We draw attention first to three themes which underlie many of our recommendations and run through the report.
- Oxford's processes for academic policy-making and resource allocation are insufficiently integrated and insufficiently explicit; they need to be clearer and to be brought closer together.
- Oxford needs to combine greater delegation in decision-making with an improved capacity for strategic thinking.
- Oxford needs to develop a better awareness of the direction in which it is developing and of the broader impact of individual decisions, and to improve its capacity for taking explicit decisions about its longer term direction rather than allowing this to emerge as the consequence of accumulated lesser decisions.
We believe that through the application of these general principles Oxford will be better equipped to develop in the direction its members wish, rather than simply in ways determined by external pressures. To achieve this will require a reconsideration of Oxford's present administrative structures, especially the organisation of the University's main central bodies (Council and the General Board). We cover these points in detail in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, and our proposals there are particularly aimed at addressing them, but it will become clear that they recur throughout our report in other contexts.
In Chapter 1, we review the steps which led to the establishment of the Commission, and give details of our working methods, focusing in particular on the consultation which we undertook and the various studies which we commissioned.
In Chapter 2, we set out the background and context to our report. We consider first broad changes in higher education nationally since the time of the last major national review of higher education (the Robbins Report) and the latest one (the Dearing Report). These cover issues such as student numbers, the structure of degree courses, developments in research, and funding arrangements. We also consider changes in Oxford since the time of the last major review of the University (the Franks Report) and the current Commission of Inquiry.
We conclude that Oxford needs better mechanisms for considering the implications of long term changes and for involving its senior members in doing so. If this can be achieved, it will reduce the need for periodic general reviews such as the present Commission of Inquiry, and for the numerous ad hoc reviews of particular policy issues which feature prominently in the University's current methods of working.
In Chapter 3, we consider Oxford's future objectives, structure, size and shape. Our recommendations are as follows.
Recommendation 1 We recommend that Congregation should be invited by the Council formally to endorse the following six principles to govern Oxford's future development:
(i) Oxford should continue to educate undergraduate and graduate students, to undertake research and to provide continuing education.
(ii) Its education should largely continue to be on a full-time residential basis.
(iii) It should continue to be a collegiate university.
(iv) It should continue to strive for the highest standards in both teaching and research.
(v) It should continue to undertake teaching and research across a wide subject range.
(vi) It should continue to be a democratic self-governing institution.
Recommendation 2 We recommend that, for the time being, the University should reaffirm its policy of limiting growth in student numbers to a maximum of one per cent per annum, taking one year with another. This policy should be regularly reviewed by the new Council and the academic boards, in consultation with the colleges through the Joint Undergraduate Admissions Committee, as part of the annual planning and resource allocation cycle proposed in Chapter 5 of this report.
Recommendation 3 We recommend that the Council and the Conference of Colleges should establish a new joint Standing Committee on Access with membership drawn both from university bodies and from the colleges, and chaired by the Vice-Chancellor in the first instance. Its primary tasks should be to coordinate current and planned activities aimed at widening access, to take forward new initiatives to that end, to investigate the effectiveness and fairness of admissions procedures in relation to different groups, to decide on the statistical information needed to inform policy development and monitoring, and to set and monitor targets on a five-yearly basis.
Recommendation 4 We recommend that the Council should initiate a broad review of future needs for space and sites on a five yearly basis.
In Chapter 4, we review the current arrangements for the governance of the University, and we argue that structural changes are required to meet the shortcomings which we identify. We conclude this chapter with a list of specific objectives for change.
In Chapter 5, we set out a detailed proposals for change and make the following recommendations.
Recommendation 5 We recommend that the Council should institute a thorough review of existing legislation with a view to reducing the volume of material embodied in statute.
Recommendation 6 We recommend that there should be a single provision for procedures in Congregation whereby any sufficient number of members, or the Council, may propose a resolution on any issue at any time.
Recommendation 7 We recommend that the minimum number of members of Congregation required to propose a resolution should be raised from 12 to 20.
Recommendation 8 We recommend the introduction of a procedure to enable the Council, or any 20 members of Congregation, to put forward subjects for discussion in Congregation, without the need for a formal resolution or motion, the Council being required to have regard to the outcome; and that the operation of this procedure should be reviewed by the Council after five years.
Recommendation 9 We recommend that the Council should consider whether it should submit to Congregation a regular report on the business it has conducted and, if so, whether this should be on a termly or annual basis.
Recommendation 10 We recommend that the number of members of Congregation who are required to vote in favour of a resolution for that vote to be binding should be increased from 75 to 125.
Recommendation 11 We recommend that the Council should conduct a review of, and make recommendations on, which university bodies should have some or all of their membership directly elected by Congregation.
Recommendation 12 We recommend that eligibility for membership of Congregation should be extended to all academic-related staff occupying non-established posts in grades RSII or ALC3 and above.
Recommendation 13 We recommend that the requirement that an individual must hold either an MA or MA status as a condition of membership of Congregation should be ended and, subject to the preservation of vested interests, that the award of MA status should cease.
Recommendation 14 We recommend that it should be provided that the Chancellor preside over Congregation only on ‘ceremonial' occasions; and that otherwise the Vice-Chancellor should preside.
Recommendation 15 We recommend that:
(a) a new Council should be established as the University's principal executive and policy-making body, with responsibility extending over academic as well as non-academic affairs;
(b) the Council should be responsible for managing an annual planning and resource allocation cycle, which would govern its relationships with bodies beneath it;
(c) the Council should comprise 25 members, namely the Vice-Chancellor (chairman), four Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Proctors and the Assessor, two external members, 12 members elected directly by Congregation from amongst its own membership, and three Junior Member representatives. The Council should have the power to co-opt up to two additional members.
Recommendation 16 We recommend that:
(a) decrees enacted by the Council should come into force with immediate effect from the time of their enactment;
(b) the Council should initiate a review of the University's decrees and regulations with a view to reducing the volume of material embodied in such legislation, to complement the review of statutes proposed in recommendation 5.
Recommendation 17 We recommend that:
(a) there should be a Planning and Resource Allocation Committee of the Council, responsible in particular for making proposals to the Council on the allocation of resources and the approval of plans submitted by spending bodies; the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee should be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, and comprise six members of the Council drawn from those directly elected by Congregation, together with the Proctors and the Assessor and one of the Council's external members; the four Deputy Vice-Chancellors should be able to attend and speak but not vote;
(b) there should be an Educational Policy and Standards Committee of the Council, responsible in particular for monitoring educational standards and quality, and for initiating consideration of policy on educational matters; this committee should be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, and in addition comprise six representatives of the colleges, one representative nominated by the Council, and four members directly elected by Congregation;
(c) there should be a General Purposes Committee of the Council, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and comprising the four Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Proctors and the Assessor, and two members of the Council drawn from amongst those directly elected by Congregation; the General Purposes Committee should be responsible, acting under delegated authority, for any items of business which the Vice-Chancellor or the Council might refer to it;
(d) there should be a Personnel Committee of the Council, chaired by a member of the Council, to be responsible for all aspects of personnel policy in the University;
(e) the Curators of the Chest should be dissolved, and their residual functions formally transferred to the Council;
(f) the Council should establish other committees reporting to it to assist it in discharging its responsibilities for the management of the University's finances, and these should include an Audit Committee, a Press Accounts Committee, and possibly a Finance Committee, final decisions thereon to be made by the new Council after further consideration;
(g) the new Council should consider the need for other committees reporting to it, and establish the lines of delegated authority under which they should operate.
Recommendation 18 We recommend that:
(a) the General Board should be abolished and three new academic boards should be established beneath the new Council, inheriting from the General Board such responsibilities as are not assumed by the new Council;
(b) one board should cover clinical medicine, a second biological and physical sciences, and a third humanities and social sciences;
(c) each board should have its own full-time chairman, designated as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, to serve in the first instance for five years;
(d) the appointment of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors should be the responsibility of the new Council, acting on the advice of an appointing committee chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and comprising representatives of the Council, the relevant academic board, its constituent departments and faculties, and external members;
(e) the duties of existing Pro-Vice-Chancellors should remain as at present, save that in the absence or incapacity of the Vice-Chancellor one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, rather than a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, should be designated by the Council to act in his or her stead, and should deputise on other occasions as required;
(f) each board should have a maximum of 22 members, and should comprise both ex officio and elected members, with up to two co-opted members; that each board should consider how cross-representation between boards might best be provided; and that the Vice-Chancellor should be free to attend such meetings of each of the boards as he or she saw fit;
(g) the academic boards should each have full responsibility, under the Council, for the management and administration of the subject areas within their sphere of responsibility. This would include in particular responsibility for submitting annually to the Council an updated long-term strategic plan and an annual operating statement; this plan should be approved by the Council each year and should provide the framework for each academic board's work during that year;
(h) the boards should be responsible for managing the detailed allocation of resources, for strategic planning and for quality assurance of the educational provision made under their aegis. They should have authority to make academic appointments without reference to the Council, except that they should not have responsibility for making appointments to established professorships and readerships which should continue to be the responsibility of independent electoral boards;
(i) each of the boards should consider its own sub-committee structure once it is established;
(j) administrative support for the boards should be provided by the central administration, under the Registrar.
Recommendation 19 We recommend that responsibility for overseeing the University's continuing education work, and for proposing the allocation of funds to the Department for Continuing Education, should rest with the Committee for Continuing Education, which should report to the new Council.
Recommendation 20 We recommend that the new Council, in conjunction with the three new academic boards, should review all existing academic standing committees with a view to determining whether there is a continuing need for their existence, and if so to which of the three academic boards either severally or jointly they should report.
Recommendation 21 We recommend that the Committee for Educational Studies should come under the aegis of the academic board for humanities and social sciences. The committee should be responsible for advising on the allocation of resources to, and on all other aspects of the work of, the Department of Educational Studies.
Recommendation 22 We recommend that there should be a Deputy Vice-Chancellor for academic support services. The terms of and method of appointment to this post should be similar to those of the three Deputy Vice-Chancellors chairing the academic boards. This fourth Pro-Vice-Chancellor should be responsible for overseeing the provision of academic support services, including libraries, computing, buildings, museums, and administrative services. Each of these areas should also be overseen by a committee; and there should be a further committee of the Council which would oversee all academic services and provide advice to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Recommendation 23 We recommend that the new academic boards should consider the structures which should be established beneath them, having regard to the discussion of this issue in this report.
Recommendation 24 We recommend that the statute governing Convocation's powers (Title III) should be amended so as to read that ‘the functions of Convocation shall be to elect the Chancellor and the Professor of Poetry'; and membership of Convocation should include all members of Congregation and should be extended to all those holding a degree of the University, irrespective of the degree and the length of time which has elapsed since it was awarded.
Recommendation 25 We recommend that the period of office of the Vice-Chancellor should be increased to five years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two; that eligibility for election to the Vice-Chancellorship should no longer be restricted to members of Congregation; that no age restriction should be attached to eligibility; and that there should no longer be a formal ‘run in' or ‘run out' periods before and after the period of office.
Recommendation 26 We recommend that nomination of the Vice-Chancellor should be the responsibility of a committee of the Council, whose membership should consist of an external member of the Council (in the chair), two members elected directly by Congregation, the Chairman of the Conference of Colleges and one person appointed by each of the three academic boards. The committee should not be a standing committee but be appointed each time a vacancy in the office arises and should make a recommendation to the Council, which should have power to make an appointment.
Recommendation 27 We recommend that bodies representative of the colleges should consider whether to invite officers or chairmen of appropriate university committees to attend their meetings, in order to foster liaison and communication between college and university bodies.
Recommendation 28 We recommend that, in the light of the discussion in this report, the Conference of Colleges should consider its future role and in particular the possibility of developing further the responsibilities of its Standing Committee.
Recommendation 29 We recommend that the Conference of Colleges and college governing bodies should consider ways of reducing the administrative burdens which are imposed on the senior members of colleges.
In Chapter 6 we consider the implications of the changes we have advocated in Chapter 5 for the University's administrative service. We make the following recommendations.
Recommendation 30 We recommend that the Registrar should consider the implications for the central administration of the proposals on governance in Chapter 5 and make recommendations to the Council. In so doing, he or she should bear in mind the importance of maintaining a unitary structure for the central administration, whereby a single integrated administrative service is responsible for providing support both to the Council and to the academic boards, as well as to their committees, and of the value of administrators exercising a greater degree of initiative and responsibility in their work.
Recommendation 31 We recommend that the Council should consider making the Registrar formally responsible for the management and professional development of departmental administrative staff, as well as of those within the central administration; and that both groups of staff should be regarded as belonging to a single administrative service.
Recommendation 32 We recommend that the Council, in consultation with the Conference of Colleges, should initiate a wide ranging review of all aspects of Oxford's requirements for management information.
Recommendation 33 We recommend that the financial model developed for the Commission by KPMG should be reviewed and further refined by the University's administration, with a view to its future use in supporting discussion of policy development.
In Chapter 7, we consider the workload of academic staff, and review the operation of the joint appointments system for CUF and university lecturers. We advocate retention of a system of joint appointments but propose a new form of university lecturership to overcome some of the difficulties inherent in the current arrangements. Our recommendations are as follows.
Recommendation 34 We recommend that the University and colleges should give a high priority to identifying and implementing measures to reduce the overall workload of academic staff, taking account in particular of the opportunities presented in this area by our proposals to introduce more effective systems of governance and administration, greater variety in undergraduate teaching methods, more rigorous planning procedures and more flexible allocation of resources.
Recommendation 35 We recommend that Oxford should retain, but reform, its system of joint appointments.
Recommendation 36 We recommend the abolition (for new appointments) of the current CUF and university lecturerships and their replacement with a new single form of university lecturership under which the apportionment of teaching duties, within an overall maximum, would be negotiated between the University and the relevant college(s) on an individual basis at the beginning of the appointment and periodically thereafter.
Recommendation 37 We recommend that, in introducing the new form of university lecturership, the academic boards and the appropriate college bodies should initially adopt the system of weighted units of teaching devised by the General Board's and Senior Tutors' Committee's joint working party on the common contract, but that consideration should be given to means of refining these measures in due course.
Recommendation 38 We recommend that:
(a) graduate supervision should be included in the calculation of teaching units owed to the University under the contract for the new form of university lecturership, rather than being an additional duty as at present; and, consequently,
(b) holders of the new form of university lecturership should not be eligible for the payment of supervision fees.
Recommendation 39 We recommend that the contract for the new form of university lecturership should, within an overall maximum number of teaching units, express a postholder's teaching obligations to the University and the college in terms of ranges of units rather than fixed numbers of units, in order to permit individual postholders flexibility to undertake small amounts of short-term teaching for either the University or a college at their discretion (subject to an obligation to arrange replacement teaching for the other institution, where necessary).
Recommendation 40 We recommend that the academic boards, in consultation with the colleges, should institute a rolling programme of five yearly reviews of the distribution of teaching duties to individual lecturers, with a view to giving the opportunity to individuals to elect to alter the balance of their duties between University and college, in so far as such alterations are compatible with the academic plans of the relevant faculty or department and college.
Recommendation 41 We recommend that the selection process for making joint appointments at the lecturer level should involve:
(a) appointing to selection panels equal numbers of representatives of the faculty board and the relevant college(s), together with a chairman drawn from whichever partner had the greater interest in the post in terms of the number of teaching units required of the person appointed;
(b) having selection panels make a recommendation for a single candidate to both the college and the faculty board/department.
In Chapter 8, we review Oxford's arrangements for the quality assurance of teaching, and make the following recommendations.
Recommendation 42 We recommend that the Educational Policy and Standards Committee and the academic boards should identify best practice in setting standards for teaching and ensure that those practices are adopted in all subjects.
Recommendation 43 We recommend that faculties and departments should publish norms for the amounts and types of teaching to be provided in their subject areas.
Recommendation 44 We recommend that the responsibilities of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee in respect of monitoring should include:
(a) ensuring that mechanisms are in place for regular scrutiny by faculties or departments of indicators of teaching quality, such as examination grades, external examiners' reports, teaching assessment reports and student evaluation of teaching;
(b) initiation of its own programme of periodic reviews of faculties and departments, focusing on the provision of undergraduate and graduate education therein;
(c) consideration of specific ad hoc problems brought to its attention by faculties, departments, academic boards or college representatives such as senior tutors.
Recommendation 45 We recommend that the University and the colleges should work together to devise a scheme for assigning each undergraduate to a director of studies in his or her college, who would take overall responsibility for monitoring all aspects of the undergraduate's education.
Recommendation 46 We recommend that all faculties and departments should publish tutors' handbooks, which should contain factual information on standard marking practices, syllabuses, examinations and norms for numbers of tutorials, and should give guidance on the aims of a tutorial and the role of a tutor. Colleges should be responsible for ensuring that such handbooks are regularly distributed to all tutors including those not formally associated with the college.
Recommendation 47 We recommend that the University should foster a culture in which high quality teaching is demanded and rewarded by:
(a) assigning explicit responsibility for considering broad pedagogic issues to the academic boards and the Educational Policy and Standards Committee;
(b) introducing assessment of individuals' teaching performance;
(c) establishing teaching ability more firmly as a criterion for reappointments to retiring age, promotions and the making of distinction awards.
Recommendation 48 We recommend that the University should consider the desirability and feasibility of establishing a teaching award scheme in Oxford.
In Chapter 9, we consider the structure of the undergraduate degree course, the assessment of undergraduates, the tutorial system and the opportunities offered to undergraduates for developing ‘transferable' skills. We make the following recommendations.
Recommendation 49 We recommend that the University should maintain the current non-modular nature of its full-time undergraduate degree courses.
Recommendation 50 We recommend the imposition of more effective controls both on the organisation of existing joint honour schools and on the development of new ones, by:
(a) giving the academic boards responsibility for the planning and organisation of joint schools;
(b) giving the Educational Policy and Standards Committee responsibility for monitoring the progress of the academic boards in this regard;
(c) appointing a single college-based director of studies for each undergraduate on a joint honour school course, with the express responsibility of overseeing the whole of the student's course.
Recommendation 51 We recommend that the Educational Policy and Standards Committee should consider the introduction of a more structured system of transfers between courses, giving particular attention to the system already operating in Cambridge.
Recommendation 52 We recommend that the academic board for the sciences should re-examine fully the value and feasibility of adopting a broadly-based structure for undergraduate science degree courses similar to that in place at Cambridge.
Recommendation 53 We recommend that the academic boards, in conjunction with the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, should develop a university-wide structure for undergraduate assessment incorporating the following features:
(a) classified assessment first taking place at the end of the second year of study;
(b) an equal number of examination papers (or equivalent forms of assessment) of equal weight, in each year of each degree course;
(c) increased use of non-examination-based forms of assessment, particularly in the third (and, where applicable, fourth) year.
Recommendation 54 We recommend that the academic boards for the sciences and for the humanities and social sciences should:
(a) review the use made of different teaching methods in their subjects;
(b) particularly in the arts and social sciences, emphasise to tutors and students that the role of a series of tutorials is not to cover a syllabus, nor are tutorials to be regarded as substitutes for lectures, classes and personal background reading, which must be established as the prime vehicles for imparting factual information;
(c) promote greater cohesion between lecture courses, classes and tutorials; and
(d) consider to what extent lectures, classes and technology-based learning can be used, particularly in the first year, to bring undergraduates up to a broadly equal, appropriate standard for their course.
Recommendation 55 We recommend that faculties and departments should ensure that their undergraduates are informed of their policies for commenting on and grading tutorial work by setting these out explicitly in the student prospectus for each course.
Recommendation 56 We recommend that the academic boards and the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, in consultation with the University Careers Service, should consider how teaching and assessment methods might be utilised in order to develop a broader range of skills in Oxford's students.
In Chapter 10, we review the responsibilities of both the University and the colleges in respect of graduate education. We also consider the graduate admissions system in the humanities and social sciences, the need for graduate studentships and the desirability of increasing the opportunities for graduate students to gain some experience of teaching undergraduates. We make the following recommendations.
Recommendation 57 We recommend that the academic boards should be given explicit responsibility for developing effective frameworks for interdisciplinary graduate studies, both within and across the boards.
Recommendation 58 We recommend that, in departmentally organised subjects, formal responsibility for the organisation and delivery of graduate education should be transferred from faculties or sub-faculties to heads of department.
Recommendation 59 We recommend that the academic board for humanities and social sciences should ensure that there is a clear focus of responsibility for graduate education in each of the faculties under its aegis.
Recommendation 60 We recommend that the Memorandum of Guidance for Supervisors and Research Students should be published as a separate document and distributed by the Graduate Studies Office to all newly appointed supervisors.
Recommendation 61 We recommend that the academic boards should review the practice of the faculties or departments under their aegis in setting and complying with norms for the numbers of supervisees allocated to a supervisor, and ensure that faculties or departments are rigorous in enforcing them.
Recommendation 62 We recommend that the academic boards should consider the effectiveness of the mechanisms which each faculty board or department under their aegis has for supporting and monitoring the progress of graduate students, and should ensure that these conform with best practice.
Recommendation 63 We recommend that in its long-term plans the University should aim to ensure that each of the humanities and social sciences faculties can make at least the following minimum provision:
- a working space for each graduate student, with a desk and a place to leave papers and personal belongings, usually in a library or a shared office in the relevant faculty centre or department;
- computing facilities for graduate students appropriate to the nature of the work within that faculty;
- attractive common room facilities, open to both academic staff and graduate students.
Recommendation 64 We recommend that all faculties should be required to adopt a self-reporting scheme for graduate students and that all graduate students should receive self-reporting forms every Trinity Term, so that students in each year, including the first year, of their graduate work would have the opportunity to comment on their progress and on their experiences of Oxford.
Recommendation 65 We recommend that faculty boards and departments should adopt clear guidelines for determining the circumstances under which research students can be required to give up their studies on academic grounds (subject to an appropriate appeals procedure).
Recommendation 66 We recommend that colleges should, as a matter of urgency, give renewed attention to ensuring that there is in place a system of college advisers and ‘collections' for graduate students and that the effectiveness thereof is monitored.
Recommendation 67 We recommend that:
(a) each faculty or, where applicable, department should draw up a schedule of the academic facilities which are to be made available to graduate students in each particular subject, and decide in consultation with the Committee of Tutors for Graduates whether these are to be provided by the faculty/department or college;
(b) the academic boards should monitor whether the agreed levels of provision are being maintained for graduate students in the subjects for which they are responsible;
(c) faculties should inform graduate students at the beginning of their course what facilities they can expect, and whether these will be provided by the faculty or the college.
Recommendation 68 We recommend that the academic boards, in conjunction with the Educational Policy and Standards Committee, should give specific attention to the teaching and administrative arrangements for taught graduate courses, and ensure that best practice is disseminated and observed.
Recommendation 69 We recommend that the academic board for the humanities and social sciences should encourage the faculties and departments under its aegis to adopt a ‘gathered field' system for graduate admissions.
Recommendation 70 We recommend that the University should undertake a review of the administration of graduate applications in both the University and the colleges, with a view to enabling applicants to be informed of the outcome of their applications as swiftly as possible.
Recommendation 71 We recommend that the University should establish a graduate studentship scheme.
Recommendation 72 We recommend that all faculties and colleges should:
(a) consider increasing the amount of undergraduate teaching delivered by graduate students;
(b) set appropriate norms and maxima for teaching by graduate students in respect of each course and year, bearing in mind the needs of undergraduates, and the abilities of and time constraints on graduate students;
(c) ensure that such teaching is fully supported by compulsory training of the graduate students, effective dissemination of information and good quality control systems.
Recommendation 73 We recommend that directors of studies and those organising teaching in faculties and departments should, as a matter of course, consult the appropriate register of graduate students wishing to teach before allocating teaching time to graduate students, rather than relying simply on personal contacts.
In Chapter 11 we consider a range of issues concerning the organisation and support of research in Oxford, and review changes which have taken place in recent years. We then make the following recommendations.
Recommendation 74 We recommend that the academic boards should keep under review the balance of teaching and research in the subject areas under their aegis, as part of their long term planning responsibilities.
Recommendation 75 We recommend that the academic boards should assume responsibility for promoting inter-departmental and inter-faculty liaison in the development of research.
Recommendation 76 We recommend that the Council and the academic boards should give high priority to the further development of faculty centres to support the humanities and social sciences, and especially to the improvement of facilities for researchers in the faculties of English and Modern History.
Recommendation 77 We recommend that the University should develop a long-term strategic policy for the development of research in all subject areas. This would in turn influence the allocation of resources for the support of research. Responsibility for overseeing the development of a strategic policy for the support of research should rest with the Council, drawing on proposals made by the academic boards through the annual planning cycle, with boards in turn being responsible for consulting their own constituent departments and faculties, and for liaising with colleges.
Recommendation 78 We recommend that responsibility for administering the special research grant schemes, bridging support schemes, and other research grant schemes currently administered by the General Board should be devolved to the three academic boards, which should be required to review present practice and consider how it might best be developed.
Recommendation 79 We recommend that the Council should establish a university research development fund, to fund new initiatives proposed by departments and faculties, and for which funding would not otherwise be available.
Recommendation 80 We recommend that the academic boards should be given primary responsibility for developing relationships with external funding agencies; and particular responsibility for conducting such relationships should rest with the Deputy Vice-Chancellors chairing each of the three boards, who should regard this as an important part of their duties.
Recommendation 81 We recommend that colleges and departments or faculty boards, as appropriate, should liaise closely in the selection of junior research fellows and in ensuring that the necessary resources and facilities are available to support them.
Recommendation 82 We recommend that colleges should ensure that they liaise closely with appropriate faculties and departments in developing plans for college-based research centres.
Recommendation 83 We recommend that the academic boards should, through the Conference of Colleges or otherwise, seek to arrange college association for holders of Royal Society research fellowships and analogous awards.
Recommendation 84 We recommend that academic-related research staff who undertake teaching for the University or for a college should be considered for election to faculty membership.
Recommendation 85 We recommend that the Conference of Colleges, the Committee of Heads of Science Departments and the academic boards should establish a joint working party to consider how far contract research staff could be brought more fully into contact with college life.
Recommendation 86 We recommend that the Council should give high priority to the re-development of facilities for academic-related and non-academic staff currently provided through the University Club.
Recommendation 87 We recommend that the Council should consider developing new collegiate communities to provide a social and academic base for academic-related research staff, and should establish a working party to address this issue.
In Chapter 12 we review the collegiate University's sources of income and discuss the likely implications of the Dearing Report for its future funding. We then argue that Oxford should seek to remain part of a publicly funded UK higher education system, even though the balance between public and private funding may shift towards the latter in future. We then consider the impact of differences in the levels of resources which are currently available to colleges, and make a series of proposals for change. Our detailed recommendations are as follows.
Recommendation 88 We recommend that Oxford should aim to remain part of the UK's publicly funded system of higher education, supported on the basis of a partnership of both public and private funds.
Recommendation 89 We recommend that the Council and the Conference of Colleges should jointly establish a review of the current format of the published college accounts, with a view in particular to enabling both University and college accounts to be produced on a comparable basis, bearing in mind the terms of the SORPs for higher education institutions and, if appropriate, for charities, and the need to supplement these.
Recommendation 90 We recommend that the current college contributions scheme should continue on the basis recommended by the report of the College Contributions Committee to Hebdomadal Council, in Michaelmas Term 1995, and with the prime objective of enabling the poorer colleges to improve their provision for undergraduate and graduate students. The College Contributions Committee should also consider making grants conditional on their use for these or other specified purposes.
Recommendation 91 We recommend that:
(i) the five colleges currently ineligible to participate in the college contributions scheme (namely Green, Harris Manchester, Kellogg, Mansfield and Templeton) should be brought within it; and
(ii) in future the University should not agree to the establishment of any new college without its immediately becoming eligible to participate in the scheme.
Recommendation 92 We recommend that housing allowances currently paid to those fellows of colleges who do not live in college accommodation should be abolished, and that any other additions to salary should be discontinued in their present form. Instead, there should be a new joint maximum salary set at a higher rate than the present one, and we propose that the increase should be a sum equivalent to the weighted average of the present range of housing allowances. This new joint maximum should be payable (at a standard age point) to the holders of all joint appointments not living in college accommodation, including university lecturers with non-tutorial fellowships (ULNTFs), and the present interim scheme to supplement the salaries of ULNTFs which was agreed by Congregation in 1996 should be phased out.
Recommendation 93 We recommend that the costs of the proposals summarised in Recommendation 92 should be met (a) by the redeployment of funds currently used by the University to pay for The General Board's scheme to relieve holders of joint appointees of college teaching responsibilities (‘trade-offs'), and funds currently used to make payments to Oxford academic staff to undertake graduate supervision; and (b) by establishing a new mechanism for redistributing income from the wealthier to the poorer colleges, in order to cover the costs to the latter of equalising total remuneration received by joint appointees on the basis of a new joint maximum.