectors are financed, which will produce useful tensions as between academic divisions and as between those divisions and the services in areas where their interests overlap;
  • the way in which such transparency aids mutual understanding, highlights apparent anomalies, and fosters user-responsiveness in the services;
  • an equally transparent definition of the relative roles of the centre, the divisions/services, and departments/faculty boards and other units in the resource planning process, which maintains appropriate checks and balances.

20. Key features of the new approach to resource allocation would include:

  • the role of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee and Council as custodians of the whole of the University's finances, which are not simply to be split wholesale into large blocks for the divisions to allocate in detail: the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee and Council control and monitor the treatment and proposed treatment of individual units by divisions, scrutinising not just the initial divisional bids for resources but also the details of how the divisions propose to deal with the inevitably lower actual settlement;
  • the important role of the divisions and the services in analysing, at the regional level, past patterns and future needs, and in producing plans for consideration by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee in an iterative process (noting also, however, the role of local units as described below);
  • the role of the divisions and their sub-units on the one hand, and the academic services on the other, in seeking consensus over areas of common interest, so that the centre is not involved in continuous micro-management (although the central bodies would always consider direct representations made by particular interests): while funds relating to such common areas do not necessarily 'belong' either to the division or to the service (but rather to the University as a whole), if a division/service can identify sustainable savings in an area of interest to it, such savings are prima facie available to that division/service for other purposes, including capital purposes, as it plans its financial approach across the region;
  • the very full and indispensable involvement of departments/faculty boards, and other sub-units such as inter-faculty groupings, smaller subject areas, and individual units within a service sector, in shaping the plans of the divisions and the services, both at the initial bid stage and in the proposed implications of the final settlement, with a transparent approach to historical and prospective allocations providing reassurance for smaller and interdisciplinary units.

21. While the adoption and detailed implementation of a new resource allocation method will be a matter for the proper, democratically composed and accountable university bodies, namely the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee, Council, and ultimately Congregation, the working party believes that in terms of the transition to the new funding framework the following principles would need to apply:

  • work on developing a new method should begin immediately, and should be completed by 1 October 2000 (although, as set out below, the implementation of the new method would need to take longer);
  • the change to the new model has to be gradual: wide structural and constitutional change cannot be combined with the simultaneous upheaval of a resource allocation method which leads to radically different results;
  • any transition must have regard to historical patterns, and so in the short term levels of finance will be close to the current position, ensuring that ongoing activities remain viable, but against a background of the potential for an agreed direction for change;
  • future changes to current patterns will be subject to a transparent and agreed process, reflecting full and open bottom-up discussion, and reflecting formally at the central and divisional level the needs of small units and interdisciplinary activities;
  • for a financial safeguard in the early years of a more devolved system, contingency reserves would be an important aspect of central and divisional planning;
  • any new system would need to be formally reviewed as part of the general review of the new governance structure, not least to determine whether the resource allocation method provided sufficient protection for small units and interdisciplinary activities and sufficient incentives for savings and for user-responsiveness in the services.

22. Few responses focused in any detail on the remit of the General Purposes Committee, and the working party proposes that it should be confirmed as previously suggested (subject to a refinement in consequence of para. 37 below).

23. Some colleges raised concerns over the proposed role of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee in areas of policy on undergraduate matters such as access/admissions, on the grounds that these were more properly college matters. One college, however, acknowledged progressively increasing university interest in these areas, while hoping that there would be an evolutionary approach rather than radical changes in these and other areas (a view which the working party endorses).

24. There have also been suggestions that the Educational Policy and Standards Committee might not provide the particular focus on graduate studies which is widely thought to be urgently needed. One graduate college, for example, said that it was 'particularly concerned that the proposed Educational Policy and Standards Committee will not devote adequate time to the variety of University-wide and national issues concerning graduate studies and graduate students. About 30 per cent of Oxford's students are postgraduates, and it is to be hoped that a corresponding proportion of the committee's time will be devoted to issues concerning them.'

25. The working party takes very seriously the need to develop within the new structure much better mechanisms for the consideration of graduate studies issues. For too long these have been regarded as in some way separate from, and to be grafted onto, the more traditional focus on undergraduate studies - and this separate approach has, as the responses to the consultation show, resulted in some difficulties in achieving an appropriate profile for graduate studies. It was for this reason that the working party located responsibility for graduate studies as an issue of the first importance in the terms of reference of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, one of Council's major committees. The working party attaches considerable importance to the establishment of such a single committee to enable a clearer focus on general policy issues relating to teaching and learning across the graduate/undergraduate divide (and also to contribute proactively to national discussions on teaching and learning from an Oxford perspective). Given that the committee's role on undergraduate issues may inevitably be slightly constrained by the functions and responsibilities of colleges, the working party is confident that the committee will easily meet or exceed the 30 per cent target referred to in para. 24 above. (The working party also notes in connection with the general desire to enhance the profile of graduate studies the particular role that the divisional boards will have in this area and the likelihood that they will have separate graduate studies committees.) The working party is clear that the review of operation of the new structure, which it is proposing should occur after five years, should pay particular attention to whether the general desire for a better focus for graduate studies has been realised.

26. The working party has also discussed the appropriate location for student welfare matters (bearing in mind the significant role of the colleges in this area). It believes that to add this to the remit of the Personnel Committee, as proposed by OUSU, would radically change the character of that committee and would not in any case be appropriate. Equally, however, it is not clear that student welfare questions fit well into the remit of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee. The working party takes the view that in general such questions ought largely to be dealt with under their own authority by the relevant committees with direct responsibility in these areas, such as the Committee on Student Health, the Childcare Committee, and the Committee for Disabled People (which are themselves able to draw together staff and student concerns at the functional level). Major strategic and overarching issues in this general area would be considered by Council itself, on the advice of the relevant other committees and through the General Purposes Committee.

27. One college proposed that matters relating to staff should not be integrated under the Personnel Committee, but that academic staffing issues should come under the Educational Policy and Standards Committee. The working party, however, is convinced that the case for an integrated staffing committee is overwhelming. There is a slightly broader concern about the proposal that the business of the General Board's Joint Committee for the Regulation of University/College Appointments would come under the Personnel Committee, and the working party has clarified (a) that the joint committee's current role in planning academic resources and priorities at the university/college interface (not least through the approval of the release of academic posts for refilling) will be taken up under the aegis of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee; (b) that contractual and procedural matters involving liaison between the University and the colleges on academic staffing issues will be dealt with by the Personnel Committee through a subcommittee with balanced college and university representation; and (c) that, subject to any general changes in this area which might be approved on the recommendation of the Joint Working Party on Joint Appointments, college associations with new or vacant academic posts will be a matter for divisional boards, in consultation with colleges, with individual colleges having a right of appeal direct to Council.

28. Consultation on the remit of Council's committees tended to raise two general points: possible sub-structures, and the potential role of academic officers with key responsibilities in areas of interest to those committees (whether these officers might be Pro-Vice-Chancellors, chairmen of committees, or chairmen of subcommittees). On the first point the working party believes that it should be for the new committees themselves to determine their subcommittee structure (if any). That said, the working party takes the view that the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee is very likely to need (streamlined) subcommittees for (a) Estates and Buildings, and (b) the Council Departments; the Educational Policy and Standards Committee is very likely to need an Academic Staff Development Subcommittee; and the Personnel Committee will need a Joint Subcommittee on Joint Appointments. In respect of some key policy areas, such as research strategy, graduate studies, and contract research staff, the new committees will need to determine quickly whether subcommittees are appropriate or whether such major issues are better addressed in the main body. On the second point, the General Board in particular developed the idea of having designated academic officers in key functional areas to encourage liaison on the one hand between the divisions, and on the other between the divisions and Council and its committees. The working party remains of the view that it would be appropriate to retain the basis of the current system whereby the Vice-Chancellor may appoint Pro-Vice-Chancellors (the majority usually from among members of Council) for various purposes, developing this system somewhat to permit the Vice-Chancellor, subject to the agreement of 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 the oversight of particular issues, subject to consultation with, and report to, the Vice-Chancellor and the relevant university body or bodies: the working party is clear that there should be a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Services), and possibly a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Development/External Relations). (Other individuals could cover particular policy areas such as research strategy and graduate studies, perhaps as Pro-Vice-Chancellors or simply as chairmen of the major committees or their subcommittees.) Such individuals would attend relevant parts of discussions at Council, its committees, divisional boards, and the committees for the academic services (of some of which they might of course in any case already be voting members).

29. As indicated above, in general the colleges were supportive of the working party's report and appreciative of the attempts to involve the colleges in the new structure. However, many colleges took the view that the level of representation of the colleges on Council and its committees was not adequate. The working party has discussed this issue at some length, noting the arguments on both sides. It is not convinced that the notion of 'representation' is in fact an appropriate one in this context. The role of the members of the central bodies is not to promote narrow interests, but rather to provide a range of knowledge and expertise so that informed decisions can be taken collectively in recognition of the general context and the range of concerns of the collegiate University as a whole. The working party endorses the view of one college that 'representatives of different interests on university bodies do not fight on behalf of their constituencies, and are spokesmen only in the sense of transmitting information and watching for problems that affect their constituencies; beyond that they deliberate in the general interest. It would be a serious shame if college representatives were thought to have any different role.' That said, the colleges clearly do have a unique role in terms of the balance of concerns and interests in the business of the central bodies, and the working party has therefore made some changes to its initial proposals in this respect, as set out below.

30. On Council, the general wish of the colleges was for one more representative in addition to the Chairman of the Conference of Colleges. The working party has agreed that this would be appropriate, with the extra member to be elected by the Conference of Colleges and to be counterbalanced by a reduction from four to three of the number of members of Council elected from the 'non-divisional' constituency. (The working party did consider whether both of these college representatives should be elected by the members of governing bodies: in retaining the role of the Conference of Colleges the working party has noted significant support in the responses for its suggestion that intercollegiate bodies themselves should become more representative and effective.)

31. On the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee, the general college wish was for one more representative in addition to the Chairman of the Estates Bursars' Committee, but there was no agreement among the colleges as to who this should be. The working party notes that it had previously proposed that this committee contain six of the directly elected members of Congregation on Council, drawn from the arts, sciences, and non-divisional constituencies, and takes the view that the best way forward here on college representation is for the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee to be permitted to co-opt a further member (with the approval of Council) to ensure that the committee adequately reflects the range of interests in the collegiate University.

32. On the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, again many colleges proposed that they should have another representative in addition to the Chairman of the Senior Tutors' Committee and the Chairman of the Committee for Tutors for Graduates. (Another view was that divisional representation should be strengthened instead.) The working party believes that it would be appropriate for the committee to have an additional member appointed by the Joint Undergraduate Admissions Committee (and that the Academic Adviser on Educational Development - an Oxford academic seconded half-time to work on academic staff development - should attend the committee's meetings).

33. On the General Purposes Committee, again colleges wished to have another representative, in addition to the Chairman of Conference of Colleges: the working party does not think that this is justified, but has agreed that, at the request of the Chairman of the Conference, the chairman of another intercollegiate body could attend a meeting of the committee for the discussion of a particular item.

34. In terms of the Personnel Committee, the main concern on the college side is that there should be an appropriate balance of university and college representatives dealing with matters hitherto in the province of the Joint Committee for the Regulation of University/College Appointments. As discussed, plans for the release of posts would not be dealt with by the Personnel Committee, but it would be responsible for overseeing the joint appointments scheme and individual cases covered by it, and it seems to the working party that it would be appropriate for such particular issues to be dealt with through a subcommittee of the Personnel Committee with a balanced college/university membership which would not be drawn entirely from the parent committee. (This would not apply to questions concerning college association with new or vacant posts, on which see para. 27 above.) The working party has noted the willingness of the Senior Tutors' Committee to adjust its own procedures to ensure that its chairman, who would be a member of the Personnel Committee, would be able to cover the interests of the Committee of Tutors for Graduates.

35. Finally on the college side, the working party has considered a response from the Domestic Bursars' Committee requesting ex officio representation on the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee or Council. The working party believes that liaison with university officers would be more appropriate, and has asked the Registrar to pursue this.

36. The working party has given careful consideration to arguments from OUSU for greater representation of Junior Members in the new structure. In this context the working party agrees that the question of voting rights is less important than the principle of involving constructively, at various levels, the representatives of a key constituency with recent direct experience of teaching and learning in the University. In addition to three junior member observers on Council, the working party believes that there should be two voting Junior Members on the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, one representing undergraduates and one graduates. There would also be two junior member observers (one representing undergraduates, the other graduates) on each divisional board and on the committees overseeing each academic service; and joint consultative committees would continue at the narrower subject level. Officer-level contacts between OUSU and the central administration should also be enhanced.

37. The working party believes that women are under-represented on university committees, and consulted the Equal Opportunities Committee on ways of improving this situation. The working party believes that a range of initiatives should be pursued in order to make progress in this area, and that under the new structure it will be of prime importance to ensure that those responsible for making appointments to committees are fully conscious of the desirability of representing the range of interests and concerns across the collegiate University. The working party sees a vital role here for the General Purposes Committee, which will be responsible for recommending appointments to be made by Council to other university committees. The working party has adjusted the formal terms of reference of the General Purposes Committee to require it to report annually to Council and Congregation on progress towards equality of representation on university bodies. The creation of a new structure for university governance will open up many opportunities for fresh blood and for a different range of membership on key committees, and in addition to the nominating role of the General Purposes Committee it will be important to take concrete steps to encourage the widest cross-section of individuals to stand for the many directly elected seats on Council and the divisional boards. The working party hopes that such initiatives will improve the representation of women and other under-represented groups.

38. It is on local structures that most comments received in the consultation process have focused.

39. In the life sciences there is a widespread view, which has the support of all the faculty boards concerned, that two divisions are required, one for Clinical Medicine, Physiological Sciences, and Psychological Studies, and the other to combine the existing Anthropology and Geography and Biological Sciences Boards. It is thought that the working party's proposed Biological and Medical Sciences Division would be too large to be manageable, and this point is reinforced by the decision, which the working party did not foresee, of the Anthropology and Geography Board to wish to remain together and not form a part of the arts groupings. The alternative proposed by the relevant faculty boards achieves the integration of the Medical School, and creates a relatively large new 'Life and Environmental Sciences' Division which has a strong environmental element and reflects the views of the Departments of Plant Sciences and Zoology on their future orientation. Most importantly the proposal seems to command very widespread and committed support across a very broad subject area, and the working party endorses it.

40. The working party is aware that concerns have been expressed about the consequences for the overall balance of the new structure, and for the position of the arts, of this move to three science divisions. The presence of traditionally arts-based disciplines in a fifth division will not entirely allay these concerns, and the working party has addressed them by careful consideration of the composition of Council and its committees, formulating detailed proposals which will retain the balance of influence between the arts and the sciences whatever decisions are eventually made on divisional structures (see para. 57 below).

41. Elsewhere there has been some concern in Mathematical Sciences over its proposed grouping with Physical Sciences in the remaining science division. Because of the range of its interactions with other units, the Mathematical Sciences Board would in principle have preferred to be part of a single science division. This, however, is not a popular option overall (save perhaps with certain chemists - see para. 42 below), and it seems fairly clear that if there are to be three (or even two) science divisions, Mathematical Sciences will see its future as lying with Physical Sciences (the Computing Laboratory and the Department of Statistics have already declared themselves in this sense). The working party believes that the residual reservations within Mathematical Sciences over such a 'remarriage', which relate in part to the perceived difference of Mathematics itself (with its CUF structure) and in part to financial issues, ought to be allayed by the principles set out in paras 15-21 above on resource allocation, not least in so far as they protect small units (such units, the working party notes, having moreover flourished under the existing Physical Sciences Board) and imply movement towards similar funding patterns for cognate units.

42. Certain chemists (but not the Physical Sciences Board) see the working party's proposals as unfortunately perpetuating divisions between Chemistry (and Physics) on the one hand and Biochemistry, Biophysics, and other life sciences on the other. They would prefer a single science grouping as proposed by the Commission of Inquiry, or even a Division of Molecular Science. This is a clear minority view, but the working party does believe that, in general, interdivisional contacts will be important in the new structure and that those with concerns in this particular area should develop appropriate structures designed to foster interdisciplinary approaches involving Chemistry.

43. In the arts there is a balance of opinion as to the acceptability of moving to a Humanities Division and a Social Sciences Division. In very general terms, those arts bodies broadly favouring the divisional structure are English (which sees divisions as an enhancement of the means by which clear planning strategies might be made and implemented), Modern History, Theology, Educational Studies, and the Ruskin School. Those unconvinced are Oriental Studies and Social Studies, and, for rather different reasons, Law and Management Studies (see para. 44 below). The inter-faculty committees are also generally opposed, noting that much of their work spans what would be the new divisional boundary. The Literae Humaniores and Modern Languages Boards have been non-committal.

44. The working party has given careful consideration to a proposal from Law and Management Studies that they should form a separate division of 'professional schools'. The working party has noted that part of the argument in favour of this was the perceived need for higher salaries, higher fees, and a higher standard of accommodation in those areas, and that concerns about financial autonomy also played a part. The working party does not believe that Law and Management Studies constitute a large enough block on their own to justify divisional status (with the devolution of resources and ex officio representation on the central bodies which this entails), and does not support this proposal (noting that arguably similar 'professional' areas such as Clinical Medicine and Engineering have no interest in pursuing it). It believes that Law in particular does not conform closely to a recognisable professional school model, and has more obvious affinities with other CUF-intensive faculties. The working party thinks that the divisions will be sufficiently diverse, and will have a sufficiently devolved management structure, to accommodate schools with a greater external focus; and overall the new structure will not preclude cross-divisional consideration of the common interests of such 'professional' bodies. The remarks on resource allocation in paras 15-21 above may alleviate some of the concerns which Law and Management Studies have over funding (and it is also the working party's clear view that additional revenue deriving from additional local activities, for example in professional updating, would normally broadly be retained by the subject area in question, although the activities themselves might be subject to central monitoring procedures).

45. Returning to overall structures in the arts, the working party has noted that, where it exists, opposition to divisionalisation is based on a perception that the divisional board would simply be an additional layer of bureaucracy (and that if the divisional board did in fact have real power this would diminish still further the ability of sub-units like faculty boards to control their own affairs). Some respondents also do not perceive a commonality of interest in the groupings proposed, and fear that the financial regime in particular will be less favourable and sympathetic.

46. The working party does not share these concerns (but recognises the uncertainty they have caused as to the best way forward). The working party believes that it is highly desirable in principle to create academic divisions in the arts as well as the sciences. Crucially, too, it believes that it is vital to enhance decision-making powers at the level below the division, with existing faculty boards and departments in the arts achieving something like the degree of delegated operational authority already enjoyed by science departments. But such devolution, and the even more important movement towards greater concentration on broad policy at the centre, presuppose the construction of divisions to produce the necessary strategic focus across broad subject areas which cannot be achieved at the centre or the narrow departmental/faculty level. In the view of the working party the detailed arguments in favour of divisionalisation include:

  • the desirability of issues of policy which affect broad subject areas being determined across that subject area by those involved and by those best informed: such matters in the arts might include issues raised by the predominance of college-based undergraduate teaching; facilities for academic staff; departmentalisation; relations with the Arts and Humanities Research Board; interaction with the academic services (libraries, IT, museums); and the desirability of fostering existing interdisciplinary collaborations within larger subject groupings;
  • the principle of subsidiarity, which defines the relative roles of central, regional, and local bodies and which limits the need for individual day-to-day local decisions to be subject to higher approval, while maximising local involvement in higher policy development;
  • the empowerment and the liberation of innovation that would come from greater local responsibility and faster and better decision making and administration in a delegated system;
  • the way the current system discourages local responsibility and accountability, lengthens decision-making lines, and hamstrings both the centre and the 'regions' through micro-management at the centre: this last point is very significant, since many of those who expressed concerns about divisionalisation also supported the creation of streamlined central policy-making bodies. In the working party's view such responses seriously underestimate the difficulty caused at the centre by the wish of a myriad of local bodies to preserve a 'direct line to the General Board', which encourages micro-management, and prevents the central bodies from concentrating on strategic issues.

47. The working party's support for divisionalisation implies that the role of 'sub-units' - i.e. faculty boards and departments (or whatever substructures particular subject areas wish to have below the divisional level) - will be enhanced rather than diminished. For in the same way that the central bodies can only concentrate adequately on university-level strategy by devolving responsibilities to the divisional level, the divisional level will concentrate primarily on 'regional' issues by devolving power and responsibility, broadly speaking, to departments in the sciences and faculty boards and departments in the arts. The principle of subsidiarity is crucial here: within approved plans, decisions on the running of individual subject areas and the resources to carry out these decisions will be devolved from the divisional board to the lower level. Moreover, in the same way that the central bodies will set overall policy, plans, and budgets in response to proposals from the divisions, the divisions will elaborate those proposals in response to initiatives from the subject level. The principle of subsidiarity means too that the number of issues on which decisions by subject areas need approval by the divisions, and the number of issues on which the divisions need approval from the centre, will be strictly minimised (within the context of approved plans and university guidelines). (Furthermore, the central bodies, divisional boards, and faculty boards/departments will all be required continuously to review the potential for further delegation of responsibility.) To make this clearer, the working party now sets out in the annexe to this report the roles not only of the central bodies and the divisions, but also of departments and faculty boards.

48. The working party notes that small units, and those involved in interdisciplinary activities such as the various area-studies interests overseen by inter-faculty committees, have been particularly concerned by the divisional proposals. Ironically this is often not because they feel well served by current arrangements, but at least these seem familiar. The working party has always been clear as to the importance of fostering existing interdisciplinary ventures, and indeed sees a wider divisional structure as one means of bringing together activities currently weakened by their formal location, or the location of relevant academic staff, under a number of different faculty boards. The working party also appreciates the anxiety of small units faced with the prospect of constitutional change. In order to safeguard the position of those who feel vulnerable it has revised the formal terms of reference of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee and the divisional boards in order explicitly to recognise the need for the planning and resource allocation process to pay particular attention to the needs of small units and interdisciplinary activities. The principles which will underlie the new resource allocation methods, as indicated in paras 15-21 above, are also relevant here, as is the explicit provision in the suggested composition of the divisional boards (particularly in the arts) for co-opted membership to ensure that the range of activities and concerns in the broad subject area are represented (see para. 50 below).

49. In addition to restating the advantages of divisionalisation, the working party also now provides further indications about exactly how in its view the divisional structures would actually work.

50. The working party has considered how individual divisional boards should broadly be constituted, and has revised and fleshed out its original proposals. In general it envisages that the divisional boards should overwhelmingly comprise members directly elected by and from a number of constituencies reflecting the subjects under the board, usually on the basis of current faculty or sub-faculty organisation. The boards would be relatively large, with on average about 14 members elected in this way, plus the head of division, a member appointed by the Conference of Colleges from among the members of the faculties covered by the board, and two junior member observers (the Divisional Board of Medical Sciences would also have the Regius Professor/Dean of Medicine and an NHS representative). In addition - and the working party attaches considerable importance to this - each divisional board would be required to ensure that the range of activities and concerns in the broad subject area (not least, in the arts, in area studies) were adequately represented and would be able to co-opt up to two additional members to achieve this. The working party sets out in section 8 of the annexe to this report indicative suggestions as to how precisely each divisional board might be constituted. The working party reiterates a key principle from its first report, namely that authority at the divisional level must formally be vested in the divisional boards, not in the heads of divisions themselves.

51. The working party has also reconsidered how heads of divisions and sub-units should be appointed, again refining its earlier views. Departmental heads will emerge as at present, with the only difference that the nominee would be formally appointed by the divisional board rather than by the General Board. In non-departmentally organised areas, it will be for the relevant local body, be it a faculty board or a sub-faculty or a faculty, to appoint its chairman from among its own members as at present. Appointment of heads of division will clearly have to involve a much more formal process. The working party believes that individual appointing bodies would need to be constituted for this, composed of the Vice-Chancellor, two members appointed by Council, and two members appointed by the divisional board. These bodies would act like electoral boards in that their decision would not be subject to the approval of another body. It should be a relatively easy matter in principle for them to strike a balance (as selection committees currently often do) between reviewing applications received and acting as a search committee. The working party comments that it seems highly unlikely that the first heads of division would be appointed from outside Oxford.

52. In the light of its views on the desirability and meaning of divisionalisation and of the further details it has elaborated on divisional operations (and on resource allocation), the working party consulted the chairmen of faculty boards in the humanities and the social sciences at a joint meeting. The working party was encouraged by the response of the chairmen to confirm its own clearly preferred option, namely the creation of two divisions in the arts, a Humanities Division and a Social Sciences Division: it also subsequently consulted informally the chairmen of major bodies in the arts on their own preferences for allocation between these two groupings, and has reflected these as far as possible in section 5 of the annexe. However, in view of the divergence of opinion on this matter, the working party has elaborated an alternative model for the arts, and envisages that Congregation would in fact choose between this and the working party's preferred structure.

53. It would clearly be very awkward for either the existing central bodies or the new Council to have to deal with divisions on the science side and existing faculty boards in the arts. This would perpetuate the admixture of policy and detail which characterises the central bodies at present, would blur the strategic roles of the divisions, and would discourage local responsibility in the arts.

54. The alternative to creating two divisions in the arts would therefore involve a single division to oversee that broad subject area. Like the other divisions, this body would supervise, subject to agreed plans and operating statements, and to policies and guidelines developed by the new Council and its committees, the academic administration of existing faculty boards, inter-faculty committees, and departments in the arts; but it would also keep under review the appropriate structural model for the oversight of that sector, in the light of revisions to central structures and to structures in the sciences, and of concerns expressed in the consultation. It could - although it would not have to - lead over time towards the creation of smaller divisions in the arts, if this was democratically acceptable and operationally appropriate. Such a potentially evolutionary approach would effectively enable a longer period of transition in the arts.

55. The working party's first report expressed its belief that the proposals for the centre were linked to, but ultimately separable from, those for local academic reorganisation. The emergence of very clear support for the central proposals, of very clear agreement across most of the sciences on divisionalisation, and of a more nuanced picture in the arts has provided an interesting context for the working party to revisit that belief.

56. The working party believes that it is both possible and highly desirable, in order to avoid blight and to reflect the general support for the restructuring proposals, to proceed quickly towards votes on key decisions of principle. There are two main reasons for this.

57. First, the uncertainties over the detailed divisional structures need not delay the finalising of proposals for the new Council. The working party regards it as crucial to maintain the balance on Council between the arts and the sciences, and so the proposal for a third science board, and the possibility of a single arts division, mean that the numbers of members elected to Council from each broad subject area must be adaptable to take account of the eventual number of divisions, since the heads of those divisions will serve ex officio on Council. The working party's original proposal was for there to be the four heads of divisions and four elected members from each constituency: this will need to be reformulated as six individuals from the arts and six individuals from the sciences (Anthropology and Geography to count as sciences for this purpose), the six to include the heads of any divisions which exist in those areas. This would enable the creation of three science divisions without unbalancing the subject spread on Council, and would be flexible enough to accommodate no, one, two, or even three arts divisions. A similar approach will need to be taken to the population of Council's committees: where these were to contain all heads of divisions and a number of the elected members of Council, the combined number of those two groups will be maintained; all heads of division will serve ex officio ; and the remaining members to be drawn from the elected members of Council will now explicitly need to be chosen to ensure that the heads of division plus the elected members represent an appropriate balance between the arts, the sciences, and the non-divisional constituency (broadly on a 2:2:1 ratio). This is set out in more detail in para. 71 below.

58. Second, the working party envisages that the new Council would formally come into being on 1 October 2000, leaving adequate time for any further refinement of local structures beyond that which the working party can accomplish at this stage. Indeed, some elements of the refinement (such as the precise composition of divisional boards) can only really be pursued further once decisions of principle have been taken on divisional structures.

59. There is considerable support for the diversified approach to the management of this general area proposed by the working party. There is also gratitude for its recognition of the role of services such as the museums in the teaching and research of the academic divisions. A number of points of detail have been raised, not least in the seminars organised by the working party, and some further refinements are now proposed.

60. The IT Committee, the Libraries Committee, and the Museums Committee all support the idea of a single Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Services. The Libraries Committee wishes to define quite closely the Pro-Vice-Chancellor's role in the light of that of the Director of Library Services, and this seems appropriate: not only does the working party not wish to cut across the progress which Mr Carr is making, it also wishes to ensure that the Pro-Vice-Chancellor has sufficient time to discharge his or her role at the policy level by ensuring that executive service responsibilities, for example, are not a major feature.

61. The advantages of having a single academic officer overseeing the range of interests of, and in, the key academic services seem very substantial. The working party recognises that the current discussions provide a significant opportunity to combine general structural change with an approach to academic services which would integrate each particular sector, co-ordinate them in areas of common interest, and enhance collaboration between them and the various teaching and research activities across the collegiate University: the main duty of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor would be to foster such an approach. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor would therefore cover libraries, IT, and museums, with responsibility for strategy, planning, liaison, and co-ordination across that sector, but with no executive function in respect of the individual services. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor may of course be an elected, appointed, or co-opted member of Council and/or some of its committees, but he or she would in any case be sent the papers of all these bodies and he or she, or his or her nominee, would have the right to attend any part of their discussions.

62. The working party has confirmed its view that there should be separate over-arching committees for each academic service, which the Pro-Vice-Chancellor would chair, and which would carry out strategic, planning, and trustee and curatorial functions as appropriate, foster user-responsiveness, and take full account of teaching and learning and quality and standards issues. These committees will be committees of Council, rather than subcommittees of any single committee of Council; they will, however, have some structural similarities with the divisional boards in that, for example, their proposed plans and operating statements will be considered in detail by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee, relevant service standards will be monitored by the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, and their personnel policy and practice will be subject to the oversight of the Personnel Committee. Ad hoc joint groups representing more than one such committee, ensuring appropriate representation, not least from the divisions, could be formed to consider, and make recommendations on, matters of common interest (e.g. university information strategy), but such groups would have no budgetary or supervisory responsibility.

63. On reflection the working party does not believe that the proposal in its initial report for an overall Director of IT in the University is necessarily appropriate. The parallel with the libraries sector is not exact: libraries are moving towards integration, while historically there has been a distributed approach to IT provision which will continue for the foreseeable future. None the less there is a clear need for close managerial oversight of the different functions within the IT sector, not least in order to ensure increased user-responsiveness.

64. The working party believes that the IT Committee should have an expanded overall strategic role; it should have an active academic vice-chairman with technical expertise, who would work closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor; the committee (constitutionally) and the vice-chairman (operationally) should oversee the work of OUCS, ETRC, and, in collaboration with the Registrar (who would continue to be its line manager), AISU. The Telecommunications Committee should become a subcommittee of the IT Committee.

65. Executive oversight within the services would lie with the Director of Library Services and Bodley's Librarian, the Vice-Chairman of the IT Committee, and the museum directors.

66. The working party regards it as crucial that relations between individual academic services and academic subject areas are constructive. It believes that this can be achieved by strong representation of the divisions on the committees overseeing each service, and attendance of representatives of the services at divisional boards; by the suggested terms of reference of both the services committees and the divisional boards; by links at the narrower subject level; by liaison between heads of divisions and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Services); and through the general role of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor. If the review of the new structure reveals that this is not sufficient, it would be possible to contemplate the introduction of resource allocation mechanisms to improve user-responsiveness, e.g. by a greater proportion of the funding for the services coming via divisional budgets.

67. The working party notes that there is general enthusiasm for reducing the number of committees, but the most important point in this area seems to be considerable support for the evolution of a more pro-active approach by the academic and administrative officers of committees, involving constant attention to the operation of the committees and exploration of the scope for delegation of authority on routine matters in order to limit the major business in formal meetings to really important items and to encourage a strategic approach. The working party notes that this chimes well with the Registrar’s approach in his review of the operation of the central administration.

68. One faculty board and one college raised the issue of the cost of the proposals. The working party has noted that this is very hard to quantify but, after an analysis of the likely implications of the new structure, has noted that

  • the overall number of new office holders that would be created is relatively small;
  • there should be very substantial indirect savings through the abolition of large numbers of central committees and of science faculty boards, with the consequential release of the time of academic and administrative staff;
  • the benefits of a better, streamlined, and more pro-active approach to overall and regional strategy, together with the devolution of financial and managerial authority, should be very significant.

69. Three colleges asked for more openness regarding the agenda and minutes of the meetings of key university bodies (including divisional boards), which they thought ought to be widely available: the working party thinks that this issue should be addressed by all the new bodies at their first meetings.

70. Inevitably some respondents regretted that the report did not cover areas which it was not in fact designed to address. One such area is academic duties/joint appointments, which is of course the remit of another working party (which is now making good progress).

71. In the light of the general support for the working party's proposals, and bearing in mind the refinements of them which are now suggested, the working party believes that resolutions should be put to Congregation early in Trinity Term 1999 on key points of principle, in a sequence of votes in one 'sitting', as follows:

(a) there should be a single body to replace Council and the General Board, with a role as set out in section 2.2 of the annexe;

(b) it should be composed as set out in section 3.2 of the annexe, i.e. as previously proposed save that (i) there should be an additional member to be appointed by the Conference of Colleges, and consequently one fewer 'non-divisional' member; and (ii) (to maintain the balance between arts and sciences) instead of specifying that there would be the four heads of division and 12 elected members, there would be 15 members comprising heads of division and elected members, six from the arts, six from the sciences, and three from the non-divisional constituency: in respect of the arts and sciences, the six would be directly elected by Congregation from the relevant constituency, save that that number would be reduced by one in respect of each of the divisions approved under (e)-(g) below, whose head would serve ex officio, and that if new or revised divisions were approved in future under (i ) below the number of directly elected members from the relevant constituency would similarly be reduced accordingly by the appointment ex officio of the head of the division upon the next vacancy among those members;

(c) the new Council should have four main committees with roles as set out in sections 2.3-2.6 of the annexe;

(d) these committees should be composed as set out in sections 3.3-3.6 of the annexe, i.e. as previously proposed, save that (i) the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee would have the power to co-opt an additional member to ensure that it adequately reflected the range of interests in the collegiate University; (ii) the Educational Policy and Standards Committee would have an additional member appointed by the Joint Undergraduate Admissions Committee and two voting Junior Members; and (iii), to cover the range of possible outcomes under (e)-(g) and (i) below,

  • the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee would contain, instead of four heads of division and six of the elected members of Council, 10 members, to include all heads of division as well as others appointed from the directly elected members of Council to secure an appropriate balance between the arts, the sciences, and the non-divisional constituency;
  • the General Purposes Committee would contain, instead of four heads of division and four of the elected members of Council, eight members, to include all heads of division and others appointed from the directly elected members of Council to secure an appropriate balance between the arts, the sciences, and the non-divisional constituency;
  • the Personnel Committee would contain all heads of division, one member appointed by each divisional board, and up to seven (instead of five) co-opted members to ensure that the committee reflected the range of interests and concerns in all university faculties and departments and the academic services;

(e) there should be three science divisions as set out in sections 5.4-5.6 of the annexe, with delegated powers and ex officio representation as proposed;

(f) there should be either two arts divisions as set out in sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the annexe, with delegated powers and ex officio representation as proposed; or

(g) one arts division as set out in section 5.3 of the annexe, with delegated powers and ex officio representation as proposed, and to have an additional role in developing appropriate structures for the area;

(h) divisions should operate broadly as suggested in sections 7 and 8 of the annexe;

(i) Congregation would of course be able to consider at a later date any proposals for different divisional structures, either as a revision of positive decisions taken under (e), (f), or (g) or following negative decisions on them;

(j) the academic services should operate as proposed in paras 59-66 of this report;

(k) the working party's original proposals on the Vice-Chancellorship, refined to take account of the position regarding divisions, as follows:

  • the period of office should be increased to five years on initial appointment, with the possibility of an extension to seven years in all;
  • eligibility for appointment should no longer be restricted to those who were members of Congregation at the time of the appointment;
  • the Nominating Committee for the Vice-Chancellorship should be composed of the Chancellor (who might if he or she wished delegate this task to one of the external members of Council); four members elected by Congregation; the Chairman of the Conference of Colleges (or his or her nominee); one member appointed by the Conference of Colleges; a member appointed by each divisional board; and up to four members appointed by Council, to include one external member if the Chancellor was chairing the committee, and to ensure that the committee adequately reflected the range of interests in the collegiate University;
  • the nominating committee should report to Council, and Council's decision on the appointment should be subject to approval by Congregation;
  • the age of retirement of the Vice-Chancellor should be in line with arrangements for all other university staff;
  • none of these proposals should have any necessary implication for the position of the current Vice-Chancellor;

(l) the working party's original proposals on the composition and role of Congregation, i.e.:

  • there should be a single provision for procedures in Congregation whereby any sufficient number of members, or Council, might propose a resolution on any issue at any time;
  • the minimum number of members of Congregation required to propose a resolution should be raised from 12 to 20;
  • there should be a procedure to enable Council, or any 20 members of Congregation, to put forward subjects for discussion in Congregation, without the need for a formal resolution or motion, Council being required to have regard to the outcome;
  • Council should submit to Congregation an annual report on the business it has conducted;
  • the number of members present at a meeting of Congregation required to vote in favour of a resolution for that vote to be binding should be increased from 75 to 125;
  • eligibility for membership of Congregation should be extended to all academic-related staff occupying non-established posts in grades RSII or ALC3 and above;

(m) there should be a review of the operation of the new structure after five years, to pay especial attention to its transparency, efficiency, and democracy, by a body consisting of six members directly elected by Congregation for this purpose (two from each constituency), to be chaired by a retiring or recent Proctor.

72. The working party consisted of Mr Vice-Chancellor (Chairman); the Chairman of the General Board; the Principal of Linacre, the Principal of St Anne's, and Professor A.S. Goudie (appointed by Council); Dr K.A. Fleming, Professor P.C. Newell (who replaced Professor R.J. Cashmore), and Dr R.C.S. Walker (appointed by the General Board); and the Principal of Hertford and the Warden of New College. The latter two were appointed by Mr Vice-Chancellor to serve in their personal capacities and have, like the Heads of House appointed by Council, played a crucial role in developing the way in which collegiate concerns are reflected in the proposed structure. The working party was serviced by Dr J.D. Whiteley, with the oversight of the Registrar, Mr D.R. Holmes.

73. The working party met on five occasions in Hilary Term 1999, and held a joint meeting with the chairmen of arts faculty boards.

74. Responses to the working party's first report were received from 21 central university bodies, 39 local university bodies, 23 colleges and intercollegiate bodies, and 17 individuals. Members of the working party attended a number of the meetings of university and college bodies at which its report was discussed. The working party also had the benefit of discussions with a number of individuals in the series of themed seminars it held in Michaelmas Term 1998, and took particular note of the discussion in Congregation on 1 December 1998 (see Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4496, 13 January 1999, p. 543).